Brandweek is running a bit of a scare piece on a new crop of companies offering à la carte marketing services.
Companies like Spot Runner, PayPerPost, PayPerClip, Current TV, BrightCove, BrandWizard, Google’s AdSense for radio and newspapers, and, yes, YouTube, now offer cheap, fast, online commercial creation, media placement and public relations services without the need for a traditional full-service agency. And they come at a fraction of the cost of Madison Avenue. Call it the commodification of creativity.
The article points out that it’s not merely firms with limited means that are looking for new sources. Major clients are already experimenting with nonagency commercials. Alka-Seltzer, Frito-Lay, the NFL and Chevrolet have all commissioned spots created by amateurs to run on Super Bowl day, for instance.
So, should agency types be shaking in their Kenneth Cole boots? Not just yet. These firms are not the new Craigslist–the company blamed for upsetting the newspaper industry’s classified advertising cart. While there may be certain areas of the agency business that can be commodified, creativity derived from strategic insight isn’t one of them.