Mar 10

Death of a stereotyped agency

I support legislation requiring every blogger to make a happy post at least once per week. What’s with all my recent negativity?

Today, I’d like to shine the light of love on FITC Design & Technology Events, a Canadian organization that stages industry technical and creative events around the world. To promote their events, they have produced this video: The last advertising agency on earth.

It’s one of those videos I like to watch a few times, because the detail and production value is so damn good. The narrator, the music, the myriad ways they portray the dead agency. Spooky and funny all at the same time. I’m always tickled by a creative team in bunny suits (you’ll need to freeze frame on that one). The vast, empty offices and corridors were supposed to signify a long-gone agency, but to be honest they just sort of reminded me of the last place I worked.

Now don’t take this as a slam, because that’s so clearly not the vibe today. I love the production, but the story — well, that’s only about a decade old now. The agencies that haven’t yet gotten the change-or-die message are surely long gone at this point. The video mentions how this fictional agency arrogantly clung to the idea of the TV commercial and repurposed print headlines as rich-media web banners. By presenting such ancient revelations as news, it feels like whoever wrote the script must surely work at one of those dinosaur agencies.

But I didn’t say that. Really. That would be negative.

I do love the video and think it’s worth watching, simply for the fun of it. It’s one of those productions that people would do for free (which they just might have). You can tell by the finished product that these guys had a heck of a good time.

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  • I love the bong on the desk at the end. Such a class act.

  • and look over the narrators shoulder during his closing : there’s a thong pinned to the open cubicle wall … brilliant!

    but yeah, the message is the same as has been hammered home by countless “we are new media, NOT advertising” people for about a decade now and yet …

    clients still want out of home, print and TV, even radio, for chrissakes … why?

    for the same reasons he mentioned that as agencies died … consumers are exhibiting more choice in viewing habits. according to that scenario, the indication is given that people are not watching TV or reading magazines (because of all the advertising?) as much but jumping all over the web … to do what exactly? the same as before : to be entertained and to find things out, NOT to loiter at your well conceived brand site …

    over half the world is downloading illegal copies of Sherlock Holmes and the new album from who-ever, as we speak, checking out their favorite blogs and other porn sites, catching up on emails but few are loitering around the well-crafted Dove, Dell, Amex, Ford, Bose, Samsung home pages basking in that glow that the FTIC (the people that bought that spot) say killed advertising off and urged us to really really really go hear what they’re saying …

  • all that being said, great bit of fun …

    meanwhile, here’s something amazing we should all be on the look out for : the liberation of creative spirit by technology …

    this guy did this by himself, with a powerful, yet affordable, 3D program and some HD footage of a person and some birds. everything else was created via 3D and rendered and edited … the detail, the lighting, the angles and composition and pacing, all superb. watch it a few times, you’ll see the technology peeking out.

    that’s one talented individual.

    yet to the point of that FTIC spot, what might this mean to Joe Pytka and other TV spot directors? Hollywood? major network and cable stations? not too much, as people still want what they produce, like TV, print, etc.

  • ken segall

    Yeah, I do love that video. Breathtaking. Agreed about the TV directors. The good stuff will always have a home. Nothing has really changed except we have more ways to engage people. TV commercials may one day not run on TV, but they will run somewhere. At least the good ones will. They just won’t be called “commercials” — which sounds dated before you even finish saying the word.

  • wait, what’s that you say?

    my temporal spacial analyzer hasn’t compiled the meta-data of your transmission due to a garbled sub-frequency pulse urging me to invest in Slartiblartfasts New and Improved Fjord Construction …

    at the end of the day both Douglas Adams and Phillip K Dick will be right and people WILL still try and sell us something by whatever means necessary …

  • Josh Sklar

    I don’t know. You’d -think- all “those” agencies would have died long ago, but in my experience over the past few short years, there are plenty out there who are still sleeping and do think innovation means “integrated print and banner ads.”

    It was shocking 10 years ago to find shops — and creatives — like that, but I keep encountering them. Over and over.

  • rich notarianni

    I’ve worked with both analog and digital marketing for fifteen years now and still can’t decide who’s more annoying: the digital orthodoxy or the TV:30-or-nothing clueless.

    In my opinion digital has made TV programming and advertising interesting again. Traditional mass media and digital are a wonderful cocktail (unless you’re a newspaper publisher and can’t figure out how to migrate).

    Still a cute video.