How mid-size and independent agencies are cracking creative ideation

In the ever-evolving landscape of advertising, mid-size and independent agencies are proving their game by consistently delivering impactful campaigns for their clients. Often operating on smaller budgets and limited resources compared to industry giants, these agencies have become masters of creative ideation, unlocking innovative strategies to captivate audiences and drive results.

One of the key strengths of mid-size and independent agencies is their ability to foster a collaborative culture within their teams. These agencies prioritise understanding their clients’ specific goals and target audience, conducting in-depth research and analysis to gain a deep understanding of their clients’ industry, competitors, and consumer behaviour.

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Moreover, the absence of complex internal hierarchies in independent agencies eliminates bureaucratic delays and power struggles that can hinder the creative process. Naresh Gupta, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, BangInTheMiddle, emphasised this point, stating, “In case of independents, the only difference that exists in the ideation process is the independence the teams have to craft and present. The internal approval process is flat and is faster, smoother, and without many heartburns.”

In the world of advertising and marketing, creativity is king. However, coming up with truly original and impactful ideas can be a challenge, especially for mid-size and independent agencies. Gupta further added, “In large setups, the layers and the complex internal approval process make it slower. But the biggest difference is that the leadership team of the agency sits in the brainstorm and makes the creative process richer.”

According to Gupta, the key to success lies in focusing on creativity. He emphasised that the work is judged solely based on the brief under consideration and the cultural fit the agency strives to achieve. The best creative ideas often stem from curiosity, questioning, exploring new ideas, and being open to trying new things.

Ravpreet Ganesh, Chief Integration Officer, The Mavericks Communications, shared the importance of creativity for success in today’s crowded marketplace. She emphasised that disrupting the consumer journey and measuring the impact of the work on business results are crucial. “Work should always be rooted in a key consumer insight, grounded in cultural context, and should ultimately impact consumer behaviour,” she added.

Ganesh further said that cultural relevance is essential for creating campaigns that will have a lasting impact. “Ideas must be media agnostic,” she said, adding, “They must be able to travel across different platforms and still be relevant.” Ganesh stressed that mid-size and independent agencies should not be afraid to take risks. “Being consistent in creating work that matters is what these agencies need to keep up,” she added.

Independent Indian ad agencies are performing well internationally, demonstrating that creativity and innovation can be found outside of the big, multinational agencies. Here are a few examples:

BangInTheMiddle: This agency has won numerous awards at international festivals, including the Grand Prix at Cannes Lions in 2022. They are known for their creative and disruptive work, which often challenges the status quo.

Enormous: This agency has offices in Mumbai and New York, and they have worked with clients such as Google, Amazon, and Netflix. They are known for their work in digital and social media, and they are always pushing the boundaries of creativity.

Manja: This agency is based in Delhi, and they have won awards at international festivals such as D&AD and The One Show. They are known for their work in social impact, and they have created campaigns that have raised awareness about important issues such as gender equality and climate change.

Talented: This agency is based in Mumbai, and they have won awards at international festivals such as Cannes Lions and The Clio Awards. They are known for their work in branding and design, and they have created campaigns that are both visually stunning and effective.


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