Hosted by David Mayo, CEO of Bates CHI&Partners, the session began with a Marvel-like movie introduction, which was also a nod to one of the speakers on the panel, Larry Hama, comic book writer (and editor/artist) of Marvel, who joined the conversation from New York via Skype.
Also on the Tuesday afternoon panel were Hollywood producer, screenwriter and executive Gabrielle Kelly and Johnny Hornby, chairman and CEO of The &Partnership and founding partner of CHI&Partners.
The introduction highlighted the differences between Hollywood and advertising, pointing to the fact that, traditionally, agencies do not collaborate.
So can the ad industry learn from Hollywood in bringing a more collaborative (and less competitive) approach?
Like a happy Hollywood ending, the panelists were all smiles and seemed to be in agreement that the advertising industry could indeed learn from Hollywood. “You need to come out from under the studio umbrella,” said Kelly.
“Agencies have to gather and manages different expertise. It was forced on Hollywood and it’s being forced on agencies now.”
Adding: “Big franchise movies are like an ad for everything else you can buy.”
Hornby expressed the “power of collaboration” within his agency and talked about a move away from traditional advertising talent.
“With the new agency model, a modern creative director doesn’t necessarily need to come from the advertising industry,” he said. “We need to be looking at non-traditional new ideas. I think the pace of change is so fast, that creative people need a wider horizon.”
This view was shared by Hama, who spoke about collaboration on Hollywood blockbuster franchises at Marvel, describing an editor-in-chief role that acted as a “referee” among collaborators.
“I’ve been in meetings at Marvel when they had everybody there—toy people, merchandise, writers, directors—and someone would say ‘we can't have the toy that colour because we can’t make it that way'.”
Campaign’s observation: The concept of cross-agency collaboration provided good food for thought. But speaking of food, where was the popcorn?