From Traditional To Digital To Integrated To Social To Instagram

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The lack of distinctive agency brand positions has been a thorn in our industry paw for years. We’ve all heard the cobbler’s children’s shoes metaphor and the harangues from agency consultants telling us that despite our own branding skills, our sales propositions all sound alike. Lately there has been a slow shift to agency USPs that has been brought on […]

Does The Freelance Economy Improve Advertising?

I’ve worked at full-time jobs and also had long stretches as a freelancer. And as I wrote on Talent Zoo not long ago, more and more ad agencies are making the use of freelancers or permalancers a normal way of doing business. Writing on PandoDaily, site founder Sarah Lacy explores the flip side of our […]

What Are You, A Schoolboy? Ask For The Order.

This is another guest post from Portlander Peter Levitan, a former ad agency principal and Baby Boomer with a new book out about Boomers “offing themselves” before they go broke. Ad agencies fail in many areas, but not asking for the order takes the cake. How can agencies be so passive when it comes to […]

I Would Write Anything For Cash, But I Won’t Write That

It’s been a long time since Neil Young sang about…well, who he wouldn’t sing for: But when it comes to advertising people, most of us have few, if any, clients we wouldn’t work on. What does it say about us if we refuse to work on something, or oppose the way a prospective or current […]

To Cook A Pizza, You Need An Oven

Purpose | INVENTIONI.ST

Deutsch LA is “conceiving and developing digital products at an affordable cost” under its newly hatched Invenionist label. According to Adweek, Winston Binch, the agency’s chief digital officer, says, “We think great advertising can do a whole lot for a brand, but remarkable products are the best ads.” “Sometimes we feel like the best way […]

Find Your Way To Tolerance And Other Wonderful Places

Today, we must ask ourselves what is the difference between content and a commercial? Some say that content is everything, thus the innards or makings of a commercial. Though technically that is true, I don’t define content that way. In a marketing context, content is the long-form narrative thread that customers connect with because it […]

Facebook Doesn’t Want You To Be Lonely In The Vast, Dark Universe

This is a cardinal rule: DO NOT DEVELOP AN AGENCY STYLE. This is a cardinal rule because look and feel, a.k.a. style, belongs to the brand, not to the agency. Somewhere along the way, Wieden + Kennedy, one of the world’s few great big agencies, forgot about the cardinal rule. How do I know this? […]

Is Your Agency Model “Perfect” For A Complex Age?

I had the good fortune to meet Faris Yakob at MIT in 2007. We were there to hear from Henry Jenkins and company on transmedia storytelling, and other developments at the edge. Today, Yakob works as Chief Innovation Officer for MDC Partners and New York agency KBS+. Here he is sharing some cogent thoughts on […]

Advertising Is A Business Full of Generalists, Specialists, And Listlessness

One time, I mocked up a few ads for a client presentation because I knew where the line breaks looked best in the headlines for maximum effect. My CD (an Art Director by trade) did a few as well. When the client preferred my comps more than the typographically-challenged Creative Director’s comps, the CD said […]

We’re Shaped By Our Environments, And So Is “The Work”

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Agencies are often known not just for their work, but for their design-centric office spaces. Given that agencies advise clients on how best to live and breathe their brand, it’s important for agencies to lead the way. In other words, “judging a book by its cover” is part of the brand identity game. According to […]