Thursday, July 31, 2014

I Won't Work With Local Agencies...

It is tough to have a blog for such a long period of time. After so many years, less surprises me, or grabs me and moves me, so the writing becomes less frequent.

Today, however, is a new day, and I have been moved. 

I participated in a discussion this morning and the topic, was of course, digital media. A topic I have been involved in for the past fifteen years. Nothing really new, but some interesting tidbits came out of the chat. 

As we were talking one of the folks in the meeting tried to explain to us the reasoning of a corporate marketer, who happens to call our city home, as to why they don't like to work "local." To keep the context of the discussion let's define "local" as any agency who happens to be headquartered in Indianapolis, IN. 

I find that whole concept in 2014 pretty laughable. As it relates to those in the digital media business, what is local anyway? I work out of an office in Indianapolis, and service a brand that is global, who hires us out of Indianapolis, for work that is viewed globally. Is that local? Was I hired for local work? Are we creating something to be seen only by folks within the boundary of Interstate 465? Many "local" agencies, as well as The Basement, have produced many many projects for clients all over the U.S., and the world, for audiences all over the U.S., and the world, however, to this corporate marketer, who happens to live in the same city as us, we, along with every other agency in Indy, are local, and therefore, not valid. 

Since I happen to know this individual I can say that this person is born and raised Hoosier. Indiana through and through. So, does this person have such a low self-esteem based on something as trivial as their location that they would not hire themselves based on their own stigma? I mean, it is pretty funny when you think about it. Such sweeping generalizations and decisions made on such stereotypes and broad brushstrokes, about the very market you call home? Never mind the quality of any work, the value of any ideas, the creative, the focus on service, etc. 

If this corporate marketer's criteria were adopted I suppose Steve McQueen never would have had a casting call, Michael Jackson never would have entered a recording studio, Larry Bird would not have been allowed to tryout for the team and  Leo Burnett, yes THAT Leo Burnett, would not have gotten his first agency job at Homer McKee.