Do media agencies need to hire creative people?

July 25, 2007 at 9:28 am 37 comments

left-brain-right-brain.jpg

Praveen (MindShare, Bangalore) writes:

As the monopoly of the 30 sec TV ad is fast diminishing, marketers are increasingly using the Media “Long Tail’ to build their brands (“the long tail” is a phrase coined by Chris Anderson; used in the context of media to show that the demand for new/niche media is larger than the demand for mass media). Media agencies are perfectly placed to take advantage of this phenomenon, and prove their worth as the primary brand custodians in this age of new media. However, how well placed are they to be able to convert this into reality ?

The steady influx of strategic planners into media agencies is certainly a start. But unless the creative people enter the fray, they would still be lagging behind. When it comes to creatively and innovatively integrating the brand and its message in media, be it on TV, Internet or ambient, a large dose of ‘right-brains’ is really the need of the hour – a skill which the number-oriented media planners and buyers are not really proficient in. An experienced creative director would thus make all the difference in the final product presented to the client. Only then will media agencies finally make the ‘big switch’ to becoming true ‘communication agencies’.

So, does this mean full service agencies will have come a full circle ? No, because unlike before the time when the creative-media split happened, here it is the media which will drive the communication strategy with the creative being a follow-on product.

What do you feel ?

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Entry filed under: media general, trends.

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37 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Charles Frith  |  July 25, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    Rory Sutherland of O&M asked a brilliant question not so long back. What if creatives spent the media budget?

    http://interactivemarketingtrends.blogspot.com/2007/06/what-if-creatives-spent-media-budget.html

    Reply
  • 2. Rory Sutherland  |  July 25, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    And here I am….

    I still stick to my basic assertion that a creative-led, subjective approach to media would *sometimes* be more effective than the current numerical, commoditised approach. My contention being that, when the basic premise is wrong (as it is with most audience definitions), all the spreadsheet calculations in the world don’t advance your thinking by one inch.

    But then you and I both know that clients do not depend on these calculations to gain competitive advantage or to maximise the effectiveness of their spend – but for a far more important reason: to cover their own arses, while pointing out to procurement that this year’s heap of crap was bought 0.217% cheaper than last year’s heap of crap. Heaven forbid that someone actually take a decision based on their own subjective judgment.

    Reply
  • 3. David P  |  July 27, 2007 at 4:38 am

    I was under the impression that “the creatives” had always controlled media budgets. This was clearly the case in the bad old days of full service. Today’s better media agency channel planners have no shortage of right brain skills and are every bit as innovative as people in the old-school agencies who have “creative” somewhere on their business cards.

    Meanwhile, using their left brains (they have both, a rarity in the communications industry), these planners are not saving clients “0.217%” but a hundred times more in some cases. That is a source of real sustainable competitive advantage, valued highly in 87.355% of advertisers’ boardrooms.

    These savings allow advertisers an opportunity to look beyond traditional media owners, which are too often in the business of selling declining audiences for increasing prices. The smarter planners and their clients are using their savings to finance adventures in emerging media that will ultimately rebuild their brands’ relationships with the public. Even the world’s largest and most conventional advertisers “get” it.

    Where this breaks down is that too few communications planners get to talk with creative teams about how to spend the budgets that have been created. We all know that teamwork is the best solution. But the lack of discussion should come as no great surprise.

    Some planners are surrounded already by creative thinkers, content specialists and digital gurus in their host agency. So they are less likely to take their ideas “outside”. Others tire of navigating their way through walls of agency suits to get to the creative team, or learn that some agencies prefer to suppress ideas that are “not invented here”. Tragically, some agencies have allowed their scope of work to become so narrow that there is nobody left to talk with.

    It may surprise ad agency colleagues to hear that media agencies are passionate about driving the move away from the 30″ spot, and that real progress is being made. We just asked our staff how optimistic they felt about succeeding in the new, uncertain communications landscape, given that our CEO has predicted more change in the next 25 months than we experienced in the preceding 25 years. Their confidence level was more than 90%. That’s an awesome degree of self-belief.

    Praveen’s question has already been answered. Media agencies are hiring creatives – but we don’t call them art directors or copywriters – and optimists who welcome change. The world’s largest advertisers have reversed the order in which we work, so that we first decide to whom we will talk and where the conversation will take place, before deciding on how our side of the conversation will flow. As a result, marketers are beginning to find their alternatives to 30″ spots.

