The Wall Street Journal reported today that Nike is dumping (registration required) their main Ad firm Weiden + Kennedy to search for a firm with more digital savvy. This is a great article and further evidence of the shift in reaching customers digitally, and more importantly in a two way conversation.
Here are a couple of very interesting quotes from the article:
Industry executives say the move was a wake-up call to Madison Avenue. The message is clear: No matter how talented an agency’s creative team or how well the client’s management likes the firm’s executives, the agency is of limited value unless it embraces digital media.
It’s surprising to me that the need to embrace digital media is new news for those that serve advertisers. The issue is the problem is about more than just embracing digital … it’s about embracing a new marketing paradigm – marketing as conversation rather than the traditional marketing as one-way messaging.
“The thing is all these things look good on paper but so did communism,” says Matt Freeman, chief executive officer of Tribal DDB, the digital arm of Omnicom Group’s DDB Worldwide. “At the end of the day it’s all about who is in charge. … Traditional ad people are in favor of integration as long as they are in control. It still comes down to who reports to who and egos.”
Communism? I think the quote can be taken out of context, so I’m not going to go there. However the point on who holds the power in these agencies is poignant … a word to the ad agency industry (if they desire to keep their clients’ business in the shift to digital): read Clay Christenson’s book The Innovator’s Dilemma.
I’ll place a bet that the industry will miss this disruptive shift ….