Few businesses do what they do as well as Meers Advertising, a stellar and fast growing agency based in Kansas City.
Advertising agencies are under significant pressure today due to mobile computing, social media and better informed and more demanding clients. Rather than “ride out the storm,” Meers decided to host a panel discussion on the topic CreativEvolution. The topic encompassed what Meers and other Kansas City’s agencies are doing, or could do, to lead the trends in advertising.
The five panel members for the discussion were the creative directors from five of Kansas City’s most dynamic advertising firms. The very composition of the panel was a demonstration of how agencies can creatively evolve – instead of treating each other as competitors they can, at least for an evening, treat each other as collaborators.
The moderator of the panel discussion was Paul Koepp, Legal and Advertising Reporter for the Kansas City Business Journal. Paul did a fine job: his questions were provocative and his command of the topic impressive. When Paul opened up the discussion to questions from the audience, this question arose: What can Kansas City agencies do to expose their talent and capabilities to clients outside of the Midwest?
This question was one of the last questions to be asked and lack of time prevented a suitable answer. I thought about that question after I left the session at Meers and came up with this idea: what if each of the creative directors visited one of the other agencies and made a video of how that competitor deals with the issues around creative evolution? Here are six benefits to this approach:
- The creative directors would have an opportunity to demonstrate the creative talent and capabilities of their agencies.
- The creative directors might learn something about their competitors previously not known.
- An avenue for future collaboration with competitors would be established. In a future that will challenge us even more than the present, collaboration will be essential.
- Watching cool videos would be even more stimulating for an audience than a well run panel discussion.
- The KC advertising community would have a collection of videos to send to prospects and media outside of the Midwest that would present the KC community as a collaborative powerhouse as good as, if not better than, any agency on either of the coasts.
- Meers Advertising would have a follow-up CreativEvolution event equal to, or perhaps better than, the original.
As a person who works with business leaders to help them uncork the creative power of their teams, I enjoy being around and involved with advertising agencies, the modern “Mad Men” of creativity in business. They not only activate brilliance, they do it with style.
If you haven’t already done so, take a look at the cookies in the picture above to see what I mean. Guests who attended the CreativEvolution panel discussion received two cookies as a parting gift. One of the cookies bore the Meers’ logo and the other cookie bore the logo of one of Meers’ four competitors who participated in the panel discussion. The rocket ship is the logo of Barkley.
The cookies were not only lovely and clever, they were delicious.