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Agency creatives face a choice: become entrepreneurs or become irrelevant

The Drum Network recently spoke to Tyler DeAngelo, executive creative director and partner of StrawberryFrog, the ‘Movement Marketing’ company, about his thoughts on the interplay between creativity and entrepreneurialism and the agency of the future…

 

Hello Tyler. You believe that creatives should have an entrepreneurial spirit and create small businesses to help develop that spirit – why do you think there is a close link between creativity and entrepreneurialism?

This is an era of creativity in business, not just in marketing or advertising but in how to think, act, grow and create. Today the creative disruptors win. We live during a time when as soon as you get comfortable, the business model has changed. I believe this is one of the reasons StrawberryFrog has thrived for 20 years when many other firms got swallowed by change. Our firm has been able to consistently deliver strategies and creative that builds our clients’ businesses because we are nimble, free thinking and risk takers. Entrepreneurial creativity is the key to transformation and growth during volatility. 

 

In what way would starting a small business help a creative to develop their talents? Isn’t the admin associated with running a business the enemy of creativity?

Not at all. I think most creatives are born with the ingredients that make an entrepreneur successful. Vision, passion and a little crazy. The rest can be outsourced. Scott and Karin didn’t build the first movement marketing firm because they love administration. 

Outside of StrawberryFrog I own two businesses. This experience gives me a totally different and invaluable perspective that I wouldn’t have otherwise. First, it has shown me how important movements are vs advertising. The foundation for both my businesses are based on cultural movements. And second I have had to learn how to be nimble, free thinking and take risks. You really learn what this means when it’s your own money on the line. 

 

Why is it especially important that creatives develop entrepreneurial attitudes now more than ever before?

Survival. These days, It’s much riskier not taking risks. Look at some of the big companies that used to be safe and cushy. Many of them are folding, disappearing or multi-merging. They can’t adopt to change fast enough to survive. As I said earlier, we live in a time when disruptors win. Going to work as a young creative in a large company - a cog in a huge machine - makes you reliant on that process and vulnerable to change. It’s much better to be an entrepreneurial creative in an environment that can adopt and thrive with rapid change. 

 

The advertising industry has come in for a lot of criticism recently for running out of original ideas and being guilty of existing inside a privileged bubble, removed from its audience. What should creatives be doing to restore the industry’s credibility?

The advertising industry is irrelevant and advertising agencies regardless of how creative are not being taken as seriously today as they were 10 years ago. That’s why we left advertising to be the world’s first movement strategy and movement marketing firm. We took our strengths in marketing strategy and creativity and evolved away from advertising. Instead of restoring the industry’s credibility, we have adapted into business transformation working with company leaders to create movements both internally and externally that drive their businesses.

 

What role will creativity have in business in the future?

Creativity is the core of successful businesses today. Creativity is an operating system that leaders need to use to think in new fresh ways and take their 50+ year companies and reignite them. We go into companies and work through their problems using our movement marketing process, we identify the enemy of the brand, company, organization and devise a movement strategy around this. And then we use entrepreneurial creativity to ignite this thinking and move our clients’ businesses into the future.

 

StrawberryFrog is the world’s first movement marketing company.

Featured by The Drum

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