In November 2018, PS21 CEO Agustín Vivancos explained his rationale to LBB for bringing his ad agency dommo to an end and declaring the birth of PS21. “We believe in the power of creativity as a means to an end, in this case for business transformation,” he said. “Creativity is the value of the 21st Century and must be applied to across the whole value chain. And I mean creativity, not ‘advertising creativity’. We understood that the market was entering a disruption process and we were to change, change to stay honest and be able to offer better creative business solutions.” A year on, the Madrid outfit has put its money where its mouth is, reformulating itself to face this new challenge. LBB’s Alex Reeves asked him how he’s getting along.
LBB> A year into your new 'creative transformation company', how would you evaluate your work to apply creativity across whole value chains?
Agustín> Transforming dommo into PS21 was a coherence exercise. We decided to sacrifice a year of profits to reinvent ourselves and hire the best professionals. After thinking about how we could be more functional, we came to the conclusion that brands design business, media, product design and experience strategies first and we only appear in the last link of the chain, without much decision-making capacity. We have the means and the talent to intervene in the whole process. And that's what we do at PS21.
LBB> How different has the last year of your working life been to previous years at dommo? And why?
Agustín> It has been a change of mentality, strategy and communication. To have a clear objective, to know how to transmit it to the team and, of course, to know our limits in order to be able to cover deficiencies. In fact, this year we have acquired two companies to achieve capabilities that we did not have: Redbility, a company focused on user experience and innovation and ES3, a digital agency focused on strategy and development.
LBB> Let's talk about the personnel at the company. How has it changed and what has been the effect?
Agustín> We have invested time in explaining the project in detail. There were people who left the project because they didn't fit in it, there were new incorporations and, above all, we worked on changing our mindset and on everything being aligned.
LBB> Where has your focus on voice technology and AI led PS21 in your first year?
Agustín> We designed VoiceXLab, a voice technology observatory and virtual assistants developed between PS21 and a technology company. It's a project that doesn't bring in revenue, but it's a statement of intent: we're where the future is. We want to be part of it, know what is happening, what works and have all the tools to use them in any context and with any client.
LBB> What work are you most proud of in the past year and why?
Agustín> The re-positioning of Adecco
and the launch of Fi Network
, a new mobile operator aimed at the Z generation. In addition, the third year of the #PolloPollo platform for KFC. We are, on the one hand, working on the flavour and, on the other hand, making spikes that are bringing us many joys, such as KFC Palace.
LBB> What is your next big goal for the company?
Agustín> Prove that creativity has the power to transform brands, companies and organisations. To look for talent that is capable of joining different points to find solutions to the problems of our clients, to make creativity shine in the industry and to become referents.