Blogs & Comment

‘I’m now an online evangelist’

Phil Lynagh is managing partner of LightBlue

“I have recently been dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century and it’s a revelation. Up until last month I was a fully paid up member of the digital pessimists associations. A group of baby boomer and generation X’ers committed to the closure of all things internet-based on a belief that the digital era will kill every good thing we stand for, corrupt everyone it touches and completely dilute with very little
effort the power of the creative idea, our very ‘reason for being’. Not anymore.

Yes, I am now an official online evangelist and social networking monster; a true believer. Let me tell you why. The deeper you let yourself go and the more you involve yourself in the social networking environment the more you realise that it just adds value to the good stuff we do. It makes us produce work that is relevant and effective.

The annual agency reviews are now redundant because we are now judged, sometimes immediately and worse anonymously, by the very consumers we are supposed to be speaking to every day, including weekends. Sure it makes what we do harder, but it throws up a gamut of new opportunities and as an advertising man who saw the need for a more diverse agency offering many years ago I am delighted. Unfortunately my passion for the social networking world could ultimately prove its downfall. The business opportunities are too tempting, the promise of brand ubiquity, and the constant 24/7 drive to retail. Great for the agency, great for the bottom line, but should that dream become a reality, possible suicide for the brand and the quickest way to get our consumer to log off and go mountain biking somewhere remote, without smartphone and iPad.

It’d be such a shame if the world ended up with one big digital classifieds column and if the social networking world resembled the outdoor mayhem of downtown Cairo. Living proof that unchecked commerce combined with a lack of regulation results in complete dysfunction.”