Jim Nail alerted me to his blog post this morning which is titled, "Ad Age misses the point of consumer control" He's referring to this week's Ad Age cover which pronounces the consumer as Agency of the Year and contends that Ad Age comes up short, unlike Time's Person of the Year (You...or at least, Me), which nailed it (ahem).
...Ad Age says, "The question for 2007 will be whether marketers and agencies find ways to harness that consumer-bred creativity...and deploy it to the service of brands."
In other words, big corporations and brands still have the power, they only let the consumer have the illusion they have the power.
Ad Age has been seduced by the lure of the big YouTube pop, and is leading its readers astray with the mirage of viewership numbers that are as ephermeral as the next email.
I haven't read the article yet but the way I see it:
- Ad Age actually got it wrong when they conceded that they were going to name Draft-FCB as agency of the year. Biggest Loser of the Year perhaps (in relation to the Wal-Mart scandal), but certainly not Agency of the Year
- They needed to produce a rabbit out the hat and arguably, if Time had not beaten them to the punch (Time-ing is everything), their cover would have made more of an impact. This way, they come across as pretty benign...even trying too hard. And that's before one analyzes the content as Jim Nail just did...
My 2c is simple:
1) Bottom line, if you're a traditional marketer then this headline will rock your world and should (hopefully) be making most agencies pretty damn nervous. That said, expect a floodgate of manipulative crap to gush out of Madison Avenue's doors as a direct reaction to this "revelation"
2) The real issue is what makes an "agency" by traditional vs new marketing standards. The fact that Draft-FCB could have even been considered as Agency of the Year demonstrates everything wrong with the agency world. To call the consumer an agency is the biggest insult of all. This is probably where Jim and I are most aligned...
CGC is not the same as consumer generated media or advertising. Marketers need to stop looking at the consumer as a pawn or free pass at their "next campaign" and genuinely look to become a part of their world...make it better...and stay the course.