Are media agencies the new creative agencies?

by Anna Munhin Mar 24, 2023 News
Are media agencies the new creative agencies?

The X- Women and X- Men who make the big calls on how and where to spend advertisers' money are featured in a storyboard series. This is a glimpse into their minds - how they work in a dynamic landscape, the next big trends they're watching for, insights into what advertisers need today, and factors driving their decisions. It's a good place to watch for quick and sharp insights.

Media agencies were the last part of the puzzle. Buying space on television channels, newspapers or magazines is what comes into the picture once the television or newspaper ads are done. The role of media agencies has evolved greatly over the years.

Media agencies are looking to increase the services they can give to marketers due to the continued growth of content, social media and OTT. Media agencies are starting to show off their ability to offer clients more integration.

On a personal note, I was recently appointed chief creative officer at Wavemaker, India, a role almost exclusive to creative agencies and almost never seen in a media agency. It was a move that raised quite a few questions. Are media agencies now going head on with creative agencies? After close to a decade in one of the best creative agencies in the business, I can see the difference almost instantly.

We aren't here to do what the existing agencies are doing. The difference is that we are looking at content and creative assets through the lens of media Optimisation. My role is to strengthen Wavemaker's integrated offering by combining the power of media, creative and technology and driving client growth in a richer, more dynamic approach.

Almost certainly yes. With the rapid growth of content, marketers have begun to look at their advertising mix in a whole different way. Brands now want to be seen more as content creators rather than be seen as mere advertisers. The need for brands to stay connected with their consumers 24 x 7 is growing and not just as brands and consumers but as friends, advisors and even mentors. Brands are now ready to talk one on one rather than talk one to many.

The new age media planners have access to a lot of data. A media plan that is innovative and designed for maximum impact can now be looked at by a person. There have been many examples of this recently. Coke studio has been able to drive brand awareness and engagement at a scale that has never been achieved before.

Coca Cola is one of the companies that have created case studies. The idea of combining a brilliant creative idea with innovative use of technology and media to create a piece of advertising history was pioneered by the "Not Just a Cadbury Ad" with Shah Rukh Khan. It won the hearts of buyers and sellers around the world.

Welcome to the new age of content.

The campaigns mentioned above are only the beginning. They have merely scratched the surface. They have whetted the appetite of every brand manager on the planet. The metaverse has come and the metaverse has gone. Generative technology is here and now. If every brand manager was looking for a metaverse idea, today they are looking for an idea on Chat GPT. While movie stars and cricketers still dominate the mainstream media, Youtubers, Instagrammers, stand-up comedians, gamers, musicians offer a wide spectrum and voices that connect with both young and old. While Big Boss, KBC, IPL, Indian Idol rule on OTT, Roblox, Minecraft, Fortnite all offer brands a newer and fresher way to win their consumer.

So are media agencies the new creative agencies?

One point is that the complexity of landing a creative thought is growing by the day given the audience segments, platform nuances and formats etc .. to land these creative ideas, partnerships, platform understanding and the skillsets of audiences becomes very critical.. which is where a media agency becomes critical. Addressability and addressable content is an example

While a media agency can never really compete with a creative agency, in pure craft and brand ideas they are more than equipped to take an idea from the creative agency and lift the ideas to stratospheric levels. But the sheer complexity of landing a creative idea is growing by the day given the ever evolving audience segments, platforms, formats and technology. To fulfill the potential of these brilliant creative ideas partnerships, platform understanding and the skillsets become very critical and here’s where the role of a media agency becomes critical. I am excited about the resources that are at my disposal at Wavemaker. The data, advocacy, tech and addressable teams are the creative teams of the future.

And that’s the transformation of the traditional media agency.

George Kovoor is Chief Creative Officer, Wavemaker India. Views expressed are personal.

The first one was published on March 24, 2023.