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January 28, 2021

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Work with an Ad Agency

Meara Bridges

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Work with an Ad Agency

Advertising agencies are touted as glamorous workhorses every company needs to be successful. But your budget may have you wondering, “do I really need one?” Well, you’re in luck! I’m here to give you the inside scoop with reasons to skip that partnership. 

You should not work with an ad agency if…

#1 You think watching the same 30 seconds on repeat sounds like a great time

Video editing is a repetitive process, often involving 5, 10, or more drafts before the first “finalized” edit even makes it in front of a client. Each time a new version of the video comes in for internal review, every frame is analyzed. Does the flow of information make sense? Does the music fit the visuals? Does the audio time well with the scene edits? Are there any glitches? Does anything need to be edited out? The list goes on. Seeing ideas come to life in video is exciting, but getting a video to match the idea in your head is a tedious process. Ready to clear your schedule and hunker down to have a watch party until that final edit is made? If not, your ad agency has the time.  

#2 You’re into the idea of writing 50+ unique headlines for one topic 

When cracking the phrasing puzzle to create a memorable headline that will capture your audience’s attention, you have to exhaust every angle you can. People often fall victim to the “stroke of genius” mentality, believing their first idea is the best one. In reality, most first ideas feel like they’re the best when they’re actually just the most obvious. If you want your message to rise above the overplayed clutter, you’re going to have to dig deep and leave no word unturned. If the idea of this doesn’t spark joy, you should probably leave it to the people with a passion for wordplay.

#3 You thrive in the gray area 

From the outside, it may seem like advertisers have a pretty cut-and-dry job—take a brand or product, tell the audience about its features or benefits, and sit back and watch as what they created makes money for the client. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. From fully identifying the client’s needs and determining the best strategy, to the conceptualizing process and creation of the story and work, no path is crystal clear. Some of the most successful work in the world has come from a starting point of foggy, unclear chaos. Ad agencies put in a ton of footwork mapping the path to success, let alone actually crafting the public-facing assets and message. If technicolor vision eludes you when you’re in the midst of a gray haze, ad agencies are full of people who can help you see things clearly.

#4 You don’t resent putting in the time 

I know what you’re thinking. Everyone resents overtime, right? Sure, it’s not the most attractive part of a job, but sometimes it’s necessary. Pursuing great ideas and bringing them to life takes time. More often than not it takes a lot of time. There are numerous hours that go into crafting a concept that’s solid from every angle, and sometimes, yes, that means there’s overtime. Are you so passionate about the power of a great idea that, at the end of the day, you feel accomplished from all that extra time—not resentful? If you don’t, it’s going to show in what you produce. Leave it to the people who eat, breathe, and live for the great ideas.

#5 You’re ready to hunt the devil in the details

Have you ever spent a few hours studying a chunk of copy? Like, really studying it. Looking at the space between each letter or word and adjusting it to a balanced place of visual perfection? Or what about scrolling through Google searching for the perfect visuals to express the colors, textures, fabrics, landscapes, people, or illustration styles that embody exactly how you want a visual you’re creating to look? Have you taken a deep dive into everything that is a part of your brand—e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g—and put all those words into a list; THEN meticulously cross-referenced that list with anything that could possibly have an association with each word; THEN stepped back to look at the world around your brand to determine how you can bring relevance to the collective conversation, all to establish the right position and story for your brand or product? These are just a few of the detailed processes that go into bringing cohesion to a brand’s image and crafting powerful content. Do you have the time to hunt down the devil hiding in all the details? If you do, an ad agency probably isn’t for you. But if you don’t, leave it to the people who effortlessly flourish shifting between broad strokes and detailed work; who wake up each day ready to chase new ideas and new unknowns. Leave it to the people who will rally their team and obsessively pursue perfection with a passionate vigor that banishes every pesky devil standing in the way.

Now you know the reasons why you shouldn’t work with an ad agency. Ready to find out why you should? Let’s start a conversation.