Does the term ‘ad agency’ fit anymore?

Posted on: June 28th | Filed under: Articles

As we started designing and writing a new website for Headfirst, we struggled with how to succinctly describe our business and what we offer. This is relatively easy for plumbers (they plumb) and law firms (they sue) and architects (they draw). It was already hard enough for me to explain to my mother what I do all day, but now things have gotten even harder on all of us creatives …and our mothers (which is kind of ironic since we’re all in the communication business).

The truth is, creatives are being asked to develop ideas across a much wider range of communication platforms. This is a good… no… a great thing. And, as our homepage illustrates, ‘advertising’ is now only one set of services we deliver. More platforms create more opportunities to say something interesting to your audience, many of which are much less expensive and fruitful.

Of course, the PROCESS we use for creating advertising, is still very much alive. Whether it’s a website or a logo or a social media content strategy, we develop our ideas using many of the same practical and conceptual parameters. We still need to know key facts and insights about your target audience. We still want to create a unique look and feel that fits your brand, yet stands apart from competitors, we still want to make sure we’re being clear, and not wasting people’s time. And we’re still hoping to form an emotional bond (somewhere, the Ghost of David Ogilvy is holding his pipe and smiling).

But back to my original question, if we’re no longer just making ads. Are we ideators? Is this the age of ideation? For now, we’re sticking with ad agency, since that is still the quickest way to get clients to understand what we do. But whenever a newer, more broadly defined moniker gets crowdsourced and accepted, we’ll happily go along.

Ideate on that for a while.

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