Coffee with OMD Director, Nadim Samara
DC: Ok, we just have to ask this question…PVR’s the end of advertising as we know it? P&G’s Jim Stengel, death of 30 second spot, applicable in the region?
NS: “The end of advertising as we know it” is applicable on a daily basis…it just changed again after you read that sentence! Change in advertising is here, and it is continuously gaining speed. PVR’s are just accelerating this speed, making our “conservative” look for a 30sec spot short-sighted, and necessitating us to go further. The 30sec spot is not dead, it’s rapidly “ageing”… Brand engagement, smart positioning, and “inside programming” thinking is needed to ensure that our message is within consumers’ TV viewing interest. Objective now is to, first, be within the “can’t miss” part of TV and, second, how to be there in an engaging fashion to avoid being off-putting.
DC: Should media departments have creatives?
NS: “Media departments” have already disappeared; assuming you are referring to Media Agencies. Any task requires a creative solution to improve the final outcome, and that is true for creative agencies, marketing departments and media agencies. It is up to the people, corporate culture/thinking and the “work spirit” to deliver this. As for pure creative people within Media Agencies, several agencies have already pursued this. Quite right to if they are to support and enhance their account handlers’ ability to address a task with more creative weaponry and therefore deliver a better solution.
DC: How should media ownership be controlled?
We need to separate between ownership and rights to sell ad space. For the first part, it is not a major issue for us and advertisers, as long as content quality reaches a high enough level to entice people to consume the media in question. For the latter, it also should not be a major issue for us advertisers! Many models exist. Viacom, one of the largest global media empires, is surviving well with media agencies based on mutual benefits, which ultimately impacts on the brands. Agencies can exert control on third-party media sales companies via several trading methods, which protect the agency/client from any threat of “monopolistic” practices.
DC: Some people think that media and brand planning should be a combined discipline, what are your thoughts?
NS: Aren’t they already? If one thinks they are not, elaborating on this subject now is meaningless…
DC: Integration, is there such a thing in the region?
NS: To answer this question one has to look at the way Media Agencies came about: they started as “the guys in the back” generating schedules, grew to increasingly take part in the planning of a campaign and liaising with the client. Today, they are more often than not separate from the rest of the account and frequently in the lead position on an account. The issue for “integration” is whether all parties are ready to accept the crucial role media plays today. We should adjust to the international AOR model that has proven time and time again successful & adaptive to local large accounts.
DC: Many thanks Nadim for your time and effort!