A couple of years ago, about the same time WME was making acquisition of Comic-Con and just before a big bad tell all book about CAA came out calling it the Death Star, I remember reading something a creative director at CAA stridently said with a lot of dark assurance — that advertising was dead. That made me forever skeptical of that character since he also told readers that just the month prior to the interview, he was making (sic) home-made indie movies from his house and now this character, sitting before a naked rack of suits on a chaize was calling time out on advertising.
USA exports of arts and culture products and services not only includes movies, that we all know CAA has agents and talents to supply, it also counts video games and advertising as well as architectural designs and authors too (Gov Report).
His statement foreshadowed an exodus of creative idealists from the advertising industry to corporations who once hired those 3rd party agencies. Now they work for their former clients spearheading promotional and marketing campaigns and branding. The ad business is dwindling, by extension arts and culture exports, as tech is growing on the strength of these fleeing creative leads (Ad Age).
The new lands for these creative leads is a more balanced work-life schedule. They also find kindred colleagues as passionate about the brand they work for and there is a correlation between being a ‘slave driver’ among ‘wage slaves’ and being part of a team that wants to win (Ad Age).
It might also explain why there is less advertising in bulk yet more successful campaigns that not every body in the general public might see, like with massively popular video games. Correspondingly, the fall in revenue from ads at newspapers. The corporations have brought the ad expertise in-house, in-network, sharing the same toilet and drinking their coffee (Ad Week).
CAA, meanwhile, is chasing this flow, by creating its own start-up incubator. Does Sharon Stone realize she’s signed to an agency that wants to create robot speakers and Amazon clones? (hahaha) (Deadline).
Advertising has migrated away from outside agencies into the corporations. Agencies, including that part of CAA that is not about talents and their agents, is a wasteland “Everything in advertising used to be magic” and people still do “buy relations, stories and magic.” it is simply not coming out of agency studios but corporate laptops (Forbes).
CAA’s financial expansion in various places does not necessarily translate into fan favorites. “WME partisans are calling that agency the overall winner, with 36 nominations to 26 for CAA.” (Deadline)
What is left in the wasteland of advertising is exacerbating “ADVERTISING’S REAL PROBLEM IS THE AGENCY COMMODITIZATION CRISIS” (Ad Age).
Pepsi Co, which works with an ad agency, said “All advertising isn’t dead. Just bad advertising. That was the conclusion from Brad Jakeman, president of PepsiCo’s global beverage group” (WSJ)
You ought to know!!! What’s a wanker???