0
Hi, I’m Tim Leake.
I work at RPA as SVP/Growth & Innovation.
@tim_leake
#GetNakedAtCannes
If Clients don’t believe their Agency’s
recommendation is in their best interest,
Cannes-worthy ideas die.
My job is to apply creativity
to 
make sure 
we succeed
in the future.
!
And to succeed in the 

future, 
we need to
improve our relationships.
We’re proud of our
relationships and our work. 

But we want to get better.
THE FIRST TIME I EVER 
SAW A CLIENT NAKED.
“Honestly, I simply don’t
trust any of my agencies
to actually solve my
marketing problems.”
My jaw.
Floor.
What else aren’t we 

saying out loud?
So, we partnered with 


USA TODAY on a survey:
Completely
anonymous
143 senior-level agency 

& brand marketing leaders
What leads 

to the best
advertising?
Longstanding
relationships
What leads 

to the best
advertising?
Collaboration
from start 

to finish
What leads 

to the best
advertising?
Clients trusting
their Agencies
98% of Agencies and
Clients agree that
trust leads to great
advertising.
!
Why don’t we have
more of it?
“Get with it. Think more. Embrace
your potential and shake off your
stupid, dated internal ways.”
CLIENT TO AGENCY:
CLIENT TO AGENCY:
“You slow us down. My professional
success has nothing to do with your
creative idea.”
AGENCY TO CLIENT:
“You’ve drunk your own Kool-Aid. You
have no understanding of consumers at
all. You think you can just s...
AGENCY TO CLIENT:
“You’re most always your own problem.
You can't get out of your own way enough
to let the agency do good...
Four truths
affecting trust:
Considering we’re
communication companies,
we suck at communication.
CLIENT:
“As an agency, you need to
leverage your supposed
‘expertise’ at communication to
win over your clients.”
AGENCY:
“Your agency relationship is your
opportunity to step outside your
passive-aggressive double-speak
corporate cultu...
of Clients claim to speak
their mind freely, even
when it’s uncomfortable.88%
But among Agency
leaders who frequently
interact with Clients,
the number who agree
this is true falls to: 36%
of Clients ...
“The single biggest problem in
communication is the illusion
that it has taken place.”
!
- George Bernard Shaw
We need to apply
some creativity to
what we mean by
“creativity.”
of Agencies and Clients
agree
 we don’t have a
shared definition 
of
creativity.
2/3
What does “creativity”
mean, anyway?
What does “creativity”
mean, anyway?
The ability to transform
marketing objectives into
something that connects
with peopl...
What does “creativity”
mean, anyway?
Non-literal, 
non-lateral 

thinking?
What does “creativity”
mean, anyway?
New and original 
ideas
and insights?
What does “creativity”
mean, anyway?
Making ads?
How much could the best
creative work potentially
move your business?
26%
48%
77%
Clients Agencies Agencies,
if you count the people
who said over 100%
How much could the best
creative work potentially
mo...
CLIENT:
“You’re all smart, but you get too
wrapped up in a cool idea and
lose sight of the strategy.”
AGENCY:
“I wish our clients had the
courage to go beyond
‘messages’ and embrace 

brand ‘behaviors.’”
CLIENT:
“Don't believe you have a
monopoly on either creativity
or great ideas. They can, and
often do, come from many
pla...
“It’s amazing what you can
accomplish when you do not
care who gets the credit.”
!
- Harry S. Truman
Risk is risky.
AGENCY:
“Be greater risk takers!! Don't
rely on proven solutions in a
world filled with new ‘unproven’
opportunity!”
AGENCY:
“Think of your 3 favorite brands.
Do you think they took risks or
played it safe? Five years from
now if we ask so...
of Agency executives say 
their
Clients are afraid to take risks.
76%
“Different” and “Risky”
are two distinct things.
CLIENT:“If you understand my brand and present
a risky and somewhat scary idea to us,
we will buy it. We are interested in...
“Risk comes from not
knowing 
what you’re doing.”

!
- Warren Buffett
We’re better at the
art of ads than the
art of business.
I feel guilty even talking
about this stuff at Cannes.
90% of Agencies say they
truly understand their
Clients’ business.
!
Only 65% of Clients agree.
84% of Agencies say they
understand how to drive
sales for their Clients’
brands.
!
Only 56% of Clients agree.
76% of Agencies say they do a
good job of demonstrating ROI.
!
Only 40% of Clients agree.
AGENCY:
“You have absolutely no idea
how much we care about
building and transforming your
business/brand.”
CLIENT:
“You don't get it. You spend a
lot of time selling us on your
ideas, but if you put that
energy into working towar...
of Clients agree their
Agencies seem 
more
interested in 
‘selling
their work’ than ‘solving
our problems’
56%
The reason we don’t have
more Cannes-worthy work is
that we’re trying too hard to
sell Cannes-worthy work.
AGENCY:
“The ones who actually care
about your business success
don’t have final say on what work
we present.
!
The work is...
Our incentives are not
aligned, and this will be 

a problem until we fix it.
We need a business
case for craft.
Being good in business is the
most fascinating kind of art. 

