Thursday, August 29, 2013

Small is beautiful

Small is beautiful.  That was the message from Dan Wieden at the recent Ad Age Small Agency Conference in Portland, Oregon.  Wieden is the co-founder of Wieden+Kennedy, one of the premier ad agencies in the world, and a little sneaker company called Nike was one of their first clients.

As we roll through the summer and September approaching, I can't think about how I used to wish the weeks went by fast, and now I'm hoping they would just s-l-o-w down.

As larger agencies continue to flounder and "wobbling around like drunkards", according to Wieden, smaller agencies can smell the blood in the water.  There's so much opportunity out there, we just have to find it.

And sometimes they find us.

If you are checking out this site to see what Mooreshots is all about, "small is beautiful" is a good way to describe us.  We consider ourselves a boutique agency.  We concentrate on one-on-one attention with our clients and there's no surprises.  Whether you are struggling to make a name for yourself, or maybe just get back on track, you might want to think about going small.  Nothing replaces efficient, one-on-one attention with your clients and partners.

Take it from the man who knows, Dan Wieden.  Wieden+Kennedy has eight offices across four continents and he would give anything to be small again.


Dan Wieden remembers when he was working for George-Pacific, a conservative paper products company.  He did everything he could to get fired because he didn't have the guts to quit. When it finally came to fruition he said he felt like a total failure.  After sitting in his car for about an hour pondering what he was going to do with his life, he decided to go home.  When he arrived his wife was folding diapers in the laundry room.  They had two small children and another one on the way. Without turning around she asked him how his day went.  "They fired my ass", he said.  "Well, something will turn up",  It was then that Wieden decided she could have anything she wanted for the rest of her life.

Those words changed his life and gave him permission to fail.

Today, "Fail harder" is the theme at Wieden+Kennedy.  Wieden remembers two young, creative women he hired at his firm who were so intimidated by the company atmosphere that they wouldn't even leave their office.  He told them they weren't any good to him unless they failed twice.  Wieden encourages his people to walk in stupid every morning.  The saying is scattered all over the Wieden+Kennedy office.

When asked about his biggest accomplishment to date he hesitated and said it had to be the Just Do It campaign for Nike.  He remembers traveling to Europe a couple weeks later and people were already sporting the tee shirts.

Following his keynote, a young aspiring ad agency executive asked him how long he stays excited about a successful campaign,"The glow for me lasts about an hour", he said.  Dan Wieden wishes he was small again.

Small is beautiful.