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McKinney 4a's createtech presentation

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  • 40 year old ad agency from Durham, NC the historical hot bed of advertising. Life used to be very different. Do a print ad or two, radio, if lucky, TV. Pretty simple. Today it’s very different. We have no idea what we might be asked to create tomorrow. Because the world has changed, and keeps changing, we have to find new ways stay innovative. Which for us means getting to better ideas faster.
  • So we’ve decided to change the way we work. To become more nimble and flexible. Kind of like we’re a technology start-up. It’s not a stretch. We don’t just make ads anymore, we make things: platforms, products, software. We like it, Our people like it, It’s rewarding. So how do we set ourselves up to do that.
  • We’re going to show you a video for a project that Glen and I worked on together that gave us the opportunity to employ a number of the tools and processes we continue to use at McKinney and that we’re going to share with you today.
  • Lets talk about a role that lots of people in the industry are discussWho here thinks they know what the role is about?For us it wasn’t as much about introducing the Ct but really a re-introducing of our technologists and a new way of them working
  • To be a CT @ mckinney you have to be able to code- it’s a requirement. And ideally you have a broad range of tech skills- for me its more important to have people in this role who can go wide in tech vs people that can go deep in anyone thing. The 4 or 5 main things a CT is responsible for @mckinney
  • One of the biggest frustrations I’ve heard from creative directors at McKinney and other agencies is how to integrate technologists into the creative team dynamic. We’ve had the copywriter/art director set up forever. Then digital comes along and we expect the team to come up with the idea and then hand it off to production. The idea of a third wheel seems unproductive. So stop creating tricycles and start casting for the production. Pair the right people with each other based on the project. Copywriter/Interaction designer, Art Director/Programmer. Revenue stream. Moved from production to creative they can be covered by fee.
  • By having CTs in the concepting phase something interesting started to happen. In the same way that the AD/ Designers sketch ideas early and iterate on those our CTs are doing the same. We are building prototypes and proof of concepts which are helping us better sell our ideas. You should also view this as a business opportunity for your agency – it has tremendous value to your client and it is something you should be charging for.
  • To do really great work today you need to be as agile as possible. We found that we had an agency process that had been around for a long time so we started experimenting with new ways of doing things. We borrow a lot from the world of software – we use sprinting on a lot of projects now to break them down into more manageble chunks. The core team gets together every morning for 15mins to share their progress. This helps us keep bigger projects on track as well as being a great tool to give the larger team regular status updates.
  • As creatives, we have to stop protecting our precious ideas and start sharing them earlier in the process. This doesn’t get your idea killed, it makes it better because any potential problems can’t be solved earlier in the process. It also gives others on the team to put together a case for selling the idea more powerfully. And, this is radical, even show it to the client as early as possible. You’ll get them invested in the project which will help you sell it up the chain of command.
  • Another agile tool we’ve used on large scale digital projects is planning poker. It is what it sounds like. The team sits around the table, AE, AD, CW, Tech, Producer, etc. Each person has a stack of cards with numbers on them. We go through each site feature and everyone rates it in terms of perceived difficulty by turning over a card. Then we discuss why we answered the way we did. In the end we have a prioritized list of features we want to build and the team at large is more technologically savvy. It would even work for vetting early TV ideas with production to make sure we don’t present ideas that the client can’t afford.
  • Historically, agencies tossed the most complex and challenging, and therefore most interesting, digital projects to specialized digital agencies and kept the most familiar digital work for themselves. The things that were most like advertising: banners, emails, landing pages, microsites. We say flip it. If you want to keep your digitally savvy creatives and your technologists around, outsources the grunt work like banners and keep the choice projects for yourself. Creatives and technologists are happiest when challenged.
  • We launched the mckinney 10% to help encourage more experimentation – it’s the google model of letting people spend time of innovative things they are passoniate about outside of current client projects. Its an investment of time and money agencies need to be prepared to make to help inspire their people. And we are starting to reap the rewards - In the first three months of the year we have launched 3 projects out of this, 2 which led to new biz opportunities. You need to let people know its ok to try things and fail, as long as we fail quickly and cheaply and learn from it.
  • Trevor
  • Now that we’ve introduced the tools and processes we’ve been employing, as a 40-year old start-up, you might be asking but does it work? So we’re going to share some projects that were created in the last 3-4 months at McKinney.
  • Glen talks about the site: Our own site is one that is the result of us employing many of these tools and processes. Casting, sketching early, sprinting, transparency.Trevor talks about the spin-offs: Own site involved much experimentation. Lectric, Crowsnest, Trend it.
  • Glen talks about the site: Our own site is one that is the result of us employing many of these tools and processes. Casting, sketching early, sprinting, transparency.Trevor talks about the spin-offs: Own site involved much experimentation. Lectric, Crowsnest, Trend it.
  • Be nimble and flexible.Make stuff not ads.Experiment.And share.
  • Transcript

    • 1.
    • 2. We are a 40-year old start-up.
    • 3. www.McKinney.com
    • 4. Introducing the
      creative technologist.
    • 5.
    • 6. Cast for the production.
    • 7. Sketch in 1s and 0s.
    • 8. Specialize in short distances.
    • 9. Embrace transparency.
    • 10. Lay your cards on the table.
    • 11. Bogart the good stuff.
    • 12. Encourage experimentation.
    • 13. Realize you’re not alone.
    • 14. 14
      Some
      stuff we’re proud of.
    • 15. Crowwwsnest.com
    • 16. TrendITtool.com
    • 17. TwerribleTowel.com
    • 18. Playspent.com
    • 19.
    • 20. openhatch.co