I read an article about marketing in The Globe the other day. The article was about how to build a successful marketing campaign, a D-I-Y marketing manual for small businesses. It didn’t dispense any real nuggets, but it didn’t embarrass itself either.
But the visual that accompanied the article was of Don Draper. Huh?
And the lead-in paragraph had some lame connection to the author being a Mad Man.
It got me thinking. If the folks at AMC made a show about the advertising industry today, would they still profile Mad(ison Avenue) Men?
I’m thinking no. If the goal was to profile the most exciting work currently being done by the most prolific figures in the agency world, then perhaps their focus would be on those young, marketing visionaries who are re-shaping this industry and the future of communications. They are in Silicon Valley. Or Portland. Or Boulder. Or Miami. Or working together virtually from all over the world. The point is, the best marketing minds are no longer centralized in New York. There’s no need for them to be. Smaller agencies are able to adapt to new technology and trends with surprising agility. There is a real opportunity for small agencies to fragment Madison Avenue relationships. To take small bites out of the bigger fish. The big agency battleships are turning, but as media and technology continue to fragment, there will be sustained opportunities for the small guys.
So perhaps in 50 years when a television company is looking to create another social commentary about the beginning of this century through the lens of an ad agency, the focus would be on a small market agency pushing the boundaries of new technology.
11th Ave Men?
Ah… forget it.