Friday, November 30, 2007

(Think you had enough?) The Agency. After the shakeup.

Green is about interdependence, about recognizing that "the force that through the green fuse drives the flower." The deeper we realize this the more we have to rethink things.

Social marketing is a great fit, because it takes mutually conditioned existence as a starting point. So go to the Agency to get your social media!? Well, maybe not. As Hugh MacLeod Twitters,
Advertising, PR and MSM: Social Media is "The next big thing", it just may not be "Your next big thing". Sorry. Not my problem.

The PR/Ad/Marketing/Web/Design Agency has to date, like the music companies of old, been both the producer and distributor of content. These two functions are being decoupled in the music world: I can make my own record, and maybe need something else - a music distribution broker. The same may go for the Agencies of this world.

I'm working with Vancouver Film School instructor Ron Serna on a very cool video art piece. About 45 seconds long, it is a look at the loosening of obsession around Brand. It will (I hope) be beautiful. We've been delaying it, and now there is snow on the ground. Dang. We have been talking about how to afford the time to pull off shooting and editing it. We both have kids and debts - you know. Maybe we could put a company's logo in it or shoot a slightly cloying version and make some dough.
That kind of wrecks it.

But what about this:

  • Green companies are trying to advertise to get the word out, and it all sounds like bad consumerism, greenwashed. Something's broken.
  • Richard Edelman ( says my friend Paul) and others are betting the farm on social media.
  • Social media involves creating sharing objects.
  • Art is a true sharing object.
  • The demand for PR/Ad/Marketing/Web/Design narratives is not what we thought it was. Cluetrain...The demand for "messages" may be limited, if not null. People are doing it for themselves etc. I mean, we are clicking past the ads now.
  • Art is always in demand.
  • What if Advertising gave way ( in some companies) todistributing art that resonates beside and and in sympathy the core value/thrust/passion of the company. Just like corporations carefully pick the art that is hanging in their foyers ( eg heavy on the American realist art, early Canadian masters, whatever) they could also 'hang' "good" videos in their web sites.
  • This is just the tip of it.
So I'm fielding offers or will seek out corporate distributors for the art piece Ron and I are making! Sounds preposterous?

PR/Ad/Marketing/Web/Design Agencies can't limit what the client sees in terms of potential content proposals to the client, because the client now has amateur created content in the form of Lonely Girl 15, the Wine Cone, and all kinds of real neat art. Like the art of Shane Koyczan Agencies aren't competing against 3 other RFIs, they are competing against every amateur or non amateur social object available on the web. The door is slammed open. Agencies should step back and take a good look at this; IMO some would be better off acting as content brokers or content framers, rather than producer/distributors.
Of course, I say this an amateur.

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