Feb 11

Interactive marketing goes monolithic

WPP Digital, a sub-monolith of global marketing monolith WPP Group, is now creating a sub-sub-monolith to handle its interactive marketing.

The entity is called Possible Worldwide, and it merges four digital agencies that formerly operated independently within the WPP empire.

It would be easy to make cynical comments about this type of thing. Indeed, the Possible Worldwide “launch website” that was up for the first few days (just replaced by a real site today) provided ample reason to be cynical. It had a nice little typo in the first paragraph. And its main feature was this video — which may not be the cheesiest video I’ve seen, but it’s certainly a contender.

On the current site, this video has demoted to Possible’s Our Innovative Work page, which is alarming in itself.

Of course, stumbles like this do not foretell certain doom. Possible’s CEO, Trevor Kaufman, is a brilliant guy with whom I once worked. (Though he may have me killed after he gets wind of this.) And the merged client roster gives his team a ton to work with.

This is just part of the circle of life in the agency world. The smaller, more creative shops ultimately get assimilated by the big agencies — then hotter and hungrier shops spring up to take their place.

It’s wise, however, to remember one thing. No matter what the press releases might say, agencies do not merge to become more creative. They merge to become more efficient.

This mass-merger may send shivers of delight up the accountants’ spines, but it doesn’t necessarily produce better work.

Best of luck to Trevor and team.

Tags: , ,

  • Bill

    I didn’t mind the video. I had never heard of any of those groups/teams – I guess cause I’m not in the advertising world.

    But the video was a nice showcase of what they’ve done. Before it may have been something like ABC did that. But now it’s like, no ABC didn’t. These great people at this great agency did.

    And I’m sure that’s what the purpose of the video was. And if so, it worked!

    Now you didn’t say the video was bad – you just said it was cheesy. But I got the feeling you didn’t like the video :)

    Usually I agree with your take quite often (always I think). I do agree with the part about merging of teams and how it’s never for some grandiose vision of improved creativity – it’s to save money.

    But in my case I did like the video! Maybe I get banned now from this site? :)

  • ken segall

    Pardon the tardy response. No, you don’t get banned from the site unless you disagree with me twice :)

    When I said this video was cheesy, I was referring mostly to the production values. The clips vary so much in sound, lighting, resolution, etc., I find it really difficult to watch. When you are trying to tell the world that you live and breath this stuff, and that your work is of the highest quality creative work, I think it’s shocking to put a video like this on your site.

    That aside, I didn’t even find the content all that interesting. The humor was weak. It didn’t build to any kind of ending. All in all, it just felt amateurish.

    On the bright side, once they launched the actual site, the feel of the place went up 1,000%. They look like a real agency with real work, and the quality is mostly first-class. (I’d still banish this video.) We can assume that the real site simply wasn’t ready for the official launch, so they went with the placeholder page. I’m sure there were many people upset over that. You obviously want the full site to be up the day your agency is launched.