Babita Baruah
Jun 01, 2011

Babita's Blog: Whose Idea Is It Anyway?

Babita Baruah, vice president and client services director, JWT Delhi, considers it high time ad agencies and media agencies started their happy coffee meetings and late evening chats again

Babita's Blog: Whose Idea Is It Anyway?

Once upon a time, we all sat together, lunched together, drank together, poured over excel sheets and were joint at the hip. We went to client meetings in the same car, squeezed out that extra sponsorship money and celebrated our billing figures .

For those who are wondering what this is about, this is before the great divide between media and advertising.

Which, for obvious reason, was a good outcome of the natural process of change and evolvement.

However, today, the separation is just not different floors and buildings and identities. It  is also on idea ownership. And right at the centre of this sits the brand and the client.

So the way it works for most businesses is like this.

Brief to ad agency.
Brief to media agency.
But another day another time.

Ad agency presents idea to client. But has no clue about what media is being planned, though the brief has the mandatory 30 second TVC, pos and radio.
The creative agency usually presents a wishlist of fantastic media and ambient ideas.

Media agency presents media plan to client, usually before the ad agency has presented the creative idea. That sponsorship property can't be missed. Or that show with the highest GRPs has to have brand spots. Which is reality and part of the deliverables.

Client loves the creative idea. Sees the potential for disruption.
Client also loves the media plan. Sees the potential for impact.

Idea executed, rolled out.
And most times, a successful roll out too.

Without the two agencies at times having met at most twice and that too at the client's office.

Award time.
Who puts in that innovation entry?
Media? Ad agency? Digital? All?
Sometimes the net is wide enough.
Most times it is not.

So from being friends like yesteryears, we tend to become  professional foes.
No direct conflicts.
But no happy coffee meetings and late evening chats either.

In today's new media age,  there will come a time when working together will be the mantra and not an option.
When the 30 second will not lead the campaign, but a youtube viral will.
When the award goes to one idea and not its avatars and manifestations.

Hopefully we will go back to meeting and ideating together more often.
If not under the same roof, at least over a coffee.

The views expressed are the author's independent views as an ad professional and do not reflect the organisation's viewpoint.

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