Making money is art and
working is art and good
business is ...
A four point plan for Agencies
to help increase trust:
Focus as much on interpersonal communication 

as we do mass commun...
A four point plan for Agencies
to help increase trust:
Work with our clients to define and better
understand 
the evolving...
A four point plan for Agencies
to help increase trust:
Support our clients in recognizing the distinction 

between "diffe...
A four point plan for Agencies
to help increase trust:
Practice the art of business as much 
as the
art of advertising.4
S...
Relationships take work. 

!
But doing so will lead to
more Cannes-worthy work.
GetNakedAtCannes.com
The Naked Truth: An Unadulterated Look At The Client / Agency Relationship & What It Means For Creativity – The RPA Cannes...
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The Naked Truth: An Unadulterated Look At The Client / Agency Relationship & What It Means For Creativity – The RPA Cannes Lions 2014 Presentation

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The slides from RPA's forum presentation at the 2014 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

Share your own naked truth, and learn more at: http://www.GetNakedAtCannes.com
Watch the teaser video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLC0Kyq01Hk
Download the infographic here: http://www.getnakedatcannes.com/Content/Press/cannes-infographic-final.pdf

Published in: Marketing, Business

Transcript of "The Naked Truth: An Unadulterated Look At The Client / Agency Relationship & What It Means For Creativity – The RPA Cannes Lions 2014 Presentation"

  1. 1. Hi, I’m Tim Leake. I work at RPA as SVP/Growth & Innovation.
  2. 2. @tim_leake
  3. 3. #GetNakedAtCannes
  4. 4. If Clients don’t believe their Agency’s recommendation is in their best interest, Cannes-worthy ideas die.
  5. 5. My job is to apply creativity to 
make sure 
we succeed in the future. !
  6. 6. And to succeed in the 
 future, 
we need to improve our relationships.
  7. 7. We’re proud of our relationships and our work. 
 But we want to get better.
  8. 8. THE FIRST TIME I EVER 
SAW A CLIENT NAKED.
  9. 9. “Honestly, I simply don’t trust any of my agencies to actually solve my marketing problems.”
  10. 10. My jaw. Floor.
  11. 11. What else aren’t we 
 saying out loud?
  12. 12. So, we partnered with 

 USA TODAY on a survey: Completely anonymous 143 senior-level agency 
 & brand marketing leaders
  13. 13. What leads 
 to the best advertising? Longstanding relationships
  14. 14. What leads 
 to the best advertising? Collaboration from start 
 to finish
  15. 15. What leads 
 to the best advertising? Clients trusting their Agencies
  16. 16. 98% of Agencies and Clients agree that trust leads to great advertising. ! Why don’t we have more of it?
  17. 17. “Get with it. Think more. Embrace your potential and shake off your stupid, dated internal ways.” CLIENT TO AGENCY:
  18. 18. CLIENT TO AGENCY: “You slow us down. My professional success has nothing to do with your creative idea.”
  19. 19. AGENCY TO CLIENT: “You’ve drunk your own Kool-Aid. You have no understanding of consumers at all. You think you can just show up and people will pay attention and swoon.”
  20. 20. AGENCY TO CLIENT: “You’re most always your own problem. You can't get out of your own way enough to let the agency do good, business- changing work.”
  21. 21. Four truths affecting trust:
  22. 22. Considering we’re communication companies, we suck at communication.
  23. 23. CLIENT: “As an agency, you need to leverage your supposed ‘expertise’ at communication to win over your clients.”
  24. 24. AGENCY: “Your agency relationship is your opportunity to step outside your passive-aggressive double-speak corporate culture and speak directly. 
 
