There's a lot of talk going on about the demise of ad agencies and "traditional" creative departments. And I'm sorry to say I fall on the side of those saying there will be a day when traditional agencies will have to fold up their MacBooks and turn off the lights.
But this isn't empty rhetoric as is the case with so many of those other pieces. I have the answers. I know the exact trumpet's call that will be the final thwack that brings advertising to its knees.
It starts with the sun, you see. Millions and millions of years from now.
One day the sun is going to get really, really big. People are going to freak out. They'll start hoarding everything and anything they can get their hands on. Bread. Pickles. Onions. Toilet paper.
Dear god don't forget the toilet paper.
But it's not during this time that agencies will go out of business. In fact these will be days full of plump marketing budgets and wild Big Sun Sales. CMOs will be so flush with cash it'll be like advertising is experiencing another 80s. (Can you imagine!)
It'll be an age of creative resurgence. The world's top budding whatevers will take a crack at advertising because the money's so good that no sane man or woman could turn that down. We're talking billions upon billions for the tiniest TV shoot (not adjusting for inflation, of course. You can't expect me to predict the economic fluctuations of the United States of America and the future of advertising thank you very much.)
Creative agencies of course will be constructed any way they want. Some all writers, some all wildcards, some all account people! Because even in a million years no one will quite know how to structure an agency. Pity. But these are questions to span the ages. Top philosophers (they'll also have an agency called Thought) will debate the proper structure of the agency up to the bitter end.
Ah, the end. That was what I meant to talk about. That's the only time there are any concrete answers to what the perfect structure for an agency would be.
And that answer is nothing.
That's right, nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada. You lose Charlie + Bucket Creative. Because eventually that big sun is going to go all white dwarf and engulf not just the marketing people, not just the earth, but the entire solar system.
And it is that very moment that the need for advertisers will exist. With no world there is simply no reason to keep paying expensive agency overheads. Some clients might feel the desire to take things in house but that won't matter on account of they're dead.
The end of the world will probably solve a lot of problems for a lot of industries but I, for one, am happy that this question that has plagued agencies for so long is finally put to rest.
Unless one of you creatives weasel your way onto a craft shooting out into space. God help the next civilization you encounter.