Molson's 2010 Wall Mural and what it should have been

Is this campaign a case of digital agency vs. mass agency, of clients hungry for a UGC campaign or just really bad brand management by the marketing team? Whatever it is, it is wrong.

The 2010 wall mural is on it's own a decent thought. Not quite an idea and definitely not a campaign but it is a nice thought. Where the idea falls flat is that it was done by Molson Canadian who recently has launched a excellent spot (see below and following links) that continues it's long standing direction and takes me back to the days of "The Rant".

Now you ask so what is his problem with "The mural"? My problem is that is has nothing to do with the brand campaign. The unwritten code is the campaign and I know they could have done a dozen better campaigns that were integrated and supported the overall brand positioning.

As I always like to do I am going to open myself up and put out an idea (not a thought) that I feel would better deliver the brand and support the campaign.

What would I do?

So I have a feeling the client wanted to engage the country, capitalize on the Olympic sponsorship and of course continue to drive brand awareness and preference.

I would have asked Canada to help Molson Canadian write the code that all visitors to Canada should abide by while they are here for the Olympics. What can they do to truly experience the code of Canadians while they are here? Through this UGC campaign site visitors would submit and vote on the code of Canada that will allow Olympic tourists to discover more than soapstone carvings, maple syrup, poutine, snow, sleds, igloos and polar bears. This UGC created and user voted code could be handed to visitors as they exit planes at YVR, through-out the city then through street teams, installations and booths through-out the city tourists can have experience the code like curving a stick with a torch, jerseying a guy, using your arm as an ice scraper, tying boots with mittens on.... you get the idea.

Is this an amazing idea? Maybe not but it supports the brand, extends the campaign to the digital space, capatilizes on the Olympics in a truly Canadian way and is way better than the 2010 Wall Mural campaign. Which by the way they didn't even buy the URL 2010wallmural.ca or.com... no they made it extremely difficult to find it. Seriously search 2010 wall mural on Google. Nothing on the first two pages, no SEM no unique URL purchases...nothing at all. I am not even linking to it so good luck finding it.


Looking back and forward

Both of these images were originally posted back in early 2007 . I was searching for an old post today and came across them and felt the need to share them again. Back when they were first posted we were lucky to see 15 visitors a day so I figured it wouldn't hurt to share them again.

Imagination in my mind makes knowledge possible. We learn because we are curious, we are curious because we wonder, we wonder because we have an imagination. Albert Einstein was correct.

Now, onto banksy. Being a believer in the creativity, intelligence and ambition of those that I have the pleasure to work with I agree with his sentiments about the advertising industry, but at the same time I believe that we can change the way we advertise to use our collective talents to create so much more. Advertising that creates art, emotion and through true brand experiences creates desire. A desire to support a brand that believes the same things that we believe in, that supports the same causes that we support and that seeks to evolve with us, discover with us and be a part of something more than a product and a message.

What is the agency model of the future?

I’ve had a number of discussions lately with a number of people about what the future of the ad agency business model might look like. With agencies across the world seeing clients demand much more for less, networks being forced to make massive layoffs due to the global economy and slashing departments that don’t bring in revenue like they used too, we are bound for a large change in the near future.

For some agencies, this change has already been occurring through digital. Clients have gradually (5 years or less) shifted their marketing budgets from mass to digital. Traditional agencies who saw this sea change and were able to prepare for it have been well positioned for the future. Digital-specific shops, once viewed as the ‘black-box web experts’, are now seeing huge competition from brands that they never expected. There is no denying that even in this economy, digital-capable agencies continue to see substantial growth opportunities.

Does this mean in 5 years all successful agencies will be rooted in digital? Maybe. Most large Canadian clients still use over 80% of their budgets in mediums that aren’t digital. TV is not going away anytime soon and, I suspect, OOH, retail and direct will continue to play a role in large, integrated campaigns. But even though some traditional areas will remain strong, they are going to experience full-scale changes.

These changes aren’t due to different agency models popping up. They are because of the consumer. If you have a web-connection, PVR and, well, a brain, chances are you get the content the way you want it - without ads. I’m obsessed with advertising but in the last twelve months I’ve become more obsessed with the FFWD button on my remote. When you’re watching something you like, you don’t want to be interrupted.

Smart brands are dealing with this in a few ways - branded content, crowdsoucring new ideas, connecting like-minded consumers with new communities, etc. I do believe that these savvy brands have been guided by their agencies to think differently and try ideas that might scare them and, almost more importantly, might fail.

A colleague of mine frequently says that forward thinking brands need to embrace failure and learn from it. Treat small tests as chances to learn and keep doing things that you haven’t tried. There is nothing worse than seeing the same media plan, campaign after campaign, with nobody questioning it because - well - that’s what we did before.

So what does this all mean for the agencies of tomorrow? For starters, we need people who are willing to scare clients and ‘sell’ them on ideas their not originally comfortable with. But even more than that, we need to think about how the relationship might change in the future.

For example, Coke has recently announced that they have chanced the compensation model with a number of their agencies. Instead of agreeing to an upfront rate, or retainer, they have mapped out clear, business objectives for the agency to work towards. If these objectives are hit, the agency receives up-to 30% more revenue than their fee. If they fail to meet the objective, they are only compensated for the hard-cost incurred for the project. Coke is calling it a ‘value-based’ model and with a huge brand like this embracing it, other companies might be picking up the phone soon to talk about compensation changes.

When I discussed this model with a CD recently, he brought up a good point - how much control does Coke now have in the approval of the work? If they are going to be tying the agency to specific targets than shouldn’t the agency have more of a say in the approval process? Ideally, yes. In practice? Doubtful.

Other agencies, like CP+B, have invested in Venture Capital divisions. They not only represent large brands, they also help to create them. I think this changes the agency-client relationship dramatically. When your group owns a percentage of the business, it helps to align them - 100% - with key business objectives. It also gives the agency an ability to be treated as a partner vs. a vendor. Scary for some clients who crave total control, liberating for others who want a passionate partner.

Whatever the model, things are changing. The question is, what will you do and, more specifically, what model do you think agencies should adopt to succeed in the future?


Trimming the bush to make the tree look taller.

This video contains a lot of firsts for Adjoke. I never thought our blog would carry an informational video on how men should properly shave down there but since it is an ad for Gillette here it is.