We asked Agency Exec X, an anonymous industry veteran, for predictions that others won’t talk about publicly.
1. Clients will continue to advertise on Facebook.
Even though video ads will be prohibitively expensive for most brands and all the evidence points to teens leaving Facebook like rats, clients have only just figured out how to advertise on Facebook. They don’t want to hear about Snapchat or WhatsApp. They don’t have the energy. But they will be pissed when they don’t get as many likes as they thought they were going to get.
2. Lots of people will talk about programmatic buying in the same way that they talked about Big Data: without having a clue about what it really means.
And in the unlikely event they do understand it fully, they won’t know how to implement it or have the time or energy to figure it out.
3. Brands will not act like publishers.
Not because brands are smart enough to see that actually 90 percent of publishers are in the shitter but because they can’t act fast enough. On average it takes a normal brand using a normal agency between three and six months to get one piece of content approved and published. HuffPo publishes about 500 pieces a day. Figure that out, “Math Men.”
4. Agencies will work longer hours for less money.
Snigger at –or ignore — the stories of copywriters in Indonesia dying through overwork, but the chances are if you work for a big agency, your revenue will continue to go down as clients find smarter, or just plain different, ways to spend their money. There is nothing you can do about this.
5. BuzzFeed has about six months of relevance left.
This holiday season will be the last time someone can pitch a listicle or ‘10 ways to do x’ without being punched in the face by any editor with a pair of balls or conscience.
6. Being an executive creative director or a chief creative officer of a big agency is going to suck too.
Your Don Draper mannerisms and presentations don’t mean shit anymore. Unless you have Ron Burgundy on speed dial, then forget it. All your pretty illustrations and fancy quotes mean jack. Because you know what? “Ron Burgundy sold the shit out of that Dodge.” Sales. Clients like sales. And celebrities. Both? Both is manna. So expect a barrage of calls from clients wanting a “Ron Burgundy” and a barrage of Hollywood agents and talent agencies taking the place of ad agencies trying to explain why this time maybe a celebrity isn’t the right route. Ari from entourage is going to fuck you. That’s what he lives for. Because you can’t get Will Ferrell or Will Arnett in your ad, expect another flurry of cutesy, artisanal-style folksy films designed to tug at the heartstrings. Clients will look at the AirBnB spot, Chipotle and the Toshiba films and say, “Do me something that gets hits like that, only cheaper.” And for the first six months agencies will do that; only they will fail because they are not Pereira O’Dell.
7. Web hits won’t matter.
Because it is now entirely obvious that most Web hits are from bots no proper client will care about hits anymore. Just sales. Forget about doing a cool experiment on the Web to see how many hits it gets. The old saying of not knowing which half of an advertiser’s budget was wasted now applies to all hits. Clients have a another stick with which to beat you with. They like beating you. The only numbers that will matter to them is sales. Wait, isn’t that what it was always supposed to be?