The wrong business model?

Delivering immediate effect might not be the best business model for designing long-term valuable marketing initiatives.

Advertising is known for getting peoples attention and affecting people’s anticipation of an experience or product. Advertising is media related, the effect is purchasable through unlimited scope

Advertising is direct, unwanted, often irritating and too often exhaustingly repetitive. It’s short compact stories or direct messages, highlighting exaggerations and often packaged in a clichéd pun

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. It’s responsive, and provides hot bursts of immediate effect, which cools down quickly.

Brilliant storytellers used to change millions of minds for decades, today they gather millions of views on youtube.


In my mind, advertising is faced with a challenge; it’s own business model, label or sales pitch: We move people and products – fast.

There is a need for long term marketing initiatives; digital concepts and ideas need to carry the longevity of product relationships. Which also implies a different way of measuring value. (What are the metrics identifying the value of a relationship? Are they the same as used for our ability to traffic people back and forth from, and around in, cyberspace?)


The question is, if the advertising industry is in a place clients come with the preconception to create long term marketing initiatives, or if one needs to alter the idea of what the advertising industry does if we are to acquire and lead these projects.

As a friend of mine, David Reid, told me yesterday, referencing a quote by Martin Sorrell: “We are not in the advertising business, we are in the marketing communications business”.

I would say Zeus Jones and Berg London certainly aren’t advertising agencies, but they are doing some of the most interesting stuff out there in this regards. On the other hand you’ve got Razorfish, CP+B and AKQA proving me wrong.

Any ideas?

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  1. January 28

    I’d say ideas agencies/places. Places you come when you need ideas that make people more likely to want to buy/use what you are selling.

    Definitions and names are meaningless, unless it’s grounded in the knowledge that clients will look for whatever the definition is. Advertising agency still works well in that respect. It could be brand communications agencies (which I personally think is more fitting). It’s more than just advertising. It’s marketing too, just like you say. Creating experiences.

    I think we can care less about titles/names and stuff, and just come up with ideas that build strong brands, long term, and prove that it also helps sell products and services short term. They are one and the same – only zoomed in or out.

    I don’t think the “we move people and products – fast” is correct. I’ve never experienced that to be some universal explanation of what we do. As a matter of fact – long term thinking is probably the biggest problem on client side, for numerous reasons. Many brands have a good understanding of long term brand building and brand equity – and what it does for sales in the short term. But there are many that don’t. That’s a/the problem.

  2. January 29

    Hi Olle, thanks for adding your thoughts.

    I completely agree with you on several of your comments.

    – The problem with names are that they are stereotypical labels, unfortunately we need them in order to bring forth coherent meaning in our discussions.

    – And with the “moving people” reference, of course you are right. I was painting it in black and white in order to make a point with the investments in display advertising online – linking back to my original intention with the post: Would companies come to people designing immediate impact display advertising to build and design long term branding initiatives?

    Thanks for adding your ideas and nuance Olle.


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