Ad Agency Sleepers

Unless you’ve been living in a cave this Millennium, you’ve heard of fantasy football. While you may not play it, appreciate it, or understand all the rules, you know it exists. An FX television show, The League, has even been created to mock this season-long event that has become a part of popculture.

There are a variety of fantasy football leagues, but the premise is simple: pick NFL football players at various positions to make up your fantasy team. Your chosen players’ performance in real life is how your fantasy team performs. If your fantasy team scores more than your opponent’s fantasy team, you win. Boiling it down, the team with the most wins, wins the league.

Most everyone who plays fantasy football knows who to draft. They are the superstars. You know who I’m talking about: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, etc. However, the fantasy teams that win may have a superstar, but many also have a “sleeper” or two. A sleeper is a lesser-known NFL player a participant correctly predicts to have a breakout season. The whole point of selecting a sleeper is to give owners a competitive edge with lesser-known players and a better return on investment. Sleepers are a good buy and are the difference makers in any fantasy league.

So, how do fantasy football sleepers relate to advertising, and why should you care? Well, sleepers can be found among advertising agencies, as well. You likely have a basic knowledge of the well-known agencies. You know who they are and their characteristics. They are entrenched in traditional media. They are group owned. They take a long time to get things done, and they bill at really expensive rates. And, you generally get what you pay for, which is good work.  Return on investment: even…at best.

The sleeper agency is the antithesis of the traditional agency mentioned above. It is an agency that may excel in one particular area that fits your category and business model exactly, as opposed to being something for everyone. It is an agency you may not have heard of, but you’ve found by taking your time to research and learn what each agency does well. It may be an agency like Kilgannon that establishes specific objectives and metrics, with a scorecard evaluation, for each campaign or project. Or, it could be an agency that specializes specifically on promotions and driving product trial. By taking the time to learn more about each agency’s strengths, you’ll be in a much better position. Return on investment: the sky’s the limit.

So next time you’ve got a project, challenge yourself. You don’t need to be selecting a new AOR. Do a little research, try out an agency on a project basis, and see if you can discover a sleeper agency to get the competitive edge and return on investment that you need in today’s dog-eat-dog world.

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