News + Culture

A Case for Advertising Agency Culture

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Objective: “How can any business take tips from the fun advertising agency culture?’

Words of wisdom from LSB’s Good Vibes Crew

It’s often been said by one (or ten) of our clients that their favorite part of the day is having meetings with the agency. Whether a phone call or in-office meeting, they can feel the advertising agency culture and positive vibes that come from a combination of creative energy and playful attitudes.

First, we’d like to say thank you. Flattery will get you everywhere (though seriously, that’s not why your project was fast-tracked. Wink, wink.)

In our creative industry, one of our biggest characteristics is that we work best when we’re relaxed, laughing or sharing beers with our peers. In this mindset, we enjoy our work and one another and our best ideas are born.

But that’s an inherent part of our roots, where culture is all but baked into the job description and is synonymous with “fun.”

We recognize some office environments are not like ours. Whether more corporate or structured, it’s not always easy to breed and nurture culture.

But we are optimists. We believe even the stuffiest staffs can learn from our playful approach to work. To that end, here are a few tips to have more fun, enjoy your office more and be happier at work.

Tip #1 – Don’t be a bummer

Stress is part of the job for most people. With stress comes bad moods, and bad moods affect your outlook and those around you.

And hey, we’re human. We play off each other’s emotions. As humans, we also like to complain when we’re displeased (not that any of us personally do this, but we hear it’s a common practice).

Think about how you, or your co-worker’s, negativity affects the office vibe. It’s hard to create an engaging atmosphere at work if no one is happy to be there. Try the age-old trick of killing people with kindness when they’re grumpy towards you.


Coworkers: It’s Monday, everything sucks and I don’t want to be here.
You: “Oh really? Well, turn that frown upside down because I brought donuts!”

Tip #2 – Be the change you want to see

(We realize this isn’t exactly what Gandhi was referring to, but he was a smart guy and this works for all kinds of scenarios.)

For many places, culture isn’t viewed as something to create, implement or fix. Culture doesn’t happen quickly, and, in most cases, offices don’t have designated people taking on the challenge of changing something that isn’t part of the internal process or core belief. So, it just doesn’t happen until we take initiative. People are quick to point out what’s wrong with the culture, but slow to do anything about it.

Well, we’re here to say – take the initiative. You’re not alone. If you’re feeling frustrated by your office’s culture, odds are other people feel similarly.

Grab a few people to work together and make your culture what you want it to be. Poll your coworkers on what they think is missing. Talk to management about what’s feasible to support your efforts. No matter what you do, make an effort. You’ll likely find that you have more support than you thought. And if your organization is slow to bite, just show them some stats. People love stats.

For instance, here are some of the stats the Good Vibes Crew at LSB recently brought to management in order to secure funds for spreading joy throughout the next fiscal year:

  • Organizations with strong company culture reduce the probability of turnover by 71 percent
  • Engaged workers are 12 percent more productive
  • Happy employees outperform revenue benchmarks by 20 percent

Tip #3 – Treat others how you’d like to be treated

Professional office relationships vary greatly by industry, office size, and, honestly, a ton of other variables. They even vary from person to person. It’s easy to only get to know coworkers from a tactical standpoint, but we encourage you to dig further and really get to know your peeps.

We can all agree that having empathy for others goes a long way.

You know how you have a life outside of this office? Guess what, your colleagues do too! (Stars, they’re just like us). Get to know your coworkers on a level that’s comfortable for both parties so you can understand what their life is like outside of work.

Are they struggling with a sick family member?

Are they worried about their child going off to college?

Are they excited about an upcoming vacation?

Are they more into high-fives than fist-bumps?

Find out!

Tip #4 – Turns out, there’s more to do than just drinking

We know, we know. But hear us out. The first thing that comes to mind about company culture for most is hosting lunches, ice cream socials and happy hours. Yes, parties help office camaraderie.

Man, do we love parties.

But, even we have to admit they’re not a cure-all. Find ways to engage the interests of your office beyond fun activities.

Activism is a great way to help build an internal community while also sharing experiences that strengthen your relationships. Or start a running club with people who all have a goal of completing a 10K. Or perhaps you’re more of a bar-league volleyball crew (Hello team!).

The point is, look for shared interests to connect people at work and outside of the office.

There are many ways to build culture and no “one size fits all” for each office. Know that you can’t please everyone, but stay persistent. Try a few things out, learn what works best for your organization and hopefully you’ll start to see that these tips are a viable way to start (or continue) building a positive office environment.

Remember, every little bit counts.

 About Good Vibes Crew 

Good Vibes Crew is on a mission to make every day at LSB a little more fun and a little bit better than the last. From party planning to spontaneous brain breaks, they always make sure there are good vibes in the office. They’re also responsible for the beer cooler, and for that, we thank them.

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