In Memoriam: Naked Communications

Faris
3 min readApr 18, 2017

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A few thoughts on the impact of Naked Communications

The House of Naked

I write to praise Naked, not bury it. Despite the New York office and now the original one in London closing, the brand still lives on down under and its impact lives on throughout the communications industry.

In some ways, even calling the industry communications rather than advertising is testament to its impact. Naked developed communication strategy as an integrated discipline, straddling the gap that had opened up between creative and media.

It hired what it called “brilliant misfits”. I was employee number 12 but, even by then, Naked was flying high on branding and business results that made the agency the envy of the industry.

At Naked, I learned to try to solve client problems from an objective point of view, to architect solutions across channels and beyond, to generate innovative ideas that didn’t fit inside the standard boxes of advertising and to collaborate effectively with all different kinds of agencies — and to help them collaborate in turn.

All these things inform what we do at Genius Steals and the Naked diaspora spread the same thinking far and wide.

The worldwide chief strategy officer at Ogilvy & Mather and architect of its integration process ; the chief executive and chief strategy officer of the newly integrated Havas Australia; the founder of Percolate, a “system of record for marketing”; the new-look, one-brand Coca-Cola, the CSO at integrated Y&R Auckland — all these [and many more across the industry] reflect the thinking developed at Naked that its illustrious alumni took to their next jobs.

The four “Naked truths” [everything communicates; people are your partners; there is a better way; see the full picture] are just as relevant today and Naked’s original hybrid consulting and creativity model is on the rise, as evinced by the seemingly endless acquisition of agencies by big consultancies.

Don’t get me wrong: Naked had its problems, both personal and professional. But I’ve never worked with such a brilliant, charming and fun group of misfits and I love them dearly — I had lunch with a couple of them in Sydney just the other day.

I had the privilege of working in the London, Sydney and New York offices, and those people are like family. Dysfunctional, brilliant, infuriating and for life.

And, man, did we have epic parties.

The FAILE piece Naked NYC had commissioned for the office.

Originally published in Campaign Magazine [UK]

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Faris

Hello! I'm Faris. I'm looking for the awesome. Founder/Genius Steals. Itinerant Strategist//Speaker. Author of Paid Attention.