Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Blogging - why don't agencies get it?

Why are Dublin advertising agencies not blogging? Isn't anyone telling them, I mean really telling them, that there's a vital need now to be in on the two-way conversation? Actually there is, but they're not listening. A post for another day.

I spent ten minutes just now checking out the websites of some stellar names in Dublin adland.
In no particular order, yikes.

Irish International (more properly known as IIBBDO)
The Creative Work Comes First, I am assured on their very-difficult-to-navigate site. But that doesn't include having a blog.

Universal McCann. Wallpaper. That unfurls infuriatingly slowly. They also have a philosophy.
'Strong creative thinking is not an indulgence. It is essential to a campaign's effectiveness.' Right-oh. So where's the blog?

AFA O'Meara have links. 20 of them. To sites like radio stations. And marketing magazines. And poster companies. They have got a schmaltzy hotel bar piano theme tune, but no blog.

McConnells. Now I had hopes here. A self-proclaimed new website existing 'somewhere between Tron and the end of the universe (but in no way connected to Jar-Jar Binks).' Because that would be un
cool. So where's the blog? That's right. Nowhere.

Rothco. Friendly new site. And they do have a news section. Oo-kay, so why is the last entry the 21st October? (It's about the launch of a contraception campaign. Insert witticism here.) They have Google Maps though, to navigate the future.

Cawley Nea TBWA. There's a blog! Yay!! Averaging a post a month! You can comment on them too! But nobody is doing.

I'm not picking on the six above. I could've picked a different six. They're the first ones I looked at just now. I'll do a more balanced overview of some of the more savvy, smaller digital agencies later. But the conclusions in the main won't be startlingly different. The people who have most to gain just aren't using blogging here.

Lookid, there are already people out there arguing that the website itself has hit its peak. It is the supermarket now, or even less sexy, the builder's providers. The blog is its natural successor because it genuinely thrives on two-way communication. It's the coolest CB radio ever. But agencies aren't grasping that. And they really should.

Change is uncomfortable. The alternative is certain death. Once upon a recent past the consumer had to swallow whatever the advertiser fed them, but now they can chew it, decide if they like or hate it, pull it apart, make a mockery of it and post it back up on YouTube within minutes. Except it mightn't always be a version that the advertiser wants. And they'll disseminate it to their friends and peers in a multiplicity of ways that the agency isn't keeping track of.

I know the arguments. God
knows I've heard them enough. 'TV in the 50s just blew the valves out of the wireless, but it all came good. This internet website thing will find its level. Just another meejum. Y'know, you bloggers are funny. The uptight little heads on you. Relax, we're getting there. Did you see the thing that Sean did in Powerpoint? He's great. We'll going to do a rate card and we'll have islands and banners and sky scrapers and this cute little interactive rollover th-' NO NO NO NO NO!

This is NOT the same thing!

The all-important yoof market has only ever known a two-way street. They are not you! And they're not even the 'elusive' they anymore. They leave their identities around everywhere they go, and they go lots of places where the agency doesn't dream of getting up from its barstool to venture. The last frigging place old adland even imagined that kind of tracking could exist was in a William Gibson novel.

They - the new consumers, the ones who know how to blog and twitter and use all the social media out there - are way ahead of your curve. And even in little old Ireland, some people know that this isn't good enough. Not even to pay for your headstone epitaph:

They didn't blog.

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