Friday, August 20, 2010

Should Creative Agencies Be Held Accountable For Their Creative?

If you ask the handful of good creative agencies that are out there, their answer would be “yes.”

If you ask the other 99% of agencies that are out there, their answer would be “no.”

The lament at good creative agencies has always been, why can’t good work be worth more than bad work? Why is the work itself, the real reason an advertiser hires us, considered a commodity?

The reason is that most agencies are paid on a fee system. Hours plus mark-up. The quality of the work is seldom taken into account. Whether the work is brilliant, or mediocre, agencies are paid for how much effort went in to creating the work, not how well the creative worked at engaging viewers.

In yesterday’s blog, I talked about how viewer time spent with a commercial is an indicator of a commercial’s worth. After all, an unwatched commercial has a difficult time persuading anyone to do anything.

If a commercial is to have any chance of persuading anyone, it first has to be watched. We can now measure if a commercial is actually watched and, for how long.

So, why don’t advertisers pay their creative agencies on this basis? The more of a commercial that is viewed, the more the agency makes. The opposite would also hold true?

I can only imagine that advertisers think their agencies won’t want to play this way.

But I think advertisers would be surprised if they actually asked their agencies.

If, of course, they have one of the few good creative agencies that are out there.

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