Should you pay more or less for a quickie?

20 Mar

fastest ad agency in the world

Here’s the one page website for the World’s Fastest Agency.  They get straight to business.

* Pre-pay them $999

* Send your creative brief by direct message on Twitter  (keeps it to 140 characters)

* Get a big idea back within 24 hours via the same route

What can you expect for a thousand bucks?

I’m going to assume you get a decent idea. Could be a clever campaign or a game-changer, who knows. Guess you’ll find out soon enough.

With a slower agency, you pay more. Perhaps twenty times more. Because they have to pay overhead and salaries. There are more people, so there need to be processes. And they like some time to think about things, which is smart. They’ll deliver more too, more insight, documents and tools.

There’s research, audience profiling, market analysis, strategic planning…all of which add value and increase the likelihood of success.

The quickie idea is not well thought through. It has merely survived the overnight test.

But the ace in the hand is the speed. Everybody wants things tomorrow.  The appetite for excellence has given ground to the need for speed.

It’s a gamble, but so is working with a more traditional agency.

Frankly, I’m surprised the price point isn’t higher.


20 Responses to “Should you pay more or less for a quickie?”

  1. TV Amanda March 20, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    No, not for me. 140 characters isn’t enough for a creative brief. It doesn’t take into account the budget I have to implement their smart idea, it doesn’t take into account my customer and how to target them. It’s cheese whiz disguised as brie.

    • Doug Brown March 20, 2013 at 11:06 am #

      Of course it feels like a gimmick. It seems it might work for businesses that have a handle on marketing and its channels but just need a smarter idea. I dunno. I wonder how they will make out. Be interesting to see who uses them and why.

  2. Tom Hudock March 20, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    I love the entrepreneurial idea behind it. It hits at what customers dislike about working with agencies and leverages new media tools. The “100-page PowerPoint deck”, the “feedback on feedback”. It gave me a chuckle reading it, if nothing else. Who knows, tech companies get ridiculed for forward thinking ideas constantly and some end up in the Fortune 1000.

    • Doug Brown March 20, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

      It’s hard for me to even see this as an agency Tom. It’s just a reductum ad infinitum approach. The polar opposite of an agency!

      • Tom Hudock March 20, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

        An agency he is not. But your post got me asking myself, is there room for dramatic change in how creative and marketing can be delivered? Time will tell if this works but, for now, it bent my thinking of how the tech world and marketing could collide.

        And then I found his website, , with more on his new “agency” idea. An interesting gent.

      • Doug Brown March 20, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

        Floyd has ideas and a good sense of marketing. And he’s brave. Small business success formula right there.

      • Tom Hudock March 20, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

        It’s gotta be good when there is already a parody Twitter account, @WorstFastAgency – claims to give clients terrible ideas for only $1 in 12 hours. Then the @2ndFastestAgenc got launched, which will tweet an idea for $9.99.

        Ha! Only on Twitter.

  3. jenni m. March 20, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    I’m sure everyone had an Art Director at one point whose motto was “Cheap, Fast, Good: pick two.” Are all those guys now sweating tequila or is this agency just fast and cheap?

    • Doug Brown March 20, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

      I wish I had a better sense of how good their ideas are Jenni beyond what they’ve shown on their website. I’m hunting for some!

  4. thatguylam March 20, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    I needn’t tell you that I want to be shown it not just told it. Clicked on the one example and got a 404, at least on my phone. So still waiting to see it to believe it. Interesting in theory. Will anyone try to top this on price, quality or time (23.5hrs anyone?)?…

    • Doug Brown March 20, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

      World’s Fastest Agency reported a successful first day with 800 emails, and one new client. Stay tuned…

    • Floyd Hayes March 23, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

      Glad you pointed that out! I’ve sorted the link now. It should take you to my general bio. If you look at all the case studies there, it’s quite fun (and challenging) to figure out the 140 brief & response for each case study.

  5. Floyd Hayes March 23, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

    Thank you for the post Doug and also for the respectful and helpfuly critical comments everyone.

    The proof of this idea will certainly be in the pudding. However, what made me “go for it” (I’d nearly deleted the idea twice) was a review of a stack (over 100) of briefs and creative responses from my years as CD at cunning London and cunning NYC. It seemed to me the very best briefs could be condensed to a sentence and the best responses likewise.

    Yes, budgets, audience profile, brand nuances etc aren’t likely to be included, but after 15 years in this game I’m fairly certain that I can get a decent read on these things from a good look at the website, former work, social media campaigns! Talking to folk about their expense with the brand/product/service, etc etc….

    Also, to answer the agency point, I do have a strong, carefully built database of thinkers and doers. These aren’t strangers, I have broken bread with most of the people I connect with professionally. I’m a big believer in behaving like a decent human being when it comes to relationships and as such, still keep in touch with vendors and interns from a decade ago. Only child syndrome 🙂

    I have drank an Olympic swimming pool of coffee this week trying to keep up with the response this idea has created.

    I have had some clients already, watch this space, the results were honestly pleasing. I don’t know if this will work in the long term but I’m going to try my hardest to make it happen. Coverage and comments like this are driving me on. Thanks again.

  6. Floyd Hayes March 23, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    PS – I’ve postd a FAQ on the website if you’re interested. Thanks again.

    • Doug Brown March 23, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

      How cool that you came and left such a great comment Floyd. I read about some of the initial action in terms of buzz – nice work. Launching is half the battle.

      That’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself, the overnight thing. In order to be successful, you have be operating at a high level of problem solving stress at all times.

      Hey, I can relate.

      I sincerely wish you the best with this brave venture – it IS a good idea. Not what everyone wants, sure. But you weren’t setting out to replace traditional ad agencies – just offer something different.

      • Floyd Hayes March 23, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

        You can say that again. When the first brief came in, my heart was in my mouth, pulse racing, literally sweating and pacing. Plowing into the brand via the web, scribbling pages of notes, calling and emailing people to get angles and insights. Funny, I haven’t felt that “turned on” by a brief in a while. Felt great. It could still go horribly wrong of course, and I’m ready for that. Been there before and failure is never as bad as it seems, particularly in business.

        Thanks again Doug.

      • Doug Brown March 23, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

        My own experience is that good ideas always come out of intense, focused thinking. More pressure usually means better ideas. So from that perspective your overnight business model should help you deliver!

  7. Floyd Hayes March 23, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

    Got to watch my typos on this damn iPhone though….*sigh*.

  8. bWEST May 22, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    Your joking right? Tell me this is a joke.

    Here’s what really happened. A creative team that was sitting in a longer than normal client meeting had replayed all of their old day dreams, started trolling through Twitter and thought to themselves, ‘hey, I wonder if I created a single page site and told people I’d come up with a big idea in 140 characters within a day, would they pay $999 for that’? Bwahahaha… no chance, but WTF lets give it a try.

    By the end of the meeting the site was live and they had a few hundred hits… Brilliant!

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