There’s no shortage of doomsayers lining up to give the last rites to old-school media – the likes of print and free-to-air tv. Yet, the reality is it’s here to stay, digital just means we’ll engage with it differently and more deeply.
That’s the view of Steven Thomson, executive creative director of long-running and independent Sydney agency LOUD.
As an example, Thomson doubts free-to-air TV will suddenly vanish anytime soon; we’ll all keep watching albeit while engaging with it via a second screen.
“If you want to talk about the future, the future is not about predicting the end of traditional media, rather the future is about these traditional ‘pillars’ and how we’ll use digital to engage with that.
“Everybody keeps saying free-to-air-TV is dead, but it won’t be because what we’ll be doing is using a second screen while viewing TV. We’ll be on our iPad while we’re watching and interacting with additional content that we can get from our TV, that we can scan, or we can get from Shazam,” he said.
And speaking of the future, LOUD’s head of planning and innovation, Gerry Cyron, debunks the idea that the future looks grim for the smaller independents like his.
Cyron argues the bigger multinational agencies might use their ‘A-team’ creatives to win the business; however, once the business is won and the contracts signed that’s the last time the client ever sees of the agency’s best minds again.
“The great advantage of a smaller agency working on your account is that you’ll always have the senior people in the room,” Cyron said.
“As an independent you have to be hungrier than everybody else and more buttoned down than everybody else. It’s a more personal ownership. If you can create your own destiny from a small team of like 20 people then that’s far more potent; you’re far more emotionally attached, you have far more skin in the game.”
And LOUD’s CEO, Lorraine Jokovic, agreed a smaller independent agency such as hers enables it “to be far more nimble, you’re not as governed as the multinationals are; turning around a big ship can be far more difficult,” she said.
“Our industry has been set up to buy people’s ears and buy a voice. And with social media and digital and all the wonderful media assets available now, what that forces brands to do is it forces brands to be heard.
“Yes, you don’t have that mothership to go back to,” she argued of the support given the big international agencies. “You do have to be agile, you do have to manage all of your resources really tightly, you have to be very protective of your relationships with clients… but I actually think that’s a great benefit not a disadvantage,” she said.