Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Pepsi's recent creative presents a strong argument against weak in-house agencies.

What do you get when you combine a Global Brand like Pepsi with a Household Name Kendall Jenner and mix it with a ridiculously stupid anthem and love in march that's supposed to replicate
some kind of real "movement" only with very expensive production values that only a Global Brand like Pepsi can afford?

If this is as good as it gets the agency should be fired. This was done evidently by an in-house agency.
And often times young creatives want ads to be "relevant" beyond the benefit of it being a soft drink
or whatever. Hence this sad attempt at trying to interject some kind of link with some kind of nondescript love-in peace march as symbolically representing how important a role the brand could play in this kind of scenario....which is lame and dangerous.

This is where the need for a very level headed Senior Executive Creative Director should have ended this 'creative' before it ever got beyond the storyboard stage. Not every in-house ad agency has a Senior level CD with enough power to veto these things if account management's in favour of a particular creative execution. When you work in-house, you are working 24/7 for one brand with many iterations. It's myopic and very difficult to stay objective and rise above or be the lone voice of rational dissent when some creative goes off the rails.

Most in-house agencies usually handle the below the line advertising that follows the guidelines setup
by the outside ad agency. And this sad piece represents a classic reason why.

Agencies know how to conduct due diligence. Agency creative is layered with many checks and balances. And agencies spend big money to make sure they have a crack team to handle the strategic
creative direction of a mega brand like Pepsi. This is not for the faint of heart. And whoever assembled this in-house agency with the cost cutting idea that agencies overbill and this overbilling
would look better as a bonus in their own personal account rather than the agencies...might possibly be the real driver here.

Whatever the real story is this has been a big lesson for all those brands out there who feel they know their brands better than anyone in a proper ad agency could should really take stock of who is running the creative ship. Usually when it's in-house the creative is completely controlled by the account service side. And the creative department is just a factory that churns out materials at the bidding of the account side. And those in the " in-house creative department" are treated like they are drones.
I've seen it in many in-house agencies for big brands. Frightening.

And here's my advice to them: for brands to not have in-house agencies that haven't the experience or ability to produce top notch national ad campaigns. If you do have an in-house agency, hire your creatives  from top ad agencies and pay top money to get top creative and let the creatives be the real drivers for the creative and get the account managers or marketing managers back where they belong, on the business side.

Can you understand that?