Do Creative Agencies Need Media Folk?


“What if we took over the entire FHM homepage, changed the colour and font, moved the content around and made the page shake for the whole day?”

“Can we just take the copy from our entire press insert and put into the MPU?”

“Let’s just take the 60″ TVC and run it as an online and mobile pre-roll.”

These are all true quotes, people.  And it make me wonder – Is there a role for a media person in a digital creative agency? 

This isn’t going to be a post bad mouthing creative agencies. In fact, to the contrary. But was something lost when media and creative de-coupled? 

The creative agency / media agency relationship doesn’t need to be a combative one, but as I’ve previously said, for this relationship to work to its best effect, both sides need to take steps to understanding what the other side does. These two disciplines shouldn’t work in isolation and there’s value in creatives having media grounding and vice versa. 

I wonder if creating a media consultancy role would help a lot of digital creative agencies flex their ideas harder. 

How would this role work? There are two ways:

    1. Advising on formats / metrics / sites / costs – “It would cost at least £200,000 to change the colour of the Yahoo homepage”, “MPUs are on the schedule because they tend to be the best performing standard format as they sit within content”, etc, etc

    2. Advising on best practice in working with media agencies – “It’s important to upload creative at least 10 days in advance because it needs to be tested and QA’d by the adserver and then again by each site”, “It’s important to implement tracking tags in the website in order to track post-click and post-impression conversions”, etc, etc

Before you ask, this isn’t a planning role I’m suggesting. This person would sit above the fray, act as a sounding board and provide a media perspective on creative output. Would this inhibit creativity and the ideas process? No, I think it would enhance it and produce better results, because it would take a very smart, very flexible person to sit in a role like this. 

Media owners like Microsoft’s BEET team are jumping into the fray, producing fantastic work and effectively acting like creative agencies. They’re already one step ahead because they understand media and are using creative productive as a means of future-proofing themselves. 

Creatives, what do you think?

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