Why it was smart of Havas to buy Victors and Spoils
When Victors & Spoils was first launched two-and-a-half years ago, the company had more detractors than fans. (Note, I was among the latter.) Much of the industry dismissed the idea that the model could ever replace the traditional agency/client relationships. The more vocal members of the creative community found all kinds of reasons to condemn the new company. The talent wouldn’t be as good. The whole idea of crowd sourcing would undermine the value of the creative person. The best people wouldn’t submit to this kind of process and platform.
Co-founder/CEO John Winsor and I had numerous conversations about why the critics were wrong. Great ideas can come from anywhere. Plenty of people would welcome the chance to have their ideas considered. (After all, how many of us encounter a daily dose of rejection already?) Clients had tired of paying for overhead and some of the excesses of the advertising industry. And since agencies could only sell the talent they had on staff, by definition they were limited in the number of ideas they could generate to solve a problem.
Clearly, John and his partners were a step ahead of the critics. From day one the agency met with success. Thousands of creatives from all over the world joined the community. And the agency’s pitch resonated with lots of clients. Dish, Discovery Channel, GAP, General Mills, Harley Davidson, Virgin America, Levi’s and a host of other brand name advertisers signed on.
And why not? They could get a slew of ideas — curated, filtered and on strategy — for a lot less money than they would pay in a typical retainer relationship.
From the very beginning I thought this was the perfect acquisition for a holding company. Think about it. Holding companies serve large global clients. They make the claim — sometimes actually true — that they can harness the collective the resources of multiple sister agencies to serve a client’s total needs. Yet they really don’t have a model, infrastructure or software platform for doing so. Ask anyone who has participated in a cross agency (there’s a more disparaging word for it) shoot out and they’ll tell you it’s among the more miserable experiences in which you could ever participate. In many cases it wastes time and resources. And for the individuals encouraged (if not forced) to participate it often results in nothing more than demoralization.
But with Victors & Spoils platform — the community, the software, the process — it could be so much more efficient. A holding company can tap into an existing community, create a new one, invite more people to participate with less time and effort, and effectively manage and evaluate more submissions. Add some incentives or gaming dynamics, make it easier for people to throw in ideas, and it’s likely that participants might even welcome the opportunity to help the company cause. Perhaps more importantly, clients might have a genuine reason to believe that multiple agencies could work together on their behalf.
Until now, most ad agencies have been threatened by Victors & Spoils. They’re perceived to undermine the value of individual creatives, diminish the role and impact of the creative director who hires and guides them, and convey to clients that there might be a better idea outside the walls of the agency.
But if, in the end, our job is to solve big problems, deliver the best and most effective idea, and leave no stone unturned in determining it, maybe we should all acknowledge that community, software, and yes, crowdsourcing techniques, are the way to go. Maybe not always, but certainly sometimes. Add to that the fact that we really only have two choices — resist progress or embrace it — and we have even more reason to welcome the innovation that V&S has pioneered over the last two years.
John Winsor, Claudia Batten and Evan Fry had the vision and the courage to try and change how ad agencies work. Looks like the big holding companies — at least one of them – is starting to believe they’re onto something.
LYP-Nike as a historic brand is popular in all over the world,<a href="http://www.shoesaustralia-j.com/">nike australia</a> occupies a very important position. No matter what age the person will have a pair of <a href="http://www.shoesaustralia-j.com/nike-sb-c-1078.html">nike shoes</a>. This shows that people love the Nike.<a href="http://www.shoesaustralia-j.com/">nike shoes australia</a>'s success depends largely on accurate market positioning and excellent quality. A lot of people are eager to buy <a href="http://www.shoesaustralia-j.com/">cheap nike shoes</a>, stores often only discount after last season's, how to buy a pair of cheap Nike? Now you can come to <a href="http://www.shoesaustralia-j.com/">nike shoes online</a> store. You can buy an ultra-low price of one pair of the latest <a href="http://www.shoesaustralia-j.com/nike-free-c-1056.html">nike free</a>,Or the girls favorite <a href="http://www.shoesaustralia-j.com/nike-sb-c-1078.html">nike heels</a>!<br>NIKE name, in the eyes of Westerners was very lucky, easy to read and easy to remember,it is known.<a href="http://www.shoesaustralia-p.com/">nike shoes</a> trademark symbol of the Greek goddess of victory wings of feathers,representing the speed, but also represents a dynamic and gentle.<a href="http://www.shoesaustralia-p.com/">nike australia</a>'s trademark,the pattern is a small hook shape concise,rapid as lightning,and a look reminiscent of the speed and explosiveness of <a href="http://www.shoesaustralia-p.com/nike-heels-c-1135.html">nike shoes australia</a>.For the first time named "Nike" athletic shoes, soles square convex tablets to enhance the stability, the body of the shoe on both sides of the knife-shaped curved hook,a symbol of the wings of the goddess.God's wings.<a href="http://www.shoesaustralia-p.com/nike-shox-c-1109.html">nike shoes online</a> store for Australian consumers,sell <a href="http://www.shoesaustralia-p.com/">cheap nike shoes</a>.Our aim is to let people around the world dressed in Nike.