Dec 5, 2007

Added Value

Ever since the demise of the 15% commission, agencies have been looking for ways to monetize what they do and to add revenue. Because, as has been noted here many times previously, all too often, we're giving it away for free.

Anomaly, a fairly new agency in NYC, and generous sponsor of LikeMind has come up with a way to get some of our value back by going beyond the old print-tv-radio-digital paradigm for their clients and actually moving into the in-store experience.

Or, in this case, in-flight - the video above is a brilliantly done in-flight safety instruction video done for (now former or project-by-project, depending on who you listen to) client Virgin America.

And since in-store experience is what made Starbucks and Whole Foods what they are today, it's not a bad place to be.


fatc said...

Very cool, simple and fun. Especially when you know most other clients/agencies would have churned out something incredibly lame given a comparable brief. Love the wry-yet-friendly voiceover too. Anyone know who the voice talent is?

yikes said...

They no longer have the account. Sounds like a best-of-both worlds thing though: they won't be doing VA's ads anymore, but they will work with them on projects.

Which seems more up their alley.

daily biz said...

The fact that they are able to get over the "we do ads, an in-flight video is for the below-the-line agency" attitude is great.

You're right Toad, the money is going to go to the agencies that can extend the brand experience where it counts - at the main consumer touchpoint with the brand.

toad's sixth reader said...

love the anomaly idea. carl johnson is a visionary. no argument there. he sees the icebergs in the distance.

and doing interesting branded safety films is undeniably a great idea.

but one thing that slightly bothers me about this trend is that as advertising loses its opportunity to engage consumers at will (ie, TV commercials) and is forced to look elsewhere, it deludes itself that because we are doing something for the first time, it's the first time it's been done. and it's somehow deeper and more profound than it really is.

anomaly did a moderately amusing corporate film for virgin. nothing wrong with corporate films, but that's all it is. and that's fine.

advertising seems to be moving into increasingly doing things that a few years ago would have been the province of promotional and below-the-line agencies. ie, they would have been beneath us. they don't involve two weeks at shutters ;-)

and now because we're forced to try anything to engage consumers we think it's innovation because it's new to us.

but isn't it in fact just more proof that advertising as a cultural force is waning? will we end up cleaning clients' headquarters and give it some fancy-sounding name too?

Toad said...

@TSR: Well, you're just a little ray of sunshine, now aren't you ;)

Seriously though, you are sadly quite right in all your observations. Agencies are trying to turn web video shoots into 2 weeks at Shutters, but it's not happening the way they want- companies are used to having promotions agencies do these sorts of things for them and promotion companies don't spend 2 weeks at Shutters.

As for advertising as a cultural force waning, I could not agree more. It's a direct result of The Real Digital Revolution

toad's sixth reader said...

heh ;-)

don't mean to be all doom and gloom but the logical outcome of everything i see happening doesn't bode well for the advertising industry. or shutters. or even the viceroy!

it only bodes well for Google.

raafi said...

Yeah, it looks like Virgin went sporty all the way down to the safety cards. As somewhat of an outsider to both consumer products and advertising it seems a bit curious to me that an agency would be called upon to master another company's in-store experience. After all, isn't that something a good company can do itself? (Starbucks being the chief example). In other words, is it better for the industry as a whole if agencies insinuate themselves into previously under-explored contacts between consumers or products? Or is it better for a smaller (and perhaps humbled), but smarter industry to continue doing the things it has excelled at extremely well?

toad's sixth reader said...

yes raafi,

it may be smart to apply our creativity to in-store design etc. theoretically you can do it yourself but an outsider's view can really help. as anomaly proved.

or it may be smarter to focus on what we've done in the past, ie using the media to build brands, albeit at a smaller scale than in the past.

either way though, it represents a shrinking role for advertising in society IMHO.

Toad said...

@Raafi (&TSR) - As The Real Digital Revolution becomes more, well, real, advertising (as TSR points out) will assume a smaller share of a brands overall message to consumers. Things like design- product and store, customer experience and quality will all assume larger and more important roles in how we view a brand. If ad agencies are smart, they'll figure out a way to play a part in all of those experiences.