A broadside from Phil Adams, regarding one agency’s contention that

(c)ontent marketing is a young person’s game, according to JWT Singapore

and so they’ve decided that the average age of the team will be 25. The notion that this type of activity needs people of a certain age was what enraged Phil, and rightly so, if the intention was to imply that anyone outside of that median (mean?) was likely less able (in some undefined way) to get the social media thing.

While Phil’s rave was enjoyable, this JWT office’s strategy raises other equally pertinent questions. Let’s start with

(t)he idea is that this unit can specifically focus on client briefs that require content to be ‘always-on’.

If we think we really need ‘content’ that’s ‘always-on’, perhaps those with youthful energy on their side are just the job? But it’s a perverse way of going about nurturing that enthusiasm by predicating a culture liable to end in early burnout and disenchantment. Ok, so I get that (some) people under 25 have a problem turning off the little glowing screen. And plenty of people of every age suffer from that syndrome as well.

However, second off, is that

JWT25 was set up to respond to clients seeking a fast, effective, high quality snackable video service for the lowest cost.

So it’s not ‘better’ that this team will be focused on, but how cheaply ‘always-on’ ‘content’ can be made and pushed out. Or ‘snacked’. Although I think we’ve problems enough with the effect of snacking on the environment generally: just look at where the plastic packaging ends up.

That there are clearly wise heads on old and young shoulders at JWT makes me wonder why they’re pursuing a strategy that appears neither:

a. particularly sustainable

b. likely to result in much more than noise

c. be more than a very brief distraction (and most likely to just it’s peer group)

and d. not help the general issue of the poor (annoying) quantity of what gets broad/narrowcast and so driving people to want to avoid (block it) it?

At worst, it sounds exploitative; that 25(ish) year old’s are best at doing ‘now ’and ‘cheap’. I can’t think of a best.

I’d venture that perhaps it’s precisely the types of briefs that the more experienced should be charged with questioning and pushing back on. To paraphrase, youth isn’t wasted by the young: it’s wasted by those who should be old enough to know better – and better is what we should be focusing on.

Here’s Phil Adams article at The Drum

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About Richard Hill

Creative director, writer, designer, illustrator based in the UK with global project experience and consulting skills across sectors.

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Current, Experiences, Ideas for business, marketing, media, Re-thinking, strategy


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