Friday, January 6, 2012

Why creativity doesn't fit into the media agency formula!

YES! It´s my first blog post in 2012 (Happy New Year btw.) I sure hope it attracts a lot of clicks, although my blogging gets more and more infrequent. Back in the days I would check Google Analytics stats every second hour. I lost the statistics game. Damn!

Let me start out by saying. I've got a media agency background. My thoughts come from conversations with people in or out of the media business - and not solely from my working experience. I loved working in the media industry (still part of it somehow) and most people are really skilled and awesome. I don´t hope people see this post as a: “You aren`t working on the media agency side anymore and now you can just shoot with shit “(can you say that?). But often it is easier to understand things when you are not in it.

I think it´s an interesting topic only because people (and client´s) need to understand the complex world of media agencies and why creativity never will be performed to perfection. 

Another fact: I don't know all media agencies and how they work with creativity, but I have seen some output.

No more assumptions. I promise!

Creativity = stick out

I love creativity. It can be many things. It´s complex. For me it`s that unexpected and daring solution/thought/thing that gets more attention. All types of agencies want to be creative. Why: Because you get paid for it (if the client is fair), it can make you stick out from the crowd, plus it is what most clients ask for.

4 reasons why media agency creativity is limited

1. Client structure is safe. You aren't pushed to deliver the best work for your clients every fucking time (and many clients demand it). Client structure is safe in the way that you got longer agreements. And most agencies are part of bigger networks. That “stay hungry” culture is non-existing.

2. Innovation is not at the heart of the culture. It's administration. Success is about minimizing time spent on the client. It means: You seek out for the easy solution to a client´s problem. Creativity is time consuming and takes a lot of energy.

3. Integration is king and integration is a barrier to success. A successful media agency campaign is an integrated 360 campaign. Why: you bring more departments into play = internal success. I think ideas get too constructed that way and the genuine part disappears.

4. Media agencies are distanced from the media (of natural reasons, I know). That's why media owners have overtaken media agencies in terms of creativity. They are able to test ideas and are closer to the making of the creative solutions. Of course digital is better suited for it. On the other hand one can say that media owner’s don´t have a close client relationship making creativity too far from the strategy.

What to do?

Is this actually a problem? The fact is that the one´s paying for the party (read: client´s) think so.

I think there are two aspects to consider.

One is: Media agencies could consider rethinking their business and skip the creative focus.  If you are not chasing it 100% you will never manage it at perfection and then there´s no reason in doing it. Competition is hard and in the long run you don´t win by trying to do everything. That´s positioning. Focus could be even more on effectiveness.

Another aspect is the client. They also got a responsibility in this formula. Don´t demand creativity from all the agencies you work with. Figure out what agencies are best at what and make them perform that.

Does that make any sense or am I talking complete nonsense? I´m passing the ball to you guys out there.

Posted via email from christianfhermansen's posterous

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