In the formative years of the Carlsberg brewery, its founding father JC Jacobsen would host dinner parties where he would invite the greatest minds of his time to join him at his table. He would draw inspiration from, and intellectually spar with artists, actors, musicians and writers – all in the quest to achieve progress.
It was an opportunity to bring external inspiration into the four walls of Carlsberg. To challenge thinking and provide an entirely different perspective on the problems of a growing business. It ultimately shaped the philosophy of the business that endures to this day.
Taxi Studio (having been part of a more recent version of ‘Jacobsen’s Table’) have long held the belief that collaborating with experts makes our work better – not just by bringing together the brightest minds of the creative industry, but also broadening category or market knowledge. Psychologists, ex-SAS soldiers, nutritionists, brewers, sustainability experts …we believe in getting the right heads around the table to provide specialist insight and help us address the problems faced by brands in unexpected ways.
Before Covid-19 (there’s the BC!), the temptation for creative agencies was to try and be all things to all people. To use expertise from within their four walls and existing skillsets. In the latest DBA ‘Up to the light survey’ it was reported that 41% of clients wished their agency offered more services. That’s not to say though that these have to come from the existing collective IQ of the agency.
If our industry has been taught anything by the past few months, it’s that the future presents limitless opportunity for borderless collaboration. There can be no substitute for the human interaction that a creative environment provides, but virtual collaboration has proven to be enriching in so many other ways. Access to wider talent pools, learning new tricks of new trades and identifying just where our own superpowers lie, to name but a few.
Collaborating in such a way not only provides different points of reference and inspiration from the most unlikely sources, it also helps to resolve some of the practical issues that lie ahead. For example, how can we visit unfamiliar markets with restrictions on travel? How is it possible to absorb emerging cultural trends that could shape a brand’s future from the confines of our own homes? And how can any local market nuance be identified without an accurate barometer for the moods of nations far beyond our own shores? The question then for agencies should be ‘how can we co-create, work iteratively and remain agile for our clients with a client base and extended team that span the globe?’.
To make borderless collaboration work effectively, the agency model and mindset needs to change.
Our Managing Partner, Kate Lenton says: "We’ve recently restructured our team and reviewed our ways of working to dismantle the process and beliefs we held at 60+ people and rediscover the agility (and enjoyment) of being the ‘creative conductors’ of a truly collaborative process.
We’re learning and shaping as we go, but we’ve long held the belief that this is the future model for Taxi Studio, and now CV19 has enabled us to fast-forward our thinking and respond to the changing landscape.
Building a global network of specialist talent for our clients to benefit from is really exciting. It doesn’t matter if we’re working with an animator in Germany or a Scientist in the US, our clients are international, so it makes sense for our team to be too.”