Do Ad agencies really get it?

Robert Carlyle is a great actor and just did a fantastic ad for Johnny Walker – it has the internet a buzz – this is a 6 minute clip and was filmed in ONE TAKE, no cuts or edits. So Robert has to walk along doing this whole soliloquy and synchronise up with the props on the side of the road and he gets one chance to do it:

Brilliant stuff right – now one of two things might have happened when you went to watch that video, you saw it or you saw a message that looked like this:

This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Bartle Bogle Hegarty Limited

Like this:

So here’s the deal, the ad agency doesn’t want you to watch it on YouTube, they want you to go to the Johnny Walker website in UK to watch it. But here’s the thing, YouTube has a much larger population than the UK so why make it hard for people to see the ad ?

I would have loved to be in the boardroom when this conversation went down: “Hey, our ad is on YouTube and millions of people are watching it and commenting about it, hell these people even want to find out how we made it. We need to send a cease and desist to YouTube – they can’t show our ad that sells our client’s product to their millions of viewers.”

And that conversation made SENSE to some manager and sure enough they start removing it from YouTube.

If I was the manager of BBH, the agency who did the ad, I’d be happy for any site or media outlet to show my ad – I mean, how much would it cost to run a 6 minute ad on TV? These guys would know, last year their total billings came to $1.5 billion. And if you’re an ad agency making percentages on your client’s media spend then YouTube is a dead fish to them because YouTube is FREE.

YouTube gives them the exposure for their brand to millions of people for free but an agency can’t make money out of that unless, of course, they worked out a way to charge for VIEWS – YouTube shows you how many people viewed a video so instead of an agency charging 5% of the media spend (or whatever their traditional rate is) maybe a truly creative agency could charge a few cents for every view their campaign gets on YouTube. We’re entering new territory here but surely it’s better than removing what are effectively ADs from sites like YouTube.

I should point out BBH’s motto is: Our objective is effectiveness. Our strategy is creativity.

Published in: on September 7, 2009 at 11:19 pm Comments Off on Do Ad agencies really get it?

Comments are closed.