Shout! With Johnny Vulkan, MD Anomaly

 Anomaly home page

What are your most recent pitch wins? [wrong first question!]
We don't tend to put ourselves onto pitches
The reason is that we are a different sort of agency.  We formed around a group of nomads from the creative industries – ad, design, tech media.  The agency is 4.5 years old
We set up because we became aware that the traditional agency model conspires not to help clients.  Ad men always see advertising as the solution; PR men see PR.  Anomaly brings the focus of creative minds on the real business issues not just a 30 second ad spot.
We prototyped the business model within TBWA\Chiat\Day  before I left but realised that to make it happen we needed to be independent.

So what IS different about the Anomaly model?

We found the creative thinkers and set out to provide the right answer.  When that's your approach you have a very different conversation with clients – it's their business that you are focusing on.  We sometimes send them away or refer onto other agencies, or tell them where we can do stuff well and collaborate with others who can do stuff better than us.
We assemble the focus of the team around what is needed.  if it's nebulous it's whoever ‘gets it’ or ‘feels it’ the most.  This makes work enjoyable, anarchic and labour intensive.

Another difference is that unlike an agency model there is a process which builds a solution – the answer can be anything and so you have to build the process.  It may be different every time.
We are big fans of starting when it's hard.  It makes you work harder and think smarter.

So, an obvious question – how are you going to grow?
Scale isn't what we want to do.  We don't want to create a command and control network.   

Is your charging model different as well?
Our version of fees is % equity as well as cash and so we own parts of client companies.  Every deal is different.  We never charge for time – it rewards the wrong behaviours.  And so we don’t keep timesheets.
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