Most agency jobs will be 'transformed' by automation by 2030, Forrester predicts
In last week’s Agency Brief, you learned you were all burned out. But no worries: You’re being automated out of a job anyway.
That’s one potential takeaway of a new report of 2020 predictions—not penned by Marcel, but the respected analyst group Forrester. Under the headline “upgrade or fade,” Forrester analyst Jay Pattisall writes: “As the industry pursues seamless operations and more commercial impact, we expect agencies to finally disassemble what remains of their outmoded model and reassemble centralized structures and new capabilities strengthened by scaled data, technology, and creativity.” Specifically, Pattisall finds that by 2030, artificial intelligence and automation will “transform” 80 percent of industry jobs and that the shift will begin next year.
That sure sounds a lot like unemployment, but Forrester says not to fret. "Our research shows that 80 percent of all jobs will be impacted (transformed) by the inclusion of automation by 2030," says a spokeswoman. "Automation will enhance the agency workforce, not replace it. We’re very much advocating for humans + machines."
So what's exactly being transformed? “Expect creative leaders of global creative agencies to drop the data dissonance and incorporate data-driven, tech-fueled approaches and platforms into the creative process and toolkit,” writes Pattisall, noting that ad tech will pick up a lot of the creative slack. Among his other predictions: Media holding companies will centralize operations and 66 percent of in-house agencies at marketers will control “substantial portions” of their paid media budget.
And you thought Halloween was scary.
There is one bright spot: Forrester finds independents are in good shape. “Expect progressive independents and midsize agencies to leverage in-house production capabilities, networks of creators, and dynamic creative engines to begin building the capacity to develop hundreds of assets that yield thousands of dynamically built creative iterations,” the report says.
Here’s to the Independents
Toronto’s Zulu Alpha Kilo, which has done delightful video takedowns of industry headaches like RFPs and spec work is at it again, this time going after publicly held holding companies and big consultancies. The new video, titled “Here’s to the Independents,” was shown at the Agency of the Year competition, an annual awards show hosted by Strategy, Canada’s largest trade publication. Called “Billy’s Lemonade,” the video is a hilarious tale of a little boy whose lemonade stand was bought out at an eight-times multiple by a big New York holding company, which, among other things, reduces the size of his cups, substitutes lemon powder for lemons and forces him to fire his little sister and hire freelancers because she “doesn’t add value.” At one point, a frustrated holding company executive in the video calls Billy “a whiny little shit.” Now where have we heard that before?
And more independents
Fiercely independent The Richards Group, and founder Stan Richards, now 86, are celebrating the fifth anniversary of The Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations at the University of Texas at Austin. In January 2021, the school will open “The Lab,” (pictured above) which a press release says “will be part of the mandatory curriculum, and the curriculum will be part of the lab. This experiential learning structure will enable more hands-on experience in all areas of brand communications.” Says Stan in the release: “It’s a place where students can get a feel for what agency life can be like, and how rewarding it can be. I don’t mean monetarily—I mean emotionally." Richards Group, of course, is most famed for creating the “I’ll leave the light on” campaign for Motel 6 and the Chick-fil-A cows. When the latter account dropped the agency in 2016 after 22 years, Stan showed some of that emotion and how deeply connected he is to his clients. "It's not very often that a campaign this successful results in an agency being fired. I don't know that there's much precedence for it," he told Ad Age in an interview at the time. "It is a little hard to understand, and in many ways it's the saddest occurrence in my long, professional life."
Some healthy wins
Smith Brothers in Pittsburgh is taking on nutritional supplement company Nutraceutical, and will design websites for 10 of its brands including Dynamic Health, Heritage Store and Life-flo. It’s also fielding advertising and marketing programs for Nutraceutical’s Soloray, a brand which has 900 products in its portfolio. Deloitte’s Heat has been tapped to do a rebrand of Gateway Health, which provides managed care to some 325,000 Medicare and Medicaid patients. Avrett Free Ginsberg has won Prevacid 24HR, a proton pump inhibitor marketed by Perrigo.
Jeremy Hodges was named to VP and executive creative director at Jack Morton Worldwide, where he will be responsible for several key accounts including MillerCoors leading experiential, sports, music and entertainment marketing campaigns brands for Miller Lite and Coors Light, among other brands. He is based in Chicago.
New York experiential agency We’re Magnetic brought on Tim Hutchins as managing director, Emil Filip Czarnowski as group creative director and Courtney Balzer as group business director. The shop counts among its clients American Express, Netflix, Pinterest and Shopify.
Culver City, California’s Zambezi is fattening up its analytics department with four new hires: Katrina Moore-Weiss, media director; Kailey Campos as senior media planner; and Anika Kokatay and Kaitlyn Cheung as assistant media planners.
AEG Global Partnerships says that Nickole Raymond Tara, a former TopGolf executive, is joining as senior VP-global portfolio, working with its properties including the Staples Center, LA Kings and Coachella.
Rogers & Cowan/PMK has named Craig Greiwe, chief strategy and transformation officer. The company says in a press release that the move reflects the shop’s evolution from a PR and media relations firm into a fully integrated marketing and communications agency.
Indianapolis-based creative agency Young & Laramore has tapped Henrik Persson as digital strategist from Dynamit in Columbus, Ohio, where he held the same title. The agency has also named Zac Neulieb to associate creative director from senior art director. He works on agency clients including Speedway, American Standard, Upland Brewing Co. and Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet.