“Some agencies do.” “We undo.”


When I was a kid, the first thing I did with a new toy was take it apart to find out how it worked {much to my father’s displeasure}. Which is probably why I like the Tribalfish “un-agency” approach.

One of my mentors from the seventies was a copywriter by the name of David Abbott. One of the things he said was, “You cannot know enough about your client’s business”.

He was at his desk one day when someone from his client service department put a kid’s black school shoe on his desk and said, “We need an ad”.

Without telling anyone he found out where the shoe was made and drove to the factory, where he spent the entire day watching how the shoe was put together. He was stunned. And he spent the next four days writing about the shoe.

Well we all know about the famous “CLARKS” shoe company today, but it was his initiative and full-page copy driven newspaper ads that turned a little black shoe into a classic.

For me the mind is like a parachute, it works best when open. Undo means to “open” or “release” and so this is the Tribalfish approach. The more time you spend in the trenches the sooner you will win the war.

Up like a rocket, down like a stick. What this means is for a big idea to fly, it must have legs and not be a one-off wonder. The only way to achieve this is to be totally involved in your client’s business. This is why the “undo” process is so important.


Tribalfish applied this thinking recently in a multi-agency pitch and won the business hands down.

Which just goes to show: the sooner you “undo”, the sooner it all comes together.


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