Poets And Plumbers And The Future Of Advertising

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It seems like advertising is facing its Judgement Day.

Advertising is not going anywhere, but like every industry, disruption comes… and it comes fast. Many thought that the ad business became disrupted as social media’s popularity was rising. It turns out that we’re facing the mainstreaming today of smartphones and now Facebook (which, actually, started out ten-plus years ago) that is causing the major waves today. The other week, the 4A‘s hosted their Transformation conference in Miami. That gem about Facebook and smartphones? That was only one of the many great nuggets that Rishad Tobaccowala (Chief Strategist, Publicis Groupe) brings forth in this panel discussion about the future of the ad industry. Rushed is joined by Rob Norman (Chief Digital Officer, GroupM) and Scott Hagedorn (CEO, Annalect), and this is a highly intellectual and pragmatic look at where – exactly – the industry sits. It’s an important conversation for all of us to watch and think about.

Are we an industry of plumbers or poets? 

We often argue about analytics over creativity, data over strategy and more. Rishad’s insights, pushed further by the debate on the panel, illustrate that our advertising business needs to be populated by what he calls both the “poets and plumbers.” Many may not like this analogy, but it is our reality and it’s the right way to look at things. With that, our industry continues to grow (both financially and with interest from people who wish to join it), but the advertising agencies – as we have known them to date – are not where these professionals are going. They are working in-house for brands, going to the major consulting firms, working for media companies, startups, digital platforms and more.

So, what is the future of the advertising agency? Watch this: 4A’s Transformation – Agency Holding Company Visionaries.