JEFF!, taste of the right idea
I have a friend at com giving you a new Agency Portrait! A special format where our team goes to meet creative professionals directly at work! And that’s with the aim of absorbing as much as possible the DNA of the agencies that are changing communication today. This week at the young and creative JEFF agency! we went exploring.
In advertising, everyone claims to be creative, and there is nothing surprising about that. Some agencies go even further and place creativity at the core of their thinking and ways of doing things. This is the work of JEFF!, a young agency founded by Julien Bouissy and the experienced DA/CR duo Florian Cauquil, which swears by only one thing: finding a good creative idea, even if it means doing it without all the filters and intermediaries. available in more traditional agencies.
We met them in their Strasbourg Saint-Denis arrondissement, tenth arrondissement, to understand their desire to make the most of their idea concept. After a quick tour of their offices, whose aesthetic resembles a police station from the 70s, already heralding JEFF’s quirky spirit, we settled into a small bar a stone’s throw away. Over an espresso and in the hubbub typical of a Parisian café, Julien and Florian were true to themselves and gave us a long exchange of their views on the world of advertising and, above all, the creative spirit of their agency. Maintenance without filters, but rich in metaphors.
“My name is Jeff!”
JEFF’S STORY! starts with the name. Union of Julien Bouissy J and Florian Cauquil F, its two founders, appellant “JEFF! » immediately announces its color: the agency’s philosophy is strongly marked by the complementary personalities of the two leaders.
On the one hand, we find DA Julien apologizing throughout the interview: “talk too much”. Sensitive is the right brain of the duo, working on intuition and emotion, not stingy by any metaphor. On the other hand, CR Florian, who calmed down and rearranged the lyrical flights of his alter ego. The calmer, left brain of this pair is logical and rational. Two opposite personalities, but balancing each other perfectly. “It’s a bit of yin and yang”Florian confirms. “There are images that immediately come to me when I start thinking about a project, when Flo puts her feelings into words and very quickly writes the overall theme of the story you want to tell.”Julien adds. “We have a real productive dialogue, never confrontational. The barometer is the other’s face. Only in his head, we know whether our idea is good or not. We throw the idea at the other like a mirror ball and see if it has the right shape and bounces well. »
In the beginning, however, the two men had one thing in common: neither of them was meant to advertise. “Tavern, I saw the light and went in”, Julien summarizes. The original HTML integrator (“Advanced developer as we call it now”), the latter came quite naturally to artistic direction during the evolution of the missions assigned to him in the agencies he worked for. Florian found himself in this world almost by accident. “At first I wanted to be a journalist. I started with a DEUG in law and then a degree in history. I participated in many competitions and only succeeded in Sup de Pub. From there, I worked at various agencies for a total of 8 years before going freelance. »
Two different paths that lead them in the same direction: the world of advertising. A universe where the two sidekicks quickly become dependent. “Advertising is very addictive. Creation, the search for good ideas, beautiful images… It seemed clear to us, a profession born of a passion for this profession that has not stopped growing since then. »
In 2016, their paths cross and it becomes clear to them that they complement each other. “We met on a cafe terrace through a mutual friend (Fernando, if you’re reading us!)”Julien remembers. “We were both freelancers and decided to join forces. It all happened very naturally, our respective contexts meant we complemented each other, we needed each other’s skills at the time. So we freelanced for 3 years in all sizes of agencies and structures, then we both worked in the same agency for two years.”
Driven by a taste for adventure and a love of a job well done
After exploring the world of advertising from all sides and in different contexts, the duo came up with the idea of taking another step and creating their own agency. “We wanted to change and, above all, intervene in all projects, not just the special beam assigned to us. This is a big problem: being the only master on board, you put yourself in danger, you have no more excuses. There is a side “go chick, let’s go!” »Julian explains. “You get less tired doing all the work,” adds Florian. “We are opening a wider horizon! So JEFF! was born on January 1, 2021. “We found the name immediately. Our two initials, a second F, and an exclamation point for fun, “yeah fuck!” », we have potatoes! »
JEFF’s review! ? Just advertise well.
