Sean Cummins - 10 things I've noticed in advertising in the last decade

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 11 January 2021

Leading independent full service agency Cummins&Partners today celebrates 10 years since it opened its doors in Melbourne with Jeep Australia as its foundation client. 

Since then it has opened offices in Sydney and New York, gathered 150 employees and a growing collection of clients including Pernod Ricard, Energy Australia, McCain, Absolut, Adore Beauty, Godfreys and Sara Lee. Recent wins include Heritage Bank, Indeed, Klorane, Avene and Sapporo.  

Sean Cummins, chief creative officer, reflected on the decade. 

“A lot has changed in our industry over the past 10 years and we’re proud that we’ve been able to enjoy continued success within a highly competitive landscape," he says. 

"From the beginning, our intention was to be a new kind of agency that reconnected media and creative in partnership, ever-evolving digital and tech services, customer experience and strategy as a unified force. It’s clearly a model that has resonated with clients, both here in Australia and in the US. 

“Like every other business we faced uncertainty and upheaval at the onset of the Covid-19 crisis and its impact was felt across our clients and our people. 

"We feel incredibly fortunate to have emerged in a strong position, thanks to the hard work of our people and the fearlessness of our clients. Cummins&Partners at ten will continue to create work that commands attention for the next ten years.” 

In October,  the agency announced it had returned staff to full pay and that they would be paid back the salaries cut during the depths of the coronavirus crisis. 

On LinkedIn, Sean Cummins posted:

Ten things I've noticed in advertising in the last ten years:

1. As I've gotten older my colleagues have stayed the same age.

2.Clients don't stay in their jobs more than a couple of years.

3. There are less long-running campaigns and more one-off stuff.

4. Digital advertising is more annoying and interrupting than traditional advertising. Let me scroll dammit!

5. Advertising doesn't sell me or persuade as much. Except for that guy in the FlexSeal commercials.

6. We are borrowing more equity and attaching it to brands rather than creating real equity from the brand itself.

7. Pitches are still exciting when you get lucky.

8. Advertising is still fun and you are always learning something new.

9. If your work doesn't get attention and capture the curiosity and buy-in of the public you've missed a trick.

10. There's only one rule in advertising. But nobody knows what it is.



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