By now you may have seen this video from PHD, an Omnicom Media Group company. Apparently it was made for a conference to “stimulate discussion within the industry.”
Wow. Is it possible that there is an industry conference in our industry where people don’t already know that the world of media has changed, that we have 2 billion new participants in the media landscape, that engagement is the new way to connect and that interruptive messages are a thing of the past?
Why then would someone in our own business want to create a film that is so filled with self-hatred? Are we really ashamed of what we do? There have been plenty of examples of videos and parodies that point out some of the absurdities of our business and the people in it. But at least the good ones (see below) have a sense of humor.
What’s wrong with PHD’s video is that it’s so filled with venom, so contrived and so untrue. Yes we live in an age of social and participation, but people, especially kids, still love advertising. Look no further than VW’s Darth Vader spot, virtually any Apple TV campaign or our own recent FAGE spot (see the comments.)
Yes, a brand that doesn’t invite consumers to collaborate risks everything from attention to loyalty, but there are dozens of visible examples, from Old Spice to Burberry. It’s not like we need a screen filled with phony anger from 12-year-olds to tell us.
And finally, even though PHD is right that consumers will take things into their own hands and create anti-brand content (I’ve done it myself, though with an intent to be constructive), more often than not it will be for a valid reason.
PHD claims they’ve left the video up on YouTube because they value the conversation it’s stimulated, including criticism. I suppose that’s commendable. And they’re not wrong in suggesting there are flaws in aspects of how our industry creates content and does or doesn’t engage with the new consumer.
I just think if they’re attempting to say that they understand the new media frontier, the future video is an odd way to say it.
Cats work better for me.