Corporate Cluelessness Causes Conundrums


Writing on his weblog, Advertising Ourselves to Death, Todd Copelzitz celebrates the cluelessness of agency execs and media companies when it comes to understanding digital media. Copelvitz takes a look at the Pathfinder debacle - the old on and the new - and the genral cluelessness of elder creatives struggling to understand this thing called new media.

Citing an article written by Aaron Baar called Teaching As Old(er) Creative New Tricks, Copelvitz calls out some gems such as 54 year old Carmichael Lynch Chairman Jack Supple's regular meetings with his web designers (rather than just jumping into the new tech himself) to stay current with new media. From the same article, it appears 54 year old Jeff Goodby at least grasps the concept of jumping in with b oth feet saying, "I used to think you could noodle something out on a pad and have someone else execute it on a computer. But now I believe you have to understand technology just to know what's possible."

While on the one hand, it might be disheartening that every single person in marketing isn't diving head first into violently changing seas of advertising, people just don't change that much. Humans are creatures of habit and when you lay comfortable, coddling corporate structure around that natural habit, change become even more difficult. On the upside, Copelvitz does point to Mullen's 20 person "digital disruption group" whose mission is to make sure every one in the agency is "thinking digitally about every client."

Dramatic change is absolutely a very difficult thing for a person, let along a corporate monolith, to feel comfortable but if anything's a certainty in the midst of all this change, it's change is just coming faster and faster and showing no signs of letting up. We're all going to have to get with the program or watch each other's heads explode trying to balance change with corporately inbred tradition.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 2-06   Click to Comment   
Topic: Agencies, Bad, Trends and Culture   

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"..grasps the concept of jumping in with both feet..."

Like a monkey? He has an opposable big toe? hee hee...

P. S. If you'd only EMBRACE the concept of copy & paste, you'd have avoided the typo in your link, "Teaching an Old(er) Creative New Tricks."

Posted by: JoAnna on April 2, 2006 10:44 PM

Considering the recent newsbrief on Adrants where "well-known demographer Ken Dychtwald told a roomful of media buyers and marketers... [that they] ...should target the 40-to-60 set", maybe it would result in more effective advertising if younger creatives actually encouraged older ones like Jeff Goodby to "noodle something out on a pad" that targeted his generation (the one with the money) rather than theirs (the one with the tech skills). When it comes to actual sales, maybe "Cash talks and Flash walks"? Or something like that.

Posted by: MrWhipple on April 3, 2006 8:44 PM