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Great ideas matter more than fast ideas

October 23, 2008

There’s a recent article in Ad Age that talks about the ANA meeting where CMOs vented their frustration with ad agencies over their responsiveness and the increasing opportunity they believe exists with media companies.

“Agencies and ad networks came in for some rough treatment at a CMO
roundtable during the Association of National Advertisers’ annual
conference on Saturday as executives vented their dissatisfaction with
agency models and ad-network performance.


The chief marketing officers of Hewlett-Packard and Charles Schwab
openly mulled the attractiveness of bypassing agencies to work directly
with media companies and other experiments as they look to fix an
agency model they see as broken.”

In my view there’s some truth to the argument that agencies are somewhat tied to a time intensive process that has to change, but in terms of thinking and ideas, I don’t believe media companies can replace agencies.

The reality today is that great ideas matter way more than fast ideas.

Creativity is needed more than ever.

The reason for this is the massive increase in the volume of micro-interactions (emails, Tweets, Facebook updates, viral videos, channel surfing, radio surfing,etc…). I am not going to suggest we are reaching “Information Overload”, or that we are suffering from “Future Shock”, because I believe in our ability to adapt and manage. However, it’s a simple fact that the more stuff you have the harder it’s going to be to remember it and just “being there” in a media sense, I believe is no longer sufficient to generate interest, recall and to persuade.

This isn’t about just showing up in a media, it’s about placing a brilliant idea in media that is contextually right and relevant.

Brilliance has become a mandatory, because without it, there’s no way your brand is going to be recalled or make an impact, it will simply be just another message that’s ignored and goes in the trash, most of our email.

It’s likely the CMOs in the article are merely reflecting back the pressure they are under and things taking time to get to market can add to that. However, the ad industry employs some of the smartest, brightest idea creators around and if clients aren’t demanding and using that brilliance, they are missing something that’s essential in today’s tough times.

Posted by Ed Cotton

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