Time Brings Diamonds and Rust to the Communications Industry

Posted by Steve Kleber on Mar 30, 2007

We both know what memories can bring – they bring diamonds and rust . . .”

– Joan Baez

We’ve all heard the adage about time: there’s never enough of it. We counter that time’s not the issue, but what we do with our available time that makes a difference in client/agency relationships. We’re talking about evolution. Change or die. That means being aware of our industry and being able to forecast not just react to changes. The times they are a changin’. See what we mean …

Time, Inc. decided to shut down the iconic LIFE magazine after 70 years (and a few resurrections). Two generations of Americans relied on the high quality photojournalism to help them understand their world in a different perspective. Images such as Neil Armstrong on the moon or Marilyn Monroe really was worth a thousand words and solidified Time as an American icon. According to Chief Executive, Ann Moore, “the market has moved dramatically since October 2004, and it is no longer appropriate to continue publication of Life as a newspaper supplement. The death knell tolls on April 20 for the last print issue, but the brand name will survive on the internet. No surprise here. The physical glossy mag will be missed throughout bathrooms all across America.

A catalyst, set years ago by Sir John “Tim” Berners-Lee, the founding father of the world wide web, continues to send tremors throughout our industry. It has redefined “time” and “fresh and new” by giving marketers a whole new set of creative tools and metrics within a popular new media. Both clients and agencies are enamored with its speed and unknown power as a marketing tool. Web technology presents a challenge for some agencies and a chance for others to strut their stuff. It has been the great equalizer, allowing smaller agencies like Kleber, to compete with clear eyes and a fast and flat organizational chart to meet internet time head on.

Also this week, Nike announced that it was putting its running shoe account up for review. Wieden+Kennedy have been Nike’s primary agency for 24 years. A spokesperson for Nike said “Nike has always looked to a variety of partners in various areas to keep things fresh and on the cutting edge.”Wieden+Kennedy helped to build the Nike brand, but obviously, the handwriting is on the wall – change or die because the client is looking for an edge that the new playing field allows.

At Kleber & Associates we will remember the fallen icons like Life, whose impact, with their great photos, had on every one of us, but we’re celebrating the new opportunities that internet time has created like word of mouth marketing, product placement, microsites, video and e-mail blasts. We welcome and are engaging in this new technology. We’re sussing the future for our clients and we understand how to keep their brands fresh – we don’t have time for rust.

This entry was posted by Steve Kleber on Friday, March 30th, 2007 at 12:16 pm and is filed under Advertising, Brand Management, Marketing, Public Relations. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.