Creating the Hybrid Ad(wo)man


Nixon looks at the changing marketing and organizational structures of ad agencies in the 1990s. Firms like BBH and HHCL took the route of remarketing themselves as integrated players in the internal structures of the businesses they worked for. Pitches to be the “co-custodian” of a client’s brand, and to supply “3-D marketing” widened their scope of relevance. Of equal significance was the reordering of their employees into a less structured and compartmentalized system, instead allowing them to roam around in project teams, which brought together individuals in account planning, media planning and creative all within the same working space.


In an interview with a self-professed “hybrid” ad man, Dan Roglin, we learn that the new route for advertisers lies in the dual core of the individual. It’s no longer enough for companies to group compartmentalized specialists in a single area to mix and share ideas, now the individual ad (wo)man on the planning end, must be able “to combine the skill of marketing research experts, who understand the drivers of customer behavior, with the skill of database analysts, who can identify specific individuals likely to possess those behavior-changing attributes.” In other words be both savvy in both brand and database planning. 


This falls in line with clients’ “increased demand for accountability” in their ad agencies. They want people who can, not only target ideal customer bases, but, based on the campaign’s outcome, hone in on those unexpected buyers in order to extend future campaigns. For Roglin, this strategy requires an individual who can work with personal information indexes, which run on an individual basis, and larger surveys, focus groups, etc. to draw a picture of the ideal customer “persona.”


He envisions this new ad (wo)man as the equivalent of merging the Art Director and copywriter of the creative sphere, into one individual.


-Emily Wood


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