Tuesday, March 01, 2005

:: adgruntie :: JWT kills off J. Walter Thompson

+ Reuters reports that J.Walter Thompson is changing their name to JWT. Um, I thought plenty called them by that name already. They are also hoping to change the way they market to consumers by broadening their tactics beyond traditional media. Apparently there have been some big corproate events to celebrate the new JWT, including "a funeral pyre for the old company logo in Paris and a watery burial of an image of founder J. Walter Thompson outside of Tokyo." Rather than focusing so much on this coroporate mumbo-jumbo, perhaps they should more strongly focus on creating consistantly good creative for their clients.
"The world has changed dramatically -- the consumer is in control of brands," Bob Jeffrey, CEO of JWT Worldwide, told Reuters, referring to a proliferation of media outlets like the Internet, where consumers choose when and how they get information about products.

"(Advertising) is really about earning the right to buy people's time as opposed to imposing a message on them."

The new rules of the game for JWT include a commitment to "stop interrupting what people are interested in and BE what people are interested in," pushing a stronger foray into creative ideas and entertainment, as well as viewing consumers as the new client that needs to be pleased.
All this is great but it's also the way it's been for a long time. It's amazing how all this is now "new". Before TiVo type devices we've always had remote controls or people who flip the channel as soon as the ads start. For a long time the consumer has been in control, they just have more control now than before. This thinking is something that should have been the basis for good creative and good advertising plans for decades. Personally I find it bizarre that it took DVR's to bring people to this realization, especially when it's not really new.

Although this is the basis for the current "revolution" in the ad world right now. Everyone is running around stating the obvious and calling it "innovative" or whatever. From "consumers are in control" spewed by all the agency CEOs (no duh!) to "advertising needs to not be considered an intrusion" (no shit Sherlock!), we seem to be experiencing a period where people are remembering the basics all
of a sudden and calling them "new ideas". All of which I find sickening. These are basic principals that as ad folk, we should know and use every day.

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