Future: Magazines, Agencies

Berg have been working with Bonnier R&D exploring the future of digital magazines, and creating Mag+. Bonnier publish Popular Science and many other titles.

Mag+ from Bonnier on Vimeo.

Agencies have played such a crucial role in helping companies market their products and services for more than a century. Names like McCann Erickson, Young & Rubicam, J. Walter Thompson, Ogilvy, and Saatchi & Saatchi (among others) are practically household names. There’s even a massively popular and critically acclaimed television show capturing life in the golden age of legendary agencies on Madison Avenue. Yet the agency model was built during a time when there were only a handful of channels in which they could push one way messages en masse. Does that model still work in a time when nearly a quarter of online US adults now create content online?
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Social Media: Saatchi’s Screw Up

“Toyota’s now disastrous foray into social media offers a demonstration of what skills an agency needs to play in that space. It’s now obvious that PR expertise is not an optional extra that ad agencies having a bit of a dabble in social media can do without. Although advertising has always had the potential to be controversial, for social media that possibility grows exponentially and that risk needs to be controlled. And as Saatchi & Saatchi has demonstrated, it now goes without saying that you actually need to understand social media before you start. You can’t start learning on the client’s time.”
I won’t bore you with the details, as the above post is very detailed … and this graphic is very telling …
There have been a few comments flying around to the effect that “any publicity is good publicity” – a notion I reject. Toyota doesn’t have an awareness problem … but it may have a perception problem. Something like this can only have a negative impact on the latter.
In mitigation, at least Australia is a small-ish territory (Pop. 22MM) , and I don’t think many of Toyota’s prospects will have been exposed to this (in Australia or elsewhere) … except us social media nerds that is …

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Bittman Returns

Saatchi N.Y. Taps Bittman for New Business
My old mate Ben Bittman has made a triumphant return to NY agencyland: Saatchi & Saatchi New York has filled its top new business development post with Benjamin Bittman, a former global network director at M&C Saatchi in London. Bittman, 33, who looks a bit like Wolverine off the X-Men, becomes chief marketing officer at his new shop, reporting to both New York managing director Michael Zuna and Mary Baglivo, who is CEO of the office as well as the Americas region.”

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There were some rather cruel (yet occasionally funny) comments on the AdWeek post:
- “Planet of the Apes called. They want their wig back.”
- “The popped collar and soul-glo are troubling… hopefully he’s a good guy.”
- “Chewbacca, you shaved your face!”
Ben’s a good guy and will take them in his stride I am sure.
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