    Reply
  • 4. shruti datta  |  July 27, 2007 at 10:23 am

    Being just a “Number Jockey” is so passe ! Guess one has to be a “creative number jockey” today to add that extra something to a plan.
    Creative Directors are good but relying on an extrenal factor for getting that edge maybe a myophic view.As it is creative agencies are now vying for media spaces and have produced excellent media works.What with O&M increasingly getting so many awards over conventional media agencies at award forums!
    .Maybe the need of the hour is to look at utilising our fresh “BYT’s”( Bright young talent) and moulding them in a cast of “Creative media Planning”.Maybe creativity should be given equal weightage along with the ability to juggle with numbers in our profession.A 50:50 mix of the left and the right brain .

    Reply
  • 5. Subhamay  |  July 27, 2007 at 11:20 am

    So called independant media agencies in India are not too old. Still 7 to 8 years back, media was a sort of backstage function behind creative and servicing. With the time changes, we have witnessed independant media agencies. First, we became “Media Agency” to “Media Servicing Agency” (taking the additional responsibility of a client servicing guy). Then the gradual shift happen in last couple of years as industry realized the importance of fresh ideas in media strategy to catch hold of fragmented audience. We are now in the space called “Media Creative Servicing Agency”.

    Reply
  • 6. Sheila Byfield  |  July 27, 2007 at 11:46 am

    Has everyone forgotten those bad old days when media was part of the full-service culture? It was the creatives and media folk who often worked best (and drank often) together and quite another group that makes me, for one, feel good about not being there anymore.

    Reply
  • 7. Ganesan Munuswamy  |  July 27, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    If one doesn’t realise it yet, we’re already thinking creatively and have people in our system (here I’m not only referring to the SU’s) who are capable of thinking creatively – it’s just that the thoughts are restricted – as, in most cases, media strategies are derived from creative strategies.

    The danger is that the clients may, in future, drastically reduce the creative agencies’ fee, and not increase or marginally increase the media agencies’.

    Reply
  • 8. Charles Frith  |  July 27, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    Lots of talk about media here and nobody acknowledging a single other person. Like they are lone voices shouting into darkened caves. No wonder the professional media people are scrabbling for ideas and creativity. Its a conversation. Talk to each other folks.

    Thanks for dropping by Rory 😉

    Reply
  • 9. Ming-Li Tan (MindShare Singapore)  |  July 28, 2007 at 4:21 am

    I think David Ogilvy would flip in his grave when he hears of media agency hiring creative people :O)) But I also think that it’s important to have creative people in media agencies.

    If you give a media person a 50:50 communications brief, using only red and blue colours, they will draw a picture that looks like the original MindShare logo in 1997 where you have 50% red on one side, and another 50% blue on the other side. However, if you hire a creative person and give the same 50:50 communications brief, using these 2 colours as well, the image will turn out in purple, just like MindShare’s current logo. So, the key question is, “Who created the purple logo for MindShare?” and that will help answer the question, “Do media agencies need to hire creative people?”

    Actually, I think creative people should hire media people at a premium rate to get the media gurus back into their ad agency. They desperately need media people more and more, and this was already predicted, if you have read the final chapter of the book, “Ogilvy on Advertising”.

    Ogilvy predicted 13 changes in the advertising business, although he was never a futurist. He predicted the internet taking over television and radio even before 1983, and he also predicted that “the quality of research will improve, and this will generate a bigger corpus of knowledge as to what works and what doesn’t. Creative people will learn to exploit this knowledge, thereby improving their strike rate at the cash register.”

    You can almost see him now jumping in heaven, telling God, “You see, whatever I had written in the final chapter of my book is coming true now! Just like Your Book on Revelation! ”

    Yes, we can all hear David talking to God…

    Reply
  • 10. Praveen  |  July 28, 2007 at 7:50 am

    Charles, I’d put that down to inexperienced blogging and my absence over the last couple of days to facilitate this interaction, rather than media operating in silos 🙂

    Thanks to everyone for getting into this debate and putting forward your points of view.

    In the due course of time, and it may be sooner than we think given the pace at which new technology / media is happening, both ad and media agencies will (have to) evolve into communication agencies. And therefore, Rory, I firmly believe that communication planning involving an integration of science and art will have a better chance of succeeding and succeeding big, rather than a shot in the dark approach that creatives would take in the event of media budgets being handed over to them.

