Monday, October 30, 2006

New Agency Models.

Advertising is not what it used to be. Media is changing, seemingly by the second and the consumer is evolving and becoming more complicated. Ads are popping up everywhere, and sometimes we might not even be able to recognize them as ads at all. With the culture of the world developing in so many new directions, traditional advertising agencies are faced with a decision: how does one evolve an agency to fit the future of the industry?

“While the incoming tide of consumer control and wave after wave of media fragmentation have left many large broadcast-dependent ad agencies looking slothful, defensive and ill-suited to marketer’s needs, a new generation of shops proves change can be opportunity” (Bloom). What Jonah Bloom discusses in his article is what is considered to be a movement contrasting the industry “sloths,” which are unofficially they “JWT’s” and “Grey’s” of the world. This movement is led by smaller agencies such as Amalgamated, Anomaly, Mother, Nitro, StrawberryFrog, Kaplan Thaler Group and TAXI. Each of these “hot start-ups” have sprung up and have held off from defining themselves with what Bloom refers to as a “meaningless brand statement.” In addition, these agencies have a small number of employees and are creatively driven, but they manage massive accounts that range from Coke, Miller and McDonald’s to Unilever, Verizon and Masterfoods (Bloom). The following is a spot done by TAXI for Viagra. TAXI is small, innovative and fresh, but are they a model to adopt for the future?

Any ideas on what the agency of the future looks like? Small and creative? Brand-centric? I have a few that I'll look at coming up, but I want to know what you think.

Here is the link to the Bloom Article:

Friday, October 27, 2006

We are that Kid

We are that kid: the fat kid never picked for kickball; the kid with glasses and braces always pegged first in dodge ball; the one snubbed from the weekend parties because Mom still drives us on Friday nights.

But occasionally, and with some unknown brush with luck, those that normally ostracize us, invite us in. We are able to sneak in a joke or two that makes them laugh and for a brief moment we are their friend. We are invited into their homes, introduced to other friends, and deemed the popular kid at the party.

Ads that are not ads seem to be the current method for breaking out of the hated kid association. BBH’s “Tea Partay” and Taxi’s “Busted” lives through E-WOM. Along with masses of people, I’ve emailed out the links and logged on to YouTube to share the humor with friends. Not once has someone interrupted their laughter with a, “Wait a minute, was that an ad?”

So how do we learn that, how do we teach that, or did the advertising stars simply align for a short moment in time (similar to that of a Disney movie) and the results are a humorous spot, that’s not really a spot.

Enters - Chaos 2006: New Agendas in Advertising
We want to be liked, we want to be the popular kid, so we’re gonna talk about it. In a nutshell, some really important people leading the industry, some highly regarded members of The University of Texas faculty, and some advertising students are having a get together of sorts, some people call it a conference.

November 17th & 18th, you should come and maybe you’ll learn the secret to being the popular kid.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Is Media the New Creative?

In a recent article I read, the author said that "media is no longer a stepchild of creative. In fact, media is almost part of the creative function." The article goes on to discuss the fact that media people are now having to try and tackle this evolving market and come up with new ways for placement. The medium is just as important to the idea as this fragmented media world explodes.

But which came first, the chicken or the egg?

A lot of people think that media is, in fact, the new creative. I disagree. I think media is becoming creative, and I think it is as important as creative, but it is not going to replace creative. It can't.

At R/GA, there was a guy who flew a plasma screen in a balloon over Central Park and people could text messages to a number and have the message appear on the screen. That kicks ass.

But the creative people still play a vital role in creating floating balloon messages. A media person might think of a cool place to put a message, but what is the message going to be? That is where they work together. Not to say that creatives can't invent new media and others can't come up with creative messages. Scott Goodson says that "the borders are coming down on ideas." I believe this whole heartedly, and that means that ideas will be coming from everywhere. That is why agencies must continue to evolve in order to succeed (I'll probably make a post about this later on).

How the message is displayed is more important now than ever before, and inventing new ways to display it is the trend. But that doesn't mean that the idea is any less important.

Media may be newly creative, but it is not the new creative.

More to come on this subject November 17-18 in Austin, TX at the Conference. Come hear what the rockstars of the industry have to say about it.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

New Agendas in Advertising.

This is the the first of many posts regarding the conference that will be held in Austin, TX this coming November 17 and 18, sponsored by The University of Texas and GSD&M. What is this conference all about? Well, that's an interesting question. We've been discussing and building this conference for months now, and we have some insanely awesome speakers, amazing venues and an incredible agenda. What I myself havent done often enough, though, is take a step back and try and think about what this conference is really about.

To me, we are talking about the future, which is really yesterday. Advertising has so many new faces it's hard to recognize it anymore. That funny video on YouTube you saw the other day from an email forward might have been created by an agency looking to promote a product without making an ad. Gotcha!

