Monday, October 06, 2008

Credit Crunch and Advertising: My Predictions (For What They're Worth)

In the weeks since I last wrote a post on this blog, I’ve been extremely busy at work and the West’s economy appears to have imploded. (I tend to think the two are unrelated, although I did have to refuse to take calls from Gordon Brown a couple of times).

It leads me to the question of which creative agencies are likely to ride out the fiscal apocalypse and which are likely to die on their arse. I now work at an integrated agency, Rapp (freshly rebranded from WAVV Rapp Collins), which used to specialise in direct response advertising and direct mail (DM). An increasing proportion of our work is now digital, which is why Simon (my Art Director) and myself are here.

It seems to me that, in tough market conditions, clients are going to demand real results in terms of sales, rather than brand-building. This means a shift from TV to DM and online.

I’m therefore betting my family’s financial welfare on RAPP being able to survive because it’s experienced in producing work that makes a measurable difference to revenue.

This mean getting the audience strategy right - targeting the right consumers with apposite messages in the right places - is as important as brilliant creative. For online agencies this means less ‘experience’ websites that win awards and more exploitation of distributed content, social media and, of course, search.

I also tend to think that network agencies will lose TV work to smaller, leaner agencies – including those that used to be thought of as digital. Having seen how big agencies operate with TV budgets, I can see how clients would cry out for slimmed down production. It’s possible to make great ads without having to pay for art buyers, big-name directors, a shoot attended by 15 account flunkeys on Blackberries, and crippling post-production costs.

It’ll be interesting to see whether I’m right in my predictions, based as they are on second-hand opinions and biased observation. Not just as an academic exercise - if I’ve got it wrong, I’m probably fucked!


Steve said...

I'm sticking with blocked toilets. People will always need their lavvies unblocking. Where there's much there's brass and all that... ;-)

Steve said...

That should have been "muck" not "much". Glad I'm not a copywriter...

Steve said...

You've been tagged, matey! ;-)