A few weeks back I went to a luncheon put on by the AAF Houston chapter that featured guest speaker Robert Duncan of Duncan/Channon. The food was great, and while everyone ate Robert gave a talk that he called “More or less true tales of more or less post-advertising.” That title is just fancy copywriter-spiel for a talk that was really about the success of an advertising agency and the happy accidents that lead them there.
It was extremely interesting to hear Robert talk about how he started and the convoluted way that he got to where he is now – an advertising agency that has a bar on the roof, a record label with three artists and more creativity than they know what to do with. And while I was very entertained by everything Robert had to say, It got me thinking about a lot.
Specifically, it got me thinking about how you never really know how the decisions that you make today will effect you days, weeks, months, or even years down the road. For example, when Duncan/Channon moved into the building in which they are currently located, there was a weird space up at the top. As a joke, someone from the agency suggested that they have a bar up there, and thus The Tip was born.
From that bar came several company parties, at which a indie band would usually play. Struggling to find a record deal with a label, Duncan/Channon decided to form their own label and sign the band as their first artist, and Tip Records was born. What does that have to do with advertising, you might ask. Nothing and everything.
In a client meeting with Hard Rock Café, an account service person from Duncan/Channon mentioned the record label they had formed and the band they had signed in passing. From that casual comment, Hard Rock Café decided to have that band (whose name I can’t remember) do a concert series in Hard Rock Café’s nationwide. And through that a nationwide push for both the band and Hard Rock Café was born. All from a comment about how the weird space at the top of their building should be turned into a bar.
My takeaway is very simple – it’s important in this industry of ours to pursue excellence, sure, but to also pursue what we are passionate about aside from our work. I love to run – perhaps someday I can find a way to take that love and marry it to a campaign I am working on. Or maybe I wont. The important thing? It never hurts to try. We should strive to be open to anything and everything.
Now onto Satori Marketing’s next project – an office bar. This should be interesting.