As anyone who sat through the papers by Dominic Proctor, Steve King
or David Pattison at the Barcelona TV conference will appreciate,
dynamic, passionate and inspiring presentations are not your average
media chief exec’s forte. Indeed, thoughtful, logical and sensible
eluded some of our chaps.
So expectations were hardly running high when I sat down at the AAR last
week to see what some leading media agencies had come up with by way of
a showreel. The AAR now has a media operation, headed by the thoroughly
decent Paul Philips, who now has a lot more friends, I bet.
To enable clients to get a feel for the media agencies on the AAR’s
books, agencies are invited to submit a showreel - and only five media
agencies have so far come up with the goods. First up was the Booth
Lockett Makin reel, resplendent with dodgy camera angles and a host of
media cliches from Paul Longhurst, while Nick Lockett’s eyebrows spent
all their time making friends with his hairline and the camerawork did
nothing for Charlie Makin’s chin. But it wasn’t bad. The agency came
across as a professional outfit with a real point of difference.
Next came MediaVest. OK, this one is a couple of years old, but its view
of media seemed more old-fashioned even than its chief executive’s
Shot in black and white, this was pure testosterone-driven aggression.
Even Robert Ray, the joint managing director, managed to come across as
a bit of a Rottweiler. I sat cowering in my seat at such bully boy
brashness, though no doubt some clients will drool at the thought of
such tough guys being on their side. Time for an update, though, I
New PHD’s was all you’d expect. Apart from the endemic cliches about
media explosion, it was chock-full of client testimonials and left me
thinking P, H and D are great guys to do business with. Slick and
thoughtful, they really do buy well too, you know.
Optimedia’s reel looked the most fun to make. It was refreshingly simple
- lots of different members of the team discussing the joys of working
at the agency, though Simon Mathews looked more sinister than ever. If
Optimedia didn’t come across as the most heavyweight of agencies, the
team made up for it with their energy and enthusiasm.
BJK&E’s video scored points for not trying to portray the agency as
something it isn’t. As a small, nippy outfit, it produced a short,
I didn’t get much of a feel for the personalities, but they let the work
speak for itself.
But it’s going to be a long time before media agencies have the
self-confidence and the self-respect to promote themselves with the
verve of their creative counterparts. Yet this is a start, and an
important one if media companies are to embrace the stature their
discipline is increasingly affording them.