The Future of the Industry – By @JesseOHare
By Jesse Sharp-O’Hare
The Future of the Industry
Today Ivan, a veteran of two of the leading ‘mega-agencies’ of Ogilvy and Adam&Eve, came in to talk about the (possible) future of the ad industry, and the opportunities for us next-generation creatives in this ever-changing creative landscape. First up, there was some definite doom and gloom. As we’ve been told by pretty much any adman or adwoman past the age of about forty, we’ve joined the industry twenty years too late. Gone are the days when you could booze from lunch until five while working on a single brief between ten creatives. Gone are the days when you could fly a helicopter around a desert to some iguanas in an empty and then subsequently full pool just because you wanted to flog a packet of fags. Even the cocaine budget’s gone. Nope, todays brands want their ads cheap, cheerful, and numerous. Ivan predicted some kind of endpoint when the plummeting cost of ads both produced and paid would meet, with the graph lines looking to converge just around when we’re trying to find our feet.
But all is not lost, and he argued the beacon of hope comes in the form of brands. With a thousand ways for them and their competitors to interact with consumers, the war is never over. Because of this, brands can get creative. The example of the New York Times was particularly interesting, sending out one million Google Cardboards with the subscription, and curating several really interesting VR documentaries on the refugee crisis, expanding the ways their readership could interact with a story and helping the newspaper evolve and keep pace with innovation. By partnering with General Electric and Mini, the New York Times was able to get the funds to do this project, and roll it out pretty quickly. No mediating between agency and company, no wrangling over budget. It sounded like a pretty sweet deal, and hopefully our intake will be the first to spend a month or so in a brand, finding out both what it’s like to be on the other end, but also to find out what they’re up to, what projects they might have in the pipelines that might spark out interest.
Now, that is not to say I’ve given up on getting into an agency. Far from it, I have no doubt the most innovative agencies will keep pace with the changing landscape and adapt and thrive. But, it’s nice to know that brands are doing some amazingly creative things. Hopefully the world will always need creative people, and we can slot in somewhere to make engaging work that we really take pleasure in.
P.s. I’d also like to give a quick mention to the company Ivan told us about and is currently working with, What3Words. It’s an amazing project, dividing the world into 57 trillion unique three word com bringing an address to millions of people that suffer privations because they can’t get an ambulance quick enough, or have necessities delivered to their door (even if that’s just a pizza). I saw it a couple of years ago as one of the Cannes Lions winners and it completely blew my mind, so it was really cool to find out more about the company and what it’s up to at the moment as it seeks to grow.
The website is: www.what3words.com