65 years in the ad business is worth talking about. Hear from our CEO and President, Pete Barr Jr., on lessons learned and wisdom shared. Because for us, we’re not afraid to admit it’s more than business – it’s personal.
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83 Years: Leo Burnett
74 years: Ogilvy
65 years: &Barr
50 years: TBWA
45 years: The Richards Group
39 Years: Widen + Kennedy
38 Years: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
“Not many agencies get to say that they’ve been around for 65 years, and when you look back over our history and everything &barr has accomplished what does it make you think?”
Only 4 in 10 second generation CEOs succeed. The one common denominator found among the four was innovation and resistance to the status quo.
“These days they tell college kids if you don’t know what you want to be then don’t decide until you have to. But at the end of my Junior year I had to, and…”
In 1960 the “Golden Age of Advertising” was born bringing with it big ideas and three-martini lunches.
“In the beginning I worked a lot with Chuck Fry and right away Chuck could tell that I was in a hurry. In a hurry to make more money. In a hurry to accomplish things and I was incredibly impatient. But eventually I realized that…”
In 1835 the first billboards in America were circus posters measuring more than 50 feet long
“I left the side of the road knowing that I had fixed it myself. And that no one else was going to do that but me. Because even though my dad offered to go along with me…”
In 2009 agencies were hemorrhaging jobs at a staggering average of 41 people a day. The post-recession malaise and challenges embracing the digital transformation had &Barr searching for answers.
The Question was asked,“Have you ever thought about changing the name of the agency?”
In 2011 the revenue of the 4 largest agency holding companies was nearly double that of the other top 50 agencies combined
“There was a time where I was trying to steer and we didn’t have any forward motion and it was an awful feeling. We needed that forward motion because it’s kind of like riding a bicycle in the way that…”
The Average agency-client and agency-employee relationship has now dropped to under 3 years.
“Over the years we’ve enjoyed tremendous, long-term relationships. We’re in it for the long haul when entering into client or employee relationships…”
Research has proven that employees who are rewarded, supported, and treated fairly above all, feel valued.
“But in our business we have to listen to the client so we can get out their problem and begin to solve it. We have to care.”
An employee who believes their organization is fair will feel more valued.
“Respect and equality has always been important to me. But to be an authentic human being today and to gain everyone’s approval and respect…”
Millennials and Gen Z want a different workplace than their parents. They want transparency and the ability to foster connections.
“Clients used to want to meet with the senior people. Now It’s changed it’s never been a better time to be young in this business because…”
An agency’s success hinges on the agency’s culture itself. A healthy culture of vision, values, beliefs, rituals, and reward systems clearly defines who the agency hires and promotes.
“The key is to create an agency culture in which the free-thinking creatives are able to interact, collaborate and be teammates with analysts and have respect for the work they do and vice versa. Because when we all come together…”
The first known ad was found in Egypt in the year 3000 BC. Today, social media platforms have the ability to track 52,000 data points on every single person on earth.
“In the early 90’s is when what was known at the time as desktop publishing arrived. And that first arrived in the creative world as art directors at the time needed to learn to take their images and their visuals from the board to the computer and begin to manipulate them. And that was a huge shift because the founders…”
In 2040 the future of marketing will rely on technologies like AI, leveraging IoT, and autonomous assistance to help consumers engage with brands.
“I see the agency in 5 years following the eyeballs and having the people here and the services we offer matching what the market wants.”