    Shruti, yes, your point is very valid – this should be a welcome consideration in the hiring process. However, most of our brains are skewed one-way or the other, and a creative specialist would bring in a quantum change rather than the incremental steps media agencies would take in his / her absence.

    Reply
  • 11. Aneesh Mohan  |  July 30, 2007 at 4:32 am

    Yups we do.. we need to move out from the typical and conventional numbers approach and try and get a lil creative.. This was seen at this years’ EMVIES Awards. Ogilvy Live walked away with so many golds.. which ideally speaking should have been ours.. Every brand manager wants his brand to be noticed.. This has to be done breaking the clutter.. This is possible when we use the scientific approach and a lil bit of creative thoughts too..
    One of the most recent examples that I can recollect was the VETA campaign implemented by MindShare Chennai team.. It was conventional media with a lot of creative touch.. The results – it was noticed breaking the clutter!!!

    Reply
  • 12. shruti datta  |  July 30, 2007 at 6:16 am

    If most of us are indeed skewed one way or the other shouldn’t we be looking at analysing people already in our system ,checking whether they are left or right brains
    and utilizing them for the functions they were conditioned by birth or life’s experiences?
    Wouldn’t it be interesting to give a same set of problem to the left and right brained and seeing how each of them process a problem?And then the output of the left brain and right brain
    should be added up to get the full brain.Two halves makes a whole.Isn’t it?
    The middle brained should be given the role of combining the outputs of the right and left brains and sorting out the unwanted analytics of the left and over creativity of the
    right brained?
    What about having a “International Mindshare strategy” for approaching every Media plan, similar to a gaming strategy that gives you the edge over competition?

    Found this interesting quiz on the web that will help you analyse if you have a
    strong left brain or right brain or are you the middle brained.Check it out 🙂
    http://content.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3629#quiz

    Reply
  • 13. Karl Cluck  |  July 30, 2007 at 9:53 am

    Should media agencies hire creative people?

    As giant conglomerates (like our beloved WPP) grow increasingly fragmented and unwieldy, adding more and more “specialist” units to squeeze more and more pennies out of already “over agencied” clients – it’s not surprising that the question should come up. But instead of creating a model that’s responsive to our client’s needs, we throw money at the issue. Ad agencies hire media people, media agencies hire “creative” people – and the oxygen in the room gets thinner and thinner as the bloviating gets louder and louder.

    Our entire business model and service structure is due for a re-think. Glib solutions like “let the creatives do the media plan!” or “media agencies should hire creatives!” are both naïve and retrograde.

    If we’re really due for a “big switch” because we’re at the “tipping point” of moving to the “long tail” because “the world is flat”– shouldn’t we be looking for bigger ideas than this?

    Meanwhile, what “creative” would want to work in a media agency? Ogilvy has much nicer offices. Plus, we’re just a bunch of soulless bean counters anyway, right Rory?

    Reply
  • 14. Mark Heap  |  July 31, 2007 at 2:27 am

    I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry. This thread implies that people can be discretely classified as left brain or right brain. Creative or logical. “Should we hire creative people?” We do. All companies do. It’s the company culture and the work we ask our staff to deliver which either nurtures or slowly strangles creativity.
    I agree with Karl that it’s naive to expect either ‘solution’ proposed here to work well. Take a brilliant ‘media’ planner and drop them into a creative agency and guess how long it will be before their ‘brilliance’ turns into speculation as they lack the rigor and data to back up their ideas. Similarly, hire a couple of creative teams and plonk them into the corporate call centre environment of Big4 Media Agency and watch their creativity die.
    David P’s point about collaboration is surely true, but strangely elusive. I’m still not sure why everyone needs to solve this alone.
    If we are to solve it alone, then I think the only answer is to have a major re-think. The first question we’d need to answer is ‘what sort of company do we see ourselves becoming?’ Think forward 5 or 10 years. What sort of people do we hire, work do we do, environments do we work in? Can that be consistent with our corporate financial goals? If so, then work backwards and plot how to get there.
    Unfortunately, I think we are too swayed by the QRFs to be able to truly look at this as a long term corporate strategy discussion. What we’ll probably end up doing is ‘hiring a few creatives’ and seeing little change. Meanwhile, the likes of Ogilvy, BBH, Nitro, etc will have a huge opportunity to dominate for many clients because, like it or not, they are closer to the client’s business and respected more as the ‘thinkers’ by the client than the media agencies currently are.
    Time will tell….

