Monday, September 17, 2007

The Worlds Biggest Creative Department

I have often used as an illustration of how advertising is under pressure in this changing environment. OpenAd is a Slovenian-based online marketplace where ad and design ideas from about 9,000 creatives worldwide are bought and sold.

About 20% of OpenAd's creatives are from Latin America, 15% from Asia, 32% from continental Europe, 20% from the U.K., and 6% from the U.S. and Canada.

Traditionally serving European clients they are however starting to make moves into the US as more and more big clients are starting to kick their tyres.

This summer, executives from Gillette heard pitches from creatives in 21 countries for a campaign to persuade men to trade in their disposable razors for the Fusion shaver. Among the winners were a Slovenian student, a British photographer and an American creative director, all of whom based their submissions on an initial idea from a small agency based in India. Gillette paid the winners of its pitch $1,000 each.

Now we know that this isn't going to replace the Ogilvys and Leo Burnetts. It simply doesn't offer the strategic guidance, account management or executional capabilities agencies have.

But it speaks to a key business trend that McKinsey predicted, that of the increasing partnerships amongst once fierce competitors forced by an ever fragmented global market.

Corporate borders are becoming blurrier as interlinked "ecosystems" of
suppliers, producers, and customers emerge.

This is not lost on founder Katarina Skoberne who suggests . "In an ideal world," she said, "agencies will use OpenAd on behalf of clients."

People seem to easily group together across agencies, geographies and disciplines as my twitter, facebook and various like minded coffee morning friends will attest. Oddly it seems big agency groups or networks don't really subscribe to this more fluid approach. Imagine the power of an


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