By The Malketeer

The ad industry has always been about creativity, innovation, and delivering compelling messages to audiences. Yet, as we find ourselves in 2024, many  agencies are grappling with an unexpected adversary: an overwhelming array of unnecessary rules, procedures, communications, tools, and roles.

This ‘addition sickness’ has crept into agencies, stifling both productivity and creativity. It’s time for a good-riddance review and a strategic approach to subtraction.

The Growing Epidemic: Addition Sickness

In the quest for efficiency and effectiveness, many ad agencies have unwittingly become victims of their own success. As projects grow in complexity and clients demand more, agencies respond by adding layers of processes, tools, and roles. While these additions may seem beneficial initially, they often result in:

Reduced Creativity: Too many rules and procedures can hinder creative freedom, making it difficult for teams to think outside the box.

Increased Complexity: Multiple tools and platforms can lead to confusion, inefficiencies, and a lack of cohesion among team members.

Communication Breakdowns: Overcommunication can lead to information overload, causing key messages to get lost in the noise.

Conducting a Good-Riddance Review

To combat addition sickness, ad agencies must conduct a thorough review of their existing processes, tools, and roles. Here’s how to get started:

Identify the Culprits

Gather feedback from team members at all levels to identify the most cumbersome rules, procedures, tools, and roles. Look for common pain points and areas where productivity and creativity are being stifled.

Evaluate Effectiveness

Assess the value and effectiveness of each identified obstacle. Ask yourself: Does this rule or procedure enhance our work, or does it create unnecessary barriers? Is this tool streamlining our processes, or is it causing more harm than good?

Prioritise Subtraction

Once you’ve identified the culprits, prioritise them based on their impact on productivity and creativity. Develop a plan to gradually eliminate or modify these obstacles, starting with the most detrimental ones.

Subtraction Tools: Eliminating Obstacles

To effectively combat addition sickness, ad agencies can leverage various subtraction tools and strategies:

Streamline Processes

Simplify workflows by eliminating redundant steps and procedures. Focus on core activities that drive value for clients and stakeholders. Encourage teams to collaborate and share insights to streamline processes further.

Adopt Integrated Tools

Invest in integrated platforms that centralise project management, communication, and collaboration. Choose tools that are user-friendly, scalable, and tailored to meet your agency’s specific needs. Avoid the temptation to add too many tools; instead, focus on quality over quantity.

Foster a Culture of Simplicity

Promote a culture that values simplicity, efficiency, and creativity. Encourage team members to challenge the status quo, question existing processes, and propose innovative solutions. Celebrate successes and learn from failures to continuously improve and evolve.

As we navigate the challenges of the ad industry in 2024, it’s crucial for agencies to confront and eliminate the obstacles that hinder productivity and creativity.

By conducting a good-riddance review, prioritising subtraction, and leveraging the right tools and strategies, ad agencies can rid themselves of addition sickness and refocus on what truly matters: delivering exceptional results for clients and engaging audiences with compelling messages.

Embrace simplicity, foster creativity, and watch your agency thrive.

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The APPIES is an annual event that presents a rare opportunity for creative, media, digital and marketing agencies or brands to present their best campaigns to the industry.

This is the only event where Live Presentations meets Live Judging.

Similar to TED Talks, The APPIES is the chance for great presenters with outstanding work to show it off to some of the industry’s most important industry leaders.

This year’s winners will receive Gold, Silver or Bronze trophies for 21 categories, and 6 special Best of Best categories (red trophies) that require no submissions!

Campaign entries must have run between June 2023 to May 2024

Submissions Deadline
30th June 2024

APPIES Festival – Judging & Presentations
11th – 12th July 2024 (Malaysia)


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