We Need Good Ideas Not More Agency Layers

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NOELLE WEAVER: The term ‘creative integration’ seems to be popping up a lot these days. Much like the rest of the world, it seems our industry is experiencing a ‘convergence’ of our own. Media agencies are hiring strategists. PR agencies are hiring creatives. Interactive agencies are hiring media planners. Creative agencies are adding pr. I’ve been reading the news about Publicis’ new media consultancy Denuo and how they are combining their digital and creative groups. Not into one P&L, but into one area of the agency. And while I applaud Publicis for taking active steps to confront the issues of this brave new ad world, I can’t help but think that no matter where you sit, put in charge of TV ads you will create TV ads, put in charge of an online campaign you will create an online campaign. And so it goes. But who’s in charge of creating the brand-new-do-we-dare-be-the-first-to-try-this idea? And more importantly, by working in silos, will all these ideas strategically flow together? Or will they come across as one-offs where someone took the time to make sure the integration check-boxes were each filled? Do we have an online campaign? Yes! Do we have ample print? Yes! Have we thought about outdoor? Yes! Okay. Maybe I’m jaded and I’ve spent too many of my years watching the higher ups call in the media agency 3 days before the big pitch and shaking hands with the direct marketing team 15 minutes before the client is due to arrive. But is the solution adding more agency layers and titles? Or is it changing the very way we approach the problem? The agency that I work for is unique in that we sit down at the table with a mix of account, creative, interactive, pr, media, speechwriters, digerati and cultural hunters to brainstorm ideas. Titles, job functions and hierarchy are all put aside for an hour. From day one everyone sits at the table. Great ideas feed other great ideas. And in this day and age you never know where or from who a great idea will come from. Or where it will land. Shouldn’t all of us be focused on finding the best way to reach the consumer? [And not who comes up with the idea?]
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