Is the present day advertising agency model broken? S Yesudas, the former managing director of Vizeum - one of the Dentsu Aegis Network agencies thinks so. “The ‘agency’ business is reduced to transactions with clients where 30 seconds TVCs are produced to “connect” with the “ad avoiding” consumers and the teams in many large agencies are rewarded based on upsell and cross sell of the various specializations built within the agency. It lacks transparency and client trust.”
This lack of transparency and client trust will force the existing model to change to a certain extent. Agencies will have to redefine themselves, informs Yesudas over an email conversation with Lighthouse Insights. “Silo driven super specialization will fall by the way side. The focus will move to stitching together solutions for the brand by working together.”
With over two decades of experience in the advertising world, Yesudas started feeling the need to take things in his own hands and create a disruption in the market.
“Disruption is the name of the game, not just in theory and we believe the advertising agency model as it is practiced today, will cease to exist in the foreseeable future. Global alignments, exclusive agency status will all fall by the way side. Clients will look for smarter brand solutions for making enduring and meaningful connections with their consumers and not super specialized silo solutions.”
His belief that going further media owners will be engaged with, directly by clients and the focus on computer algorithm driven efficiency parameters will also disappear, started growing stronger roots while leaving Vizeum earlier this year.
Post Vizeum, Yesudas’s dream started taking shape on paper with Amit Tripathi of IdeateLabs and Ajit Nair of MX Advertising coming on board as partners. With the three veterans joining hands, a new company Triggerbridge was launched in the first week of December. The company aims to to marry data, content and technology.
“At Triggerbridge, our endeavor is to future proof a disruptive model. True Vertexing, that will be the need of the hour, now and then by clients and hence, we are calling it ‘the unagency’. And interestingly this will be a virgin territory for us as agencies of today will only stay focused on the transactional mode of advertising. Change for most of them will be difficult considering their models and complicated structures.”
Explaining the offerings of Triggerbridge and talking more on the “True Vertexing” model, Yesudas informs that it is their terminology where the journey begins with helping brands find the real purpose of their existence in the present world.
“Once the purpose is identified and crafted to perfection, we will look for consumer insights to assess the expression possibilities of the crafted purpose. The expressions could be based on various methods, community creation, incredible storytelling, and content, own as well as user generated creation and usage of data to further enrich the experiences and technology solution will all form part of the same.”
In addition to this, the model is also evolving future tools of measurement. “We believe the computer algorithm based Share of Voice (SoV) and Share of Expenditure (SoE) is absolutely meaningless here.” Further he says, “If True Vertexing is sharing the true purpose of the brands with the consumers, the measurement will need to be to assess the brands’ ability to do that. We call it Share of Vision and if the shared purpose resonates the consumers will empathize and we call it Share of Empathy. We are building such tools of the future.”
With digital transactional highways and the expected connectivity and speed, Triggerbridge will also include a series of products for the very first time, moving the business away from a pure service, one such is a digital platform that aggregates storytellers and tech producers. “Our vision will be brought to life by brilliant minds. The overseeing creative board will include true storytellers like authors who have not been corrupted by 30 seconds TVCs and our business board will include members of other company boards as well as venture capitalists,” Amit informs.
Development of such a model makes the creators believe that the offerings at Tiggerbridge will be truly different and it won’t be like any other agency that exists anywhere in the world. This is the reason why it is being called as ‘unagency.’
But isn’t that what big networks in the country are already doing, was my question to Yesudas. While he believes that networks have everything under one roof, they operate like silos and therefore brands don’t get the holistic benefit.
“There’s not even a single agency in the country providing all their clients with very well thought through well stitched together solution for their marketing or consumer connect problems.”
For now the client base of MX and Ideate will be the starting point for Triggerbridge.
Disruption is good but is the market also ready for such a disruption when we are seeing clients very comfortable in getting their various marketing objectives being delivered by a bunch of agencies. While that remains to be watched in the coming times that will be digitally driven, Yesudas assures, “We will stay nimble and passionate all across our journey.”