But in reality, that AOR model died a long time ago. Today, rather than an Agency of Record, advertisers have a record number of agencies.
Mondelez International is proving to be no exception.
What they call “Project Sprout” involves working with multiple agencies, small teams, accelerated timelines, no copy-testing and linking ads to short-term sales results.
I like all of it, except linking ads to short-term sale results.
Because when you go away from an agency of record model, how can any one agency be held accountable for sales?
Agencies do need to be held accountable. But only for what they are directly responsible for.
When it comes to commercials, what an agency is directly responsible for is creating work that, once people start watching, they continue watching.
In other words, the type of involvement their ad/commercial creates with the consumer.
This is something that is certainly measurable.
If the ad in question was a thirty-second spot, did consumers watch all thirty seconds? Or, only ten seconds out of thirty?
What this does is allow agencies to be held accountable for how well their piece of the sales puzzle is being consumed by consumers.
After all, before a sale can take place, the commercial needs to be watched. And, if the commercial is thirty seconds in length, then who, but the agency, is accountable for all thirty of those seconds?
What this means for the advertiser is that instead of paying their agency based on how long it takes to make the commercial, they can pay based on how long viewers watch the commercial for.
In other words, they can pay for outcome rather than effort.
Which is what Mondelez is attempting to do now.
Because I agree that agencies should be held accountable for results.
But they need to be results that agencies are directly responsible for.