Media vs Creative

I think we can all agree that the advertising world is failing to innovate and comply with the full potential of the evolution in communication, to the point that already many marketers are ahead of us.

To make things worse for our side, there’s a growing opinion that media agencies are better fit to understand and take the lead in the new paradigm of communication, whatever that will be in the future.

The dumb reason to believe so is that media agencies are more accountable and can “get” numbers, as if creative agencies don’t have to make both ends meet at the end of each year (or quarter). It’s weird how people seem to forget that creative agencies are run by managers, and not by dope-addicted weirdos, and that lots of them have been profitably around for much longer than their client companies.

The more pertinent reason to say that media agencies will take the lead is that what’s going on is seen as a revolution in media (less tv, more web) to the point, for instance, that social networking is seen as a media. And it is, but it’s not just that.

What’s going on is seen as a media revolution, because media consumption can be summed up in statistics, and stats are easy to deal with because they’re numbers: everyone understands numbers (more or less), numbers can be stated, shouted, compared. It’s easy to be fascinated or scared by numbers. Numbers are straight.

But along with changes in media (the where), there’s changes in content (the what): there’s a larger, wider, more various kind of content that is broadcasted and shared; new languages are getting popular; opportunities for true interaction between content-and-content, and content-and-user arise.

Now, though this latter is revolution is harder to track because it can’t be summed up in stats, it’s actually more relevant than media shift: after all, people keep being attracted by the “what” (content and/or other people), and the “where” is subsequential.

If this is true, then creative agencies are facing a tougher task than media agencies, because they must address even more complicated issues, but if they tackle that, they can mantain, and even increase, their key role in communication development.

Final Burp: Even if you don’t buy this, would it be easier to endow creative agencies’ staff with number-savyness, or to gift media agencies with creativity and a sense of humanity?

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One response to “Media vs Creative

  1. Media and Content are just categories we use to discuss of stuff. Media is important to companies because it costs something and brings you something when paired with a good content. Content is importnat to companies because it costs something and brings you something when paired with a good media. People mind is clearer than that. I just want what I like (the what) and I’ll go a certain lenght to get it, that lenght being proportional to how much I like it. Therefore content is more important than media, or at least it’s the starting point of the relationship.

    That’s actually not a good thing for ad agencies. Just like newspapers and tv channels, agencies face a growing competition from a number of people that don’t necessarily do the agencies’ job, still they do a better job than most agencies(think about the Doritos campaign that went to the Superbowl). That’s the long tail (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Long_Tail). Democratised creation tools bring a bloom of talent. And talent is more spread than ad agencies employees.

    In my opinion, the reason why media agencies and ad agencies are increasingly competing is not the need for the communication players to “get” numbers. The real reason lies on the fact that, as I stated in the first sentence of the comment, the final user looks for the content. Today ad agencies and media agencies play a complementary role to have a message delivered and understood from a consumer. Tomorrow the business will be having people looking for you (iPhone anyone?) so there’s no need for having 2 different entities out there (it is questionable if we need one).
    Final Burp: watch your back 🙂

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