Today’s Ad Age has a nice interview with Richard Gerstein, the new senior VP-strategy and worldwide marketing for the HP’s Personal Systems Group division.
In it he gives some frank talk about the big branding agencies’ inability to think small.
This whole content creation on the web should be the most enabling thing ever for the agencies. Social media and the web is like a renaissance for young creative people who should be going out and saying, “I want to shoot it myself with my digital camera. I don’t want to hire an expensive director; why would I do that? I’m the visionary behind this.” I don’t think people get it. I think people are still stuck in an old model in the agency world of shooting million-dollar commercials. I had this experience where we wanted five three-minute webisodes, and I said, “Great, go do it.” And they came back and said it’s going to cost me half a million dollars. I’m not paying that kind of money for 15 minutes on the web. So I said, “You have $40,000; may the Force be with you.” And they went off and hired this young documentary guy and used the great digital cameras you can get these days, and they got some inexpensive actors from, like, Second City. It was awesome.
It isn’t just the great recession that is sending these branding and marketing agencies to the grave. It is their inability to grasp that the standards have changed and that, for most marketers, quick, inexpensive and authentic brand experiences trump slow, expensive and phoney ones.
Read the full interview here.