    Reply
  • 15. Mark Heap  |  July 31, 2007 at 2:31 am

    Sorry to lower the tone, but am I the only one who thinks that the cartoon at the top looks like it’s depicting a swingers party?

    Reply
  • 16. David P  |  July 31, 2007 at 4:45 am

    Hi, Sheila.

    Sadly people like us who are old enough to remember the days of UK full-service agencies are a rarity these days. How many London creative directors or MDs of media agencies have ever worked in a true full-service environment? Soon that will be the case in Asia also.

    It is easy to exaggerate the creativity of those days. Frankly, “creativity” was a narrow preoccupation with finding new ways to fill old spaces – 30″ TV slots, billboards and so on. With the possible exception of the Yellowhammer/David Bailey “Dumb Animals” work for Greenpeace , and Ricky Villa’s goal in the 1981 FA Cup Final , I see a higher degree of creativity in Asia today than I did in the UK 20 years ago.

    The hard truth is perhaps that media and creative disciplines went through a painful divorce a few years ago. On balance, it was a good thing: it propelled media thinking to a level that no full-service agency ever got close to. The benefit to advertisers has been phenomenal. And it pressed creative agencies into focusing on the future of conventional advertising.

    This has been to the benefit of agencies such as MindShare and Ogilvy, which have risen to the challenge in their different ways. Others still have a rather bewildered look to them and are struggling to adjust.

    But talk of re-marriage is premature. The two divorcees are still engaged in a protracted, passive-aggressive tussle over who gets custody of the kids (communications planning, digital, content, activation, etc). Once that is settled in another generation or so, we may be able to try cohabiting again. But media agencies will want to see the pre-nup agreement first!

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  • 17. David P  |  July 31, 2007 at 4:49 am

    Mark – we’ll bow to your superior knowledge oin the subject of swingers’ parties. I didn’t realise you were old enough to have worked in London agencies in the eighties….

    Reply
  • 18. Charles Frith  |  July 31, 2007 at 4:42 pm

    Interestingly I was in a Global PD’s office yesterday talking about media and we both concurred that far too many media plans have millions of charts but boil down to TV, Press and an event.

    ..and Swingers parties were very much a 70’s phenomena Mark!

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  • 19. Sanchayeeta  |  August 2, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    Praveen, many thanks for generating these really useful conversations on the blog. They go to reiterate one key point – as we continue delivering creative media solutions (or whichever way one may wish to label them), it is important to not get carried away by the lure of creativity and forget to back up with hard consumer reality – something that media people do have an edge on.

    Reflecting back on the days of full service agencies (which continued in India beyond the 80s), I remember that the best creative guys were the ones with a ear to the ground.

    And am loving the swinging ‘aside’ comments that the posts are generating. Highly entertaining when one takes a break. Hope they continue. . .

    Reply
  • 20. Genelle Sharples  |  August 2, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    I just have to wade in on this one. As an “old bag” or perhaps, an “experienced bag” who has worked with writers and art directors for more years than not, I’d (selfishly) love to have creatives back with us.
    Not because they’re more creative than ‘media people’, mainly because they are just damned good fun to be around! They come in late, work late, have long lunches for inspiration, play up like 3 year olds when they’re tired and stressed and the rest of the time make good wholesome mischief around the place. And they often come up with great ideas in the process.
    I don’t think we have enough fun anymore. I spend a lot of time in our offices across the region and most times, if you closed your eyes and just listened, you’d think you’d walked into an accountancy firm (sorry Finance team) – it’s just too damn quiet! I miss the low-grade “buzz” of people in informal groups hanging around just shooting the breeze – talking part work, part social stuff, more importantly engaging in some type of exchange. I’m afraid we are all just too earnest these days…and earnest = boring. This is why creative people wouldn’t thrive inside a media agency.
    Advertising is not rocket science and we most definitely are not saving lives as we come to work each day.
    I chose advertising as a career because it looked like it would be more fun than anything else – so I say, BRING BACK FUN – make everyone in your office laugh today,walk around with a goofy smile on your face and most important of all: get off your butt and talk to people face-to-face in the office rather than send e-mails to team members who sit three feet away from you.
    It doesn’t matter whether the offices look fabulous or are cramped crappy spaces – it’s the people who are working in the space available that make the place FUN.
    PS at the risk of underlining my “experience”, read age; this is my first ever contribution to a blog – SICK!! (as my 16 yo god-son would say!)

