Wednesday, August 31, 2016

13324: Introducing McBabel.

Adweek and MediaPost also reported on the Mickey D’s and Omnicom McMarriage, which will feature an “Agency of the Future” hand-made for the fast feeder. It’s somewhat ironic that special orders lead to messy customer experiences in McDonald’s restaurants, but the corporation required customized service for its advertising and marketing. Regardless, the PR hype from Omnicom and McDonald’s warrants examination and speculation.

DDB Worldwide President and CEO of North America Wendy Clark gushed the following:

“Exactly 18 weeks ago today, we received a dream brief from one of the most iconic brands in the world … to create ‘the agency of the future.’ The best and the brightest talent across multiple Omnicom agencies came together over the last 4 months to create, operationalize and deliver on that brief. The result is a customized agency built with intelligence at the core, to fuel brilliant creative work, that’s delivered at the speed of the marketplace at an efficient cost. We are thrilled and honored to be selected and excited about immediately creating impact for McDonald’s business.”

McDonald’s USA Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Wahl issued the following gobbledygook:

“Part of building a better McDonald’s means not only making changes to our food and our restaurants, but also how we conduct business, and we’re excited to announce McDonald’s USA has selected Omnicom as our partner to create a new agency which is yet to be named, to build the agency of the future. This new agency will become our partner for all U.S. National Marketing initiatives. In selecting this agency, we will have access to top talent, technology and thinking with digital and data at the core.

They are fast, fluid and flexible and poised to deliver the caliber and volume of storytelling needed to support our business today and into the future. This new model will, over the next few years, create great work at the speed of the marketplace at an efficient cost.

Their creative approach and bold use of channels will elevate our connections with customers in new and innovative ways.”

Okey-doke. This all sounds like a McDonaldland fantasy. Were Ronald McDonald and Mayor McCheese consulted on the grand scheme? The Hamburglar could have offered ideas to enhance speed and cost efficiencies.

Has anyone noticed that “Agency of the Future” is a term typically embraced by professionals who are firmly stuck in the past? From Draftfcb to Enfatico, agencies of the future quickly become history—and never generate sustainable, futuristic innovations. The holding company itself is the root problem. Holding companies are the only enterprises with the resources and scale to fabricate an agency from scratch for a huge client; at the same time, holding companies are comprised of established-yet-outdated firms and executives, so the end product is more of the same. Scooping together distinctive turds ultimately leads to one, big pile of poop. Additionally, integrated marketing—where multiple disciplines and practices work in harmonious collaboration—is still a myth. It becomes a Tower of Babel 2.0, with individuals unable to communicate via a common language—not to mention a common P&L or compensation structure. Hey, here’s a name for the new shop: McBabel.

Wahl babbled about the new agency having “digital and data at the core”—which is a scary thought, as Omnicom does not have strong digital capabilities. Granted, WPP, Publicis Groupe and IPG aren’t much better, but at least they’ve made greater (albeit foolhardy) acquisitions of digital properties over the years.

The big question is, will digital and data be accompanied by diversity? Inventing a new business model without consciously incorporating inclusion is obscene, especially given the history of our industry. Surely the “Agency of the Future”—hatched by the holding company with a Pioneer of Diversity at the helm—will reflect the customers McDonald’s hopes to connect with in newly elevated and innovative ways.

Will McBabel deliver on the dream brief—or will the dream remain deferred, diverted, delegated and denied?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is going to be the end of Burrell, isn't it?

And because the new McDonald's contract specifies that no one can be hired who has worked on McDonald's in the past, it means very few (if any) of those agency workers are going to be absorbed into the new McD's agency structure.

We already know they will struggle to get hired in General Market agencies, so where's that going to leave everyone?