Wednesday, May 13, 2009

You see opportunities, we see certain peril

Kate Waters, our head of planning, spoke yesterday on The changing nature of response. A lot of it went either over my head or I just missed because I was grappling with a particularly unwieldy tuna melt sandwich, but the basic gist of it was that we’re all screwed and it’s the consumer’s/internet’s fault.

Apparently, people no longer call a number or fill out a coupon. Instead they look at our ad then a few days later go on something called the internet and have a little look around their website and then still don’t buy anything.

This is especially inconvenient for us below-the-liners because we’re traditionally judged on ROI. Previously, it was easy to justify spending money with us because you could point to a number of brochures requested or products sampled as a direct result of our work. Now all we can say is, “Cor, loads of people have been on your site lately, that’s probably thanks to us and not the work of all your other agencies or a gazillion other random unmeasurable factors”.

So it’s a pretty big problem, I mean opportunity. Like all good planners, Kate ended by throwing the ‘opportunity’ over to us.

I’ve had a quick think and reckon I’ve cracked it. This is my new dog-collar-chip-and-pin-system©. It’s a permanently fitted device which tracks everything a consumer buys, eats or thinks and directly attributes it to a London agency, displaying the agency’s name on an LCD screen grafted to their forehead.

I don't know, I realise it raises all sorts of questions. For starters, how does the client or agency get hold of this data, aside from the times when they happen to pass someone who is displaying their agency's name? Also, where are the guy's ears in the first picture? But hopefully it provokes discussion. That's what we're about on Real Men Write Long Copy, starting conversations.

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