With major advertisers cutting costs, creative shops are increasingly commercializing their own product ideas.
When Coca-Cola acquired Vitaminwater for $4.1 billion in 2007, it wasn’t for the breakthrough electrolyte-drink technology. It paid for breakthrough marketing, and that epiphany rippled through Adland. Why shouldn’t agencies launch their own brands rather than solely focus on other people’s prodcts? Consultancy PSFK recently invited FAST COMPANY writer Danielle Sacks to moderate a panel featuring four creative chiefs running what PSFK calls New Idea Agencies. In this edited transcript of the conversation, they explore what it’s like for ad people to go beyond branding into the messy world of product creation. Will what they learn improve advertising for the rest of us?