There's a mini-meme a-brewing round the Droga5/Net 10 - what is the role of the agency? - ad-google-purchase - conundrum stirred up by Alan Wolk, elaborated on by Cam Beck, amongst others and mentioned here a couple of posts back.
To recap: Droga5 make cool viral and :30 for US mobile operator Net10. Net10 claim in ads that other providers are evil. Cursory googling of Net10 customer reviews reveals Net10 customer service etc to be pretty average at best in the eyes of users.
Many of the comments on Scamp (where the debate started) reckon agency make ads, duff products are nowt to do with us.
Alan says: 'too many agencies can’t even be bothered to use Google to see if the product actually lives up to the brief. Can’t be bothered to realize that for most non packaged-goods items, the consumer pattern is now ad -Google-purchase.'
Semi anonymous commenter bg adds:
'I think one group escapes blame here: brands. [Brands] are just as responsible for the fragmentation of advertising and marketing responsibilities as anyone...'
Mulling this around on the train home while listening to Elvis Costello's classic '89 album 'Spike' a lyrical couplet resonated somewhat.
'One day you're going to have to face
A deep dark truthful mirror
And it's going to tell you things that I still love
you too much to say'
Elvis Costello 'Deep dark truthful mirror'
We recently worked with [Brand X] on a project involving user generated content.
The project ended up being compromised a bit by the reluctance of the client to incorporate some of the (most basic) social elements to the project. The reason for this was; that some students had conducted experiments with [Brand X] product - the results cast a shadow on the integrity of some the the claims about the product.
[Brand X] then had to take a serious look at their product (and into the deep dark truthful mirror)and get it fixed.
Seems to me the same connundrum here.
Brands need to be aware that not only is the adage 'you're brand is not what you say it is, it's what google says it is' ringing true - its also what google potentially says it is once the eager pro-sumers have finished conducting their experiments.