An Ad Agency That Seems To Be Calibrated For Just This Moment

By Todd Wasseman | Featured in Forbes


BeenThereDoneThat is a type of new agency that combines consulting with the instantaneous global reach of the Internet to access a council of marketing thinkers. The company’s model sounds very 2020, but it actually formed in 2014.

The thinking behind the agency is that the standard relationship between brands and agencies is now outdated. Ironically, the agency views experience as the missing ingredient in agency-brand relationships.

In a white paper, BTDT delved into common beliefs that ad agencies bring in their top talent at the 11th hour and man the accounts with junior-level talent most of the rest of the time.

In light of such criticism, BTDT emphasizes each worker’s minimum 20 years’ experience and expertise. Dave Alberts, cofounder of BTDT, said employees are appropriately seasoned. “They’ve done their 10,000 hours, so they’ve seen a problem like this before,” he said.

In addition, BTDT’s structure, in which a cadre of professionals are accessible via the Internet and there’s no grand headquarters at a fixed location, is very apropos of this moment.


Lee Roth of Been There Done That

Lee Roth of Been There Done That.


So what does BTDT bring to the table? Lee Roth, BTDT’s North American director, said that COVID has made that mission clearer. It’s not about chasing the trend of the week, but it’s about “making sure the teams and the people at the company have the brand fundamentals in place for success, and not just success in good times,” said Roth. “When you have those fundamentals in place, you can weather the COVID storms, you can weather the recession storms, so there’s a lot of need to go back to those fundamentals. We’re seeing that a lot of last six months.”

A lot of people—not just ad agency people—have been wondering which habits consumers will change because of COVID. Given the level of dissatisfaction with ad agencies, it’s in the realm of possibility that agencies that are used to improvising for COVID will challenge other long-held beliefs. Now that the ad spend on digital has surpassed that for TV, there is a sense that advertising is about to face some wrenching changes.

With its unique structure, BTDT hopes to be on the winning side of that transition.


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UK Address
Zetland House
5-25 Scrutton Street
London, EC2A 4HJ
US Address
BTDT Global Inc
110 E 25th St
NY 10010