At Victors & Spoils, we like to work with brands that don’t want to toe the line. Brands that aren’t afraid to be disruptive. Because that’s the kind of brand we are. That’s how we started in 2009. We challenged an industry that had been doing things pretty much the same way for 50-odd years or so while the world around it changed radically.
We came to be in a world where the tools to make and publish ideas were increasingly in the hands of anyone who wanted them. And we wanted to put the theory that a good idea could come from anywhere into practice. We didn’t resist it. We weren’t afraid of it. We embraced it. Building an ad agency based on crowdsourcing and abundance rather than a black-box creative process.
While other agencies relied on their client’s continued willingness to believe that their agency did something no one else could do, we tore down the walls and invited our client and our consumer in. Believing, as we always have, that if you ignore the world when you make advertising, the world will ignore the advertising you make.
If the vitriol generated by the learned pundits of the ad trade comment threads was anything to go by, this idea wasn’t a popular one. The industry reacted in the same way that New York City’s Taxi and Limousine commission did when Lyft and Uber arrived in the city. They rallied around their outdated way of doing things, whining and griping and bitching. Then essentially acquiesced, realizing the world had moved on without them. And would continue to do so. They could either start embracing change or rush, lemming-like, into irrelevance.
(And most eventually did. Embrace change, that is. After all, we ad folks aren’t just super good-looking, individually and as a group. We also have keen self-preservation instincts. Cognitive, data, social listening…whatever you like to call it, welcome to crowdsourcing! Glad to have you aboard.)
This challenger heritage informs not just the way we work but the work we do. We just can’t get comfortable with the run-of-the-mill. We don’t toe lines. It goes against our nature as an agency. The way we see it, you can’t set out to disrupt an entire industry’s way of doing things and then just phone it in when it comes to the work.
The Biggest Small Beer Ever Made for the Brewers Association. Tweeting With Mittens for JCPenney. The Backcountry Taproom for Upslope Brewing Company. Broccoli versus Kale for the New York Time Magazine. Work that can’t content itself with just being part of the advertising wallpaper.
The clients we work with, from start-ups to the Fortune 500, come to us because they embrace that same kind of challenger spirit. Status-quo bucking, carve their own path, to hell with what everyone else is doing. Brands that have something original to say. Brands that aren’t afraid to pick a fight. Noisy upstarts, inspired veterans, comeback kids, anyone who isn’t content to just blend into the advertising wallpaper. And you don’t have to be a David to be a challenger. Goliath was a challenger the moment that little rock knocked his big ass to the ground.
We’re certainly not the only agency out there talking about being a challenger brand for challenger brands. But find another one that can claim to really be a challenger. And by challenger we don’t mean one of the many ad agencies that insist they’re not ad agencies. That’s not being a challenger. That’s just semantics. But an ad agency that has challenger in its blood. That started that way and hasn’t seen any reason to change.
An agency that knows, in an advertising climate where every last dollar counts, that you make work that resonates with real people. That you make work that involves real people, every step of the way – hello, V&S Crowd! And that, as a challenger brand – a real challenger brand – you make work that matters, or you don’t make it at all.
- Chad Walker, Director of Growth and Innovation, Victors & Spoils
"This challenger heritage informs not just the way we work but the work we do."