Yesterday there was an article in "The New York Times" about a study that showed if you transfuse the blood of young mice into older mice, it could rejuvenate their minds and muscles.
Mixing young and old used to be standard operating procedure in agencies. When I was about 35 and at Ally & Gargano, I was partnered for three years with an art director 20 years older than I. He brought 30 years of experience to the equation. I brought the enthusiasm and, believe it or not, the vitality of youth.
What's happened in our business is sad.
We hear every day that "our model is broken" yet no one ever questions what that means or how to fix it. In fact, I happen to believe that "our model is broken" is Newspeak code. It basically means we can't get paid.
We don't get paid adequately because we have forgotten what it is we're supposed to, as an industry, do.
We are supposed to help sell things. We are supposed to motivate sales forces. We are supposed to be vital to the success of the clients we represent.
As Sir John Hegarty said, "advertising has retreated to the fringes." We act as if doing an ad, or a tweet, or a website were an end in and of itself.
We do more and more work that no one sees, no one hears and no one talks about. And then we fly to Cannes to laud it.
Ads don't matter. Results, real results, do.
I don't know exactly how we move toward the center once again from the fringes.
But maybe it starts by mixing experience and youth.
And hoping experienced and revitalized brand leadership results.