I now think of this Fire Starters event as my Trainspotting moment ("choose life" etc) I'd come to Google directly from the chemotherapy unit I had spent the day with my mum was and I was angry and tired and fed up. So I just talked about all the stuff that was bugging me about the industry that I loved but that was seemingly floundering all around me.
I talked about the fact as everything/everyone/every company becomes a brand, and every brand becomes a publisher, and every publisher becomes multi-platform and every platform is meant to drive sales, the the skillsets housed in agencies were so hugely valuable to clients, but that the agency structures kept on getting in the way. I talked about the "bait and switch" that happens in pitches when clients fall in love with a senior team and then they don't really get them becuase time gets squeezed down to minascule FTE on scopes that get pumelled through procurement. I talked about clients paying for what they value, but not being stupid enough to pay for something that was being given away for free (on this occassion I was talking about strategy)
Brands can't be "beautiful wallpaper" that no one notices. Brands can't be "culture spam" or (my particular nemesis), "branded noise." In a noisy post-truth world, the best agency folk are sense makers and meaning makers and from talking with clients, that is exactly what they are looking for.
If brands are made up of experiences + expectations, then the time feels right for a new way of approaching Brand Strategy & Experience Design.