Ad:Tech hears 'death of the campaign' prediction

LONDON - Agencies need to prepare for the "death of the campaign" and embrace direct digital marketing, delegates of Ad:Tech London heard yesterday.

George Bryant, partner at agency The Brooklyn Brothers, predicted “the death of the campaign” and called for brands to build a “direct and enduring relationship with consumers.”

Speaking at the ‘Can brands be friends?’debate he said: “Agencies are no longer in the business of the ‘one night stand’. Today an agency can’t spend 18 months planning a campaign. They need to take advantage of momentum, learn quickly, do it and then do it better.”

Shaun Gregory, chief executive of mobile network Blyk, backed up Bryant’s remarks, explaining that it was no longer in the hands of marketers to decide how to approach consumers.

“There is a demand from consumers for this change in perspective. They want a relationship with a brand and they want to be asked what they think. It will become more complicated moving forward, but brands will have to respond to what the consumer wants,” he said.

The E4 series Skins was given as an example of how a brand can maintain a relationship with consumers, even when it is not in the spotlight. The channel started a MySpace community for the show before it was launched and managed to carry on the communication after the first series had come to an end.

Using new footage, sneak previews and by offering users the chance to be an extra in the show, it was able to double the Myspace community before the second series was aired. 

Anthony Lukom, managing director at Myspace UK, said: “Successfully building a relationship with a community of consumers is an investment. But brands must also be prepared for what consumers will say about their product.

“It is scary to open up the communication channels, but if a brand embraces this, it will get instant feedback as to whether it’s strategy is working or not.”

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