They aren’t the first agency to do this, or will they be the last. I can look at our agency bookshelves and see quite a few of these types of books- some more useful than others.
My first experience with these types of books came at my second job in the business- working for Visual Marketing Associates (a very short lived gig). One of the partners had a copy of “Living by Design”- one of Pentagram‘s first of many books they have produced about their work and processes. It was engaging, intelligent and changed my view of how a creative company should approach a clients challenges- from the narrow- solve the problem, to the how do we create the complete WOW factor that Tom Peters later wrote about (Pursuit of Wow! 1994).
I read about wagering fees on results for a campaign for a racetrack in “Chiat/Day, the first 20 years” (now very hard to find)- and Wieden and Kennedy’s pursuit of their first car account in “Where the sucker’s moon” - and realized that even the best agencies still have to stretch to win the big accounts.
Crispin is turning clients away these days, so the question will be, how much of their secret sauce will be revealed, and even if other agencies gain the recipe- will they be able to re-create the phenom that defines Crispin Porter + Bogusky in today’s advertising battlefield?