Throwing Mass Marketing To The Wind

The New York Times is reporting on adveritsing’s Brave New World–a place where French holding company, Publicis, intends to play a major role.
Their goal is to transform advertising from mass messages and 30-second commercials that people chat about around the water cooler into personalized messages for each potential customer.
In the United States, some companies are already running about 4,000 versions of an ad for a single brand, whereas 10 years ago they might have run three to five versions. The number of iterations will grow as technology improves.
David W. Kenny, the chairman and chief executive of Digitas, indicates greater production capacity is needed to fulfill this demand. Publicis executives see sources of low-cost labor from a Digitas subsidiary called Prodigious, a digital production unit that works with all agencies in the Publicis Groupe, as central to their plan. Prodigious already uses workers in Costa Rica and Ukraine to produce copious footage for companies like G.M.
Mark Beeching, executive vice president and worldwide chief creative officer of Digitas says, “The more you can standardize and automate in terms of making different versions, hallelujah. That money should be spent creating more content.”

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. I saw this too David. And while it looks really cool, I’m not sure how effective it’s going to be.
    As I wrote in “The Real Digital Revolution” ( I think that when people are in “purchase mode” on the net, there are so many impartial review sites/price comparison sites, etc. out there that ads really aren’t going to influence people.
    The best an ad can do is get someone to consider researching your product. Which, if your product is good, should be enough, but we will have to reset client expectations of what the ultimate benefit will be.