Saturday, March 13, 2010

Youtube and branding

"On the one hand advertising is an exercise in waste, an opportunity for brands to engage in that most inefficient of behaviours, entertainment. On the other it’s an industry, a multi-million pound concern, a tough market that promises its clients efficiency. Yes it would be lovely if we could all sit round having ideas, maybe playing a sitar, but if you can get it quicker from the net, you better do it alright?

And this will be fine until clients wise up. The net is accessible to all, so why is a brand going to pay an agency millions of pounds to trawl it for them? That there’s an art to the selection of content is the agency’s last claim to legitimacy. But it’s threadbare. Ditch the agency and how will the brand manager know which clip to choose? He won’t need to. As Bernbach said, research can’t have ideas, but it can certainly help select them. You can’t put the genie back in the bottle. It’s us or the computers and for the money men that’s a no-brainer. We don’t have to embrace the future, it’s coming for us like a septic great-aunt."

This article originally appeared in the February issue of CR. ‘Gordon Comstock’ (a pseudonym) is a London-based ad creative who blogs at

How many brands and half naked women do we need to make a bad music video?
And they actually wanted to make a short film...

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