    Reply
  • 21. Arjun  |  August 3, 2007 at 10:57 am

    I absolutely agree with Genelle on the having more fun, Sheila on the drink more often and Mark on the swinger parties. We should hire anyone who can contribute positively to one or all of the above.

    Reply
  • 22. Jaydeep  |  August 7, 2007 at 5:51 am

    Second Arjun’s point whole-heartedly…….in addition we need people who can make a point without PowerPoint, think without MS Word, have real friends outside of Facebook / MSN and enjoy Real Life more than Second Life……..Cheers

    Reply
  • 23. Yousuf Rangoonwala  |  August 31, 2007 at 5:51 am

    Hmm, well, I’m obviously like Rip Van Winkle on this subject considering it’s been over a month since the original post.

    Nevertheless, the issue being talked about has always sent my adrenaline shooting like space shuttles so I’ll lend my bit on this.

    First up, to me it really is surprising that we still debate over who should control the reins in the client’s boardroom.

    It’s like the media guys still have hereditary strands of revenge in them about what those creative bullies did to them back then… “Mama, look what happened!” and Mama said like in a melodramatic Hindi film, “I have been wronged son. Swear to me that you shall teach those rascals a lesson! How dare they try and establish that right is better than left!”

    Isn’t it plain simple? Today with the kind of delicate, sensitive fragility the marketing communication business rests on, the last thing we need is a tussle for who’s foot should be in first.

    For once, please try and look at it from how the client is looking at this. To her, it’s just a matter of who’s more beneficial to her in the context of her current reality. If it’s media, so be it. If it’s creative, cool too. She couldn’t care two hoots for who’s more concerned about her brand. In any case, if she wanted any of us to be more concerned than her, wouldn’t she be redundant?

    And aren’t we creating laughing stocks of ourselves when from meeting to meeting, we bitch about “Oh that media agency is crap” or “oh, those stupid creatives, they are just artists who need jobs”?

    Do you ever hear of manufacturer corporaations arguing over who should meeet the agency – it should be prrocurement! No, it should be marketing! Wait a minute, what about the sales department?

    Even if they do as if they are dying to meet some demi-god planner or creative, do they come out with it in the open?

    So the need of the hour is to combine forces and come up with the best solutions (media-led or creative-led) keeping in mind the two most important cardinals of our business – the customer and the brand.

    In fact, isn’t it ironic that when we say, “Oh, control is shifting from company to consumer” we are confused about who’s in control of our own business?

    And even if it is important to have one lead agency with “full service”, it’s a vicious cycle. Haven’t you read economics? It happens to every industry. Today, it might be media, tomorrow it will be creative. For all you know, one day it might be Account or even Production! Just that not everyone ends up making such a mess of this power transformation.

    Sorry for sounding preachy or evangelist but this silly 16-year old behaviour is not gonna help the fortunes of this once-wonderful business.

    Media or creative? Chicken or egg? Do we really want to spend the rest of our lives figuring this out or actually turn around this business?

    Flustered
    Yousuf

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  • 24. Jonathan Chadwick  |  August 31, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    Yousuf … well done for keeping the thread alive.

    I agree with Karl Cluck’s post that total reinvention is required.

    Agency reinvention has to be an output of the industry human resource crisis. Global talent shortage will be the major handbrake for the growth of our industry (and others).

    If Generation Y evolves into what is predicted then even the coolest agency with loads of rubber balls, yoga lessons and ‘crazy hat Fridays’ won’t be able to stimulate and retain staff. So there will be no argument about Media vs Creative if neither have any staff. We could hire monkeys and badgers but that would breed a more dangerous form of industry politics.

    We all know that in this day and age a gifted creative (be it a copywriter, media planner etc) with a pimped out laptop doesn’t need to be sitting on level 15 of an office building with structured lunch breaks, dress regulations and concerns over his/her desk tidiness.

    So why not develop a model to pre-empt the talent shortage and short attention spans that await us.

    A view on what that model might look like at the tail end of the big switch:
    • Agencies would be brand custodians, idea facilitators, quality controllers and executors.
    • The agency will be a streamlined version of today to deal with operating costs and an evolving outsource model as below.
    • The agency will take the form of an online house that takes and distributes briefs to Cells of Copywriters, Art Directors, Media Planners who aren’t housed in the agency.
    • These Cells will be creative thought leaders and won’t necessarily be pigeon-holed by function. They could be one or all of the above and would probably have a production capability.
    • Cells will be remunerated through commission on e-commerce transactions (downloads, online sales, etc) shared with the Agency. Put away your 360 appraisal, cash money will do the talking.
    • Agency facilitators will be the client face, tasked with articulating the ultimate brief and filtering the responses (including research).

