Since the arrival of the great disruptor, my dear friend the Internet, agencies have adopted living in a constant state of passive fear.
Many of these agencies prefer to live in that passive state rather than doing something about it.
It’s just weird. It keeps feeding that addiction to anxiety agencies seem to have.
Anyway, who is the enemy? The complacent attitude, the lack of hiring of people of different skills other than art director, copywriter, planning, or account executives? The fact that any person not fitting these skills are relegated to a dark corner of the agency? The fact that creatives are not encouraged to be makers and are instead only asked to think ideas that will end up being made by a third party? The fact that big tech and consulting groups are taking away our business?
Probably all of the above. But, to me who we should fear are companies that are known as production companies. I am thinking about the Media Monks, Unit9, or The Mill of the world. These companies have an amazing advantage over us, traditional agencies.
They have digital in their DNA.
They have welcome skill diversity.
They are natural makers and are experts at building experiences.
When reading this chart I understood that production companies have us by the balls, they could and will at one point remove us from the equation.
So, what should we do? I believe that creatives need to go beyond the use of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Account executives need to deeply understand all available touchpoints. Planners should immerse themselves in digital pop culture. Media should be brought back and not seen as an external business model. And, producers and project managers should be treated as a vital cast within the agency.
Some time at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, I thought that Facebook should give away their Oculus Quest to anyone who wanted one. I mean, this is like the perfect storm to massively introduce VR as a new way to interact with each other.
A couple of days ago Facebook launched their answer to the video hangout explosion caused by the pandemic. And today, on my morning visit to the platform, I noticed that lots of my “friends” were showing off their new avatars. This seemed strange, why introduce something that seems already kind of old within the tech trends?
Then it clicked.
Facebook is preparing us to start migrating part of our life to the virtual world.
I want to believe that our industry will become more empathic or human. For example, yesterday, seeing the #GraduateTogether event, made me realize that TV as a medium has already changed. It now allows new forms of visual narrative, it is now expected to be consumed pretty much anywhere, user participation is expected, and it is also self-made.
I also welcome the other more sarcastic side of things. The voice that has seen a lot and been through a lot, allowing it to smell the bull shit.
I guess that reading Bob Hoffman does that it keeps me real. Not fall into some sort of over idealistic ad man messiah preaching the end of advertising.
But, I still want to believe, think that someday we will have more natural mellow ways to connect a brand or product with a person.
I always wondered why people in advertising where such assholes. Why ego was one of the main enemies of being nice and collaboration.
But not all are ad people are made from the same mold. Thank God there is another variant to the whole advertising diva school of behavior and thought. People that share, the converse, and that truly seem to care about the future of the industry.
It has been 30 some days since I’ve left my house to go anywhere.
Today, the world had this generation’s Live Aid. This one called: One World Together. As everything now, it all happened on the Internet.
Most of the shots were taken using an iPhone. Each artist or celebrity transmitting from where ever they are passing the COVID pandemic. I really enjoyed hopping from home to home. It felt like I was part of one big tribe connecting or vibing together.
While watching this new media experience, connected to another screen, I bumped into a small Instagram post. Small but so powerful! Made by the Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris.
It made me think of hoping that that one of the positive outcomes of these extraordinary circumstances is that the electronic tribal connection we found stays with us from now on.