R/GA is a bold leader in the digital marketing area. As all advertising and marketing shops move toward the middle — toward the strategy — only one digital shop aspires to be the agency of record: R/GA. Most digital shops rue the fact that they don’t get a seat at the big table, R/GA wants the table. And they make quite a case. Their entrée is the “platform.”
In a video by Nick Law, R/GA’s chief creative officer (thankfully, he’s not goofily titled), he says advertising needs to move “from metaphors that romance a brand to seductive demonstrations of a brand platform.” Agreed. Were he to have substituted the word “strategy” we’d be in perfect agreement. The word platform, you see, is a euphemism for website (and other digital stuff residing on the website). Brand strategy is hard to put a price tag on and websites and digital assets are easy estimate.
Mr. Law is correct campaigns come and go. He’s right that tactics need to feed the brand strategy. He’s right that utility and community are the source of sales growth and retention. And he’s certainly not being disingenuous in suggesting that something needs to hold and tie all the brand building work together. So I’m going to cut him some slack and not argue the noun platform and favor a more verb-like version of the word.
In the video Mr. Law refers to one of R/GA’s most famous successes Nike+. “Nike+ is a platform fueled by campaigns” he says. Nike+ was first a product and it’s growing into a branded utility. Is it growing into a platform? You tell me.
These guys are the real deal. And as good marketers they are trying to create a new language for the marketing world. As I said, bold.