Invite Yourself To The Client’s Private Party

Adrian Ho at Zeus Jones is reflecting on leading firms like Google that “don’t really use advertising agencies and instead rely upon innovative business ideas to communicate their benefits and values to their customers.”
Ho also mentions Alex Bogusky’s 2004 claim that “everything is an ad” and wonders how ad people are coping with that news.

Rather than creating “communications objects” that help to grow a client’s business, agencies who champion the idea that “everything is an ad” should instead be helping to magnify and extend the communication and marketing effects of the client’s own business objects. This is a pretty unpopular perspective in creative and production departments because it means that you start with the client’s idea rather than starting with something created from scratch. Perhaps this is is why most agencies aren’t advocating it.

I don’t know that it’s a “not created here” battle. I think 99.9% of us are busy working to sell the communications plans and executions we’re paid by our clients to create. Jumping into this new pool where “innovative business ideas” are king, is a bit scary and many of us likely question whether we belong in this pool.
What do you think, is product development (to give one example) an area where ad people belong?
[via Brian Morrissey]



About David Burn

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.