Posted by: acohen109 | April 14, 2009

I.P.G. B.Y.O.B.

Okay so I haven’t weighed in on Annenberg class’ recent excursion to the IPG labs. Given that they kinda sort own the company I work for, it’s a dilemma, but since my feelings are almost entirely positive I don’t feel that bad about sharing them.

There’s nothing to dislike on the surface; they’re clearly going beyond the call to establish the hipster, ahead of the curve image that’s best suited for selling the stiffly collared CEOs of the world on social media and its multi-faceted virtues. That was a great run on sentence just now, if you were wondering, capable of serving as a great example of how to blend genuine opinion with an unrelenting and inexplicable need to stay as far away from the period key as possible; all my life I’ve rebelled against various English teachers trying to chop up my paragraphs and frankly I don’t think it’s made a bit of difference. Anyway.

I get that IPG has constructed a set up bubbles designed to display how media is related to the population these days: a dorm room here, a gas station there, etc. It’s a great marketing tool. But in the back of my mind I can’t help but wonder exactly how much time is spent playing the multiple video game systems littered around the office, or watching the space age TVs. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of discovering and analyzing these new social media techniques is all about fooling around with them, but that’s just how I’m wired; I’m suspicious that way.

To interject a personal note: here at GH and outside the office I do spend a lot of time reading. Reading tech blogs. News sites, announcements, scanning big time websites, all in the name of finding and implementing new social media methodologies for our clients. Research is a huge part of the business because being behind is lame, and liable to get me fired.

And here’s the rub; there’s not a lot that IPG showed off to us that you couldn’t find by poking around the internet for info. It’s awesome that they had a lot of the stuff I’d just been reading about on display, and it’s perfect for selling to clients, but, and forgive me, is that all? There’s nothing wrong with Social Media Management as a field, appropriating the latest coolness and convincing clients to back it, use it, and love it, but I guess I was expecting something slightly different. That sounds ungrateful now that I type it, but I think a lot of the people reading this blog understand what I mean.

It’s an impossible situation, and frankly they must have been holding back on us, because I don’t believe they’d get funding for that operation if that was all they did. I feel like we got the “safe” tour, maybe the one they use on clients just now trying to branch out into the internets. And as cool and hip, and fun and delicious (thanks Karen, who paid for the food) as it all was, they could have taken us a little deeper into the rabbit hole if you ask me. Which no one did, so I’ll clam up now.

I love IPG labs, just for existing as a hub of social media research, innovation, and salesmanship…not to mention the space age coffee machine that puts our little Flavia to shame. If anyone from over there has stumbled upon this, Welcome. Hire me someday, I’ll be an asset. But for now I have to catch up on gadgets and technology the old fashioned way.



  1. I feel ya, Acohen109. Devil’s advocate response: If the new emerging media is more engaging and “the future,” then wouldn’t it be an improvement to learn about digital culture (for lack of a better phrase) by engaging with it? Perhaps there are those that research, and those that ‘do’?

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