AMC’s MadMen gives a nostalgic look to the food chain process of agency life in the 1960’s. Many refer to this era as the Golden Age of advertising. Matthew Nelson, director of social media strategy at Tribal DDB, has a post up on Fast Company arguing that we’re now living through advertising’s Golden Age: the linear process that defined the MadMen era has become complicated due to the disruptive technologies of the early 21st century. Nelson explains that because of the myriad ways brands can connect with consumers today through social networks, the days of top-down message dissemination should be over. Should is the key word here, as he explains many advertisers are still spamming consumers because of systemic organizational issues. The biggest problem in this digital age: poor communication. Internally and externally, companies are forced to change its business models. Those who can adapt to the changing nature of the broad communications landscape are the ones who will succeed, he writes.
In the post-digital age, everyone’s roles are blurred and traditional agency conventions are being challenged to keep pace with ever-changing client demands. We can no longer continue to apply old methodologies to an evolving new-media landscape. We need to get acclimated with operating in a state of chaos. The old-school bureaucracy of the suit briefing the planner, the planner briefing creative, and the creative team going away and cooking up some ideas is dead. “Agency of record” relationships are becoming increasingly rare and clients are opting to work with a variety of specialists in the areas of digital, social, mobile, and PR. As a result, agencies have had to change the way they do business, rethink the services that they offer, hire different types of people, and modify how internal teams are structured.
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