Alternative marketing thinking


Agency. Own You Ads.

Taking stock in a brand you help to create is the concept that helped inspire ad industry veteran Carl Johnson to leave a top post at TBWA Worldwide in 2002 to co-found Anomaly. Projects for clients like Coca-Cola, Bluetooth headset maker Aliph, and airline startup Virgin America have earned Anomaly credibility on Madison Avenue and more calls from big advertisers. While Anomaly does conventional stuff like creating 30 second spots or design labels, the agency’s unconventional approach of treating marketing campaigns more like intellectual property to be licensed than commodities to be sold could disrupt the long-held model of a nearly $150 billion industry. Johnson and his 90 man team look at problems differently “We surround what we see as the business issue, rather than ‘the need to do an ad,'” says Johnson. Often this means acting more like a chameleon than an agency, tapping in-house pools of expertise in brand strategy, print, TV, digital, outdoor, and product design. And this is no talk. The agency was in the centre of the action recently when Virgin launched Virgin America. Not only will the agency be paid for designing the ads and running a contest for naming their planes, that generated a lot of buzz, Anomaly will also take a percentage of sales from extras like in-flight entertainment and Burton branded luggage, which it helped to develop and produce. In another first, Anomaly will wade deeper into the waters of intellectual property at yearend when it launches Eu (pronounced “you”), a line of skin-care products designed and produced with entrepreneur/partner Tammy Ha. The agency will help with marketing and bottle design, and Ha, a former chemist with Neutrogena, is creating 14 or so products, including cleansers, toners, and night creams priced from $50 to $180 each. In this case, company ownership will be split three ways: one-third to Ha, one-third to the agency, and one-third to private investors. Read the full article from BusinessWeek.


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