Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Let's Stop Reacting, Let's Start Planning

One thing that regularly pisses me off about adland and marketingworld is the amount of corporate and hyped up posturing that goes on. Adcontrarian pointed it out nicely in S&S's new video. [Note - The video itself is nicely done but suggests that we are all fixated with what we used to do rather than what we should do. A few slow thinkers aside we are Ad Agencies, not 'Passive Ad Agencies']

As an industry we are so good at overreacting with changes in the short term, and crawlingly slow at changing in the long term. Every week an agency says they have a new way, the future of advertising, the new media outlook, the end of advertising, or some bollocks idea they rushed out to get headlines and only sounds half decent because they got their best copywriter to word it over their weekend.

It's like Gordon Brown promoting changes in the Labour Party by talking about David Cameron being the next Prime Minister. It is a futile and embarassing ironic attempt to avoid being seen as backward by declaring yourself archaic.

Either that or it is over the top hype mongering in the name of specialism. "TV is dead" say the digital specialists. "[insert tech idea] is the future" say unknown tech firm hoping to cash in. It's the upper market equivalent of SEO spambots. "Get to number one in google now!" 'Well, if you are that good why aren't you number 1 in google for 'SEO', and why are you spamming me??'

Let's not even get on to agencies proudly declaring their 'creative led' attitude that turns out to mean the creative is first in line for the axe when something goes wrong.

I get the feeling that there are agencies out there still so rattled by missing the initial influx of digital change that they are desperate to arrive first at the next big cultural shift. They seem happy to be wrong 400 times to be right once, which is never a good style for adland. "Oh yes, we know our last campaign was totally misguided but cloud sourced augmented reality truly is the new iPad app".

This industry is full to bursting with intelligent, charismatic, forward thinking people. We need to make use of them, develop properly instead of hyping up every new thought to an inch of credibility because we don't want to look like we are being left behind while other agencies float off in their hype bubble.

Let's stop reacting, let's start planning.

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