Friday, July 06, 2012

disbelieving is hard work

So, last week I gave a short talk for AIMIA to the assembled agency digerati, at KPMG's auditorium up in Melbourne CBD. The theme of the morning was 'Digital Agencies of The Future'. Here's a synopsis of the key points I hoped to communicate.

2012 was a record year for Australian Agencies at Cannes.
59 Lions were awarded in total, that's up from circa 40 or so last year and about 45 the year before (also the previous record).

Interestingly, Australian agencies recieved precisely Zero Lions in either the Cyber (what a ridiculous name for a category btw) or Mobile categories.

There's two ways to look at these statistics.
Either we as a nation are useless at digital advertising.
Single channel executions are a thing of a bygone age, and it's only integrated campaigns and activities that actually matter, anyway.

I'm on the side of the latter.


Among the many Australian integrated efforts that did well, GPY&R's Mobile Medic which picked up Lions in 3 different categories, Naked's fantastic 'Steal Banksy' effort which took out a Gold in PR and even CumminsRoss's Agassi films pulled a Bronze in brand ed content, NONE OF THESE THINGS WERE CREATED BY DIGITAL AGENCIES.

Next I showed a lovely picture of a chicken and avocado sandwich.

'Digital agencies, this is your lunch'.

The bad news is that the advertising agencies are coming to eat it.

In their delusion the BDAs think they can do what you do, digital agencies.
They can't.

BUT they are better at convincing the clients that they can, than you can.
And that's your problem.


As far as the big ad agencies, the media agencies and - most worryingly for the digital community - clients are concerned...

Digital = production.
Digital equals = making what you are told to by the big boys.

Brothers and sisters, you are in the ghetto.
This ghetto is a creation of your own minds, and if you don't get out of it soon I fear for the future of your agencies.

'Once you have accepted a theory and used it as a tool in your thinking, it is extraordinarily difficult to notice its flaws. If you come upon an observation that does not seem to fit the model, you assume that there must be a perfectly good explanation that you are somehow missing. You give the theory the benefit of the doubt, trusting the community of experts who have accepted it.'

'In mixed gambles, where both a gain and a loss are possible, loss aversion causes extremely risk-averse choices.

(Both quotes via Daniel Kahneman)

Of course, it appears a mixed gamble.

But according to McKinsey, this year...
- 67% of digital agencies think they have strong strategic capability
- 16% of their clients agree

That should be frightening.
What are you going to do about it?

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