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  • APG

Transformational Team Thinking

I’m not going to talk to you today about some of the transformational ways of working that we started to implement at Saatchi’s in recent months as I have no doubt they will be making their own way into the submissions process shortly.

I want to rewind a bit to my experience of working at Droga5 in Sydney, because what was interesting about Droga5 was that they embraced a process for creative development that was impressive actually less for the fact that it generated truly media-neutral creative ideas, although it did do that at a time when many agencies were struggling to do that with any scale.

In fact what was more impressive for the fact that it actually built the entire agency. It carried an agency that started as a 3 man band and a black Labrador in Sudeep Gohil’s back yard in 2008 to an agency of close to 200 people in just 4 short years…

And it was all based around an approach called Idea Mapping. Which was essentially a workshop that was used to map creative territories and executions.

Of course, workshops are nothing new in themselves but there were 3 aspects to Droga5’s approach that were (at least at the time) transformational.

  1. Clients were a key part of the creative generation process.

  2. It relied on speed and quantity of ideas generated in a short period of time

  3. No creatives owned those ideas

Clients were so blown away by the approach and the way they felt being included in the process that they flocked to the agency in their droves. Iconic brands such as VB, Virgin Music, Quantas and Woolies quickly joined the fold.

But it wasn’t just a way of working that was reserved for pitching and some great work was enabled by this collaborative, fast paced approach to generating ideas which strongly influenced the culture of creativity day to day.

  1. The righting musical wrongs campaign with Vanilla Ice. A campaign that used a polarising artist to start a debate about music tastes and a conversation around Virgin’s music offering.

  2. Quantas – launch of its extended flight routes through the creation of stories that were timed to the exact length of the flight.

As transformation stories go, I think this is a great one because it is a story about how a process and the culture of collaboration that it created, gave birth to an entire agency and produced some great creative work to boot.

Lisa Bowcott

Judge, Transformational Planning Team 2017

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