Sunday, April 06, 2014

Has The Next Step In The Evolution Of Our Industry Begun?

The accepted wisdom is that you need to observe at least three examples of a phenomenon to start calling it a trend.

But what the hell, I'm calling it on two.

First, a quick refresher on what's wrong with our industry:

Clients now have separate agencies for social, search, analytics, CRM, media, digital, and above-the-line creative. The Agencies are frustrated because, with only a small piece of the pie each, we're not making enough money. And the Clients are frustrated because they're not getting joined-up thinking.

The change I see happening - and feel free to call me Captain Obvious - is that things need to come together. And you know what? I think it's started.

The first example, and it's a hugely significant one, is that British Airways have just awarded their entire account - ATL, digital, social, CRM - to BBH.

I predict this will be a massive success for both parties.

BA will reap the benefits of fully-integrated thinking. (They will no doubt achieve a cost saving too, having dispensed with multiple agencies).

And BBH benefits from economies of scale. What could potentially have been several separate businesses are now one business... all sharing the same HR, finance team, reception, security guards, CEO, catering, the people that come in to water the plants, parties, and office rent.

Example two: Cummins & Partners in Melbourne.
This shop does everything, including - crucially - media.

To quote from their website: "We want all parts of the communications process working as one. Collaborating. No silos, no divisions, no off-shoots, no multiple business cards, no holding companies holding disparate entities together. We’re a media company that’s creative. A creative agency that produces content."
And their work's pretty good. Simple, entertaining ideas like this one for Woodstock Bourbon, and of course, I Bought A Jeep. If you don't like that campaign, just remember that civilians have uploaded multiple parodies of it onto YouTube. It has cut through. This is an agency that knows what it's doing, and is doing it well. And if you don't agree with that verdict... ask yourself why they were named AdNews agency of the year.

So in short, the future is going to look a lot like the past. Like some kind of malignant amoeba, advertising divided itself into multiple cells, but they're now all coming back together. Which has to be a good thing, right?


Mike said...

When you're right you can be obvious :)

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with you my man (for once :))


Unknown said...

It strikes me as rather obvious that everything should be under one roof. It just makes sense, so why did they separate agencies in the first place? Specialisation?

Scamp said...

Daniel - yes, I think it was specialisation.

Happens all the time. A company comes along and says "As a specialist, I can do that little piece much better for you." And they may be right. But before long, the whole picture lies in pieces...

? said...

gunning for a job at cr?

Scamp said...

Nah. Very happy where I am. I do like their model though. Everyone is saying "media and creative ought to be more joined-up." These guys have put them together.

My thoughts exactly said...

My thoughts exactly.

Adam F said...

Cheers Simon - and yes I agree back to the past (joining things up), but with some strong inputs from the now and the future.

Tony Simms said...

The industry has been bundling & unbundling for decades. It started unraveling with the ATL & BTL split & morphing again once digital was accepted. As the tools in the toolkit increased, the more fragmented it became. It is now impossible to have a conversation with an agency without them claiming to be marketing content or big data experts! Reality: it more costly to use & harder manage a multitude of agency partners when the size of the spend does not increase proportionately. The ugly scrapping for smaller and smaller slices of the marketing spend helps nobody. Continuity with an agency partner with multiple skills is far easier. Just hire more people with a depth of me!

Sell! Sell! said...

Agreed Scampy.

Anonymous said...

I don't think he was deriding social / digital, more deriding the fact that just because it's social it doesn't mean it will sell.

Have done a few very successful 'social' campaign, unfortunately, the were campaigns with a great idea that just happened to live in social – with the ATL backup.

Here's to the days where a derivative print ad doesn't stand up to scrutiny. You need to engage people, no matter the platform.

Interestingly enough, Old Spice's campaign 'the man your man could smell like' was a TV campaign. It just happened to live in social, purely because it was worth sharing.