I sat down for a little Q and A with our creative director, Wayne Best, to get his take on what’s happening with the agency business and how Cog NYC is doing things a little differently. Enjoy.
1. Why did you start Cog NYC?
I love advertising. It’s the perfect mix of business skills and creative skills. But, with each promotion from ACD to CD to ECD… you get further and further away from the actual creative work, and spend increasingly more time dealing with things like budget, staffing, process, and navigating the politics. I don’t think I was bad at it, but it wasn’t what I loved. What gets me excited is finding an unexpected creative solution that helps a client solve a problem. When those things line up, it’s exciting. And at the end of the day, you make more of an impact on a brand and a client's business that way. Nobody remembers a great process or a great meeting, but they do remember great work. And you don’t need a ginormous staff to accomplish that, you just need the right staff.
2. Is IT working?
Yes. It hasn’t been easy, or a perfect path, but in the end I believe we can provide the same level of product, or an even higher level, than the biggest agencies in the country. And we can do it in a much more efficient way. Client needs are changing quickly. They have many advertising partners and many deliverables. One size does not fit all. So we structured Cog NYC to be a completely flexible model. By working more like a production company, we can scale up or down quickly. We have partners (small companies and individuals) all over the world, and from all different disciplines, so we can build a different agency for each client, or even each project. Once we know the scope of work, we put together the right team to best accomplish the task. The good news for us is that the big agency conglomerations have been slaves to money, not talent. So as a result there are a huge number of talented people who aren’t under contract, and our available to work with us on a moments notice.
3. What are you most proud of from THE LAST year?
That’s a tough one because no matter what we do, I want to do more. Some of the highlights were being the smallest ad agency ever to do a big national campaign for the Ad Council (Buzzed driving), creating the first advertising campaign for WordPress from beginning to end in just a few months and collaborating with Saatchi to help Walmart do a break though campaign during the Oscars.
4. I just read the digital advertising outspent traditional TV ads in 2017. Do you notice a change in how clients are approaching digital?
I think so. At the end of the day it’s been a long process for clients and agencies alike. And it’s still changing every day. That said, in the 60s the addition of television forced everyone to change. The mediums, and the best way to use them, evolves constantly. What doesn’t change is the need to solve problems, using data and creative thinking. The hard part is applying the best solution to each deliverable, now that the number of deliverables has increased dramatically. So you need to go into production having a plan for each digital need (Facebook, Snapchat, etc) to apply the best practices for that platform. The thing that amazes me is how many times people still try to accomplish this by repurposing assets that were created for a TV spot after the fact.
5. Are you jealous of anyone right now?
That’s a tough one. I don’t think I’m jealous of any one individual in the business right now, but I am constantly seeing examples of things I wish we’d done. And it’s not always advertising. Nor is it always done by an agency. Nowadays great work comes from anywhere.
6. What's next for Cog?
World domination. Although I will settle for a few smart ideas that make our clients happy.
To find out more about what Wayne and his team are up to visit cognyc.com or you can email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.