Filed under: Comment
Advertising is a wonderfully powerful and influential discipline.
It can make amazing things happen.
It can engage, involve and change the actions, behaviours and opinions of millions of people all at the same time.
But the thing is, advertising’s effectiveness can only truly be evaluated when it appreciates and involves a whole host of other disciplines … from sales and distribution through to retail and product development.
Now this is nothing new – nothing new at all – but I still am shocked and appalled how few people in adland accept that, let alone appreciate it.
I cannot tell you how many meetings I’ve been in over the years where adfolk have talked as if they – and they alone – can change the World by the power of what they do.
It might be a bit better if they were at least open to other disciplines within the advertising community, but no.
You get direct marketing people who think all a client needs is direct marketing.
Digital people who think all a client needs is digital.
Creative people who think all a client needs is a beautiful 30″ ad and double page spread. Shot in Paris.
Media people who think all a client needs is a good media plan – which more often than not, is as similar looking to the media plans they used to churn out before digital was even a twinkle in the eye of Microsoft, let alone Google.
But frankly, that is not good enough.
Advertising’s power comes when it works WITH – not against – other specialities and many of those are outside of traditional marketing channels.
Understanding the role distribution has on a result is often ignored or arrogantly dismissed.
Appreciating how sales teams need to ‘sell in’ to retailers is too often regarded as ‘not their issue’.
Looking at how people buy – let alone when – is viewed as ‘below the line’ stuff.
Rubbish … rubbish … rubbish.
Apart from the fact these should be basic pillars of the process, the creative opportunity that stems from understanding and respecting these people/disciplines/circumstances and situations is unbelievable.
When we had cynic, we had some of the best case studies an agency could ever wish for … stuff that showed our commercial effectiveness through imaginative approaches … and literally, 80% of these had nothing to do with a traditional ads whatsoever.
We used to love ending our pitch by saying,
“Lot’s of agencies claim they solve business problems with a media neutral approach, but we think we are the only ones that can consistently prove it”.
And it worked. A lot.
At least with the clients who weren’t tied to traditional approaches because their remuneration model could only accept that.
[This ‘pitch’ changed when we started Sunshine and the wonderful Lee @ Virgin said, “media neutral is still media, I want things more independent than that”. Top point]
Look, it’s not just adlands fault, there are – amazingly – many marketers who either ignore the needs of their wider corporation or take so many of their points on, that they can’t offer a clear and consise objective for the goal that is required … however given adland is struggling to maintain it’s value and relevance, blindly ignoring the factors that can literally help us be successful [and more importantly, prove it] seems sheer utter madness.
Then again, it could be because when things go right, adland hates to share the credit and is only programmed to ever share the blame.
So many people talk about wanting opportunities and challenges that really push their creative intelligence and skills and then expect them to be handed to them on a plate.
That doesn’t happen … you have to go and find it and create it … which is why the sooner we realise the benefits of appreciating, understanding and collaborating with people and skill sets that go beyond the closed-off bubble of adland, the sooner we might get back to where we belong.
31 Comments so far
Leave a comment