Many people talk about advertising boiling down to a simple human truth, sparking emotion in the consumer. Well, the consumer is smarter, and he can do things on his own. So can she. So how do we reach them? We need to think of new ways to evolve these emerging media (a new medium for communication was just invented. And another one. And another one, etc) so that we can reach the consumers and make them feel as if they are a part of a something. Nobody wants to watch an ad, but do people mind experiencing one?

So we have new media, and smarter consumers. Another emerging trend in the industry is advertising education. How do we teach future industry people the industry? How do we teach ourselves? With things evolving daily, it has become impossible to figure out what to teach and how to teach it. Things I learned yesterday may be dated already. Still, we are working hard to evolve our learning and doing a good job of it, I think. Case in point: this conference.

It will be educational and inspirational. We will have men like Keith Reinhard, Bob Garfield and Joseph Jaffe talking about this, along with new, emerging industry stars. You don't want to miss it.

P.S. more new media was just invented.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Ads: Dove Real Beauty

Here's a very thought-provoking and amazing Dove TV spot from Ogilvy Toronto and Reginald Pike.

I first saw this on adrants where the following questions are raised.

"Is this [photoshopping people into models for ads and magazines] wrong? Are we devaluing the appreciation of human beings by turning them into beautiful but freakishly unreal versions of themselves? Do we as an industry owe it to society to stop perpetuating the myth of beauty and its seeming importance over every other human attribute? The answers are unclear and likely answerable only in a fashion similar to that of abortion: individually and with respect to a person's individual situation. We, of course, are not, by far, the only industry that does this. Fashion and Hollywood play their part as well..."

Upon hearing that I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Advertising, people sometimes bring up materialism, societal values, and ethics with me (by the way, it seems like very few people have heard of the adcouncil). I've heard varying viewpoints about whether advertising is powerful enough to impact society. On one hand, I've heard a professor say it isn't powerful enough; On the other hand, I've read about advertising agencies whose sole purpose is to mess with society, to change the status quo if you will.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Ads: Nissan 4x4

Credit: TBWA/Paris

Also, on ihaveanidea, there's an interview with the Erik Vervoegen, the ECD of TBWA Paris. He has some very interesting answers. It seems like the French advertising culture is very different than the good old U S of A.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Chaos 2006 Future of Advertising Conference at UT-Austin

You Must Go.


DAY 1 - Friday, November 17

Welcome: Neal M. Burns, University of Texas at Austin, Conference Chair

"It's all about the story. It always was."
Introduction: Mark Yudof, Chancellor, The University of Texas System
Keynote: Keith Reinhard, CEO Emeritus, DDB World Wide and President, Business for Diplomatic Action

If, as research continues to show, customers are leaving newspapers, TV sets and magazines behind and turning instead to handheld mobile devices for the latest news, football scores, weather info, viewing of favorite shows and access to bookmarked blogs and webcasts - advertisers are probably not too far behind. Keith Reinhard brings a lifetime of experience including campaigns that defined eras and the vision needed for creating a world-wide creative service organization. His guidance for agencies of the 21st century builds upon his past - know your client's business and understand their customers.

DAY 2 -Saturday, November 18

New Media: What is New, What is Not
Allen Rosenshine, Chairman, BBDO Worldwide, New York
Panel Presentation 1

Getting The Big Idea Right. Fast!

The demands of current practice - from dealing with competitive tactical moves to the need to find comfort with media neutral decisions - call for faster ways to get to ideas and solutions, prioritize them, build consensus and set a strategy. Equally important is the addition and acceptance of qualitative information collected in new ways by agencies, advertisers and the academic community. Presentations and discussion by leaders in the field will describe new methods.

Panel Moderator:
J.W. Pennebaker, University of Texas at Austin
Roy Spence and Joseph Jaffe, GSD&M, Austin
Oscar Jamhouri, Integration-IMC, Nicosia and Singapore
Jonathan Carson, Nielsen Buzzmetrics, NYC

Lunch Presentation
"Education During a Time of Revolution"
Introduction: Roy Spence, Founding Partner, GSD&M, Austin
Keynote: Bob Garfield, Columnist, Advertising Age/Co-Host NPR's On the Media

Advertising education and practice were developed during times of long-term stability, where the lessons of yesterday had some applicability to today and tomorrow. The lessons of the past � and even current best practices � may not contain the answers we need now. And even if its not a full blown revolution, things are changing awfully fast. What will clients� expect? How will agencies respond? And what do we teach during this time of change? Bob continues the voyage initiated by his column and radio show and the threats to and concerns about sustaining the practice of advertising in this new cultural and technological milieu.

