Directory 19 - Editor’s Introduction

Issue 19 | June 2011



It ain’t easy, editing Directory.

Just choosing which section to put a campaign into has become a thorny matter in recent times.

These days, ideas work best when they hunt in packs.

They may start off in one medium, but when they get people following them from media to media, they become more engaging, more motivating and more likely to generate response.

Take The Zimbabwean campaign from TBWA\Hunt Lascaris on p. xx

The task here was to get pictures of a brutalised people in front of free South Africans. So the idea started in outdoor but it had its real meaning online. This was where visitors could become donors.

The same with mail, it’s no longer a stand-alone medium.

Reaching a million for the cost of a packet

Take the mailing to LeBron James from Leo Burnett Chicago on pages xx - xx. One letter to one man but intended to generate PR online and offline because its ultimate audience was every supporter of the Chicago Bulls.

Then on pages xx-xx there’s BBH’s mailing to opinion-formers about AMREF’s Facebook initiative. It was designed to reach tens of thousands of people though it was only mailed to a few dozen.

All media are connected these days as mapping the customer journey becomes ever more sophisticated not to mention ever more complex. That’s because customers often carry the opportunity to engage with them in their pockets or bags.

To reflect this new order, we have a new section in Directory from pages xx - xx: Mobile.

Incredible phone numbers

To date, more than 10 billion apps have been downloaded to cell-phones around the world and the rate is accelerating.

In this issue we feature some of the many interesting apps we have seen for both the mobile phone and the iPad as well as offering thought-pieces from two creatives who are actively involved in designing for mobiles, on page xx.

Wunderman New York’s Land Rover campaign, designed specifically for The Daily shows just what is possible with these new media platforms. I think the most amazing statistic of them all is the fact that 200,000 people watched all 45 hours of the content available to view through the app.

Using TV to get that sort of eyeball time would have cost, conservatively, around $100 million.

Or check out the Campbell’s iAd on pages xx – xx. This generated 53 million media impressions.

Those are gobsmacking numbers especially when you think of them in the context of how relatively inexpensive the campaign would have been.

Converging ideas submerging agencies

The other thing that intrigues me about the Land Rover campaign is that it required the full co-operation of ‘above-the-line’ Y&R with ‘below-the-line’ Wunderman. Neither agency could have done it without the other.

Will we see further examples of media convergence leading to agency integration as well?

In many parts of the world Arc Worldwide has been subsumed into Leo Burnett and RMG has disappeared back into JWT.  Will Proximity fold back into BBDO one-day?

We have some great work from BBDO New York in Digital on pages xx - xx, my personal favourite being the AT&T campaign ‘Plead your Case’.

This could easily have come from a Proximity agency if there happened to be a Proximity in the USA, which there isn’t. The fact is, BBDO New York is as capable of a targeted direct campaign as it is of a mass-media broadcast event.

This is good news for clients.

1 brand with 504 agencies

Managing agency relationships is a massive problem for most marketing-driven organisations because it isn’t just messy but darned expensive.

One marketer told me that one of her global brands has four major agencies on its roster but, at a local level, nearly 500 digital shops.

Managing the four big boys is hard enough because they are constantly at each other’s throats, fighting for a greater slice of the pie and the income that comes with it.

But if having different agencies pursuing different agendas at a global level makes it difficult to get the idea to roll out consistently and effectively, at a local level there is carnage.

Managers declare UDI and create their own unique campaigns which are not just at odds with what the centre is trying to do, but which add 000’s to the overall spend.

Meanwhile, the network agency chiefs are struggling with inflexible targets and diminishing margins. Result, when they meet their senior clients what they want to talk about is money. What their clients want to talk about is everything else.

Man on the move

Richard Pinder, who wrote a thoughtful piece about how agencies are becoming Consumer Electronics businesses in Directory 18, resigned from Publicis in April after five years running the whole company.

Big job, big bucks. Why would he want to quit? Well, it is said that he got fed up with “managing inventory” and simply wanted to get back to doing what he came into the business to do in the first place. Help clients grow their businesses through intelligent and inventive communications.

Finding one group of people who can manage ideas across all categories and across all territories at a fair cost is the holy grail.

There have been plenty of attempts at this. WPP’s Blue Hive for Ford is one f’rinstance, a team pulled together from across all WPP’s many agencies.

Nevertheless, the situation remains a Mexican stand-off. Clients think they are paying too much for too little and agencies bemoan the timesheet culture which has turned creativity into a commodity.

The model will change. It’s just a case of how. And when. And, indeed, who.

Patrick Collister


Pett House, June 2011.

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