March 04, 2019
/ by Guest Contributor
Mark Stringer, CEO of PrettyGreen, explains the agency’s Year Zero focus and why it didn’t make a song and dance of its 10th anniversary.
When I look back over the past 10 years, am I proud? Absolutely.
Do I think we’ve achieved everything as an agency that I thought we would? Absolutely not!
It’s one of my big flaws. Nothing’s ever enough, no matter how many wins, how many accolades, it’s never enough. We could have and should have achieved more.
It’s what drives me, it’s what keeps me awake at night and the energy that I personally harness to try and maintain the agency’s momentum, to evolve and remain fresh.
And it’s partly that sense of nothing being good enough as to why I wasn’t interested in celebrating what we had achieved, alongside the truth that clients don’t choose their agencies because of how old they are, the birthday party they held, or the “we are 10” marketing collateral they sent.
Plus most of our staff weren’t with the agency 10 years ago (some of them were still at primary school), therefore it didn’t really mean anything for them.
I was much more interested in trying to use it as something that everyone could get behind for the next 10 years. Something that could be celebrated as a bit of a mantra or philosophy to build on.
From this mindset, something called “Year Zero” was born.
Over 10 years we’ve built up a wealth of experience with our team, an amazing portfolio of work, alongside an amazing array of clients (Nando’s John Lewis, Audible, Nintendo, Virgin, Under Armour and Red Bull to name but a few).
But therein lies the danger. There’s a tendency to become bureaucratic, even lazy and fat. To have moved away from the very essence that drove the PrettyGreen in the early days.
In those first few days and months when we were based in Red Bull’s office and we were beginning to embark on this crazy journey, we had some pretty simple rules:
Now we ask the following questions and we drive our business accordingly:
It’s become an exciting and forward thinking ideal, and something that’s not just about marking a moment in time.
Welcome to Year Zero.
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