LOS ANGELES – Being big for the sake of buying clout used to differentiate media agencies. Now creative agencies are finding ways of trimming down to keep pace with ever-speedier, lower-paying client demands.
For Steve Erich, “not your typical agency model” means contracting for the best creative talent for the nascent Erich & Kallman shop based in San Francisco. “Agencies on the whole are too slow, they don’t have enough talent and they’re too expensive,” the E&K Founder & Managing Director explains in this interview with Beet.TV at the 2017 Transformation conference of the 4A’s.
Having spent about 11 years at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, last year Erich finally was able to join up with Eric Kallman and give the biggest agencies a run for their money.
“My partner Eric Kallman is a gentleman that we tried to hire about three years ago” at CP+B. “He took a job at Goodby instead” and produced iconic work for companies like Old Spice. “We got together after we both left our agencies to create a new model.”
Erich likens their creation to a small, core group of individuals that contract creative work out to the best in the business “just for the amount of time we need. It makes us faster, it makes us more efficient.”
E&K’s account wins include a piece of business from General Mills, which was “looking for a new model. Faster, more nimble,” Erich says.
As regards creative briefs from clients, there’s noting out of the ordinary at E&K, although it is a big believer in the power of video. While television is still “the main thing that’s asked for” among advertisers, there’s a learning curve when it comes to digital.
“Just thinking you can cram a 30-second television spot into a Facebook post or whatever else is just not that effective. It’s better than not, but there are so many other ways to create video and content format-wise,” says Erich.