Anatomy of an Agency: If Advertising is a Body, Which Part is Which?
JWT ask, "who really delivers the blood, sweat, tears (& renal functions) of an adverting business?"
In the olden days before we became diversified as a business, likening an ad agency to a human body included clichés such as planners as brains, creatives as hands and finance as a twitchy nervous system.
Not a hugely satisfying analogy.
However, now that we have offerings such as shopper marketing, experiential, customer data and recruitment specialists under our roof we asked all our departments what function of the body they fulfill. And then asked everyone if they agreed.
Words by people from across the whole JWT London business. Design by Chris Hutton & Bryan Riddle. Image by Shutterstock
What they say: The valves because we keep things pumping.
What others think they are: Kidney and liver. Really just the whole renal system because they spout a load of shit. The hair, because they’re all over the place (and not always in the nicest places).
What they say: The womb (and the testicles), because we create and give birth to ideas.
What others think they are: The ego. Full of confidence but difficult to deal with.
What they say: The hands. But holding a wallet and with a watch on the wrist because we actually get stuff created, on time and on budget.
What others think they are: The bowels, because they get shit done.
What they say: A winning smile and one of these *clicks teeth and shoots with hand*.
What others think they are: That tough, thick skin on the back of your foot that is barely penetrable.
What they say: The brain. One of the most important functions. We control everything.
What others think they are: A cold dead hand, that’s impossible to get things out of. Or the anus (in a retentive state).
What they say: The digestive system. We take all the good bits out of everything. We don’t make shit though.
What others think they are:The brain. Because everyone knows they’re the geeks!
What they say: Neuros in the brain (a higher level than the planners).
What others think they are: The bionic additions. Post human skill-sets.
Geometry @ JWT (Shopper marketing)
What they say: The muscular system. Physical availability and physical interaction.
What others think they are: The buyer’s remorse and sense of regret because they convince you to buy things that you know you can’t really afford.
What they say: The goose bumps. We excite, surprise, scare, and intrigue audiences.
What others think they are: All five senses, because it’s about experiences and they touch each one. But then they would also be the gag reflex, because when you get overstimulated you’re generally sick.
What they say: We’re the hands because digital is very tactile, and we use our hands to invent.
What others think they are: An X-Men like superhero mutation. Something that is new but makes the body infinitely better and more powerful, but that a lot of people just don’t understand.
What they say: The mouth. We socialise and connect with the world through speech and copy.
What others think they are: A trendy new haircut, shaved at the sides with a top knot and purposefully too short trousers.
What they say: We’re the heart, because we deal with empathy and emotion.
What others think they are: Platelets. Helping the body heal. Or tears. They only really appear when someone’s upset.
Pace (integrated content studio)
What they say: The ears because they hear everything.
What others think they are: The G-Spot. Very difficult to locate on a day by-day basis, but when you do find them, what you get is mind-blowing.
Colloquial (Content marketing unit)
What they say: Circulatory system. Free-flowing through the body connecting and fueling each different department
What others think they are: A fist, because what they write keeps you gripped. Boom boom.
What they say: The super ego. The criticisms, prohibitions, and inhibitions that form a person’s conscience.
What others think they are: The conscience (but one that isn’t always 100 percent perfect).
What they say: Nothing. We were too scared to ask.
What others think they are: The spleen — we need it, but we don’t really know what it does day to day.
JWT Inside (Recruitment and internal engagement)
What they say: Bloodstream. Employees are the lifeblood of a brand and we help keep those employees in the business.
What others think they are: They’re called inside, so all the blood, guts and juices: the important stuff that keeps us working and happy.
JWT One to One (CRM)
What they say: Central nervous system. It connects everything together.
What others think they are: The stomach - the gut feeling you get when you meet someone for the first time.
Prism (Sports Marketing)
What they say: The lungs - breathing oxygen into unrivalled audience experiences.
What others think they are: The adrenal medulla (which is what produces adrenaline).
- Agency JWT London
- Designer Bryan Riddle, Chris Hutton
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