Q; What do you think of the creative agency？
Levenson; The creative agency, I think, are going to enjoy more and more prominence in the United States. You can see that happening now.
We occasionally lose people to agencies which you may not think of as particularly creative. In fact, we have given birth to a number of offshoots. This seems to indicate that there is a desire among American manufacturers for an approach that is "new" and creative.
We are in an age when there are a great many products that are practically interchangeable with one another. The manufacturing process is very much the same. The ingredients are the same. The research that goes into deciding whether the product should be in the market is the same.
And given this same set of condition, the burden is on advertising agencies to do something that is, to use that word again. We make the product memorable and make it stick out from its competition. Ordinary people doing ordinary advertising cannot do that.
That is, you find great big agencies, Thomson, McCann, doing more of the kind of thing that they should have been doing: hiring better people, subdividing an agency into so-called creative group or syndicates or whatever to facilitate the process that I was just talking about. That is, to help people to find product differences and to present them in some sort of fascinating, meaningful way. And you find that there are some very large agencies that have been making a very decided effort in that direction by letting their creative people fly a little bit more than they used to. Some very large agencies have creative people as their presidents now. You would not have seen that five years ago. Even one year ago. So there is no question that the emphasis for the next few years will be in that direction.
What happens after that? I do not know. It could be that the pendulum will swing. It may be that some agency will wake up one day and say "We've had enough already with this creative stuff. We can solve it all in a research way or marketing way."
And we try not to lose sight of the fact that marketing and research and product development (which is an area that we get into steeply) play a crucial part in putting a new product onto the market. I do not ever see the pendulum swinging so far as to diminish the creative output of good advertising agencies altogether. Actually, as I see it, it must go the other way.
The supermarkets are getting larger and larger. And they are getting filled up with more and getting products. And they all have to be sold in a way that is unique to them.
We feel that we are the leader in that field and will continue to be the leaders based on our creative work and sound marketing judgment in all of its aspects.