AICP feels like a memorial to the old protocol

The time has come for the annual “State of the Union” ball, a.k.a. the AICP show.

Each year, we collectively take the temperature of the ad and production world at this event. Each year, we see more reluctant freelancers as well as energized re-inventors appearing as we celebrate the death of the old form and protocol, one that is increasingly seen in the rear view mirror.

Yes, many of the pieces in the show are now “content, or at least ‘repurposed'” and even at Cannes Best of Show a piece can be seen exclusively on the web.

Still and forever it is about branding, storytelling with compelling and clever ideas.

Still I am undecided about attending because it has feels a lot like a funeral to me or at least a memorial. Am I alone on this?

Charles Hall wrote so succinctly, in a recent piece in Boards Magazine, about the advertising food chain formerly known as advertiser, agency, production company, post production, music

But now it is advertiser. Everything else is up for grabs

Accept this as bad or good news; whichever you choose is a referendum on your own attitudes, energy and experience.

For many of us, especially those of us who have been displaced from the old model, we might see this as a head start towards our reinvention for a flatter and juicier world of opportunity.

Use it as a jump start towards combining our existing skills with our new investigations and skills towards a prolific, robust and vastly more interesting career in the new paradigm.

More and more I find myself — one who has had a interesting tapestry of experience — producer, rep, filmmaker, executive producer, new media evangelist and consultant — playing multiple, integrated roles in the process with my partners and customers.

On a recent job for a wonderfully energetic and awarded agency, it was my concept that was selected. I supervised a small crew and the editorial, while collaborating with the client and agency from ground zero — helping to solve the communications rubric and collectively creating and implementing a wonderful campaign. Big fun.

For me, this is much more fun than then working through the established protocol of client, account management, creative, producer with the requisite artifacts of research and fear.

It is precisely this expanded role in collaboration and creative execution where rewards can come both financially and creatively.

While we must deeply respect and honor the existing agency/client relationships, we have the privilege to be liberated to create new relationships and roles directly with a wide range of groups, new types of relationships in collaboration with agencies and other organizations.