    • any you can imagine the rest…

    The ultimate client pay-off will be access to the best creative minds, better ideas and ultimately better marketing communications. Not to mention a more sustainable human resource model.

    And from a personal viewpoint, I actually quite like the idea of working with some mates, cracking ideas, producing great work and getting a share of the cash when we nail a brilliant campaign. And all from the comforts of a clothing optional health retreat.

    Peace.
    Jon

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  • 25. James Chadwick  |  September 2, 2007 at 6:55 am

    Jon – great to hear your ‘voice’ still, even now that you’re on loan to Europe. Fascinated by your idea of a more virtual agency, operating in cells. Is that something that’s evolving now in Europe? In fact…any insights yet on how things are evolving differently in Europe vs Asia? Or perhaps too soon to say…

    Yousuf – once again you write with clarity and passion, and continue to provide us with an external voice of reason. But I’ve got to say, I think your Hiroshima analogy is bad taste, probably unintentionally, so I’ll suggest we remove it out of decency. You OK with that?

    Reply
  • 26. Yousuf Rangoonwala  |  September 5, 2007 at 8:31 am

    Sure sure, please go ahead James. And thanks for granting me the goodness of “unintentionally” – it was indeed so.

    Actually, the moment I clicked “submit” and re-read my post, I said “Oh oo” on the “It-That-Must-Not-Be-Mentioned-Again” bit.

    Anyways, Jonathan, thanks for taking this a level further and actually suggesting a solution – the practicality needs to be debated – instead of just ranting about how bad the situation is.

    I like your idea most because it kind of fosters a sense of something this industry apparently has an acute shortage of — unity and genuine service integration; the most resentfully pretentious expression of which we see through redundant advertising associations whose only job is to organise drinks-on-the-house award ceremonies.

    In fact, this model of yours has already come into place amidst our trade partners – film production houses. Directors are not on payrolls but have their own service charges or commission based on what the production house charges agencies.

    And the directors are chosen either by requirement for a particular project or if the dude/dudette’s hotstufff then the agencies and clients themselves ask for him/her.

    Are they starving? Certainly not. But is it the way things were in the good ol’ days? Certainly not. Are we prepared to go down the same road?

    Alas, sigh, sigh… dunno… dunno… on first glance, it sounds like loss of respect, importance for our trade but then, the good ol’ days are so because they are ol’ rite? Or maybe they never were really good and ol’!

    Hopeful for the future
    Yousuf

    Reply
  • 27. New York Comms Planner  |  September 17, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    Like the blog James.

    We already are hiring them aren’t we, just more content orientated people rather than classic advertising creative types?

    However, there’s a broader challenge that ideas, whether we like it or not are moving closer to the centre of our thinking and media agency culture hasn’t traditionally been an ideas-led one. We can learn better idea generation techniques but classic ‘creatives’ are still generally better are having, crafting, selling and being accountable for ideas.

    Nevertheless, I think there’s a great opportunity for MindShare to define and own a new type of creativity that won’t require us hire a load of classic creative types.

    Most of our best clients are now looking for an idea that comes before classic creativity. Some call it a Marketing Idea, others a Comms Idea or Activation Idea, but what these kinds of ideas have in common and how they’re different from those produced by old school creativity, is that they’re informed by the right kind of channels to overcome the brand challenge as well as the brand DNA, consumer insights and so on. It’s not so much that they’re “driven” by media (shouldn’t ideas be driven by the challenge they’re trying to overcome?) but consideration of channels is more important than when creating a ‘Brand Story’ or so-called ‘Media Neutral Idea’.

    We’re already creating these new kinds of ideas for some of our clients here in the US and getting paid for it, irrespective of our role in executing them. If anyone would like to know more drop me a line.

    All the best,
    Malcolm

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  • 28. New York Comms Planner  |  September 17, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    Not sure about the praise for “Ogilvy on Advertising”.

    I’m sure it helped Gordon Comstock types write great long print copy sometime but it felt dated in 1997 when i read it and i’m not sure all those predictions came true; “billboards will be banned”, “tv ad clutter will be brought under control” etc.

