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Monday, 27 July 2009


John Dodds

Aspiring to be Head of the Boring and Everyday would be truly innovative.


LOL - that is a great title!



Nice post

I think Droga also said that the great work from this year had a lot to do with an overall powerful narrative which has always been a strength of the bigger agencies. But the agencies in that list are rarely from the big networks. They also probably have a Head of Digital strategy in them..


Ach, what's with the downer on the word 'analogue'? To me, it's a word full of evocative poetry. It's given us radio, TV, telephony to name a few. The very space it takes up, and its scarcity, forces an emphasis on craft and quality we can sometimes forget about, in our digital-induced rushing about. And perhaps in our rush to forget it, we're also missing out on the wider conceptual meaning - the idea of a smooth, continuous dialogue, as opposed to something discrete and hard to find, if you're not in the know.

Ramzi Yakob

Hi Amelia,

Can you really be surprised that creative agencies with over 40 years of heritage and have massive clients with large budgets are winning awards for digital? Pure play digital agencies, without the heritage, budgets and resource of traditional agencies usually don't have the same opportunities that your BBH's have so that is a key driving factor behind that results list.

The above isn't an excuse, but being a member of the 'old boys' club has always been helpful in this industry from getting a job in it in the first place, to getting clients to ... everything and I still think this is true today.

Bear in mind much of good digital work happens at a technical perspective. Having hard working creative is a waste of time if your e-commerce platform isn't effective. If you look at Amazon, do you think it was a marketing budget or an e-commerce platform which made it successful?

Whoever built the e-commerce platform was a planner. Information Architects need to be planners to understand how its' likely audience will want to use the service. A 5% improvement in conversion rate from product page to completed purchase is somewhat more a business critical difference to 5% interaction rates in banner ads or 5% increase in traffic to a flash micro site.

Even if we restrict ourselves to ad planning, think about the number of people who work as planners who actually understand digital? It was obvious from the APG planning course I recently went on that many don't; even the 'young' ones who should have grown up with online. If someone can't tell the difference between a web browser and a search engine, would you trust them with a multimillion pound digital budget?

I need someone more succinct than myself to carry this on for me - but essentially a good planner should understand digital full stop. If they don't understand digital, then they don't understand consumers. If they don't understand consumers then they can't be good planners.

Stuart Bruce - Wolfstar

Great post. I couldn't agree more. One of my main drivers behind setting up Wolfstar is I disagreed with the approach of setting up 'digital' or 'social media' divisions with PR consutancies. Our approach is that 'digital' is a core skill no different to media relations and that everyone in the team has to 'get it'.

Neil Potter

Great post Amelia. I love this: "VCCP is not a Digital agency, but it seems to "do" Digital pretty well" - When anyone I speak to (from Digital Agencies) stick their noses up at digital work produced by integrated houses I always remind them of this. Check my post on Digital Agency vs. Traditional Agencies out if you get a chance. Cheers, Neil


"Maybe we're coming into the decade when Digital becomes technologically boring as the work becomes socially more interesting."

I can't wait for everyone to decide that digital is as technologically boring as radio. Let's get back to letting ideas lead the way.


This is obviously a topic that is very close to digital agencies' heart and has been discussed at length at Creative Social over the years. I agree with Ramzi's comment about budgets and relationships. However I think digital agencies have some amazing advantages and these should not be overlooked. Anyway here is a summary of a collective view on the issue - http://www.creativesocialblog.com/?p=1167

Dani Seuba

First of all sorry about my english.
I think the main diference is that cannes is advertising festival. The awards are advertising ideas in the digital medium instead awards like The Webby are focused in digital comunications. In thar awards yoy won't see so much advertising agencies doing digital becouse in that case is not only a medium is also the way to do the things (utilities, services, apps...)
Thanks, sorry about my english, and thanks for sharing your knowledge

Account Deleted

Amelia - Good post

One recent quote that resonates with me is by Nigel Walley in NMA:

"marketing people have even started using ‘digital’ as a noun, as in ‘we’re going to use digital’. The minute a word shifts from adjective to noun you know it has had its day."

I find that the best current campaigns work across all platforms and media - fully formed as powerful integrated campaigns rather than singular digital activity. It's often difficult to tell where campaigns began on or offline, and where the heart of the idea was.
But the best thing is... it doesn’t matter!


hey amelia. i'm a bit late to the party on this post, but it's an interesting topic so...

there's something interesting to me between or leading on from ramzi and rishi's comments.

i think the term 'digital' (verb or noun) will exist for as long as most clients make up a roster with digital and atl spaces in it. yes, there's this increasingly shared territory because everything is digital now...

but at the same time i've listened to debates between digital and atl planners over what 'engagement' really means - whether it's clicks, interactions and those kinds of measures, or reach of an exciting TV ad. which reinforces the dichotomy of digital vs non-digital - and doesn't do anything to the categories on the client's roster.

some agencies are ahead of the game on this, but it's definitely not industry-wide.

to dani's point, i think it'll be really interesting to get to a place (not for another 10 years?) where trad agencies are not just thinking about digital approaches to advertising, but are also thinking about product development and service design. and equally where digital agencies have extended their offering into the territory of atl agencies - still the exception at the moment.

maybe that's when the term digital doesn't matter any more.



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