About 2500 years ago, the first sparks of propaganda (Alba, Libelli, Kyrbos and axons) appeared in Rome and Greece, as the heralds, paid characters who promoted products of certain merchants shouting out loud among the crowd. The Phoenicians were also seeking to highlight their bid, now synonymous with commercial advertising and competition.
Arriving in the Middle Age, Gutenberg, inventor of the movable type, gestated the starting point for the modern era of advertising.
Also, at that time, companies began unconsciously to differentiate themselves from their competition by putting a distinctive insignia of his office on the gateway to trade.
Another point of inflexion was staged in 1711, when the British newspaper The Spectactor discovers that the sale of advertising spaces allowed cheaper production costs. Following these, the advertisers then financed the publication costs. The established rate was based on the print run.
In 1845 the first advertising agency is founded in France: Société Générale des Annonces. Its function is to be the mediator between the advertiser and the different media.
By the twentieth century agencies tried to keep the name of the brand in the potential customer minds’. Then, they focused by implementing persuasive arguments as a resource to encourage the purchase of products.
In 1920 the radio makes its debut and it becomes a new way to reach the audience, forcing agencies to develop a new format to edit their messages.
When television burst in around 1950, advertising made a much deeper turnover, because this new media was, and still is, an influential phenomenon in the behavior of society. Social sciences, especially psychology, started to be considered by the agencies.
In the 60s Reeves creates a new technique based on the USP (Unique Selling Position) and a decade later Trout and Reis develop the positioning concept.
The agencies were taking these premises, which changed the form of advertising and generated the organizational structure everyone knows today, although the practice is far away from theory.
To analyze the present time, here some facts which happened lately in the Argentinean advertising market:
• In the 90s Agulla&Baccetti appeared, who revolutionized the way to advertise with a unique creative method (see Boulangeries Creative)
• The Central Media are beginning to grow and take over spaces occupied by agencies (see The 4 Musketeers)
• Direct Marketing, HR and Promotions agencies arise (see The 4 Musketeers)
Based on the first point, we can have a greater field vision and understand what comes next:
The agency lost its identity several times, but always managed to adapt again to the needs of the client. For example, 30 years ago the Central Media with their brokers started to gain space among the ad agencies. They realized the problem, thus restructured themselves to provide a new kind of service , which is to position creatively products in the consumer’s mind and so achieve the marketing objectives.
There is an interesting point that was marking a silent change within the agencies:
With their campaign “La llama que llama” (The Llama who is calling), A&B accidentally made all the people talk about the commercial, but very few remembered the brand who made it (Telecom). The success was such that the agency sold massively stuffed Llama puppets. This phenomenon made clients to focus, not in the integral service agencies had to offer, but on the creative ideas. Customers were looking for the creative “star” and not for the agency as such.
These creative copywriters realized that they embodied what the companies were looking for, so many resigned to their position at an agency to open their own enterprise.
Examples: Agulla and Baccetti created Heaven and Hell, Sebastian Wilhelm came from Europe to found Santo. This are the so-called “Creative Boutiques”, which deliver creative solutions for video clips, commercials, movie clips, etc.
I think this is a new item that opens into Argentina advertising, creative boutiques whose service the sale of creative ideas that can then be used for video music clips, commercial or any use that one party would like to buy give.
Now, here is a question How come agencies, with a sophisticated infrastructure, suddenly have direct competition, a small sized hub, which is able to attract strong brands such as Coca Cola Light?
The agency lost that point of differentiation, which is to provide creative ideas to a brand.
A personal approach and noting recent moves, it seems that strategic planning is shaping up to be the flagship service agencies.