“I think technology is going to wreak havoc on the agency business.”
So says Robert Greenberg, the President of R/GA in New York City, in this lengthy profile in today’s New York Times.
It has become fashionable, and maybe largely accurate, to look at advertising of the last several decades as an opiate to help brainwash Americans into becoming avid, mindless shoppers. Mr. Greenberg’s new equation offers a brighter insight: Technology has put consumers in the driver’s seat by giving them a vast array of new choices and better information — and corporations and agencies that want to succeed had better get on board.
This new dawn in consumer power is consoling, perhaps, but a nagging existential devil remains. Does all of the spinning and coaxing that surrounds America’s love affair with buying and selling — our carnival of consumption — really matter? Does it make us better people?
Well, yes, Mr. Greenberg says, it does.
“It’s not just that the interactivity and creativity is about commercials, TV and advertising,” he replies. “The development that comes out of it all is about how people interact and communicate. It’s about how they learn.”
Greenberg himself may be all about new media, but still, when you get 2 pages in the Sunday New York Times, you’ve made it to the big time. The article is a good read.