    Don’t hold it against him though.

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  • 29. Ming-Li Tan  |  September 24, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    Wow! Today marks the beginning of the 3rd month posting of this hot topic that is still very much alive and infectious :O)))

    Reply
  • 30. John  |  October 4, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    Media folk have become the best creative accountants in the world – keep up the good work.

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  • 31. GroupM faceless bureaucrat  |  October 5, 2007 at 5:57 am

    Can you all please in GroupM get back to work, stop having some form of unproductive “fun on” these bloggos, try to turn around the Q3RF numbers and focus on your salary/freelance to revenue growth ratios for 2008.
    We don’t want creative people, they are too expensive, need offices and use up too many crayons , markers and felt tips.
    I am now going to offset the time it took to read and write this by working for an additional seven and half minutes over the weekend.
    Do you think we should institute an online offset policy so that all time spent on non productive online interweb nonsense can be gained back the The Firm ?

    Reply
  • 32. NearlyNormal  |  October 5, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    Wrong question, and painfully symptomatic of what ails all big agencies today. Without exception.

    These agencies need to grow up and stop pigeonholing their people into “Creative” or “Media”. Poke your head out of your cubicle to look around and you’ll find people who are excellent at both planning and creative ideation (production can be outsourced). I can do structural modeling and conjoints, but I can also use every Adobe tool out there and edit video with Avid while writing copy that has been used in newspapers and magazines, and speak to senior clients and conference audiences with persuasion. Am I truly special? Nope. People like me abound, but do not seem to get the right exposure in their agencies thanks to the kind of dated thinking that’s embedded in this entire tiresome thread and in the mickey mouse politics that gets played in almost every traditional agency group on the planet (including their ‘interactive’, or ‘interaction’, or ‘digital’, or ‘One’ chunks).

    The bigger question is: what will we as denizens of the advertising/media industry of yore do in the face of two bubbling trends:

    1. The rise of fledgling ubiquitous media properties such as Google and Yahoo. (‘Frienemies’ as Sir Sorell called them).

    2. The endeavor at several major clients to move conventional ‘agency functions’ in-house.

    The question of whether traditionally defined roles of ‘creative’ and ‘media’ need to cross-pollinate is actually not a question at all. It is inevitable, not an option. The real question is how each major agency group will actually approach the internal structural turf problems it faces, and let’s kid ourselves not: each agency group has its own choice peccadilloes to overcome.

    Reply
  • 33. New York Comms Planner  |  November 15, 2007 at 6:45 pm

    If Nearly Normal fancies a job in NY get in touch. We could do with someone to handle some analytics in the morning and kock out a nice video to sell an idea in the afternoon.

    I’m not sure though that clients moving stuff in house is so much of a threat. On the one hand i’ve always been amazed that any half decent client relied so heavily on agencies, especially for brand planning, but decent comms thinkers will always favor the variety and vitality of an agency over a grey office obove a warehouse in the arse-end of New Jersey.

    Reply
  • 34. Srinivasarao Nangunuri  |  December 16, 2007 at 8:28 am

    Right brain vs Left brain…

    Well no individual is right or left brain..

    There or loads of books on this topics. It all depends on ones ability to use it in rite proportion you cannot say right brained can only do this and vise versa.

    Einstein was not just left he was imaginative creative in his ideas!!

    Best we can say when it comes to work, let specialised ppl do their work for best results. If in need to use creative ppl employ one! Though one might have ability to use left and right.

    Speacialised ppl can do a better job.

    Reply
  • 35. Sergey  |  March 9, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    Dear ladies and gentlemen !
    I am glad to present you our best folklore ensembles of music, songs and dance of northern region of Russia. These professional creative collectives have conquered many countries and continents. To them clapped in Paris, Berlin, Peking, Rome and in many other cities. They are the visitcard of Russia on many international festivals. Because in a basis of their creativity lays the centuries-old Russian folklore multiplied on talents of its executors.
    If you wish to see our collectives on your holiday, festival or in any other cultural or commercial project we are ready to show you various and interesting programs of performances.The information on our site.
    http://www.zadorin.com

    Reply
  • 36. Ben  |  April 24, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    iyt ppl i just wanna say i suck da cock 🙂

    Reply
  • 37. Ben Hyson Mcan  |  April 24, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    I know where binlarden is hahahaha 😉 we make love everynyt

    Reply

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