How Sparks & Honey morphed from an agency to a consultancy by mapping culture | Advertising

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When Terry Young founded the agency Sparks and in 2012, it was billed as a “next-generation” agency based on cultural relevance. Last month the Omnicom agency announced that it wasyou guessed itrepositioning as a technology-led cultural . If it sounds like yet another agency scrambling to maintain relevance with buzzwords, Young says it’s an outward reflection of what they’ve been up to internally for years.

“My belief was that culture was at the center of truly understanding how to build campaigns or anything we do in advertising,” says Young on this episode of the Ad Lib podcast. “We built something that was really beyond advertising. We built an engine that allows us to understand what makes humans tick, why humans make the decisions they make in the world. That engine has taken us on a journey, of tackling very big enterprise-wide problems. In the process we already were running up against McKinsey and Bain and Palantir and BCG.”

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