 Stop doing to us what you do internally and give us more transparency to solve your problems and assist with your career objectives.”
  25. 25. of Clients claim to speak their mind freely, even when it’s uncomfortable.88%
  26. 26. But among Agency leaders who frequently interact with Clients, the number who agree this is true falls to: 36% of Clients claim to speak their mind freely, even when it’s uncomfortable.88%
  27. 27. “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” ! - George Bernard Shaw
  28. 28. We need to apply some creativity to what we mean by “creativity.”
  29. 29. of Agencies and Clients agree
 we don’t have a shared definition 
of creativity. 2/3
  30. 30. What does “creativity” mean, anyway?
  31. 31. What does “creativity” mean, anyway? The ability to transform marketing objectives into something that connects with people? !
  32. 32. What does “creativity” mean, anyway? Non-literal, 
non-lateral 
 thinking?
  33. 33. What does “creativity” mean, anyway? New and original 
ideas and insights?
  34. 34. What does “creativity” mean, anyway? Making ads?
  35. 35. How much could the best creative work potentially move your business? 26% 48% 77%
  36. 36. Clients Agencies Agencies, if you count the people who said over 100% How much could the best creative work potentially move your business? 26% 48% 77%
  37. 37. CLIENT: “You’re all smart, but you get too wrapped up in a cool idea and lose sight of the strategy.”
  38. 38. AGENCY: “I wish our clients had the courage to go beyond ‘messages’ and embrace 
 brand ‘behaviors.’”
  39. 39. CLIENT: “Don't believe you have a monopoly on either creativity or great ideas. They can, and often do, come from many places. Embrace this.”
  40. 40. “It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you do not care who gets the credit.” ! - Harry S. Truman
  41. 41. Risk is risky.
  42. 42. AGENCY: “Be greater risk takers!! Don't rely on proven solutions in a world filled with new ‘unproven’ opportunity!”
  43. 43. AGENCY: “Think of your 3 favorite brands. Do you think they took risks or played it safe? Five years from now if we ask someone else that same question, do you think your brand will be in their top 3?”
  44. 44. of Agency executives say 
their Clients are afraid to take risks. 76%
  45. 45. “Different” and “Risky” are two distinct things.
  46. 46. CLIENT:“If you understand my brand and present a risky and somewhat scary idea to us, we will buy it. We are interested in making waves- but not just for the sake of it- it needs to be strategic and ladder to our brand equity goals. Challenge me and you will be surprised at my positive response.”
  47. 47. “Risk comes from not knowing 
what you’re doing.”
 ! - Warren Buffett
  48. 48. We’re better at the art of ads than the art of business.
  49. 49. I feel guilty even talking about this stuff at Cannes.
  50. 50. 90% of Agencies say they truly understand their Clients’ business. ! Only 65% of Clients agree.
  51. 51. 84% of Agencies say they understand how to drive sales for their Clients’ brands. ! Only 56% of Clients agree.
  52. 52. 76% of Agencies say they do a good job of demonstrating ROI. ! Only 40% of Clients agree.
  53. 53. AGENCY: “You have absolutely no idea how much we care about building and transforming your business/brand.”
  54. 54. CLIENT: “You don't get it. You spend a lot of time selling us on your ideas, but if you put that energy into working toward the same goal (sales), the results would be better.”
  55. 55. of Clients agree their Agencies seem 
more interested in 
‘selling their work’ than ‘solving our problems’ 56%
  56. 56. The reason we don’t have more Cannes-worthy work is that we’re trying too hard to sell Cannes-worthy work.
  57. 57. AGENCY: “The ones who actually care about your business success don’t have final say on what work we present. ! The work is pushed more for personal reputations than the client's best interests.”
  58. 58. Our incentives are not aligned, and this will be 
 a problem until we fix it.
  59. 59. We need a business case for craft.
  60. 60. Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. 
 Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art. ! - Andy Warhol
  61. 61. A four point plan for Agencies to help increase trust: Focus as much on interpersonal communication 
 as we do mass communication.1
  62. 62. A four point plan for Agencies to help increase trust: Work with our clients to define and better understand 
the evolving role of creativity.2 Focus as much on interpersonal communication 
 as we do mass communication.1
  63. 63. A four point plan for Agencies to help increase trust: Support our clients in recognizing the distinction 
 between "different" and "risky."3 Work with our clients to define and better understand 
the evolving role of creativity.2 Focus as much on interpersonal communication 
 as we do mass communication.1
  64. 64. A four point plan for Agencies to help increase trust: Practice the art of business as much 
as the art of advertising.4 Support our clients in recognizing the distinction 
 between "different" and "risky."3 Work with our clients to define and better understand 
the evolving role of creativity.2 Focus as much on interpersonal communication 
 as we do mass communication.1
  65. 65. Relationships take work. 
 ! But doing so will lead to more Cannes-worthy work.
  66. 66. GetNakedAtCannes.com
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