Friday, January 9, 2009

Why is Interactive Always the Last Part of the Presentation?

Here is a follow up to the very funny advertising parody short "The Break Up".

There is so much to talk about here - but I'll keep it short to two points.

1. Online is always relegated to the end of the presentations, when most people are getting their coats.

This is a massive problem, but it is simply the fact that 80-90% of advertisers spend the budget on above the line 'traditional' media. As well, most advertisers and their internal stakeholders (Sr Marketers, CEOs, etc) see the traditional elements of campaigns in market - and don't spend time reviewing the online portions (likely because they either don't fit the online target profile and won't see the ads, or they simply just don't participate).

Everyone knows online is important, but marketers need actively work to elevate it's profile and rethink it's role in the overall communications mix. Stop presenting it as a separate part of the communications plan and begin integrating it in other parts of the strategy and presentations. Display is simply another form of push advertising, just like the TV ads, billboards or newspaper. Social web (social media, blogs, etc) is a 1:1 channel, so it should occupy the same part of the strategy as grassroots, PR or even retail. So often do marketers divide their activity by discipline, their 'integrated' campaigns a fallacy. Stop thinking of the importance of media in terms of the percentage allocation of budget (or the perceived importance to internal stakeholders). Start thinking of it in terms of what will actually change consumer behavior and influence purchase.

2. This campaign is sponsored by Microsoft advertising, good for them.

I applaud the fact that MS saw a successful industry parody and decided to capitalize on it. Take a good viral program and use it to drive home the core values of their product and department 'brand'. And this is not simply a one off, they clearly believe that the industry is full of relics that don't understand the online world (see this for a scary interview with the Executive Director of Brand Strategy for Interbrand). Hopefully they can work with advertisers and deliver some amazing online programs integrating all their properties. Not just say it, but actually deliver it.

If anyone is interested in making parodies like this, contact me and we'll go sell them to MS.

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