Video Transcript

00:11 Cal McAllister: Alright for the last, we're gonna wind down a little bit as we talk about the Wexley way. This is how we approach our work, and I think it's relevant to you guys because it's how you can approach what you do, either with your agencies or by yourselves, with your companies. There's three things that we do at Wexley every single time we approach a project. We worry about what we can control. I'm on the board for a school down in Atlanta, an advertising school, and this girl said they did some portfolios at school and she said, "I'm worried that there won't be jobs when I'm done. I'm worried that I'm gonna go through school and there will be nobody, there will be no job for me to take." Well, you can't worry about that. You have to be the best and put forth the best of your own efforts. We can't worry about if the Sounders are gonna win a game or not. What we worry about is how we can affect the fan experience.

01:11 McAllister: This is my daughter, I'm a writer. She wants to be an artist. There's not too much that I can do about that. Having an opportunity to worry about the things that we can control is all you can do in the first step and that's doing good work. The second thing that we ask people to do is solve the problem first. Look at your opportunities, look at the places where you can affect and look at the things that you can do. Don't worry about media. It's intimidating, the opportunities that you have with Twitter, and Facebook, and traditional media, and meetings, and trade shows. It's intimidating all the places you think that you need to be. What really needs to happen is you need to solve the problem first and then look at your resources.

01:56 McAllister: We did this work for MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 10 years ago. The night before prom there was always a speaker from MADD that talked to different schools. There's no quicker way, no easier way to put a student population to sleep than to have someone come up from Mothers Against Drunk Driving and beat the drum the night before prom, but if you paint this on the parking spaces in front of the school, it resonates. This is what we could, not only could control but this is an opportunity that we had at a place that we could execute. We utilized our resources. The final thing that we do, we talk about living in authenticity. I met my wife at her boyfriend's 30th birthday party.

02:42 McAllister: And you might think that's just looking at me, that I'm pretty magical with the ladies. Well, I'm not [laughter] and I wasn't, but when I heard that it was her boyfriend's birthday party, I put my game away. I put away what I thought was making me so successful with the two girls who had ever paid attention to me before, and we talked for two to three hours and I didn't try and create anything. Well, I asked her to marry me two weeks after that, and it's been three weeks. We'll see how it goes.

03:17 McAllister: That was 10 years ago, and we talk about authenticity because we want our brands to be authentic also. You can't create game for your products. Let your products be what they are and let your products and let the true nature of your company... If your company is a service provider, let the nature of your company drive your marketing and your messaging and be authentic because the first way to crush all of your marketing efforts is to be disingenuous. As I said, we try and create a touch point for Wexley. We try and do at our agency what we ask our clients to do, and that is, we change our outgoing voice mails, we change... We hung this sign in the door for the delivery guy who said, who kept missing us because he thought that we really were a school for girls and he was bringing stuff that an advertising agency would need, so it reads, if you can go back: "If you are delivering something to Wexley School for Girls you've come to the right place. Please ring this bell. If you're delivering buckets of gold, or several bags of cash, or livestock, or prosthetic limbs, or gerbils, or maps of Uganda, or midget throwing stars or pickled pig knuckles, or running socks, or legalized drugs, or cricket wickets, or drunken sailors, come around back. Everything else, come here."

04:29 McAllister: In every room of the building, we try and be authentic with what we are. The reason that we're called Wexley School for Girls is because... Well, we couldn't agree whether it was going to be the Cohen McAllister or McAllister Cohen, that was the first thing, but we also didn't want to come up on people's calendars just as their advertising agency. We didn't want to come up as, on the calendar, as something that said, "Oh, my agency is coming in to give me agency ideas." So we wanted to come up with a name that had absolutely nothing to do with that. We're sure that it deflects business daily.

05:02 McAllister: But we're also sure that if you understand, when you see Wexley School for Girls on your calendar, you think that that's kind of funny and you get kind of excited. Our goal is to be the best part of our client's day. You will probably accept the ideas that were gonna bring. You'll probably say, "Look, we want to hang thousands of stars from trees instead of running a radio commercial alone. We want to do both." If you get what Wexley School for Girls is trying to do, then you're probably gonna be okay, and not only does it deflect business but it works as a terrific filter. It's never been easier for us to sell our ideas because if you understand our approach, and that's what our name does, if you understand our approach then you're gonna understand the work that we want to do.

Published on: Aug 23, 2012