Agency culture is one of the reasons I love this business -- the murals, the Nerf guns*, the foosball machines, the in-house bars, the planned and impromptu get-togethers, the chucks and tattoos everywhere -- it's a fun and open place to be creative. (*I do not like the football throwing, however. It just feels like a bad idea.)
We work hard and we play hard. (Though sometimes it's more like: We work HARD and we play hardish.)
Seriously though, the perks balance things out a bit. Whether it's a half-day to go trick-or-treating with your kids or a conference room turned World Cup Headquarters, ad agencies are more fun than the average office space.
Here are some great office perks that make getting to work far more rewarding.
These Insane Ad Agency Office Perks Make Us Think We Chose The Wrong Job
For years, agencies have been creating perks for their employees that are as creative and large in scale as the campaigns they create for their clients.
From building theme bars in the office (like TBWA/Chiat/Day's SurfBar) to hosting rock festivals to encouraging employees extreme hobbies, these agencies have done everything to make sure that their employee's make their friends jealous when they talk about an average day at work.
In an environment where the staff is very young (at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners employees the average age of employees in any meeting is, allegedly, 27) perks like these tend to keep people happy and help them forget the number of all-nighters they're asked to pull.
Creativity Stipends - DDB Canada
All Agencies Have Free Food!
Most agencies seem to recognize that free food is important for keeping their employees happy. In many cases this goes above and beyond the popcorn in the kitchen or free tea and coffee. Here are some of the best food perks:
- 72andSunny - Every other Friday the CFO barbecues lunch for the entire agency.
- McGarryBowen - During the summer a Mister Softee ice cream truck comes up the car elevator to the 11th floor and serves free cones. They also have a snack wagon that circulates at night.
- Droga5 - Every night they cater dinner for their employees.
- DDB Canada - Every last Friday of the month is Hot Dog Day.
- Deutsch LA - Bagel Mondays and Donut Fridays are an institution at this agency, enough so that they put it on t-shirts.
The New Bar - JWT
JWT also hosts industry events in this space — they are the advertising hub host for Social Media Week NY — and play host to the occasional band, like Foreigner.
Beer Is The New Martini
While the three martini lunch is no longer a common occurrence at today's ad agency, that doesn't mean alcohol has completely disappeared. A number of agencies have bars with subsidized drinks on-site, including TBWA/Chiat/Day's SurfBar and the legendary Central Filing bar at BBDO New York.
More often, agencies are providing beer free of charge. Mother, 72andSunny, HUGE, Wieden + Kennedy, and Big Spaceship all have either taps or beer fridges in their kitchens and Venables Bell & Partners brings in a keg every Friday. Because, as a HUGE employee said, "Charging employees for beer? That's outrageous."
Disruptive Thinker Transport - Crispin, Porter + Bogusky
If you see this old prison bus, called the Disruptive Thinker Tank, cruising the streets of Boulder its not full of convicts, its full of Crispin, Porter + Bogusky employees. The agency outfitted the old bus with comfy seats and Wi-Fi and it now serves as an employee shuttle throughout the city. For fun they repainted it to look like a prison bus, complete with fake bullet holes.
The Royal Wedding - BBH
Screen Printing Classes - Mother New York
Waffle Wednesday - Mother New York
While many agencies provide free food, Waffle Wednesday's in Mother New York's office just seem like a step above. Each Wednesday morning, employees make homemade waffles with all the fixings. On occasion, they may wait until lunch and serve it up with fried chicken.
Australia Day - Droga5
In honor of their Australian founder, David Droga, Droga5 celebrates Australia Day every January 26th with Australia-themed food (e.g. meat pies), drinks (e.g. Foster's beer) and entertainment. One year, they filled part of the office with sand and threw a beach barbie.
Plan B - 24 Hours of Lemons
The Rooftop - Grey New York
A Buddhist Monk on Staff
With the creative reviews, production meetings, and client presentations, agency life can be stressful. So CP+B has an ex-Buddhist monk on staff who conducts mindfulness sessions throughout the week.
It can also be hard to get to the gym. So AKQA, Grey, HUGE, and Wieden + Kennedy have in-house yoga classes.
72andSunny employs a life coach for its employees.
Point Break Live - 72andSunny
Kicks Contest - Saatchi & Saatchi
The Kicks Contest awards those employees with the most awesome sneakers. Originating in the Los Angeles office, the contest—and the smack-talk that goes with it—quickly spread through the entire global network of agencies.
The contest consists of three rounds—one in July, another in August and a third in September. Employees were asked to model their most coveted pair of sneakers. Last year's Los Angeles judges included skateboarder Bob Burnquist and Motocross star Jeremy “Twitch” Stenberg. Zappos gift cards were awarded to the first, second and third place winners. The grand prize winner also earned a pair of custom-designed shoes from Jeremy Sternberg's new line.
This year grand prize winners from the Los Angeles, New York, China and Australia offices will go toe-to-toe to be name best kicks in the Saatchi & Saatchi network.
Ad Agencies Love Dogs
While having dogs at work would be a major perk for most of us, it is a fairly standard practice among ad agencies. There are a few possible reasons for this: dogs help make great ads; playing with a dog during work is a stress reliever; or agencies don’t want their employees worrying about their starving pets while they are pulling an all-nighter before the big presentation.
Either way CP+B, HUGE, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, and Droga5 all allow employees to bring their furry friends to work. TBWA/Chiat/Day even has a dog run at the office.
Employee Appreciation Month - Droga5
Droga5 in New York sets aside the entire month of October to honor its employees. The month always kicks off with the management team cooking everyone breakfast, and every day of the month features something new and fun for the employees: a raffle, gifts, free massages, a sundae bar, free happy hour, personal finance consultations, and field trips to nearby museums.
Hatch Project - Venables Bell & Partners
Annual Ski Trip - Mother New York and Big Spaceship
The Barrelhouse - Pereira & O'Dell
5353 Festival - TBWA/Chiat/Day
Each September for two years, TBWA\Chiat\Day in Los Angeles has turned their parking lot into a music festival for their employees. The 5353 Festival celebrates the creative culture of the agency. Employees—who are also painters, photographers, fashion designers, poets, sculptors and musicians—can set up booths to share their talents. The agency also invites L.A.'s favorite food trucks and best local bands. Last year's line-up included Dustbowl Revival, He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister, WATERS, and DJ Soft Touch.
The Gallery @ 72andSunny - 72 and Sunny
The space has previously been transformed by House of Blues artist Glenn Fox, whose black-light friendly designs were a perfect backdrop for the rave that 72andSunny hosted for their employees.
The Extreme Concierge - Crispin, Porter + Bogusky
Also unique to the Boulder office of CP+B is the “Extreme Concierge.” He’s a motorcycle mechanic by trade, but he does anything from wax employee snowboards to tune bikes. He’s even been known to weld things together on the fly. The concierge, whose shop is in the agency's office, also lends out camping equipment, snowboards, skis and bikes.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/these-insane-ad-agency-office-perks-make-us-think-we-chose-the-wrong-job-2012-2?op=1#ixzz27VJthC8C