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An Agency That Gets It - And An Ad That Doesn't

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Aug 12, 2008 1:53:45 PM

I'm in York, PA getting ready to speak with a group of 15 CEOs about how to create demand in difficult market conditions.  As I was having dinner and reading USA Today, I came across two examples that are worth sharing.  One shows the power of seeing the world today as it is, the other shows traditional advertising at its worst (or is that best).

The first story focused on a "different" type of ad agency.  Mordernista is focused in the money section, and the article is worth reading.  Here's my favorite highlight:

Liz Vanzura a marketing person for Cadillac commented, "What makes Modernista different is that they focus on understanding the real business issues."

Wow!  That's what I call damning an industry.  Understanding business issues makes a company different?  I don't doubt that it's true, I've been saying for years that ad agencies were depleted of virtually all value creation, but still, I'd like to think that most of them would at least understand the "real business issues."

What I like about Modernista is that they seem to practice the first critical principle of growth - Focus on what the business needs to become, not what the business is.  Another interesting point in the article is that Modernista currently gets 25% of it's revenue from "non-traditional agency revenues" and they expect that to go above 50%.  Another sign that the agency business model is flawed, and that smart people are focusing on monetizing activities that create value, rather than using those activities to subsidize other non-value creative activities.

Later in the paper, I saw an ad for DePuy Orthopedics - a company that provides replacement hips.  It featured Mike Krzyzewski, basketball coach for the 2008 USA Men's Olympic basketball team and Duke.  Krzyzewski has had two hips replaced and he says:

"In fact these hips feel so good, I sometimes forget they're not really mine.  My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner.  My advice?  Don't wait for the pain of severe hip or knee arthritis to take you out of the game.  Ask your doctor about DePuy today."

Do you get that - go out and get your hips replaced today - why wait.  Oh yeah, here's the kicker:

Important Safety Information:  Joint replacement is not for everyone.  There are potential risks...

Potential risk?  I'd say so.  How about we drop the silly manipulation, provide valuable information about how to prevent future replacements, then if I ever need one (as a last resort), maybe I'll actually trust the company.  I realize that celebrity advertising helped Pepsi sell a few more sodas, it's depressing to see where it's gone.

Topics: B2B Sales Strategy