Blind Item: About That ‘TV vs. Integrated’ Debate

By Patrick Coffee 

Here, via an anonymous member of our audience, is yet another hot take on the division between old school and new as embodied by traditional TV spots versus the dreaded (by some) buzzword “integrated” campaigns.

The writer seems to be a bit younger than some of our favorite curmudgeons, and he (wisely?) opted for gigs in which he would create integrated campaigns over TV-focused work when the time came to make that choice…over a decade ago.

It would seem, however, that the conventional wisdom is a bit off on this point.

While integrated work allowed for more gigs, the people who actually run creative departments are closer to many of our readers in that they see it as something of a crutch. They want their [M]TV.

We’ll let Mr. Anonymous explain:

Quick response to recent post on integrated work vs. TV spots: When I started my career over a decade ago, I was advised that I should focus on finding jobs where I could work on a mix of traditional & interactive because that is where the future was going.

That’s what I did. I worked at agencies where I got to produce really interesting work but not much TV. And honestly I’ve gotten to do a lot of cool stuff, including some broadcast and TV, that is quite unique compared to what most other creatives do. However, I don’t have the colossal, big budget broadcast reel that would make me a respectable creative in the eyes of many ad agencies.

You see, that advice I got early in my career? It was terrible advice. Because if you don’t have big TV in your reel, you’re not fit to shine shoes in the eyes of many creative directors.

We can kick and scream and tell them they’re old school, but they’re calling the shots and they’re not going anywhere. So at this point I’m probably looking at a career where, no matter how many cool projects I do or how many awards I win, I’m going to be relegated to the JV league team of creatives.

So to you youngsters starting your career? Go to an agency where you’ll get to produce TV. If your ad school is telling you to focus on integrated work and not worry about TV, they’re lying. Until you get those TV spots in your reel, you’re a neophyte in the eyes of decision makers in this business. No matter how smart you are or how many awards you win, you’re crap until you have a bunch of TV.

We know you have some thoughts on this topic, readers.