The Death Of The Creative Agency

By November 30, 2015Strategy

The film industry’s portrayal of Mad Men, a character born on Madison Avenue and an icon since the 1960s, is a dying concept.  There is a massive shift happening in the marketing and advertising world today that is going to leave many behemoths lost.

The traditional business model of a creative agency is dying.  The idea of coming up with a “campaign” or “slogan” in a room without testing it and measuring the results is no longer the ideal marketing route.  With the rise of digital comes the ability to pivot and change on the fly. With that big ideas and creative ideas lose their value.

We have entered an era where testing and measuring are done in real time. In addition, either are found to perform proficiently or not in a matter of days or weeks.  As an agency, we may test 50 creative ideas to see which appeals the most and the fastest at the time.  Then, two weeks later, we start testing new ideas again.

There are pluses and minuses to this.  There is still room for beautifully and creatively done TV ads and specific concepts, but, companies having a perfectly orchestrated campaign will no longer make sense.

Take Geico as an example.  You would still discover and utilize language like, “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.”  The difference is, through testing, we may have found that saying, “20 minutes” or “10%” performs better.  What is much less likely to happen is the creation of the Gecko.  Mascots and figures like this are losing their power and viability in a digital world.  In a TV campaign it can still work, but with the unbundling and changes going on in that market, it won’t be long before the ads reflect these digital changes.

The best thing to do is to have creative brainstorming but understand you do not have to stick with one idea anymore.  Come up with a bunch, then go test and let your audience tell you what sells them.

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