Behind-the-Scenes: Our Decision to Rebrand

January 3, 2018

When it comes to creative agencies these days, you’ll generally find one of two camps: the old, established giants and the new, young guys bursting onto the scene. So what’s the reason for an existing agency sticking its neck out there and rebranding? Because this change has been brewing for a while, it’s not something that happened overnight. Our DNA has always been in our name, Swagger. Now, it’s time to start living up to it in a more meaningful way.

Enter: creative futurism. It’s an idea, a mantra, and let’s face it, a pretty freaking catchy phrase. But what does it mean and why are we so keen to adopt it as our daily guidepost? We think creative futurism is what advertising needs right now. When you name your agency Swagger, it’s kind of a lot to live up to. Creative futurism helps guide that “Swagger” in a positive, forward-looking direction. We’ve all met those people who have too much swagger to handle (and to be honest, we’ve probably met them at an advertising agency). And anyone can tell you that it can be really hard to rein that in. Creative futurism is both a rein that keeps us in line and a flame under our tushies that fuels us and keeps us innovative.

Over the years, our work has helped us figure out exactly what kind of agency we really are and more importantly, what kind of agency we want to be. You could say it’s all part of growing up. Creative futurism is about taking charge. It’s not taking an assignment merely to get through the day, but taking it because it inspires us and because we simply couldn’t NOT take it. Creative futurism is about knowing what you can do well and having the humility and grace to know what might not be your strong suit. This level of honesty is, let’s face it, not so commonly met in advertising sometimes. At Swagger, we’re stepping out with the confidence to step into the right challenges instead of just any challenge. Creative futurism is about taking the best part of the “good old days” and the best part of the projected future and merging them into one place. So you don’t have to go all in on household-name-mentioned-in-Mad-Men-with-a-shelf-of-awards-bigger-than-your-house-and-the-internal-processes-and-struggles-to-match but you also don’t have to go with the progressive-new-wave-ultra-hipster-social-media-strategically-focused-gurus. We aren’t bogged down with history but we are able to see what’s good about a traditional TV spot. TV isn’t dead, it’s just shifting. Social media and “digital” aren’t TV’s competitors, but their existence is changing (see also: should be changing) the way we approach every script.

Those silos, we hate them. Big agencies are siloed because they’re simply so large that moving in any one direction requires the complete cooperation and coordination of an army. Small agencies are so niche that they picked one specific thing to do well and then had to grow into all the other areas. Again, this is where Swagger tows the line between the two. We don’t try to be all things to all people. That’s misguided and frankly, impossible. Instead, we try to be what our client needs. Just like agencies, clients come in large and small and as such, have very different needs and goals. We keep that top of mind when we’re working so that we don’t go off the rails into an area no one asked us to explore or is even interested in. That’s the wrong kind of “Swagger.”

In the end, you could say that our newfound (or rather, newly proclaimed) creative futurism is all about confidence, the kind that can only come with experience. We’re excited to be a different kind of agency, excited to share our ideas with the world, with you. Join us, won’t you?