adweak no more

If for no other reason than I have seen client-agency relationships falter on a bad ad review, the trade mags matter.

What is interesting about the trades though is how perceptions of the two players, AdAge and Adweek, have changed, even in the few years that I have been in the business.

When I started Adweek was still seen as the upstart challenger that was just a little bit more with it than stodgy old AdAge. You probably wanted to read both.

Then things started to change.

Adweek, for a few reasons, just sort of lost its way. It’s a long story that can be toplined by saying that Adweek’s content was not differentiated, it wasn’t a must-read, it isn’t actually a weekly anymore, etc and so on. It was okay to get by just by reading AdAge.

I said “it was okay to get by just be reading AdAge” on purpose. It isn’t anymore.

Not only have columnists like Bob Garfield – for obvious reasons – and Al Ries – this guy has been saying the same stuff since my father was in college and, while he is rightly a legend, I kind of get it already – grown long in the tooth and ceased to write stuff that I have to read, but AdAge is only valuable in its print form.

And print, as even AdAge crows, is dying.

I flip through Adweek as quickly as I do AdAge (that is, very quickly), but Adweek is actually more than just the print edition.

And no AdAge, your ridiculously stupid 3-minute video (I am at work during the day and, because I am at work, I want something to read when I have the time, not a fucking video that I have to pull up and sit through. Think.) does not count as you engaging readers beyond print.

Where Adweek wins, and why I spend more time engaged with them and their content, is that they are engaged with readers through social media. Guys like Brian Morrissey (and others, for that matter) has an excellent Twitter feed. Adweek writers engage in the blog conversation. They are trying to move their online content to something more than a digitized print version.

Advertising is moving into social media. Branding is about more than just pushing messages at consumers. People want more engagement than passive consumption of information, with each engagement opportunity tied to the time and place of their consumption needs.

Adweek gets this. They are engaged. That is why they are a must-read again.

Even though I may still only flip through the print edition, I am getting information from Adweek from multiple channels and touchpoints every single day.

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2 responses to “adweak no more

  1. Trying to land a gig at Adweek? Your perceptions don’t gibe with reality. Adweek writers engage in the blog experience? Yes, but usually to defend the franchise when their publication is rightly criticized. Ad Age not only engages the blog experience, they’ve also enhanced it, with their own blogs as well as things like the Ad Age Power 150. Adweek is moving its content beyond a digitized print version? When’s that gonna happen? Ad Age allows visitors to comment on virtually every story. Adweek barely accepts emails. And much of the Adweek content is nothing more than press releases and Nielsen PowerPoint presentations. Yes, Ad Age still has a lot of old school columnists, although they cater to the old school dinosaurs still in the business. Adweek has just as many contributors teetering on the edge of irrelevance. The next insight to be found from, say, Mark Wnek will be the first. It’s pretty clear that Ad Age has a much better grasp on where the industry is heading. They did, after all, publish an entire issue devoted to digital earlier this year. Sure, Morrissey’s a smart guy; but he hasn’t shown significantly more savvy than Matthew Creamer. Yes, there are Adweek writers on Twitter; but do you really even connect those efforts with Adweek? I thought it was just those guys doing things on their personal time. Can you even name the regular reporters at Adweek? Hey, different strokes for different folks. But your dismissal of Ad Age, as well as your vision of Adweek’s resurrection, is pretty peculiar. Are you sure you haven’t accidentally been reading back issues of Adweek from the early 90s? Don’t get me wrong. I used to love Adweek, and would be happy to see them rise like the proverbial phoenix. Plus, they do have a small group of people who remain top-flight professionals. But honest to God, they actually reflect the advertising industry in that their organization has assumed a BDA stance. That is, a conglomerate has bought them out and brought corporate thinking and mandates to the enterprise.

  2. Pingback: a reader thinks they’re still adweak « the daily (ad) biz

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