They call it the 81 rule – 19 percent talk, 81 percent action. Most agencies will do the opposite, spending most of their time on talking and ideation, the partners say, but at EightyOne they’ve flipped the script.
“EightyOne was born out of a little frustration with how long it took to solve problems,” Constable says. “We thought there was a smarter, faster way of doing things and the answer to that was to be nimble.”
He says reverse briefs, constant back and forth and flawed processes often meant it was weeks before anything was generated.
“We found if you sat in the same room with some smart people who could think on their feet you get to solutions much faster. So we created EightyOne to be agile with the flexibility to test, learn and execute.”
Partners West, Constable and Wells are self-described nior ad-guys coming out of large international agencies. Four years ago the trio landed in the same room and saw an opportunity. The rest is history in the form of successful campaigns for the likes of Kiwibank, NZ Rugby, Nike and Trade Me.
“We didn’t set out to build an agency, we just took the chance to get on with it and make stuff.” Constable says.
First off the mark
Today’s playing field is a fast one. Agencies have to be able to adapt to new information sources and tailor outcomes to client’s needs, and West says if you’re an old tanker with a big standing army it makes it that much harder to manoeuver.
“We see nothing but change on the menu for today’s marketer,” he says.
“Fragmentation has been talked about for a while now, so in response we think there is a speed and nimbleness required that we haven’t seen before.”
The small team of analysts, creatives, digital artists, videographers and animators don’t see themselves as a traditional advertising agency, nor as a classic design agency, West says.
“Solving strategic problems is still at the heart of what we do, whether it be for clients, or our own brands.”
Partners (left to right) - Jason Wells, Carlos Constable & Matt West