Navel-Gazing Sunday With DDB, Dagens Media & Tewonder

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Dagens Media
Most of my time reading is spent on blogs. I still love picking up a magazine every now and then, and when I do my favorites are Fast Company, Monocle, and Guns & Ammo (just kidding about the last one).

I rarely read the print versions of our local Swedish marketing press, but today I picked up a couple-of-weeks-old copy of Dagens Media (which I guess translates into “Media Daily” even though it’s weekly, go figure). One article caught my eye on this sunny Sunday evening. It’s a discussion between Andreas Dahlqvist, Exercutive Creative Director at DDB Stockholm, Karin Ernerot, Creative Director at Tewonder (which I have actually never heard of, though their tagline is the very modern “We’re a Digital Agency. Building Brands for The Next Generation.”), Camilla Tienso, Marketing Director at Svensk Fastighetsförmedling, and Fredrik Thors, Marketing Director at Renault Sweden. It’s a four page spread, and I thought it might be interesting to dig into it and see what the state of the union is.

After plowing through a confused discussion where effectiveness and creativity were put in opposite corners (This ALWAYS makes me burst out in laughter. It’s not an art contest guys.) I found this strange quirk:

Karin Ernerot makes the case that Tewonder works in a different arena than DDB, since Tewonder works in the digital domain, and thus on a global arena. This to me shows a lack of understanding of the state of the digital domain. “Digital” is the only way of doing truly local efforts, since you can pinpoint down to the level of individual/time/location/context/state of mind/prior history/etc. Try that with a local newspaper, outdoor or event if you can! I’m not saying that the local newpaper is useless, but claiming that Tewonder would be working in a different arena than DDB is ludicrous, especially when considering that Tribal DDB may very well be the new center of gravity for DDB. Also, I wouldn’t say that digital is a separate media channel at all. There are media channels in the digital domain, but there are also dinner table conversations there, lover’s rendezvous’, water cooler gossip, and a thousand other interfaces. Local or global? That is more a matter of topic than of channel. And to be fair, geography is one parameter governing which topics interest us.

Andreas says a lot of the right things in the article, but really not much that is surprising, new or controversial. It’s a bit like listening to the obligatory mainstream marketing blogs of Sweden feeded back to you from the pages of this 4-page article. From what he’s saying however, I do think that there is a sharp mind behind the fluff, and I would love to see some of his original thoughts. A Google search for “Andreas Dahlqvist DDB blog” came up with zilch however. All I learned was that he has been very active in different juries. Perhaps a bit more blogging and a bit less jurying would unleash this untapped potential. I think this is a general problem of the Swedish marketing industry. Let’s be frank for a moment and call it by its real name: navel–gazing.

Anyway, it was interesting to dip ones toes into this discussion, though I also think that the time spent reading these 4 pages would have been better spent plowing through some #socialmedia. But hey – it’s easter sunday after all. Can’t be working all the time.

About the Blog

This blog is written by Walter Naeslund and has been around since 2007. The blog is about the journey of starting an advertising agency and a sneak peek behind the scenes of what goes on at the Honesty HQ in SoFo, Södermalm. It is also a blog about communication & technology. The blog has gathered almost a thousand posts over the years with several longer and shorter breaks. Welcome and enjoy.
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