Jim Morris notices the flight from agencies calling themselves, well agencies. In the desire to dissasociate their work with ‘advertising’ and all its stigma. Here is his call to arms.
…Many companies that used to call themselves advertising agencies have fled that term over the past decade or so. They’ve labored mightily to redefine themselves as “idea factories,” “marketing,” “communications” or “branding” agencies, or in other terms that exclude the word “advertising.” The new generation of industry practitioners tend to blanch at the latter term because they feel they’re creating something different from—and more “attuned to” consumers—than advertising.
There is a growing chorus of people who contend that “advertising” is an old-school term that hopelessly denotes only “traditional” advertising. According to this view, the current ways brands convey their messages, create and nurture customer relationships, and, dare I say, sell their products and services—things like social media, customer-generated commercials, videos-hoping-to-go-viral, games, whatever the device du jour may be—need to be distinguished from the more passive “traditional” modes of advertising (print and broadcast). The term “advertising,” it’s argued, doesn’t do the new world of advertising justice.
So, what do we call the totality of communications that collectively includes traditional, nontraditional, alternative, digital, experiential, viral, guerilla and so forth? What word identifies this entire spectrum of vehicles, modes, tactics, techniques, devices, manners of connecting, relating, endearing, entertaining and bonding with customers?