Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Names Above The Door

This might be the first in a series of unreliable history lessons.

I was thinking about the flying ox...

St Luke’s was not the first agency not to be named after it’s founders but we must have came pretty close. I can only think of Yellowhammer in the UK prior to us but I'm sure there must have been others.

At the time, creating our own brand name was really a pragmatic decision – there were 35 original co-founders and the door wasn’t wide enough to carry all those names above it.

We very quickly post-rationalised a more grandiose reason – we were taken a stance against the rampant egotism of the mainstream ad industry (i.e. everyone else). In fact the motto of the company at the time was No Fear. No Ego. No Greed. You had to be there to truly appreciate the irony.

There must have been something in the air because within a year Mother arrived and took the idea one step further by naming their agency as the collective creator of every piece of work that went out the door (an excellent idea). Then Naked took the approach into media and by the time the digital sector opened up it seemed that every new agency in town was trying to outdo each with ever more esoteric names.

The inspiration for these names seems to come from all over the place. Poke sounds like a comic; Adam and Eve like a French New Wave movie; Red Brick Road like an album and, my personal favourite at the moment, AnalogFolk sound like a new music movement emerging from the West Country.

The real benefit I think is that there is something optimistic and inspiring about being part of a collective of creative people rather than feeling you are merely a servant to the names above the door.

by phil


Anonymous said...

having come from an industry that preaches a hugely inspiring sentiment - "Do you know how lucky you are to be here? A million girls would die to have your job" - this attitude comes as a welcome change. It's inspiring (and comforting) to know you're not on your own and that there's some worth in what your doing that doesn't come under the heading of "profit margins". And a little bit of ego goes a long way.

www.stlukes.co.uk said...

I've always felt Fear, Greed and Ego would make a superb new name for our company. Any takers?
The big trend in the 8Os was to send as much like accountancy firms as possible.
My first job was with an agency called Fothergill, Stowe and Postlethwatite. Messrs.Postlethwaite and Stowe existed.Mr. Fothergill was a hamster who lived in a cage in the reception area.