Funny thing. For years now, hundreds of articles have been written about the death of the traditional ad agency. Another funny thing -- most of them are still around. Why? Because any good company,
no matter what the industry, follows the money. If brands want a million-dollar branding campaign consisting solely of tweets, that’s what the agency will do. If the brand wants to Snapchat its
CEO Periscoping a Reddit AMA, that's what the agency will do.
While it's certainly true that companies that only create TV, radio and print ads don't exist anymore, it's not because they closed up shop and called it a day. No, they got their shit together and learned all about this newfangled content marketing thingamajig.
So it gets kind of tiresome when upstarts like a company that touts that it "instantly organizes the world’s social and digital signals by location, giving an unprecedented level of understanding of what’s happening anywhere in the world, in real time" begin penning articles saying ad agencies are dying.
It has already happened. Agencies have moved on.
And yet, penning a piece for Mashable, Banjo CMO Stacey Epstein writes: "Ad agencies and brand advertisers persist in focusing on that perfect 30-minute spot. It's what they know and what they're good at, but they're failing to reach their audience who now spends their time in an entirely different place."
To a certain degree, Epstein is right. But many of these agencies that are still stuck in the land of the :30 second (and I'm quite sure she meant second and not minute) TV ad are also forging ahead with marketing programs that incorporate the kind of media that's being consumed today the way TV was consumed yesterday.
In the piece, Epstein does point out super-smart work that brands have done such as components of Bud Light's Up For Whatever and Under Armour's Giselle Bundchen campaign -- which, by the way, involved an agency.
My point is that it's time to stop screaming "The ad agency is dead!" Because it's not. It has just become something else. Something that is better suited to today's media habits and consumption patterns. Yes, there will always be Super Bowl and Cannes Lions stupidity -- but hey, ad agencies are filled with self-centered, egotistical, self-esteem award-craving people who would all curl up into a fetal position if they didn't get the occasional pat on the back.
So let them have their Super Bowl ads and their Cannes Lions. Because maybe, just maybe, they'll also keep creating cool shit that matches today's media consumption patterns.