Archive for July, 2008

Google v. Yahoo! v. Microsoft v. now AT&T?
July 16, 2008

Is this getting a bit ridiculous? Maybe, but to all us advertising ‘techys’ out there this is a form of cyber war that is about to get even more bloody.

So in Google’s attempt to take over the sweet world, which I am so far, in favor of because they do amazing things; this internet giant is getting ready to take-over a portion of Yahoo’s advertising space. Who knows, maybe if Google can get his hands on Yahoo the next victim might just be MSN? This is where Microsoft enters into the picture to try to take Yahoo away from Google before they can sign the contract.

As you might know, AT&T is Yahoo!’s partner as an internet service provider, etc. In the Congressional hearings including Google and Yahoo!, AT&T testified that they are against the contract because it would ultimately limit competition and keep prices at a higher minimum. Ultimately, it would limit Yahoo’s ability to evole and innovate.

I am still neutral as to what the Google and Yahoo partnership could do to rates, but I am very skeptical about AT&T’s sudden voice in the matter.

 AT&T, along with other phone companies, want to move away from Internet Neutrality (see previous post). How can they possibly work out a deal for Google and Yahoo when one’s adspace is a part of the other? Especially when Google is continuoulsy one of the top websites each year along with YouTube and MySpace. This is all just speculation with a little dash of Mel Gibson/ Julia Roberts in Conspiracy Theory.

All in all, it’s up to the wolves.


Exactly What We’re Talking About
July 14, 2008

Is Advertising Still Attractive to College Graduates?

Staying Close to Campus Can Keep Industry Brand Alive and Well

Marc Brownstein Marc Brownstein

I was in a meeting of agency executives recently, when one of the CEOs said, “I worry that working in an advertising/public relations agency isn’t appealing to young people anymore.” Several of the other CEOs quickly agreed that young talent is going elsewhere for careers. I found that consensus alarming, as our industry has long been considered sexy by the (naive) youth entering the business. I say “naive” because agency life always appears more glamorous than it really is.

If the executives are correct, imagine what recruiting talent will be like.

My perspective, however, differs from theirs. It’s been my experience that 18- to 22-year-olds really do still have a passion for this business. In fact, I’ve been inundated with requests from friends, clients, friends-of-friends and old acquaintances (who remembered what I do for a living) for internships, job-shadowing and job interviews. I even have people reaching out to me on LinkedIn and Pulse, seeking entry-level employment or just an internship. And my teenage daughter tells me that her friends spend “hours on the Brownstein Group website.” Hours? I didn’t think that was possible!

But you get the point. Despite what some markets are experiencing, there is still demand for jobs as digital designers, public-relations account executives, copywriters and brand planners.

The disparity between what those CEOs are experiencing and what I am may be a reflection of the markets in which our agencies operate. Our shop is in Philly and Seattle, and those cities are still managing to grow in this slow economy. So agencies remain attractive as career options. Philly, specifically, never took off in the dot-com boom, and therefore, never laid off a generation of young people when the digital dam broke. In some markets, like New York and San Francisco, many young people who received pink slips never returned to our industry.

In addition here are three things we do consistently to connect with college students:

  • Speak on campus. We make it a point to visit colleges several times a year to speak on a variety of topics. It’s our way of giving back, while recruiting. Each year, I teach an MBA and undergraduate class at Wharton. Our creative director recently gave the keynote commencement speech at Rowan University, which has an excellent marketing program. And I accompanied one of our younger account executives back to her alma mater, St. Joseph’s University, for a talk to a marketing class.
  • Host an open house. It’s tough to interview every worthy entry-level job applicant, so twice a year we host an open house for all those who send us resumes. Our managers lead the event with an interactive presentation of our agency, followed by a Q&A. Students and recent grads love it.
  • Connect to a career-placement office. We establish close relationships with colleges that have strong marketing curriculums, so that we stay top-of-mind with career counselors, professors and students alike.

If we all make an effort to remain appealing as an industry brand to the next generation of agency talent, then I see no reason why we all can’t be inundated with entry-level resumes.





<!– <I just graduated from the University of Texas at Austin where I and three other graduates spent an entire semester researching the industry.

One of the most important things we can ask from the real world, advertising industry is to help educational institutions determine how to make graduates think smarter than the industry people currently running the show. All though there is a lot that needs to be learned, retained and passed on; one of the worst things we can do to cause a linear progression of the advertising profession is have graduates think near exactly along the same lines as the present.

Jennifer Hallabough –Jennifer Hallabough, Chicago, IL

<!– <Good post. I would add a fourth (and in my opinion most important) way to stay in touch with prospective employees – social networking. Having a robust agency presence on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Flickr, blogs, etc. shows the agency understands the lingua franca of this demographic, and indicates that students don’t have to give up their social networking life once they get a job in advertising.

We work exclusively with agencies to increase their digital marketing prowess and profits, and while most of our time is spent helping agencies figure out how to monetize interactive tactics, using those same tactics for recruiting is extremely important too.

Jason Baer –Jason Baer, Flagstaff, AZ

In with the Old
July 14, 2008

In this week’s Adage, two readers responses were published concerning age and advertisers. Basically, it has become the trend to focus on the younger target audiences, say 18 to 24, and EVERYONE has been doing this. Agencies are finding it harder to convince their clients of who their target really is.

1) It is more than common knowledge that the older generation, the baby boomers and the older portion of Generation X, will make up the largest portion of the United State’s population as well as wealth. See

In my experience, myself and five other college grads put together an advertising campaign for a small U.S. airline company. The amenities of the plane and the smaller locations it flew to screamed for an older target. Most of their destinations…limited when comparing it to Southwest airlines and even American Airlines, were not your typical Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago-O’Hare destinations. Think cities around there that are popular but smaller in population. Extensive research showed where availability in the target for airlines lies. However, the president’s first question to us is why did we move their target of 18-24?

2) The reader, Jack Parnell, points out that clients often focus on this younger target then wonder later where their audience went?

For metrics and investment purposes, the target age does have to be set in stone but it should not be set in stone forever. Possibly, clients should think of their target focus system as an accordian: Always focus on a core but expand your focus by some percentage as the core grows.

3) Obviously, your target will grow up.

Obviously, luxury products are not really targeting this younger audience but I bet they see them coming at least (See BMW films; controversially-See beer manufacturers). Think carbon foot prints but for advertising, brand awareness and brand image.

The individuals in your target focus will come and go, but make sure you shouldn’t be going with them.

See jumping off a cliff because everyone else is doing it  (joking)!





See the 80/20 rule.