An Agency Choose Your Own Adventure No One Asked for Hits a Little Too Close to Home

By Doug Zanger 

We here at Chez AgencySpy were enjoying a lovely weekend. One of us in Connecticut was basking in the glow of having electricity for more than four days in a row. Another was paddling in some murky body of Pacific Northwest water. And the third person on the team, wisely, didn’t tell any of us where they were going for a long weekend, but we’re sure it’s glorious.

We were all minding our own goddamn business until one of us (me) unwisely looked at Twitter to see if anything interesting was going on. That was where we saw David Griner (aka, the boss) start a personal project/experiment/thing to make you think called The Agency, a choose your own adventure game on Twitter, triggered through polls where, you guessed it, you create an agency.

Well, this just won’t do, we thought.

But, when digging a little deeper into it, we realized that this was going to actually be pretty fun. It was also clear that this exercise would strike a few nerves and likely hit a little close to home. It started with a hypothetical that some may relate to: a long-tenured, Chicago-based creative and strategist at a holding company agency is launching a shop, and it’s time to build the business.

The first step? Deciding whether to stay in Chicago or head out to New York or L.A. For some reason (very likely just common-sense simplicity for the sake of this game), we’re deciding to ignore the inherent possibilities of smaller cities.

Then, it starts getting very interesting. What is your new agency? Is it even called an agency? How will you navigate a non-compete? What about all of the gossip floating around Chicago (not an uncommon phenomenon)?

Next up is the launch client. There are three options, all of which are rife with issues. One is a brewery run by “your sister-in-law,” another is a food delivery startup that’s vague about compensation. The third is Kraft Heinz, a (“shifty”) client of your former agency that could cause you all kinds of legal problems.

The boss hasn’t divulged where he’s going to take this next (we tried asking several times) based on the next round of poll responses. Nor has he told us how many questions he’s going to ask. This makes this adventure truly adventurous and hopefully doesn’t end with the advertising version of dysentery: going out of business or being acquired by Martin Sorrell.

Stay tuned to the thread to see where we end up! More importantly, it may be interesting to see who is commenting/liking/retweeting. It could very well be a signal that some new shops might be opening up soon.