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Will Grey Advertising Succeed at this Adventure?

In the mod­ern mar­ket­ing cli­mate social media con­tin­ues to gain seri­ous ground, and micro busi­ness­es and indi­vid­u­als are tak­ing more mar­ket share every year from the tra­di­tion­al adver­tis­ing agency. This leaves ad agen­cies look­ing for new ways to build their busi­ness prof­itably and stay com­pet­i­tive. Giv­en their close­ness to the mar­ket and cus­tomers, some agen­cies are using their knowl­edge, cre­ativ­i­ty and mar­ket­ing exper­tise to do more than just adver­tise. To that end, a New York adver­tis­ing agency called Grey Adver­tis­ing has cre­at­ed a new busi­ness with­in their exist­ing umbrel­la busi­ness, Grey Group, called Grey Adventures.

The Link is Creativity

Grey Adven­tures is a new unit designed to work with clients of the ad agency to flesh out new prod­ucts and ser­vices that may come to light dur­ing the process of brand­ing and cam­paign devel­op­ment. Grey isn’t the first ad agency to move into this new area. Oth­ers have added sim­i­lar units, with results such as devel­op­ing toys designed for par­ents with paral­y­sis to be able to play with their kids and start­ing an accel­er­a­tor pro­gram for start­up companies.

In the same way that social media and online mar­ket­ing have tak­en over large por­tions of the total mar­ket­ing and adver­tis­ing mar­ket, and that tra­di­tion­al careers and titles have become meshed togeth­er in new ways, the role of mar­ket­ing and prod­uct devel­op­ment may now be com­ing togeth­er in some ways. The link between the two is cre­ativ­i­ty and inno­va­tion, so the mar­riage — or at least lim­it­ed part­ner­ship — of these two tra­di­tion­al­ly sep­a­rate roles makes some sense.

Grey’s first exam­ple of such a syn­er­gy was with their client Vol­vo, when they pitched the idea of a tem­po­rary spray paint, called Life Paint that could be applied to sur­faces or even fab­rics and would be invis­i­ble dur­ing day­light but would become high­ly vis­i­ble and reflec­tive at night when hit by lights such as car head­lights. This new type of part­ner­ship will allow the ad agency to be an actu­al part­ner in new prod­ucts rather than just cre­at­ing the adver­tis­ing spots to pro­mote them.

The Beginning of Some Beautiful Relationships

If this idea con­tin­ues to take root and grow, those seek­ing jobs in adver­tis­ing may find them­selves expand­ing their skill set, albeit only sight­ly. It may also bring new blood into the field who would oth­er­wise have fol­lowed a dif­fer­ent career path. In both sit­u­a­tions, ad agen­cies will have found a great new oppor­tu­ni­ty for expand­ing their rev­enues. For the Grey Group’s part, they want to keep their focus for this new unit in avenues such as vir­tu­al real­i­ty, aug­ment­ed real­i­ty, the Inter­net of Things, and oth­er new and emerg­ing tech fields.

The key to suc­cess in this new area is part­ner­ships, some­thing Grey Group admits. For an ad agency to sud­den­ly begin devel­op­ing new prod­uct ideas on its own would be more of a stretch, both finan­cial­ly and in terms of exist­ing tal­ent, than wold be fea­si­ble. When those ideas emerge organ­i­cal­ly from exist­ing part­ner­ships, how­ev­er, it might be an extreme­ly prof­itable sit­u­a­tion for both involved par­ties. Media Jobs will con­tin­ue to keep an eye on these devel­op­ments and pos­si­ble new job oppor­tu­ni­ties in the adver­tis­ing field.

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