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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : January February 2010
6 CAMPAIGNBRIEF JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2010 FUTURE#WATCHFUTURE DIGITAL The media fragmentation caused by social networks and the increasing importance of the conversation economy caused a tipping point in Adland in 2009, writes Adam Good, CEO, AIM Proximity/executive director of digital innovation Clemenger Group Australia. He predicts the next decade will turn out to be the most exciting, hectic and challenging in our industry's history with a shake-up of epic proportions ahead. LAST YEAR IN THE ADVERTISING INDUSTRY, we saw more change in 12 months than we had in the pre- vious five years. The frightening financial environment played its part certainly, but it was the media fragmentation caused by social net- works and the increasing impor- tance of the conversation economy that caused a tipping point in Adland. Interactive thinking was in hot demand in 2009 and the push was to create ideas that had value exchange and encouraged customer participation. This meant agency creative directors and managing directors started to review their cre- ative output and their agency approach to meet the new market- ing demands of clients. Everything was up for discussion within agencies. What talent they needed, what approach suited this new environment best and what structure would allow them to meet these new challenges in a sustain- able and profitable way. My advice to you is simple: embrace it because we're only at the beginning of what will be a peri- od of dramatic change in the agency offering. The next 10 years promise to be the most exciting, hectic and challenging in our industry's history and a shake-up of epic proportions is ahead of us. I'm certainly not going to debate which is better: a pure play digital agency structure or digital silos within a traditional advertising agency group. It's been my opinion for some time that digital will drive every agency approach and this will ultimately mean every agency will end up in the same place over this decade. No-one owns digital any longer. The best online work last year consistently came from tradi- tional agencies. Digital specialists, the writing is on the wall. Stay as digital specialists and you will soon become little more than a produc- tion house. What I do believe is that pure play digital and more tra- ditional agency models do give us a path to where we are heading as a creative industry. I see agency leaders this year needing, or if they don't already have then acquiring, an interactive mindset. This means grasping that the Internet is NOT just another way to engage people. It is the cen- tral hub in which communication will happen this decade and it is TV, radio, print, experiential and every other channel that will be the spokes of that hub. Without this Interactive mindset, today's agency leaders will not, and cannot, make the right decisions in 2010 on how best to shift and evolve. It's never been more important to get your structure, your talent and most importantly your services and solutions in alignment so you can cre- ate and manage brands for clients in this volatile media landscape. Today most agencies have the typical functions in place, i.e. account management, creative, planning and production. If an agency has their interactive digital depart- ments sitting as a silo dis- cipline, or worse a separate agency, then they have a long road ahead. Digital professionals should be integrated throughout an agency into key leadership positions. Advertising is no longer just about the display ad or the TV commer- cial or the banner; it's about creat- ing meaningful tools and architect- ing user experiences. This means digital professionals being full part- ners in the campaign development process and contributing to the Big Idea with clients. They can't be an executional afterthought, buried in the basement. Digital professionals must be integrated across all agency disciplines and fu nctions. Digital skills such as data, measurement and customer experience planning must also be raised into the briefing stage of client's business problems. If you put your Interactive mind- set at the centre of everything in the agency it means your thinking goes from just producing one big idea and expressing in a one-message- fits-all fashion across all channels, to actu ally developing interactive participation ideas which are inter- linked coherently by useful applica- tions and customer tools, which do not necessarily start and end in the same place, i.e., a move from cam- paign thinking to programme solu- tion thinking. The agency production depart- ment is the one area that has changed the most in the past two years. Production people now have to create films for TV, web and mobile; develop console games plus video- and game-driven micro sites; and let's not forget the need for merchandise and e-commerce capa- bilities. Agencies now have to know how to create and roll out Facebook applications, iPhone and mobile applications and all sorts of varied interactive animatio n con- tent. Production teams have to link offline experiential events, festivals, art installations, interactive bill- boards, QR-code-based posters and print ads so that they drive people to online digital engagement envi- ronments that move the customer closer to a product and sale. It has become very clear to me that an agency cannot just push digital production out of the build- ing. For creative people to conceive unique and challenging interactive ideas and material, they need to be able to talk freely with technolo- gists. The less barriers (both real and imagined) means better client solutions. Agencies need to find a passion Good: Digital professionals should be integrated throughout an agency into key leadership positions. Advertising is no longer just about the display ad or the TV commercial or the banner; it's about creating meaningful tools and architecting user experiences.
May June 2010