Fast, cheap, good, and smart.
And we are proud of that.
Runway 21 Studios and Brand Canyon Co. have been in the marketing, communications and video production industries since 2002. Well before they all merged together into one big business that we still haven’t been able to clearly define. Brad Michaelson, the agency owner has been in the advertising and marketing trades since 1984. Well before the computer and the Internet made broadcast an afterthought. And whether you date-stamp our agencies existence to before the advent of social media or before the existence of the personal computer the fact remains that this business is nothing like it once was. Nothing. Anyone who watches Mad Men knows that in the “old days” ad campaigns we meticulously planned, tested and executed. Even small companies spent tons of money crafting a meticulously creative message and implementing campaigns. We really miss those big-budget days. But not so much that we’re embarrassed to say that today we are fast, cheap, good and smart. And we are proud of that.
Land of opportunity, entrepreneurs and small business
We’ll be the first to admit that there are amazing agencies doing astoundingly creative things and charging companies millions of dollars for that creative. The car companies make beautiful videos. The insurance companies make less-than-beautiful videos but they make a ton of them. The media cost for the ads that the beer companies push is in the hundreds of millions. The brands in these industries are spending a boatload of cash on the production and distribution of content. Unfortunately, most of the companies that are spending piles of cash for creative are NOT located in Arizona. And since that’s where we work, we have to offer something different. Arizona is a land of start-ups, small businesses and entrepreneurs. And while we have been known to grow a big company or two, most of the businesses are small. So that’s the way we think…in a big way.
Creativity in being fast, cheap, good and smart.
A big part of the agency’s creativity is in knowing how to be fast, cheap, good and smart. We’re a small agency by choice. We’ve gone from ten people in a 6,000 square foot design and production studio to a handful of interconnected creatives working 24/7/365 from wherever there is an outlet and Wi-Fi. But we can do that today because we select resources wisely and use them prudently. The way small business markets is completely different today than it was
Why fast, cheap, good and smart
Because that’s what the marketing and communications industry demands. Here’s a brief description of the what and why of each:
- Fast – The audience is on the move. Messages are delivered across mobile platforms and are constantly changing and evolving. The speed at which we create needs to match the speed at which the target audience consumes.
- Cheap – Cheap no longer means low-quality it means low-cost. And when a company is constantly changing and evolving its message and creative, it can’t afford to spend a lot of money on each one. It’s no longer one big idea repeated ad nauseam. It’s a series of small messages created and distributed constantly over time and across different platforms.
- Good – Just because we’re creating lots of little messages it doesn’t means any of them can suck. They still have to be good or no one will pay attention. Creative is still key, expensive production is not.
- Smart – There are an unlimited amount of tools, an unlimited amount of data, there are simple and complex strategies and tactics; all of these need to be selected and combined in a way to hit the targets and meet the client’s goals. The communications matrix hasn’t made this easier to do, it’s made it harder – at least to do it right. Smart is as smart does and we aim to be both.
Ideas are a lot easier than execution
But at complicated as this may all seem to be, as hard as it is to create and continuously execute an effective campaign, in the end the hardest thing we do might be to say “no”. We’ve been at this so long and remain focused on knowing and trying the tech and techniques du jour. Every day there are new apps, platforms, groups, tricks, tactics and strategies deigned to put clients and products in front of the most preferred audiences. For some companies the best thing is sometimes the newest thing. For us and for our clients, we want to use the tools and tactics that have worked. And those start with a good story, a user-friendly WordPress site, a continuous and creative presence on the right social media site and video. That’s the mix with a few small tweak. Once we’ve gotten those things done, and done fast, cheap, good and smart, we’re wide open to suggestion. Bring it on.