Martin Sorrell Thinks An Algorithm Should Win A Lion

Martin Sorrell, never one to keep quiet on any topic, has issued a warning of sorts to those creating ads for TV and newspaper. Noting that digital now accounts for 36% of WPP revenues, Sorrell said of Cannes: "It would be nice to see algorithms win." He's got a point. So much of advertising today is based on the science behind getting the right ad in front of the right person with minimal waste. It's great that ads win because they are pretty, but what's the point of those ads if they aren't delivered to the right target? Increasingly, getting the right ad in front of the right person is less and less based on decisions made by media buyers and more about the technology developed to automatically get the right ad in front of the right person. We have Media Planner of the Year awards. Why not Algorithm of the Year?

Remember Steve Taylor? He's the guy behind The Great Agency Adventure, a 14-month trek around the country during which Taylor will work for 14 different ad agencies. Taylor, who was a bit disenfranchised working in New York explains the endeavor, saying: “The Great Agency Adventure is about discovering creative transcendence, experiencing native cultures and developing a new understanding of what it means to be a part of this crazy world we call advertising.” While researching which agencies he'd visit, he came across St. Louis-based Boxing Clever. As the name would indicate, the agency is all about boxing clever. Of Taylor's visit, Boxing Clever Partner and ECD Jim Harper said: “For those agencies who are getting Steve as a creative there, be prepared for phenomenal work and quick, brilliant thinking to come your way. He helped us with our record label, self-promotion, a major automotive project, and has unbridled enthusiasm. He has an amazing ability to integrate himself into an agency’s culture very quickly, which some people would find very intimidating.” Now that's resume material!

While Apple is eager to go it alone building its own in-house advertising department, it seems that approach just might not be the way to go. At least according to a recent study from Ace Metrix and Bloomberg, which found that ads made by Apple did not perform as well as those created by TBWA\Media Arts Lab. Making matters even worse, the same study found recent Samsung ads have outperformed ads from both Apple and TBWA\Media Arts Lab. The study examined various data points from TV viewers to develop a viewer score. Apple ads scored a 548. TBWA\Media Arts Lab scored a 580. Samsung scored a whopping 739 for its 72andSunny-created S5 ad.

LA-based independent agency Mistress is expanding its operations and launching an office in Hamburg, Germany. The new venture, Mistress.tech is being established in partnership with freiheit.com, an Internet and software company based in Hamburg. Mistress.tech will focus on creating software and technological marketing platforms for brands. Of the hookup, Mistress Partner Christian Jacobsen said: "Mistress.tech enables Mistress to work more globally as clients have requested our approach overseas. We are bringing new technological approaches and solutions and top software development talent to a new set of European clients and also to our US customer base."
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2 comments about "Martin Sorrell Thinks An Algorithm Should Win A Lion".
  1. Tom Messner from BONACCOLTA MESSNER , July 2, 2014 at 8:38 a.m.
    I once judged a show in Atlanta. We gave "Best of Show" to exit and entrance signs to a parking garage. So add some more lions for algorithms and match book covers and sandwich boards. And do a print ad announcing them.
  2. David Hoo from Effective Marketing Management , July 2, 2014 at 11:54 a.m.
    EMM actually has algorithms for traditional offline TV advertising that can double or triple the sales growth of mature consumer brands. Sorrell therefore could impact the majority of his business favorably.