I will admit that it was not entirely unpleasant to prepare last year’s Agency 100 issue from my couch. The A100 is our signature franchise; the print edition is four times the size of a typical edition of MM+M. And as you might imagine with a project this size, it pretty much takes over the lives of our entire staff. So not having to commute into New York City added many hours back to my week, hours I could spend in the living room reading, editing and running to the kitchen for snacks.
In brief — and to borrow some words you’ll see a lot in this issue — I “pivoted” to working from home and got it done. Our team also made a “seamless transition” away from the office and to the virtual.
But I’m over it.
In 2021, the couch is now coffee-stained and bears my indentation. I can’t wait to burn it, urging on the flames like Jimi at Monterey. Zoom calls are no longer a wonder of technology that keeps the team together but a nuisance that induces fatigue and anxiety, and New Jersey Transit seems like a great place to spend a couple of hours at least a few days a week.
This issue is proof that we know how to work remotely with barely a blip. And when it comes to writing and quiet contemplation of work projects, there’s no place like home.
But damn, would I like to be able to see my colleagues in person and thank them for the tremendous creativity, dedication, discipline and hustle they put into producing a second leviathan of an A100 issue while dealing with all the stresses and strains of working from homes filled with kids. I’m looking at you, Doreen Gates, Kevin Zitzman, Larry Dobrow, Sean Ayling and especially you, Lisa Gill, who kept this beast not only on track but also ahead of schedule. Thank you, all.
And thank you to all the agencies who shared their stories with us. From the highs (new accounts, record growth, huge gains in staffing) to the lows (stalled drug approvals, huge new offices sitting vacant, a bruising war for talent), your stories combined paint a picture of a vibrant industry that pushes creativity and empathy. The proof is in the movie posters agencies chose to submit to show off their creative chops. (Pro tip: Look at them online, where you can see them as standalones, and in greater detail.)
Now, let’s get those shots, put on masks and get back to work. We’ve got more pivoting to do.