Large Advertising Agencies Still Not Getting Online…

Large Advertising Agencies Still Not Getting Online…

I feel that I need to start this off with a disclaimer. This is not a personal dig, jab, poke or knife in for big agencies some of whom may be featured in this blog post. This is merely looking at what I feel large agencies are failing to notice and are still in my opinion; doing wrong! I don’t intend to piss anyone off (although I am virtually guaranteed of doing that). So with that out of the way; let’s get this started.

Full Service; Full Stop.

I’m specifically picking on agencies who call themselves “full service agencies”. In days gone by, large agencies were especially guilty of saying that they were full service agencies, this included advertising, branding, communication and everything in between. Unfortunately for them, digital no longer means that you can get away with a (say in Capetonian accent) “like totally awesome design, that contemplates the meaning of life!”  That was especially cool when people gave a damn! Now there is a HUGE emphasis placed on what does my digital marketing do for me?! Where is my ROI (Return On Investment)?!

Websites in particular need to be found online and once they are found, what are the visitors going to do on the site when they are there? Are they going to give you a pat on the back for your ability to bring them to orgasm by looking at their design? No! They are going to leave if you cannot offer them what they are looking for in as short an amount of time as possible.

But this is true of EVERY digital medium out there as well, not only websites, but as I said large advertising agencies just dont seem to get online.

Let’s back this up with a few examples :Ogilvy website screenshot (click on each image to see it full screen)

The Father of advertising’s website.

Ogilvy‘s website is quite possibly the most difficult website to get to grips with out of all the ones I looked at. And may I draw your eye to the 4th line of text on their site which says “Digital Media & Search Marketing”. Erm… Did I miss something…!? The entire site is flash – which does not index and if you happen not to have a flash player – that’s one site you are not going to see…!

Ebony & Ivory website screenshot

I know that everyone (and I stress everyone) is or was a fan of TIM (The Incredible Machine); but when did it become a good idea to design a website in a 90’s style PC game? Ebony & Ivory have designed a beautiful site – half of which you can see at any time as they designed it to be seen of a 52inch monitor as it doesn’t scale any smaller.

It truly is beautiful and the attention to detail is superb; but it is the perfect example of large advertising creative steam rolling digital sense!

Network BBDO screenshot

This might just be my favourite of all. Network BBDO clearly had this designed in Cape Town! (in another Cape Tonian accent) “This site is like totally groovy, becaue as you move your mouse the perspective changes and that is like a metaphor for the work that we do. WE like totally change the perspectives of how people interact with your brand!” Crap! It’s kak to navigate, it plays some awful sound when you navigate over a highlighted button and it gives you a headache! The only action I wanted to take was to click “back” not make you my agency of choice!

The reason why I love this one so much is because they are a huge advertising agency ; both in South Africa as well as globally. But the real kicker is that they are a sister company to Gloo Digital (don’t get me started). Clearly they are not sharing digital ideas that convert and if they are, they are certainly keeping it a secret.

Wrapping It Up!

The basic outtake from all of this is that when you are choosing a digital partner or even a stock standard advertising agency; be sure that their digital is not all about the creative; but that they are backing it up with hard core search engine optimisation as well as website conversion techniques – cos a pretty totally awesome design does not bring your business cash – no matter how many Loeries it wins!

3 Replies to “Large Advertising Agencies Still Not Getting Online…”

  1. “Are they going to give you a pat of the back for your ability to bring them to orgasm by looking at their design?” HA HA.

    Well put Jonno, you seem to really put your point across well..! Having a website that makes you think (and these *really* do) any more than you should could have a seriously negative effect on your conversion rates.

    Granted that their bounce rates are probably quite low due to people wanting to “play” on the site but you also need to keep in mind that “playing” and “figuring out” is completely different – one is fun, and one can be very irritating.

  2. Hey Jono,

    “Like Shoowow dude, this article is totally awesume, I really love the way it just hits you in the gut”

    No seriously, I agree, and have been saying this for years. Traditional marketing & New Media are worlds apart. Clever ideas that get people talking though TV, radio and other media are one thing (but then again, these agencies have had many years to master these channels), thinking through, and deploying an effective ROI Online campaign, is a totally different thing all together.


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