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Cannes Lions 2024: Building a creative agency as a brand

Gracing the stage at Cannes 2024 were the co-founder and chairman of the Cannes Lions Independent Network of The Year, GUT, Anselmo Ramos and Gaston Bigio. They floated the proposition for marketers to ‘Don’t start an agency. Start a brand’

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New Delhi: Gracing the stage at Cannes 2024 were the co-founder and chairman of the Cannes Lions Independent Network of The Year, GUT, Anselmo Ramos and Gaston Bigio. They floated the proposition for marketers to ‘Don’t start an agency. Start a brand.’

The duo showcased a fast-paced video of their best campaigns executed to date. To add, they also shared tips and advice to help any client, agency or person find that one word that will ultimately become their brand essence.

Think of your agency as a brand

Ramos started his agency but unlike any other agency, the duo perceived it as a brand and developed it, with courage, transparency, and intuition.

‘No Gut No Glory’

Standing in tandem with the age old adage of no gut, no glory, the duo drew a timeline of their journey from their oldest hire Jessica Walsh for their logo. They also revealed how Ramos bootstrapped his agency along with Bigio. 

In the world of digital advertising, where new-age brands are pushing the boundaries by experimenting with Augmented Reality or AR, traditional brands are having a tough time marketing their products. Customer acquisition has never been this strenuous and resource draining. According to  the due, to onboard customers, brands have to stretch their blanket of creativity. 

It is at this moment when an agency has to demonstrate bravery. Citing a few instances of bravado, Ramos said, “We said no to clients 27 times in our first year. We thought the client didn’t want to do good work. Our CFO told us we need to eventually say yes to some of them to work.”

Not an agency, build a cult

Speaking of values, Ramos mentioned the need for prioritising employee well-being for creative agencies as it helps the creative heads at the agency dedicate their efforts to the project. Stating his agency’s belief in sharing wealth, Ramos said, “When I showed that video (the entire team at Gut of 450 people went on a three-day retreat to Buenos Aires) to my daughter, she said it’s not an agency, it's a cult.”

Bigio mentioned Ramos’s efforts to go ahead and buy 32 handles of Gut for 32 different cities across the world within a day of them deciding to open the agency. 

Praising in return, and suggestive of the need to be mellow while dreaming big, Ramos said, “We have realised that when I’m dreaming big, he needs to lower his intensity and when he’s too intense, I have to dream less.”

Own the words

Highlighting the importance of words, Ramos said, “Iconic brands own iconic words. That personal definition is your brand. That’s who you are. That word is your brand. We are introducing brand new words. For instance, the word for Lego is imagination, for Red Bull it's adrenaline, and so on. It’s your consistent voice and your route to pop culture.”

Adding more to the chain of thoughts, Bigio added, “That word is bigger than any chief marketing officer, bigger than any campaign, bigger than Kantar, Ipsos researches, bigger than trends.”

Brands have to analyse their self-image and their public image as well. Then find similarities and see which word best defines the brand.

Ramos once tweeted about having the number one Super Bowl ad in the year as part of his bucket list.“Sometimes it doesn’t happen. But you still need to dream,” said Bigio before signing off.

technology creativity rationality word Glory Cannes Lions 2024 Gut advertising brands
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