I’ld start if off from here. The speech that saw Bob Garfield foresee the upcoming end of creative agencies (or the end of the world, as we see it), and that I had previously forwarded to talkmarks, from my witty friend Simone, since at that time I was stubbornly blogless.
I can’t help but agree with a large part of his thoughts, especially when he reminds us that the whole system of advertising (with its media, agencies, creatives…) is not a per se category, but it was introduced at a given time, with given opportunities and given objectives.
Having said this, parts of his thoughts can be flawed by a shallow approach, especially when it comes to the two topics of media and ads
1. Bob forgets that “video killed the radio star” is a nice song, but certainly not a historical truth. Radio is still alive and dancing with us, and has been recently experiencing a significant growth.
This helps me to remind that throughout time new media haven’t replaced the old ones, but have rather added up for a richer media consumption. And when it comes to the web, for the first time we can have a full interaction, with each media opening up opportunities for the others.
2. People don’t hate hads.
They hate bad ads.
Anyway, the difference is that we know where bad films are being shown, and we simply don’t go see them.
We don’t know where bad ads are going to be aired so, given the average mediocrity, we skip them all for good.
What makes things worse, of course, is that ads come crushing our balls while we’re watching something more interesting (?), and this leads to a couple of guts conclusions.
a. The interruction model will have to be largely overcome: Tivo is telling us this, and so does common sense.
b. While waiting for the “Long Tail” to become thicker, or at least more efficient to manage, we’ll have to stick with some evolution of the blue box: given what we’ve said so far, if we have to interrupt a good content, we should do it by placing our own message within a format that is consistent with that content, and would add value to it. Something that would make for a greater entertainment experience, instead of an annoying one. (And no, this does not by any chance mean casting the CSI hunk for an anti-dandruff shampoo)
c. In a few years we’ll be liberated from the 30″ slavery, that has turned creativity into a cut-and-paste of demos. And that’s good news.
(As to what will grant the survival of the agency that is currently feeding me at the end of each month, we’ll have to discuss it later on)
Final Burp: Advertising is what you do when you can’t talk to someone. Now you can.