Fourteen weeks ago I left Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO to help found
Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy. As my former colleagues and clients
will testify, I was not generally described as a ’techie’, let alone an
’anorak’, and I was never a regular customer in the Internet Cafe.
It has been an extremely sharp learning curve.
So far Miles Calcraft Brigninshaw Duffy has done six internet or
e-commerce-related credentials presentations. And we are now working
with three of the six clients we originally talked to. I’ve begun to get
familiar with some of the appropriate lingo: ’It’s all about getting
sticky’; ’We want two million eyeballs by January’; ’We’ll drip the skin
over the portal’; ’Maybe a pounds 5 million loss in the first year’.
What is absolutely clear is that the internet and e-commerce will play
an increasingly important part in any company’s success. And it is going
to take a growing share of the communications budget.
E-commerce offers enormous advantages to the public. Among other things,
it will allow people to interrogate products or services as well as
enjoy speed of response and delivery.
But it is also evident that the internet is the symptom of a changing
consumer in terms of attitudes to and expectations of the brands they
use. The consumer is increasingly demanding of the products and services
they choose and the internet simply empowers them further.
What has been particularly encouraging is that all of these
entrepreneurs, without exception, want an agency to help to create a
brand for their product or service. They are nearly all supported by
wealthy individuals, investment backers and venture capitalists, who
appear to be prepared to pump significant sums of capital into a wide
variety of sectors.
As a prospective client recently put it: ’We hope that by building a
brand we will be able to differentiate ourselves. An enormous amount of
people are climbing on this bandwagon so we need to get in quick and
invest, because the market is spawning competition every day. Sooner or
later the risks will begin to outweigh the potential rewards.’
For advertising professionals with a passion for brands and the way they
affect consumer’s lives, this is enormously encouraging. The demand for
distinctive, compelling and relevant brands has never been greater. And
the fragmented environment means that there will be an even greater
pressure to ’connect’ with the right audience.
Everybody in our business is going to have to get to grips with the
present and future opportunities that the internet and e-commerce will
It will, with apologies to Timothy O’Leary, be a case of ’turn on, tune
in or drop-out’ (am I showing my age a tad?).
And a final plug for business. Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy cannot
live on cyber space alone. We need food. We need clothes. We need
We need liquid.
And on that note, it’s Friday night. Time for an e-lixir.