“We participate in every briefing as if it were our brand”Julien confirms. “We strive to do flawless work for every campaign we deliver to our clients. We are driven by a true love of beautiful work, almost hand-stitched with a touch of craftsmanship. We don’t release 20 campaigns a month, but we make sure they make an impression. »
JEFF, who just celebrated his second birthday! continues to write his beautiful story. The agency, which has been installed in its offices in the tenth district since July, currently has three employees. Already a small team looking to grow, several hires are planned for this year. At the customer level, things are developing very positively. “We have been profitable since we started and doubled our turnover in two years. We will strive to continue to grow while maintaining our model and our DNA. The challenge is to grow while maintaining this closeness to our customers and the taste for great ideas that is our strength. »
Proximity to his customers and a taste for great ideas: these are JEFF! two axes that make the agency special. After several years of working with agencies, Julien and Florian developed a really simple but instructive observation: the proliferation of intermediaries between creatives and end clients damages creativity and therefore the concept of the same idea. And at JEFF!, the idea is sacrosanct.
It’s sacred because it’s what gives the pleasure both during the design and during the final delivery. “The concept of pleasure is central to our way of looking at things. We know that if we don’t enjoy finding a good idea, those who adopt it are less likely to have one.”Julien exposes. “It’s the same with a joke: if it doesn’t make us laugh, it has little chance of making the person we’re telling laugh. This is how we envision our work: to have fun and give it away. » An image of things shared by Florian. “Far from pure work, we are looking for excitement, for hairs to stand up. We don’t want to just do business. »
And for that, JEFF! he likes to offer his clients the idea they need, not necessarily what they expect. “We break the habits a little, we bring a refreshing sound, something new. And he likes it a lot! »
Bringing this vision of an idea to life in a way that is as enjoyable as it is fair, JEFF! therefore, he made it his mission to protect it by removing as many middlemen as possible between creators and customers. “ A creative in an agency has two problems: finding a good idea and enjoying the interior. Besides, sometimes we spoil the idea by our desire for over-indulgence.Supports Julien. “We were able to realize that our decisions and ideas were more successful by being free from certain intermediaries,” confirms Florian. He adds: “We can allow our ideas to be tested directly, with the customer, unfiltered. We deliver the raw idea straight from our brains, unaltered. We love this direct connection with the customer. »
Always fond of metaphors, Julien makes a comparison with the restaurant world. “Good restaurants are known for their chefs, and so are we. We focus on the result. We are two enthusiasts at the head of a small bistronomic restaurant! »
Seeing the customer’s smile during delivery motivates our two advertising managers on a daily basis.
Creativity without filters, but not without limits
And like a good chef, Julien and Florian know how to delegate when necessary, rather than risking themselves in an area they do not master. “We know our limits, we’re not going to improvise something we don’t know how to do. There are things like strategic planning that we leave to partners who have mastered their subject matter. Multicap also has its limitations. It’s like a microwave and a conventional oven combined: it’s basically a bad microwave and a bad conventional oven. It is better to separate the two and find someone who knows how to do what is asked of him and, above all, is good at it.”Julien describes.
As for their desire to offer unfiltered creativity, they are also well aware of its limits. “Creatively speaking, we censor ourselves. We know when to let go and when to stay reasonable. » Another story of Yin and Yang. “That’s the whole point of being two creative people working together: you naturally find a balance. »
Rich in creativity and driven by an uncompromising vision, JEFF! looks forward to the future. “Our goal is to continue to create great ideas, and if we can collect some laurels along the way, it makes our job even more delicious.”, concludes Florian. When you taste the idea, the appetite comes with the food!
JEFF! To learn more about the agency, visit its special page!
JEFF agency page!