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Agreed. I want a challenge. Something to solve, or a brief to end up with a particular result. How I or the creatives choose to get there should be open. And design will be a key part of it.

Thanks for the links, Paul. I reread my comment and it sounded harsh - although wasn't intended that way. It also sounded as if I was rambling in a cotton mouthed and sleep deprived sort of way, which I probably was. In any case, I love your thinking on this and I believe you're right on the money. Traditional agencies aren't adapting to new media realities. They're blinding themselves to wholesale changes in the way people consume media and instead trying to figure out how to reconstruct the glory days of broadcast ad dominance. And so you end up with people like Rosenshine, who was brilliant in what he knew, but mistakenly believed that he knew it all. And now his parting words are, to paraphrase, fuck the geeks. Bummer for him. He could have acknowledged a new era and left the industry as a visionary. Instead he's identified himself as a dinosaur with fossilized ideas.

No problem, Linda. And I didn't see your comment as harsh at all. I'm very glad you left it.

Agree about Rosenshine. Funny you mentioned it. I started a post last night from that quote and am going to finish it today. Thanks for leaving your thoughts here again.

A couple of centuries ago "integrated" was widely talked about, discussed in the context of planning for the future, even negated as unattainable, irrelevant, unnecessary.
Paul's "bigger picture" approach is integration, no matter what you call it. Numbers? Sixty-five percent of households have Internet, and therefore email access, which means 35% DON'T! Is the 35% worth talking to? Depends on the product, the service, the brand. But if one third of the marketplace is worth anything, then other methods of "reach" come into play. Direct Mail? Magazine and newspaper ads? Radio? broadcast/Cable? (Cable has approx. 70% penetration) Crossover-same message in different venues? Same or different graphics/copyrighting levels targeted?
200,000,000 plus cell phones, only 15% (currently-rapidly growing) with mobile applications available, some even used.
Worth integrating into the bigger picture? How? Attention spans differ, display capabilities different. Lowest common denominator approach?
All this is to say that integration requires that the job of the marketing strategist be oriented towards answering traditional questions with a view of not only integrating "new media", but how and why. Which segment gets priority? Why?
What is the timing of the segments of the integrated campaign? What result best serves the mission? And is that mission likely to change, and how rapidly based on what has happened with the campaign?
Ooops! What about the budget? Can't do it right? Can't do it at all? If you do part of it, but not all, will it fail?
Aah, the joys of when there was just a newspaper and a radio station and a TV station.
When we reach the point when Content determines audience availability, maybe that will help.

I'd like to make a suggestion.

It's not about design, it's abou User Experience Design - the full 360 has to be considered and users need to be given outlets to evangelize, influence and engage the brands. Until this happens, this awkard, consuming trend by many agencies will continue--and many people will lose jobs.

I've put together a small presentation to explain to agencies what and how User Experience Designers should be a part of their existance at http://www.slideshare.net/runger/ and I'd be happy to take this discussion further!

Paul: While I agree wholeheartedly with your theory on what an agency needs to do, it will unfortunately remain just a theory until the clients that hire ad agencies start subscribing to it themselves.

I mean it's correct to say that the agency needs to be involved in more than just coming up with a message and a TV campaign, but unfortunately that is all most clients want from them. It's been my experience that it's the rare, usually small and start-up-like client who appreciates that their agency can - and should- do a lot more for them.

I'm not really sure how to change that paradigm. Too often clients feel that agencies are stepping on their toes when they offer suggestions as to things outside of "here's the TV spot." And too many clients foolishly believe they can either do these things themselves or through their equally siloed vendors. (The exact quote is usually something to the effect of "we use 'best-in-class' vendors for all our marketing needs" - the result is a mish-mash of vendor companies all working at cross-purposes.)

My hope is that the success of clients who choose the route you suggest will encourage and enlighten the rest.

"we need to bring design thinking into the process"

Oh gawd no. Another "design thinking" victim.

like everyone else, I don't disagree. That we need to think beyond communication or at least recognize that all experiences (retail, customer service, etc) things communicate. But having worked at many integrated agencies and now at a brand consultancy that does do think and work beyond communication, I'm inclined to say that 1) this narrowly focused agency that is being imagined is a bit of a straw-man; all the good ones already recognize that design and retail and user experience are part of the brand experience 2) as suggested above by another commenter, you can only "do" or do for long what a client will hire you for and 3) it's not always a good idea to try and extend too far outside of your core competency because you probably won't be very good at it.

None of this is to say that we shouldn't strive to take a broader view ( incorporating design, brand experience, brand utility) into our strategies and work, but in my experience--and something i've blogified about myself--is that clients will tend to see you as a specialist in your leading practic no matter what you say. In the past, I was pigeon-holed as a comm/plan strategist who wrote creative idea strategies. Now, I'm doing big-picture strategy (product development, positioning, business analytics, positioning) and they hire people like i used to be to develop creative platforms. There are lots of people out there riding their hobby horses and saying they have the keys to the kingdom, but the question for me now isn't about transforming industry but what kind of work I like doing better.

Something bigger than advertising ...
Didn't we used to call it marketing ?

Paul is right one thing: we have to see the big picture, and realize that marketing/advertising /communication is deeply interconnected with other areas of knowledge.

When we think of design, we probably focus on industrial design, with connectios to engineering.
When we think on User Experience, we are thinking on Anthropology and Psychology.
When we think on TV commercials we're considering sound design and faster CPUs to render the animations.

The fact is that the advertising industry is in a conundrum, with new areas were knowledge has to be acquired.

A big picture is one take on the problem. But what i always found the root of the problem deeper: the ever changing set of skills required.

How will agencies attract the professionals needed to reinvent themselves ? Is advertising appealing to engineers, arquitects or gardeners?

Maybe this is too far-fetched but it's something that i keep asking, searching for waht king of environment do agencies need to foster to bring a new set of creative skills

the future of advertising is design?!!
maybe a more meaningful design. check this talk from p.stark on this subject http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4PwHD7XKj0

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