How a mistress can be used in ad agency new business

Mistress. The name conjures up a wanton, secretive, desired woman. Feel free to add any other colorful language. You’d read more here, too. But there are limits to full service new business support here at Thunderclap!

Mistress also happens to be the name of an agency based in Los Angeles. And poses an interesting question related to new business: just how important is your agency’s moniker?

The short answer to yours truly: important, but far from the end-all. What’s cool about Mistress, I think, is that it can stand for more than just the collection of souls making up the agency. One of the firm’s principals, Christian Jacobsen, said this about the name, “[It’s] also our position in the agency world and what we represent.” (Ad Age article here).

Big like. Perhaps it is not a coincidence they were named  Ad Age Small Agency of the Year with 1-10 employees.

Here’s an example of how they use their positioning across their business: promotion. Here’s an awesome online press release the agency released: “L.A. Advertising Agency, Mistress, Denies Having John Edwards’ Love Child” . Quirky, fun…attractive.

Their video describing the agency also invites an affair. Love it. About halfway through it, I was thinking they weren’t getting into results of their work. But then, pleasantly surprised when a few seconds later they describe some of the results they garner (though I saw more buzz-related things than revenue results. Buzz sounds good. But the sound clients really want to hear is a cash register.)

And, of course, they back up the name with the way they their structure and what the services they provide clients. They’re happy to “talk with anyone” so that “you get all the big agency experience without the baggage.” Heck, they even sell products. You can see shiny VPs of Marketing perk up a bit. And then the big alphabet soup agencies begin shuffling the faded, worn big agency advantages deck.

So, at the online level of the glance a prospective client might take, Mistress seems to be a good example of an agency that’s taking a core idea and moving it across their business. It feels aligned, which can be very powerful.

What happens with an aging mistress? An excellent question. A couple of ways immediately come to mind. Continue to identify and ride trends, bringing innovation and hipness. Or, they could understand what makes their clients or a consumer think – finding intimacy through depth. But they got something with this Mistress thing. Love it. Nice, guys!

Anywho, just thought you might find this agency interesting as it could spark some thinking about what your core is and how you can move it through your business. What do you think?