Wanted in 2019: Big Ideas

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    January 04, 2019

Wanted in 2019: Big Ideas


Our business is all about generating ideas — innovative ideas. Smart ideas. Ideas that move the needle.

I don’t buy the notion that fresh ideas are endangered, and I believe they can come from anyone, anywhere, anytime. That’s why we’ve worked hard to create an environment where bold ideas flourish. Ideas outside the realm of traditional advertising. Ideas that assume some risk, because they’re unproven. Ideas that breed impact. Ideas that are fearless. Ideas that exist because someone had the courage to ask, “What if?”

That’s one reason I love a big idea brought to life in the form of a four-foot-tall little girl, with bronze hair and a bronze dress. A remarkably beautiful, unexpected idea. Concocted by an agency team for a large, global brand, the Fearless Girl statue aimed to change the perception of what makes a successful company by advocating for women in leadership roles. That’s no small task for a powerful bull, much less a small girl. And yet, Fearless Girl succeeded, likely beyond her creators’ wildest dreams, even though she represented — yes — a giant risk. 

I love stories like this and the bold creatives who imagined them. Plant a statue of a proud little girl in the heart of New York’s financial district? Totally out of the box, and totally fearless. What if people didn’t get the message? What if they thought it was ridiculous? Of course, neither of those things happened. Instead, the temporary campaign became a permanent fixture, and the earned media it gained for its sponsor, State Street Global Advisors, bought more lasting value than millions of dollars of paid media. 

There won’t be another Fearless Girl. After all, that’s part of the magic — the bold, never-done-before leap into uncharted territory that she represented.

But there will always be new ideas. And ideas are embedded in our core values at Wray Ward. They drive everything we do, even more than the technology advances and changes that give us new devices and platforms for storytelling. Our agency is home to more than 100 talented and curious idea generators, and you’d better believe each of us is always thinking about the next big idea.

My job is to empower our people by giving them permission to ask, “What if?” Providing the resources they need to generate better performing work. Doing whatever it takes to remove barriers and leverage opportunities.

As for what’s next, I don’t know the answer, but I do know that in 2019, Wray Ward will continue to fearlessly pursue smart, bold and wildly creative ideas that captivate, disrupt, engage, connect and, most important, have an impact. Even if those ideas have nothing to do with advertising. Imagine that.

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