The accepted wisdom is that you need to observe at least three examples of a phenomenon to start calling it a trend.
But what the hell, I'm calling it on two.
First, a quick refresher on what's wrong with our industry:
Clients now have separate agencies for social, search, analytics, CRM, media, digital, and above-the-line creative. The Agencies are frustrated because, with only a small piece of the pie each, we're not making enough money. And the Clients are frustrated because they're not getting joined-up thinking.
The change I see happening - and feel free to call me Captain Obvious - is that things need to come together. And you know what? I think it's started.
The first example, and it's a hugely significant one, is that British Airways have just awarded their entire account - ATL, digital, social, CRM - to BBH.
I predict this will be a massive success for both parties.
BA will reap the benefits of fully-integrated thinking. (They will no doubt achieve a cost saving too, having dispensed with multiple agencies).
And BBH benefits from economies of scale. What could potentially have been several separate businesses are now one business... all sharing the same HR, finance team, reception, security guards, CEO, catering, the people that come in to water the plants, parties, and office rent.
Example two: Cummins & Partners in Melbourne.
This shop does everything, including - crucially - media.
To quote from their website: "We want all parts of the communications process working as one. Collaborating. No silos, no divisions, no off-shoots, no multiple business cards, no holding companies holding disparate entities together. We’re a media company that’s creative. A creative agency that produces content."
And their work's pretty good. Simple, entertaining ideas like this one for Woodstock Bourbon, and of course, I Bought A Jeep. If you don't like that campaign, just remember that civilians have uploaded multiple parodies of it onto YouTube. It has cut through. This is an agency that knows what it's doing, and is doing it well. And if you don't agree with that verdict... ask yourself why they were named AdNews agency of the year.
So in short, the future is going to look a lot like the past. Like some kind of malignant amoeba, advertising divided itself into multiple cells, but they're now all coming back together. Which has to be a good thing, right?