Monday, February 2, 2009

Advertising and 14-year-old Toyota Camrys.

There's a 14-year-old dark green Toyota Camry in my neighborhood with a "For Sale" sign in its rear window. When I saw it I immediately asked myself, "who would buy a 14-year-old Camry?" and that got me thinking.

Camrys are good cars. And this particular Camry is in mighty good condition. There isn't a dent on it and not a single spot of rust. The shape of the car itself isn't bad either--the car doesn't look half-bad.

Now hold onto your hat and fasten your three-point seat-belt, here's what all this has to do with the advertising industry. nine-tenths of all advertising agencies, it seems to me, are 14-year-old Camrys. There's nothing wrong with them, per se but despite all the innovations in the world--air bags, anti-lock brakes, mp3 hookups, run-flat tires, etc. these cars just hasn't kept up. They will still get you from point "A" to point "B" but there are other ways to travel that distance that are faster, safer, more ecological and requiring less maintenance.

If you run an agency, think of your agency as a car. The world changes almost completely roughly every three years. So you should look at your agency every three years or so, and make sure it's still up to snuff. Otherwise you'll be left with a 14-year-old Toyota.


theschwartex said...

Is it better to buy or lease an agency?

Unknown said...

It is better to hire a small independent group of people that is not attached to an agency and don't need to feed the super-inflated overhead monster. These are the people who do the actual work at agencies anyway. Overhead costs are major when you're a holding company or even a single agency of a certain size. The farther away from the actual process of making the ads the more you earn in those places. Clients wlll eventually become aware of that. (Well, maybe not.)
And as the superbowl once again proved, you don't need an agency to come up with juvenile ideas enticing enough to steal the show. You don't even need actors and production values. Doritos anyone. Oh, apparently they'll get a mill to start a film business. I can't remember when I last got a million for a spot. On the other hand, I never did the number one spot in the superbowl.

Anonymous said...

This was a good article. So good I guess that someone wanted to copy it for their own:

Anonymous said...

Never mind about the copying - I posted a comment on that site as well and at least someone there has enough of a brain to realize they shouldn't have put the post up. It's down now.

I really enjoy the blog - I really hate to see people rip it off and not give credit where it is due.

Anonymous said...

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery or so they say. And besides, who in this lousy business hasn't ever "borrowed" an idea?

Arlyne Nelms said...

Hello, George. I'd like to agree on some part, and like to share some of my experiences. A car’s age doesn't matter that much on some countries. However, in some, old cars are phased out due to their car terms and policies.