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Thursday, September 21

Agency 2.0 : Refresh to Rule

Many of us know of the zen story of a pompous student who goes to the zen master for learning. Instead of listening, the student starts blowing his own trumpet. The master then asks for tea and when the tea arrives, starts pouring a cup for the student. He keeps pouring into the cup without stopping. The cup overflows and the tea spills onto the table. Irritated, the students says -"Stop, can't you see the cup is full?". The Master smiles, "And so is your mind. Unless you empty it, what can you learn".

I feel many of us in the ad industry are full with ideas of the way things should be done. And are brimming to the top with fixed notions of:
- the way to manage talent
- the definition of what is an agency
- the business model of an agency
- the definition and possibility of new media
- the capability and effectiveness of new media
- the relationship between old media and new media
- notions of the power of the 30 sec TVC
- the definition of creativity
- the value chain of the creative product
- the role of account planning
- the need for young blood and different blood groups!
- the need to diversify the search for agency talent
- the pricing model of our services
- the range and menu of our services
- the use of technology to increase productivity
- the way the different departments function in a agency
- clients' expectations from us
- training and skilling as a tool for competitive advantage
- the need to think about the larger business context and not just the next budget

But,in a flat & fast world, we need to empty our minds of old ideas and THINK anew. Because, if we don't the ground will slip beneath our feet. Digital, animation, design, Bollywood, mobile and gaming companies among others are all eating into our business! First in small nibbles and then in big chunks! The leaders need to refresh their thinking. Replace vendor thinking by bold, lateral, thinking!

7 comments:

pooR_Planner said...

Indeed...its high time that Leaders, Visionaries and Godfathers of Indian Advertising took an introspective look towards the industry as a whole for the betterment and benefit of clients, brands, practitioners and above all, consumers. High time that 40+ VP's, GM's, CSD's, AD's who think they are Gawd's gift to creativity and communication, need to understand that the new generation cares less. The first step would be to clean our system with some kind of acid test and drive the ego-maniacs, money-mongers, fame-farmers, power-brokers and arseholes out of the agency door. This step will benefit the industry in two ways. Firstly, it will bring overhead cost down, increase productivity (not to forget increased competition) and break barriers. Secondly, it will allow skilled, down-to-earth young bloods to take charge and responsibility in understanding and connecting with their counterparts on the streets, schools, colleges, pubs, discs, coffee shops and at home, better!!
The future belongs to them!!!

Manish said...

that was some rant...guess it touched a raw nerve...but 'satya vachan'

wildsparkz!!! said...

'CREATIVITY' is the most abused, misused, ill-treated and misunderstood word in the ad world, this is my humble opinion in my rather brief exposure to the industry. We extend these illusions onto the masses through the ads we as an industry create!
The facade continues as Leaders, Visionaries and Godfathers of Indian Advertising throw mundane ideas about in bubble wrap!! Unflinching as the lesser mortals make an attempt to burst the bubble of their bubble wrapping.
Endeavors to empty the mind and start afresh must be made instead of passing off run of the mill ideas as 'creative leaps 'with the copyright if brand name our leaders have built for themselves!!

Manish said...

when things are at nadir, change happens!
And all of us are capable of changing our world, one gentle push at a time! I am an optimist...as the honda diesel W+K TVC said Hate Something, Change Something! We can change the company, change our boss, change one ad/ poster, change your colleague's attitude, change the creative-account management equation. Put our neck out. Put our foot down. Change our thinking. Change one other person's thinking!

dharmendra said...

Somewhere the advertising folks have lost humility. The respect for the other person's job is conspicuous only by its complete absence. Nobody is willing to bell the cat. Finally a poor soul servicing is sent to the battle field.

Manish said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

That is very well put together. Industry today is closed to ideas, knowledge and learning. The already 'Diseased' Advertising industry is swiftly moving to the state of 'illness'-Its time, advertising professionals diagnose and treat it fast.