</span><br>Many people like the Nike,many people want to buy a pair of <a href="http://www.shoesaustralia-o.com/">cheap nike shoes</a>.Every year <a href="http://www.shoesaustralia-o.com/">nike australia</a> will launch a lot of discount promotions.<a href="http://www.shoesaustralia-o.com/">nike shoes australia</a> online store tailored specifically for the Australians,as long as you to our <a href="http://www.shoesaustralia-o.com/">nike shoes online</a> store you can find that fits your style.2012 new <a href="http://www.shoesaustralia-o.com/nike-heels-c-1059.html">nike heels</a>,<a href="http://www.shoesaustralia-o.com/nike-free-c-1056.html">nike free</a> all arrive.Our goal is to make every Australian wear <a href="http://www.shoesaustralia-o.com/womens-nike-shoes-c-1066.html">nike shoes</a> affordable.<br> Just do it!Like sports should have a pair of <a href="http://www.shoesaustralia-l.com/">nike shoes</a>.You like to run it?Enjoy that feeling of freedom on the run.But many times because the expensive price prohibitive.Now have a new way to shop, you will buy one pair of your favorite <a href="http://www.shoesaustralia-l.com/">cheap nike shoes</a>.2012 <a href="http://www.shoesaustralia-l.com/">nike australia</a> has launched a lot of the latest style, basketball fans dream of <a href="http://www.shoesaustralia-l.com/nike-air-jordan-c-1100.html">air jordan</a> series,like the <a href="http://www.shoesaustralia-l.com/nike-free-c-1105.html">nike free</a> running movement series,the influx of people love <a href="http://www.shoesaustralia-l.com/nike-dunk-c-1133.html">nike dunk</a> series.<a href="http://www.shoesaustralia-l.com/">nike shoes australia</a> store audience are sold at a discount,you do not have to worry about quality.<br><a href="http://www.highheels-e.com/">nike high heels</a> as a classic in nike numerous series is popular in sthe majority of female friends.In 2012 summer,Nike released a slew of new,including <a href="http://www.highheels-e.com/nike-heels-2012-c-1077.html">nike heels</a>,<a href="http://www.highheels-e.com/jordan-heels-2011-c-1043.html">jordan heels</a> get consumers alike.<a href="http://www.highheels-e.com/">nike high heels australia</a> store have hundreds of styles,every <a href="http://www.highheels-e.com/nike-dunk-sb-heels-nike-dunk-high-heels-c-1078_1079.html">nike dunk high heels</a> are carefully selected.The feedback has been supporting our new and old customers,all our goods are at the lowest discount sales.And you do not have to worry about that we have any quality problems.Because all of our <a href="http://www.highheels-e.com/nike-high-heels-c-1081.html">nike high heels shoes</a> are made to order directly from the factory,no tax,so our prices are far lower than the stores.
Edward, I'd think Victor and Spoils just won- with the Havas buy out, I doubt that they'll be able to do what they did as effectively.
John and Evan cash out-
part of the allure was the moderation of CP+B execs-
but, all that said- I've not seen any work that blew me away- esp. the Harley campaign which just blew.
The whole beauty of V&S was in it's independence- as part of Havas it's gone.
Someone else can copy this model- and will.
It's probably the future of a part of our business- but, honestly- as long as creative people are willing to so spec pitches- why not do it this way? At least you protect your identity.
For me the bigger question is whether it was smart for V&S to sell to Havas. There was surely a price at which it was, I hope they got there.
Interesting development for sure Edward. I never expect this to happen so quickly. I think there are bigger more dramatic ones waiting to happen. Like IBM or CapGemini buying up a W+K or BBH
From a business model and efficiency perspective, the V&S system is sheer genius. From the view of a person who participated in it once, it sucks. This is not meant as a ding (I mentioned my poor experience briefly to John at SXSW 13 months ago) but as honest feedback. I recall thinking I'd try contributing, and offering up what I thought was a great recommendation, and then getting a few canned emails back. Then nothing. Dead air. Poof. This is understandable, obviously personal calls with scores of contributors couldn't be profitable, but I'm used to leading, to human feedback, to the empathy and arguments and praise and the that-SUCKS-no-it's-GOOD gritty friction of working with people in a forum of mutual respect, and the cold email responses left me, well, cold. My fragile ego was broken. I'm used to being the smart guy in the room, and in this one exposure, I was a nobody. That's the nature of the crowdsourcing business. I think V&S is a good business model, but a lousy human one. So count me in as half a fan.
benkunz Well put. Curious what John's response was. I had the same experience totally. And my ideas were really good. However, I assume that with those who are a regular part of community, it's a bit better. Did you get a comment back?
We got your blog reply submission. Wanted you to know that. You don’t have to do anything else, except chill out knowing that we’ll review it as soon as we can. But feel free to keep more ideas coming. And thank you very much for putting some of your brain power to this task. We dig that you did that.
Sincerely, Kunz & Spoils
I remember when these guys launched. I was a hater, I admit that. I thought their model was exploitative and their communication style/brand snide and mean-spirited. Since then, I've come around just a bit. Bottom line: no one is being forced to work for V&S and, in fact, V&S might just offer creatives a proving ground from which they can emerge stronger and better qualified. Clients are certainly getting a good and there's nothing wrong with that.
edwardboches Thanks for sharing and much appreciation is extended to you and @jtwinsor for your leadership to our industry.