Thinking creatively about media

Joe Mandese

Recently, the Gunn Report released its 2006 rankings for media 'creativity', and for the third year in a row Omnicom's OMD unit was recognised as the most creative media shop in the world. While the term 'creativity' can be subjective in any field – especially media – Gunn's method is based on a quantitative point system derived from the number of creative-orientated awards each of the agencies won over the past year. The system isn't foolproof, but at least tries to utilise an objective process to measure a subjective variable. So it is probably as good a yardstick as any – for now.

One of the problems with the Gunn method is that it does not control for some important objective variables that no doubt are major factors in the success of media agencies competing in creative awards competitions. One is how closely the media shops are aligned with their creative counterparts in sister agencies or other agencies of record. And I suspect that OMD is simply more closely aligned and better integrated with its creative cohorts at DDB and other client brand agencies than many of the other media shops it has been competing with. Do not get me wrong. That is not necessarily a bad thing, and it's probably a really good thing. It's just something that gives OMD a unique competitive advantage when it competes in these international awards festivals. Its entries are inherently more creative than those of other media shops, because it often starts with creative ideas and then build media strategies and executions around them.