I came across this article today, and want to say a few words about it.
I remember a Kevin Roberts speech at the Montreal CMA National Convention in 2006. Kevin Roberts, in case you don’t know him, is the president of Saatchi & Saatchi. He was up here in Canada patenting his then-new buzzword: sisomo, which stood for sight sound and movement, betting that interactive video was the way of the future.
The numbers Sean Carton presents in his article seem to bear out Kevin’s vision. With Internet advertising spend at 31.7 billion dollars, just shy of the 38.5 billion dollars spend on TV advertising no one can deny today that Internet advertising is an industry. What’s perhaps shocking is that very few people in the advertising world saw it coming. Even today, most agencies, including some big ones, see it as an “other” category, somewhere below radio and above telemarketing. Wake up, folks. You’re asleep at the switch.
Speaking only for myself, I find TV has become incredibly boring. I have over 200 channels of nothing but reality TV, cooking shows, and shows that seem to completely revolve around people yelling at others, being rude and condescending professionally.
So why do people go online? Most studies sat that people go online “just because”. People just want to have fun. They want to see what they want to see when they want to see it, not what happens to be on at the moment. Interactive video, (or Flash, HTML5, etc) is the number one reason why people prefer to go online, but more than that, it’s the choice available online that’s compelling. If you want to read, there’s stuff to read. If you want it explained in a video, you can go and watch it. If you want to listen to it on the way to work, you’ll download the podcast. Advertisers follow customers, and their customers are online. Smart advertisers will work with customer preferences and be present on social media, online, through ads, and helping provide content on community sites.
And with measurable returns, precise reporting and an opportunity to begin a relational communication cycle built right in to the medium, there is no reason not to do invest in it as an agency.
I’m glad we’re getting serious about doing that ourselves, and not a moment too soon. Speaking of which, that awful Varibase website is about to be rebooted at last. We’re in the final stages of text revision and hopefully we’ll go live in a few days. And yes, since we’re getting serious about mobile, there’s a mobile version of the site too.
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