Tuesday, June 9, 2009

"Will buy media for food"

Everyone in the ad world is talking about this cute lil' viral clip that uses Don McLean's "American Pie" melody to bemoan the death of traditional media. I'm thinking someone should re-cut Billy Joel's laundry list "We Didn't Start The Fire" with a new version called "We Failed To Stay Inspired".

Here's my take on the current state of ad media:

TV -- Up fronts did just fine; still the best way to achieve REACH; longterm impacts of time shifting/DVR unknown but the more clever creatives are developing work-arounds
Print -- Until media readers like Kindle are cheaper and offer a better user experience (where ARE you Steve Jobs?), there will always be a market for long form hand-held news and information content
Radio -- This is the one that surprises me; why is there no digital recorder in our cars that allows us to rewind, FF through commercials, etc? until there is there's no better way to reach gridlocked "fish in a barrel" aka commuters
Outdoor -- Will just keep getting more pervasive; we're like 5 years from a Blade Runner/Minority Report-style dystopia
Display -- Dead dead dead; sub zero CPMs; this one's totally on the agencies, not technology -- advertisers have GOT to get better at engaging and converting; dancing gekkos? REALLY?
Search
-- The semantic web will open a new world of possibilities; "intelligent search" almost negates the need for marketers; we will phone it in from golf courses and martini bars; oh wait sorry that means Google will run it and we'll work as greeters at Walmart
Video -- See display above, 10-15 seconds is a big enough canvas to be creative but nobody's innovating; buyers need to be sensitive to the fact that people HATE ads while consuming media so they've got to create ad content which is compelling
Social media -- This all turns on the question of privacy and the mood of regulators; in a best case scenario, publishers who have lost billions due to piracy of "free" music/video/games/software will prevail and the toll to the web will increase; to reduce this toll users can exchange data for access -- you can consume all the goodies you want, keep using Facebook, Wikipedia, etc for "free" but we get to use your data (and by the way the ads will become highly contextual and relevant so quit yer whining)
Branded content -- We will see more hybrid agencies combining copywriting with scriptwriting; the lines between news, education, entertainment and promotional content will blur
Cause marketing -- As the world (hopefully) turns less inward, companies will migrate toward "triple bottom line" responsibility reporting which will open new opportunities for mash-ups of advertising and public policy; as competitors try to "out behave" one another they will require innovative platforms to message their activities

The problem is the publically-traded consolidators (WPP, Omnicom and Publicis) have over-invested and entrenched themselves in the first four and allowed the tech geeks to own the last six. Same thing the entertainment industry did: stick to old models while pimply faced kids in Silicon Valley developed disruptive work-arounds that responded to real consumer demand.

Greenfield redux found here. Is it any surprise the company's managers are pumping and dumping? Hopefully Pali and Goldman will do a quick about face.

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