Mike Fromowitz
May 20, 2014

Let's not give up on traditional advertising just yet

It no longer makes any sense to talk of ‘digital’ in advertising as a separate medium or discipline. The fact is, most all advertising is now digital in some way.

Let's not give up on traditional advertising just yet

We definitely live in an online world. But don't go thinking that traditional advertising is an antiquated discipline.  Even after 6 decades of television advertising, TV still reaches more people than any other medium. Radio still has a virtual monopoly over certain demographics. A highly creative print campaign strategically targeted to an affluent and exclusive audience can change opinions and drive customers to consider new or existing brands over their competitors.

Research today concludes that if you want to grow your brand, gain loyal customers, and move them to make your brand part of their lives, you must consider an integrated media approach and incorporate traditional advertising into your marketing tactics.

Fact is, the Internet has not yet saturated the market place as deeply as worshipers of all things digital think that it might have. This means that TV, radio, and print continue to be strong mediums with highly popular content that drives a great bulk of successful ad sales.

Most all advertising is now digital in some way.

Traditional advertising is particularly valuable when seeking to rapidly build brand identity and is flexible enough to target large audiences or niche markets depending on available media. And, while it may lack the one-to-one impact of online, it can make the prospective customer more receptive to other more targeted marketing tactics like digital, and open doors for a marketer's sales force. 

While it is difficult to quantify the ultimate effectiveness and ROI of traditional advertising, it can reinforce marketing messages, maintain customer loyalty and provide ongoing brand support keeping the product(s) or service(s) in the customer’s consideration mind-set.

Traditional Dinosaurs?

I remember back about ten years ago, when the so-called ‘traditional’ agencies were being warned that their days were numbered. We were being told by every digital pundit on the web that traditional ad agencies are dinosaurs, and that in the next few years they would all be extinct and replaced by digital agencies. 

When we take a look at the key international awards shows, they reveal just how wrong this prediction turned out to be.  

The most awarded agencies in 2013 were traditional agencies (who also do digital work)

The Gunn Report 2013 proves my case:

  • McCann Melbourne was ranked the #1 agency (the first time in the Top 50 table) tied for first place by Wieden+Kennedy at #2,  
  • AlmapBBDO (São Paulo) at #3,
  • Ogilvy Brasil (São Paulo) at #4, 
  • BBH (London) and 
  • Clemenger BBDO (Melbourne and Sydney) at #5.


Jump ahead to 2014

Each year, Creative Review brings out their Annual which showcases the most outstanding work in visual communications over the last 12 months. For 2014, their Ad Agency of the Year is London agency AMV BBDO, a traditional agency that’s been around forever, an agency that while huge has proved itself nimble across a range of media. This is what Creative Review said about the company:

Abbott Mead Vickers (AMV BBDO) made its reputation with beautifully crafted print and TV campaigns for the likes of The Economist, Guinness and Volvo which relied on brilliant copywriting and art direction. But it has wholeheartedly embraced the potential of the new platforms available to agencies today. The work from the agency featured in this year’s Annual includes a Twitter-based campaign for Snickers and Sainsbury’s brilliant crowdsourced Christmas in a Day documentary, as well as a very traditional commercial for dog food. So congratulations to AMV BBDO, proof that what matters are great ideas, brilliantly executed, using the most appropriate platform. 

One of the reasons AMV has produced such a diverse range of campaigns across different media is that they don’t think in terms of media, but in terms of ideas, that being the most relevant, effective and engaging places to put those ideas. The agency is equipped with the right people with the right skills to do that. 


David Abbott, RIP

The day I completed writing the above blog post, I learned about the passing of David Abbott, one of advertising's great great heroes. Copywriter,  former chairman and creative director of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, David Abbott was one of the most celebrated figures in the London advertising scene. He retired as chairman in 1998 after almost 40 years in Advertising. He was inducted into the One Club's Hall of Fame in 2001, and into the American Advertising Federation's Advertising Hall of Fame in 2011, becoming the first inductee from Britain since David Ogilvy in 1965. He published his first novel, The Upright Piano Player, in 2010.

His most memorable and iconic work was created for Sainsbury, Volvo, and The Economist. With just a few words of copy, one of his most famous Economist ads succinctly illustrated the impact the magazine had on those who read it, or rather, those who didn't. 

Mike Fromowitz

Related Articles

Just Published

1 day ago

Dentsu continues strong growth trajectory in Q2

The network's Customer Transformation & Technology division grew 22.25%, powering overall gains for a second straight quarter. Protracted sale of the Russian business dilutes net gains.

1 day ago

Son Heung-Min chooses ‘boldness’ in Tiger Beer ...

Publicis unveils Tiger’s second brand film following Son’s signing as brand ambassador.

1 day ago

Tech Bites: Week of August 8, 2022

News from Shopee, Summit Media, Accenture, BDigital, and more.