[Editor’s Note: I’m going to be in San Francisco until next Wednesday, if you’re around and want to try and meet up, give me a shout.]
I’ve been holding this in for a while now and it’s finally time to let it out.
Today is my last day at Renegade. It’s been a wonderful two years, but I’ve decided to give something else a try.
That something else is Naked.
For those not familiar with Naked they’re a new breed of agency built out of the need for truly neutral communications solutions. In order to achieve their Switzerland-like status (how many people have made that comparison? . . . arghh) they (or we actually) employ no production or execution people.
Here’s how The Washington Post describes the place:
To see the future of the advertising industry, climb the stairs of the three-story walk-up on Greene Street in SoHo to the U.S. headquarters of London’s Naked Communications. There, you’ll find 15 or so young people — a Scot, a South African, a Brit and some Americans — sitting around a long, wooden table, working on laptops or talking quietly on cellphones as rock music plays in the background. . . . Naked’s premise is simple: If you go to a coal company looking for an energy supply, you’ll get coal as the recommended solution. It’s the same with most advertising agencies, which rarely meet a marketing problem that cannot be solved or a sales goal that cannot be met by a TV and radio campaign supported by direct marketing, some pop-up ads on Web sites and a bit of public relations. It’s what they do, the way they are organized and how they make their money.
Or how about what they did for Boots Pharmacy in the UK:
In 2003, Boots had run a TV campaign for a new service that collects prescriptions directly from doctors so customers don’t have to wait for them to get filled, but it had gotten little response. Naked’s strategists realized that Boots wasn’t doing anything in its pharmacies to encourage customers to get their doctors to use the program. In effect, Boots was ignoring the 16 million customers who were already walking through its stores every week. Under Naked’s guidance, Boots discontinued its TV spots and had employees suggest the service to customers waiting in line for prescriptions. According to Chris Laud, Boots’ media manager, the number of participants in the program has skyrocketed several hundred percent at a fraction of the cost of the TV campaign. “It’s more of a process problem they helped us identify,” he says.
Anyway, as you can probably tell, I’m stoked to get there. For those that have made it this far I’m taking the next couple days off and will be in SF until Wednesday (for Community Next and then just hanging), so if you’re around drop me a line.
Finally, a huge thank you to Johanna, for whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude for getting this ball rolling.