Fireworks, Furry Business Cards and Chris Arnold..
I’d like to say the night started off with a bang! Fortunately it was just another night with The Bristol Creative Directors Network. A round table with 10 Bristol creatives enjoying a fabulous meal at Goldbrick House in the company of Chris Arnold.
For those not so familiar with Chris, he was Integrated Creative Director of Saatchi & Saatchi before setting up FEEL, which merged with Ron Leagas’ agency to form BLAC. In 2009 Chris started the world’s first independent creative department, a social enterprise and talent incubator all in one – Creative Orchestra. Chris is author of the newly published book, Ethical Marketing – http://www.amazon.com/Ethical-Marketing-Consumer-Chris-Arnold/dp/0470743026
Chris gave us real insight regarding his not for profit agency model and how a democratic voting system gives staff a sense of ownership. From choosing the type of business to go for, all the way through to which creative routes to present.
Interestingly, the business model includes exchanging fee for a percentage of the revenue. There was a lot of discussion around this model, with Matt Golding from Rubberductions introducing a concept of fees based on a promise of specific results. In the event the campaign doesn’t achieve at least these, they offer a refund – now that’s putting your money where your mouth is! (I’m seeing Matt later this week and hope to find out more, watch this space).
I think we all found the new model agency insight a real breath of fresh air and Chris’s views on ethical marketing, and in particular Co-Op V’s Tesco a real eye opener.
Much of the evening was also spent talking about how our industry still has a need for ‘big ideas’ but that much of what we do digitally is finding innovative solutions to business problems. This posed the question for some, where does that leave the ‘Craft model’ of the more traditional agencies?
Before he left, Chris introduced his furry backed business card. Everyone oooh’d and ahhh’d – it would seem that in this digital/screen based world of ours, there’s a sense of a certain loss of traditional things even among the most technologically-biased of us!
Many thanks to Chris Arnold, whose easy company and no holes barred industry insight made the evening slip by far too quickly and to David Sloly, (CD at MZL.com), for encouraging Chris to make the trip down the M4!