Panel Presentation 2

"Consumer Content and Ad Agency and Client Response"

Word-of-mouth (whose power we always knew) and then E-WOM began to clearly reduce the value of print and electronic media. Search engines gave way to personal websites that morphed to message boards, blogs and podcasts - overlaid by rss technology and a number of technical issues poorly understood by anyone over 40. Add to that a complex discussion of digital displays and the decline of up-front buys and newspaper ad inches. Consumers have redefined relevance - some think they have taken over and will soon give up; others think the change is here to stay - and apart from contests asking them to give us their best ad - most of us seem bereft. The differences between the last century and this time are profound and have spawned new and successful agency models. It's time to talk.

Panel Moderator:
Erik Hauser, Founder and President, Swivel Media, San Francisco
Panel Participants:
Cynthia Currence, American Cancer Society, Atlanta
Steve Hardwick, President and Managing Partner, Strawberry Frog
Joel Greenberg, GSD&M, Austin
Karl Spangenberg, ATT, New York
Todd "Turbo"Watson, IBM

Panel Presentation 3

Media Meltdown - Metrics, Models, and Margins

These, and other "M" terms will be reviewed along with a full list of the issues that are on the table.

It's about the ratings, the up front buys, and all the other changes facing media executives on both sides of the negotiating table. Presenting new achievements and challenges in the complex media environment that has developed is the theme of this panel. Several of those changing the face of media planning compose this exciting new group of advertising thinkers.

Panel Moderator:
Terry Daugherty, University of Texas at Austin
Panel Participants:
Frank Mulhern, Northwestern University, Evanston
Oscar Jamhouri, Integration-IMC, Nicosia and Singapore
Kate Niederhoffer, Nielsen Buzzmetrics, NYC
Maury Giles, GSD&M, Austin
Gary Stein, Ammo Marketing, San Francisco

Panel Presentation 4

The Tales We Tell. The Songs We Sing

The industry dictates creativity as king. And now a growing concern on effectiveness and ROI. Is it still about stories . . . Stories that are compelling and relevant? We need to understand the current culture that promotes consumer-generated content as well as brand building. How? Educators and industry experts will bring forth a lively discussion on the subject of teaching creativity, strategy and building plots.

Panel Moderator:
Nick Law, EVP, Chief Creative Officer, N.A., R/GA, New York
Panel Participants:
Sergio Alcocer, Latin Works, Austin
Sean Thompson, University of Texas at Austin
Mick McCabe, Leo Burnett, Chicago
Anne Benvenuto, R/GA
Jae Goodman, San Francisco
Tom Gabriel, Gabriel De Groot, Minneapolis

Panel Presentation 5

The Advertising Industry and Advertising Education: Bridging The Chasm

Why do these two parts of the equation seem so wide apart in terms of substantial involvement and significant financial support? Compared to traditional business and professional practice disciplines - law, medicine, engineering, physics - advertising departments throughout the country rarely receive the support from their industry colleagues needed for growth and well targeted instruction. The number of advertising and PR professorships established by industry can be counted on one hand and the efforts of Universities to bring industry experts to their campus for a semester of interaction and improved understanding are rare - if occurring at all. This large panel of educators and industry leaders explores why - candidly and without finger-pointing. Promise.

Panel Moderator:
Keith Reinhard, DDB World Wide, NYC
Panel Participants:
Stan Richards, TRG, Dallas
Janet Bustin, TracyLocke, Dallas
Steve Hardwick, Strawberry Frog, NYC
Tom Gabriel, Gabriel, de Grood, Bendt, Minneapolis
Manny Flores, Latin Works, Austin
Joseph Plummer, ARF / Columbia University, NYC
Roy Spence, GSD&M, Austin
McGhee Williams Osse. Burrell, Chicago

Andy Roddick vs. Pong

This is pretty cool and fun.
Credit: Ogilvy & Mather NY

Friday, October 13, 2006

Dieste Harmel & Partners

Dieste Harmel & Partners took a Gold, a Silver and a Bronze today at the New York Festival, taking home the most medals of any US Hispanic shop. The awards were for their work for Budweiser and for ED Bosques Clinic, a treatment center for eating disorders in Mexico.

TV commercials can be downloaded here from Mack's Adverb blog.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

It's that time of the "every two years"

Here are some interesting sites/campaigns to check out

Sean Thompson showed us in our Art Director's seminar.

Adfreak also linked to Slate a site that offers critiques and dissection of political ads.

PBS has a cool site/project about the :30 candidate that gives more background on political ads of the past.

And just because there hasn't been enough Bush-bashing, hosted a political advertising contest called Bush in 30 seconds. The Top 150 ads are now on the website.

Monday, October 02, 2006

An easy and cheap way to target kids

I was browsing the Target website just now and I saw that they carry a board game called Adverteasing. My first thought was what a great way to sell to all ages of consumers!

I wonder if there was any current client placement by agencies in the game. BBDO could've paid for Cingular: raising the bar, CP+B could've paid for Burger King: Have it your way, or DDB could've paid for Budweiser: True.

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