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PHD’s Malcolm Devoy Talks Overthrow II, D2C Brands and More

This article was originally published by View the full interview here and learn more about Overthrow II here.

Malcolm Devoy, Chief Strategy Officer, PHD EMEA

If advertising agencies were getting nervous about being disintermediated by brands in-housing their traditional agency functions, there may be some solace found on the Croisette.

The rise of direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands apparently plays right in to agencies’ strengths, because D2C brands need strong opinions and they thrive on TV exposure.

So says Malcolm Devoy, PHD EMEA chief strategy officer, in this video interview with Beet.TV

“Direct to consumer represents … a massive and seismic shift,” he says.” For media agencies, that’s great, too, because we always want brands that have a defined point of view, brands that are really going to put themselves out there and be decisive over what they’re saying.

“When we’ve got a brand with a really clear positioning, the kind of work that we can do for them really falls out of that because it makes it so much easier to be creative around their key ideas.”

PHD just compiled a book, Overthrow II, on what trailblazing new brands are doing.

Whilst, historically, TV has been seen as a brand-building medium and one with precious little ability to seal or measure an actual sale, connected TV tech is helping D2C brands have their cake and eat it, too.

Not only that, though – many direct-to-consumer brands, even digital-only ones, are growing thanks, in large part, to their embrace of the old medium of TV.

In January, eMarketer counted more than 400 D2C brands operating in the US. IAB analyzed 250 of them.

Meanwhile, an umbrella group, the VAB, in a new report, has observed how D2C companies it tracks hiked their TV spending by 60% last year, bringing the total up to $3.8 billion.

“TV features massively, frankly,” says PHD’s Devoy. “We often see that the newest, most innovative brands tend to use the most traditional old channels and I guess there’s a reason for that, which is it works.

“Digital transformation … doesn’t necessarily mean that all the media now needs to be digital. They still need to communicate in mass ways to broadcast audiences.”