Ogilvy channels its inner Jay Chiat

Everyone wants to know what the agency of the future will look like. Jay Chiat was convinced it wouldn’t involve desks. That didn’t work out so hot, and the desks are back. Chris Wall, co-chief creative officer at Ogilvy, thinks Jay was a just a bit timid: He wants to get rid of the entire office. Wall’s idea, which he aims to put into action next year, is an agency offshoot called Ogilvy Transient. Wall described Transient at the shop’s Verge conference yesterday, and it doesn’t refer to an underbathed creative. It’ll be a roaming, experimental agency unit that aims to produce “brand journalism” for clients, with creative types thinking like editors. (I think this means low pay.) Ogilvy Transient’s “band of storytellers” (regular agency slobs, plus sexy outsiders, like a “house novelist” and “independent filmmaker”) will roam the land desperately seeking inspiration and the Big Idea. “We will go where the story is and create on the fly,” Wall declared. One week, the brand story could be hatched in SoHo (lunch at Balthazar), the next at a brownstone on the Upper East Side (er, beer pong after work?), or even somewhere in Hoboken (I quit). Oh, and even better, pace WK+12, the Transient experiment will be YouTubed for your enjoyment.

—Posted by Brian Morrissey