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Small agencies' biggest asset is their youth

Clients often comment that the team at Gullan&Gullan is very young. I always thank them for the compliment because I believe the tender age of our creatives is what affords them their passion, enthusiasm and fresh ideas.
Small agencies' biggest asset is their youth
Small to medium agencies such as Gullan&Gullan shouldn't view the age of their staff as a shortcoming. Yes, we cannot afford to hire the industry's most senior, but I believe that this is to our advantage.

Just think of the hiring process. It's important to note that during a job interview, although the interviewer is looking for a sound cultural match, the most important characteristic of the interviewee is relevant experience. And who more experienced in an industry of new media than those who have grown up surrounded by digital devices and media? In addition, passion and enthusiasm aid the learning process and make "unknown" skills a temporary hurdle.

Those born between 1977 and 1997 are the Net Generation and they should be a top priority for ad agencies as their talents and acceptance of change will be critical to how companies adapt to future evolution. They embrace customisation, collaboration, and conversation. They insist on integrity and speed is normal. Innovation is a way of life for the Net Generation.

I have recently revelled in the writings of Don Tapscott, one of the world's leading authorities on business strategy and has authored several books about the Net Generation. He worked with a research team to study hundreds of Net Geners across six continents and recorded the following qualities within their personalities,

_Fierce independence
_Emotional and intellectual openness
_Inclusion
_Free expression and strong views
_Innovation
_Preoccupation with maturity
_Investigations
_Immediacy
_Sensitivity to corporate interest
_Authentication and trust

What I observed from Tapscott is the obvious similarities between this generation and the characteristics and opportunities of new media. Clearly Net Geners have innate talent for modern digital applications.

When Gullan&Gullan hire, we look for passion, ambition and intelligence. These traits do not come with age but are more innate personal qualities. It is true that lack of experience may be limiting on certain projects but creative intuition can be nurtured to produce new ideas. You can gain experience, but you cannot gain passion and intelligence.

Although a controversial opinion, I maintain that small to medium agencies are also the best space to nurture junior talent as senior staff members are more accessible to mentor them. The dynamic of a small agency means that you don't need an appointment to review with the creative director and teams work closely together on briefs. Also, the team are exposed to a much wider pool of clients, briefs and media, so gained experience is comparatively greater. And talent is developed at a much quicker rate.

Young creatives are also not burdened with the creative cynicism often carried by more experienced colleagues, "We've tried that before and it didn't work" or "That's not how it's done". Young creatives will instead approach a unique idea with an attitude of, "Why not?".

Add to our youthful, unique ideas an integrated brand-centric™ approach and the result is breakthrough creative solutions every time. For more information on brand-centric™, visit www.gullanandgullan.com.

11 Mar 2011 12:21

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About the author

Desirée Gullan is the Creative Director of Gullan&Gullan Advertising (Pty) Ltd. Gullan&Gullan's propriety brand-centric™ methodology forms the basis of every communication service ensuring that brand equity is enhanced through congruent, consistent expression at every touchpoint from above and below the line, online, and brand experiences. Visit www.gullanandgullan.com.




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