Thursday, October 12, 2006

Big Shop vs Small Shop

There is some debate amongst creatives first starting out on whether or not they should begin their careers at the largest multi-national agency they can find, or a small shop.

The benefits of a large agency are that you are right into the game. Right off the start, you have the luxury of making big ads for big-minded clients on big budgets, so the imagination is the limit. These are ads that people will recognize and it adds to your overall credibility as a creative. This is nice.

However working for a small shop offers more discipline. You learn to really focus your creative on what will sell. You are dealing with small clients with small budgets. You are writing long copy for every account in every medium and at the same time juggling strategy, accounts, production and new biz; basically learning all the ins and out of the business as you go along. If an idea can stand up on a zero budget, it’s strong. If you have to write headlines around stock photos (or even photos that the client provides) then you are forced to be clever. There isn’t a slick production to hide behind. It is all about the idea. And a small shop will give you this focus.

That said, however, I am glad to have moved on to a big agency and that I can finally let my imagination loose, it’s time.