Advertising agencies don’t believe in advertising…

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Have you seen the latest television advertisements from all those brand advertising agencies – you know the ones, where they creatively promote themselves to build their brands – and then load them on YouTube? Or those beautifully crafted full-page press advertisements designed to sell an agency’s services? Or the amazing viral campaigns that promote the agency and capture the details of everyone who forwards the message?

Of course you haven’t. They don’t exist – most advertising agencies don’t believe advertising can build their brands.

Agencies prefer to build their brands through direct marketing – like word of mouth and publicity – mostly personal meetings, mail, email, telephone, referrals, trade articles, blogs and more recently social media. If you’re a marketing manager you’ll have been on the receiving end of numerous “credentials” mailings, unsolicited show-reels and portfolios, or emails with links to thought leadership presentations or the latest trend, infographics.

Wieden-Kennedy used modern technology to share their thoughts via PowerPoint presentations – but unfortunately they don’t offer a reason to call them after viewing. “Just move me dude” is not really a call to action.

If you are going to publish opinions to build your brand, you need to give people a reason to act on your opinions. Readers always ask, What’s In It For Me? Give them a reason to respond to you.

Interestingly, most agencies know that brand-building advertising (in all media) isn’t always the best way to build a brand, let alone grow a business. So they don’t waste their money on advertising their brand, despite what they encourage marketers to do.

If agencies don’t value advertising to promote their own brand, how can we be sure they know what they’re doing with our money?

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