Aston Marketing Society Event – Andrew Barnard from 18 Feet & Rising

This week, the Aston Marketing Society had Account Director, Andrew Barnard discuss the success behind his agency ’18 Feet & Rising‘ in his talk called ‘How 9000 took on 9,000’ . The London agency was only founded on the 1st of January 2010, with the intention to become the agency of the decade. But, since then, 18 Feet & Rising have won multi-million accounts including Nationwide, LOVEFiLM and Selfridges; even beating Saatchi & Saatchi in pitches.

I think the key take-home points, that encapsulated the success of his agency, was ‘Action, conversation, emergence’. These are three characteristics that make ’18 Feet’ different from any other agency.


‘Action’ refers to the fact that the agency does not get bogged down in the planning and strategy of their ideas. Although these are very important parts of their agency, they are very keen to start producing creative ideas and concepts even before they have won an account; this is called ‘Prototyping’. Showing, clients sneak previews of drafts is a great way to entice them, and ultimately win accounts.


‘Conversation’ is all about the social side of working in the agency; Andrew stressed the importance of emloyees collaborating with each other. Hence, companies and agencies alike need forums where everyone can generate ideas – this includes both formal and informal channels, which work in conjunction to facilitate creativity.


Following on from this, ‘Emergence’ builds upon collaboration. This is all about allowing people freedom to do their job without constraints. This an important part of Andrew’s role as an Account Director – he must make sure their client is satisfied, while allowing the creatives to work their magic.
Besides the talk itself, it was a great networking opportunity – Andrew took a lot of the society for drinks at Gosta Green and was a great guy to meet with very interesting views on advertising.


© Joshua Blatchford, author of Manifested Marketing 22/02/2011
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