At a time when so many agencies are (trying to tell?) telling the world that they are 'not' advertising agencies, INDIE has no problem - and nor should they - in stating proudly: "we're an ad agency". Honesty can be so refreshing.
Founder & CEO, Mark Aink, is a force on the Dutch ad scene. He was MD of the highly awarded S-W-H, until the agency went through a re-birth and re-brand in 2008, to become INDIE. Why the name change?
"INDIE is all about independent thinking. An agency is more than the founders, which is what the letters S-W-H stood for. We are a group of thinkers."
Mark believes that the ad industry is "stuck in a linear process", in which the old industry model seperates the client from the process, and by doing so, turns the client into an emperor with the power to instantly kill a project - thumbs up or thumbs down.
"Above the line? Below the line? Through the line? We say: 'fuck the line'. Get around the table. The client and the brand will benefit from it".
Clients have something valuable to bring to the table, says Mark. "Too many agencies aren't letting that happen." How does INDIE do it? "We work with a hub. Together with the client we define the problem, so that the client is part of the hub".
The power of an idea, of independent thought, is central to how INDIE approaches client problems. So too is making sure that the team - the hub - incorporates new talent with new perspectives. From ad guys and media mavens, to biologists and comedians. "Outsider skills are vital to the development of the hub. Everyone needs to bring something else to the table, to raise the collective bar. We want to involve thought leaders in their field".
But in the end, the team at INDIE tries not to take itself too seriously. There is more to life, after all, than work:
"Why does the world need us? It doesn’t. All of our hairdryers could tumble into all of our baths tomorrow morning, and the world wouldn’t skip a beat. And we never, ever allow ourselves to forget it."