As the proverb goes, “good things come in small packages”. This rings true for the many small advertising agencies out there doing compelling and effective work. The ideal agency has the flexibility, persona, and creativity to adapt in a fast, shifting industry and smaller agencies are attaining new heights in this aspect.
In the advertising world, it is important for agencies to keep their identity. The smaller agencies have an upper hand in this matter. Small agencies are able to maintain a genuine, unique culture and aesthetic while larger agencies have to toil away to sustain theirs. This is largely due to the anthropological concept known as Dunbar’s number. Dunbar’s number is defined as “a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships”. The key to this definition is maintain social relationships. The amount of people a person can maintain a solid relationship with is considered to be 150. This is why small agencies outmatch large ones when it comes to creating and maintaining their own culture. As an agency grows larger, more restrictive rules and enforcing norms become necessary to create stability, which leads to a more corporate environment. An environment where everyone is on the same page, knows the goals they are trying to achieve and overall, cultivates productive relationships with their coworkers is what the small agency excels at.
Often times the creatives who work at large agencies do their work, get paid and then go home. The amount of comfort and shelter a large agency can provide to its employees can sometimes hinder the creative process. It’s been a recurring theme that some of the best creative work comes during times of stress and uncertainty. In the small business and start-up spectrum, you have to be fearless to take on obstacles like these. It’s not uncommon for small agency creatives to be pursuing ways to best assist a brand and their agency while at home, on weekends, or even on vacation. This is the type of creative passion and stamina which can spark even the most successful of campaigns.
Both creative passion and genuine culture combine to benefit the client. Like a royal advisor to a King, the small advertising agency makes counsel with the client and recommends solutions. This relationship requires attention, maintenance and enthusiasm from both parties. The result? A win-win situation, mutual symbiosis, whatever you want to call it, it’s good when both agency and client succeed. Helping the client, assisting the brand, and solving marketing problems is essentially what the small ad agency adheres by. Being small isn’t a handicap, it’s an advantage if your agency is fully loaded with creative, hardworking, and passionate people.