Monday, October 11, 2010

From Short Messages To Large Audiences To Long Messages To Small Audiences. Are You Ready For The Future?

There’s a saying that says to engage with the future, we first need to disengage from the models of the past.

The model of the past, when it comes to advertising, was based on short messages to large audiences. The key was size and scale. Size and scale were how agencies and production companies could justify the enormous amounts of money that they charged to produce a commercial.

Whether anyone actually watched the commercial or not had no bearing on the cost of the commercial itself. An advertiser’s objective was to increase the number of opportunity’s to engage with the commercial. Opportunity is the key word here. Since we couldn’t yet measure the actual engagement per opportunity, it was not factored into the success or failure of any particular commercial.

Due to fixed message length - 30 seconds - the only way to increase the opportunity to engage was to buy more media. Media agencies figured this out and broke away from their creative partners.

Media was where the money was because buying more and more media was what the model was based on. The more media bought, the more successful we thought we would be. It was all about share of voice. Success, in other words, could be purchased.

Today’s digital model is different. On the digital platform, the length of a message is not fixed at 30 or 60 seconds. Which means that the opportunity to engage with a viewer is not only dependent on exposure to, but engagement with.

It’s not only about how many, but also, how long.

It’s not just share of voice that leads to share of mind, but share of time.

In this new model, the multiplier isn't reach, but the creative itself. How well does it engage, entice, and involve a viewer?

The result?

Creative will need to get better. Once again, it will need to become king. Creative will become the difference maker because only through great creative will advertisers be able to command a viewer’s attention and hold it.

Those agencies that know how to do this will start demanding to be paid on this basis, after the fact, dependent on how well they held the viewer’s attention.

After all, time is finite. There are only 24 hours in a day. So the more time the advertiser has the viewer spending with his brand, the less time that viewer has to spend with the competitor’s brand.

On the digital platform, brands will be built based on the amount of time spent together with consumers.

This will naturally lead to longer commercials. Better commercials. Stories.

The raconteurs of the world will once again have a place.

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

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