Agencies need to ensure their internal teams are as diverse as the audiences they seek to reach, as this approach can help deliver more impactful and relevant work.

Jon Wilkins, executive chairman of Karmarama, a unit of Accenture Interactive, discussed this subject at Advertising Week New York 2019.

“We need to build agencies that reflect society,” he said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Eight considerations for the next generation of agencies.)

“How do we truly claim to understand average, working, normal people if we live in an ivory tower where we never see those people and we don’t understand them?”

As a starting point for answering that question, he suggested, “I would hire outside of the pool of arts colleges and communications schools that we look at today.

“I would try to create an agency structure that represents society at large – whether that’s about male/female ratios; whether it’s about working parents; or whether it’s about ethnic diversity.”

By way of an example of how diversity can yield powerful work, he pointed to the “ThisAbles” campaign from furniture retailer IKEA, as created by agency McCann Tel Aviv.

More specifically, this campaign promoted adaptors that made IKEA’s furniture and other products accessible to people with disabilities.

Eldar Yusupov, a copywriter at McCann Tel Aviv, has cerebral palsy – a fact, Wilkins asserted, that was undoubtedly important to crafting such a breakthrough campaign.

“I do wonder, if he hadn’t been there, how they might have responded to that brief,” he asserted. “I really loved the work.”

As tomorrow’s agency learns to “mine more and more micro-audience insights,” he added, “societal anthropological insights will identify the things that are motivating our consumers and keeping them awake at night.”

It will be up to strategic thinkers to “reimagine” those experiences and articulate them in a creative brief – and to call on diverse mindsets and experiences in achieving this goal.

“It’s time to make way for new and emerging talent ... We need to do some serious course corrections,” argued Wilkins, to give a fresh, diverse generation of creative leadership “a chance to shine”.

Sourced from WARC