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Good & Loose: The Ad Campaign
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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During the Golden Age of Advertising, an ad campaign, when set in place, was rarely changed. Sometimes there were some unforeseen occurrences that caused a campaign to stop running or change its message, but the overall industry usually stayed its course.

Today we do not have that luxury.

No, in today's business environment, a static advertising campaign can spell doom for the brand we represent and the agency/marketing department we work with. Yes, even integrated marketing campaigns are becoming the norm, because a single campaign of either advertising, marketing, or public relations cannot fully capture the fleeing attention of the consumer.

Things change. Events happen. That's why a good integrated advertising campaign must be able to adapt and change its message, its priority, on the fly.

Not too long ago we read an article about an agency leader who exclaimed that the "advertising campaign is dead." Of course, we took issue with the hyperbolic remark, but we did agree mostly with the substance of the discussion. He suggested that it is better now to have an overall objective of what should be accomplished, messages that should be conveyed to the specific audiences, but there should be room for ad hoc circumstances. The new model for the advertising campaign is a big outline with little campaigns.

Think of it as an "Advertising Symposium." The theme is the campaign and the talking points are the issues that need to be addressed.

Of course, the new model is hard to pitch. Yes, it is difficult to convey the value of certain services or partnerships if our model is a more calculated version of the "run and shoot" mentality. 

That's where the relationship building comes in. Doing business with people we like to work with, who we trust, and who we respect is more vital than ever. We can no longer pitch cookie-cutter solutions. Each brand is different, each audience is different; therefore we must be able to show that we can change our activities when necessary.

That is an even taller order for the AdFolks; it means we must really know and understand our skills and abilities, and be loose enough to give up ideas we like, concepts we want to use, if the situation isn't right for them.

Hence, good and loose.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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