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Ad Age misses the point of consumer control
Time put their finger on the pulse of this change when they said, "It's about the many wresting power from the few...and how that will not only change the world, but change the way the world changes."
In other words, "you" have the power, and society and its institutions must get ready for the changes that "you" will demand.
But Ad Age says, "The question for 2007 will be whether marketers and agencies find ways to harness that consumer-bred creativity...and deploy it to the service of brands."
In other words, big corporations and brands still have the power, they only let the consumer have the illusion they have the power. The marketer may not be able to give the consumer a creative brief and tell them what to do, but if they are wiley enough, they can still manipulate, cajole, fool, and bribe the consumer to do what they want.
I'll concede that you may be able to get a bunch of consumers to suck up to the brand for a couple of months to win the bragging right of having their commercial picked for the Superbowl. But what happens on February 5? There are a lot of other conversations out there about the brand -- praising, damning, complaining, and advising -- that won't be so easily whitewashed by a chance at short-term fame.
Ad Age has been seduced by the lure of the big YouTube pop, and is leading its readers astray with the mirage of viewership numbers that are as ephermeral as the next email.
The lesson Ad Age missed -- and that marketers should focus on -- is how to harness consumer-bred creativity and deploy it to the service of those consumers, by listening and learning what the consumer says makes for a great brand, then delivering it in real, differentiated, meaningful features and benefits.
The next great marketers will see the real benefits brands can gain in this consumer-controlled world: deriving superior consumer insight to drive sustainable competitive advantage.* They will shape the experience consumers have with the brand to the desires and needs that consumers now spontaneously and directly express. These brands will build a longer-term, stronger bond with consumers based on real value consumers receive, and give up the illusion that the slick sell can make up for the lack of real benefits.
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» Ad Age Celebrates The Consumer, Disses The Agency World from Being Peter Kim
Ad Age has named The Consumer as their 2006 (?) Agency of the Year. Kudos for sticking with the idea, even though the Time me-too criticism will undoubtedly follow. Jim Nail of Cymfony says Ad Age got it wrong. I think it's a matter of perspective - an... [Read More]
Tracked on Jan 8, 2007 5:42:44 AM
» Jaffe Juice reader of the Year: YOU! from Jaffe Juice
Jim Nail alerted me to his blog post this morning which is titled, Ad Age misses the point of consumer control He's referring to this week's Ad Age cover which pronounces the consumer as Agency of the Year and contends [Read More]
Tracked on Jan 8, 2007 9:15:39 AM
Somehow this also just feels like a cop out for Ad Age. Like they didn't want to do the diligence of identifying an agency that really embraced and could deliver on the marketing changes at hand. So they settled for the "easy" answer, which was not really an answer to the question. I actually sort of feel this way about Time's selection as well. But at least time's person of the year really was a person. Calling "you" an agency is a bit of a stretch even if they had gotten the spin right.
Posted by: Shar VanBoskirk | Jan 19, 2007 6:48:07 PM
That would have been a lot funnier had you been a bit dirtier :)
Posted by: Joseph Jaffe | Jan 15, 2007 10:09:55 PM
Actually, I have it on good info that the following is how this all went down:
It all started as a simple case of needing a new pick fast, given Walmart/Draft. A group of frazzled execs at Ad Age ideated in the face of the looming deadline to announce a winner.
"OK. Draft FCB is no longer an option...does anyone have an idea?"
Just then someone in the back of the room says "I know what we can do. Check it out: my friend works for this agency, and they have this monkey. The monkey does tricks for automobile ads and male performance products. They’ve got this new writer...brilliant writer...and way into the monkey. They do lot with the monkey...you know, the monkey’s got legs. So I talked to my friend and asked for some ideas. My friend got with the monkey and the writer. They pulled in a baby, too, just because you never know..and they thought about what to do.
They all ran around for a few minutes, got the monkey and the baby worked up, and then they stopped and said it was simple. "Look at what Time just did. You! Ad Age should do the same thing. Make your "Agency of Year" ... The Consumer! To introduce it, have the monkey run around the baby, throwing bananas at the camera. End it all with a close up on the baby at a cash register. The Consumer? Get it! Problem solved. Ta Da!"
The stunned execs stared wide-eyed and said "Wow! That’s brilliant! Who are you?"
Came the response "I’m an Aristocrat."
Who really knows...it could have happened.
Posted by: Dave Evans | Jan 11, 2007 12:21:37 PM
Right on, Jim! Ad Age has it all wrong, as do many companies who cling to outdated marketing concepts and models in a changed world. It's not about how consumers can serve brands. It's about how brands can serve consumers. And this is about providing the types of experiences that create and cultivate lasting relationships, dialogue, and Brand Advocacy.
Posted by: Rob Fuggetta | Jan 10, 2007 1:59:02 PM
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