Is Advertising Dead in 2009? Part I

2009 has been a mixed year, the big clients have really slashed budgets while lots of new clients are booking their first commercial photography with budgets in the thousands. Yesterday, at an advertising agency meeting, one of the principals said that a year ago the agency had 25 staff and this year they are 2 principals and 1 staff. This Creative Director went on to say that in the same building is a publicly listed advertising agency that occupies 2.5 full floors of the office tower. That advertising agency is down to just 10 people on staff. So is the market worse?

I think advertising and the commercial photography market is just different, the landscape has changed. Everyone is trying to shave budgets and look for ways to save money. Businesses still need to advertise so they are looking for discounts, extras, service upgrades and package deals. We can get scared by this or we can seize the opportunity.

The main opportunity for this year has been positioning our photography studio as a trusted marketing consultant to small and mid-sized businesses. With agencies working on smaller budgets and fewer staff on a job we are able to pick up some of the slack and work with clients and the agency to develop ideas and get more involved in the planning and post-production of a shoot. And I love it because we are more involved in the success of our clients.

I learned most of this watching Sesame St., happy 40th cookie monster.

All images and text Copyright 2009 Brett Gilmour

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