The Sky Isn't Falling! The Sky Isn't Falling!
"The agency model is not going to bend—it's going to break," Brad Jakeman warned attendees at the Association of National Advertisers' Masters of Marketing event in Orlando. "This is a disruption that has happened around us, and we are still talking about 30-second television ads. We fundamentally haven't changed." (Adweek)
I tweeted this article with the headline, The Sky is Falling. The Sky is Falling. But that doesn’t seem sufficient comment on the essential silliness of the comments. Jakeman calls for a moratorium on the words “agency” and “advertising.” Hmmm. Surely that will do the trick.
But, if it doesn’t, perhaps it’s because it’s not because Advertising has been disrupted. Something both larger and seismically different has gone BOOM! in the night. There’s been a revolution in relevance – and soft drinks are on the wrong side of the culture’s barricades.
The 30-second spot is dead? Perhaps, but the 15 is alive and well: We have no farther to look than the magnificent GE advertising. Whether it’s the “My Mom works at GE” campaign, the “Ideas Come Into the World Ugly” work or the newer “I Got a Job at GE” spots. This advertising is far from dead. It’s alive and well and exciting and doing what it’s supposed to do: Awareness, Affection, Preference.
What I suspect Jakeman is bemoaning is the loss of effectiveness in junk food and soft drink advertising. Calling it something else or not mentioning it won’t fix the issue. The culture has moved on. Advertising still works quite nicely for products and services people care about. Witness the amazing multi-channel campaign for something as prosaic as Weather Tech car mats. Not high concept gorgeous work: Yeoman tv, print, radio and web. But I’m very doubtful it would run if it weren’t selling. (Things that obsess me late at night: How many cars are there out there? Don’t they all have laser-measured, made in America mats by now?) Call advertising something else, it will still sell when it's about something we care about and shared with us in a way we'll pay attention to, just the way trying to convince a 15-year-old that Pepsi is cool won’t.