Another cringe-inducing agency video has emerged online and the agency is again deleting negative comments on social media sites. What happened to practising what you preach?

The guilty party is this time SapientNitro, new media age’s Top 100 number one UK digital agency according to fee income for the past four years, which created this video about how brilliant it is to work there as an “idea engineer”. The music video, featuring staff “rapping” is of poor quality, the lyrics aren’t the most complex and while watching you spend most of it a bit confused, hoping it’s a joke, only to find that it is serious.


Sapient Nitro Idea Engineers

A video by Publicis London last year received similar criticism for its poor-quality cover of the Black Eyes Peas song I Got A Feeling (video below). The popular argument against the video was that creating a bad, or risible, video to promote your own agency probably doesn’t reflect well on the work you put out for clients.


Publicis ’I Got A Feeling’

With that said, both videos are meant to be just a bit of fun and if the quality is anything to go by, they most likely didn’t take a lot of time to make that would be better spent serving clients. Left as that, and with the agencies replying with a bit of a sense of humour about it, all might have been forgiven.

However, in both cases, the agencies had a knee-jerk reaction to start deleting negative comments about the video, seemingly unaware of the storm they were creating in the circles of digitally savvy people that were watching. Cue sarcastic comments about not knowing how to “do digital” despite being digital agencies. Some examples of the comments left about the SapientNitro video are below:

The video now appears to have been removed from Facebook altogether, although it has been on uploaded to YouTube, but not by the agency.

Last year, PHD also found itself at the mercy of its peers after posting a video voiced by children about the future of media (below). The agency has since added an explanation in which it retrospectively agrees that it should have taken a different approach. It also added that it will delete any comments that are deemed obscene, providing a level of transparency that is essential in these circumstances.


PHD - We Are The Future

Anyone operating in this space knows that the increasing mass of content online means that agency work needs to be of a much higher quality than ever before. Agencies do have to market themselves but these examples seem to show that some have a blind spot when it comes to their own communications strategies.

It is no wonder that there is still a huge number of brands unable to be transparent and human in social media if the agencies guiding their strategies also fail to do so.


Published 15 November, 2011 by NMA Staff

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