Confidence means jobs. Unfortunately, consumer confidence, client confidence, market confidence: all languish at crushing depths compared to a mere year ago…
Lack of work means more than losing some fat in the agency system: today’s historically bad numbers cut to the bone, costing talented thinkers and rich imaginations their paychecks and health plans and office comraderie. The number of paying creative jobs don’t support paying the same number of creatives.
Still, one area of advertising desperately needs these creative minds in a way they never did: media. Social networks and the ongoing new media revolution put media professionals at a horrific disadvantage. Decades of metrics and planning no longer apply to a world of three screens–TV, Internet and Mobile. Worse, robust new platforms like Facebook call for formats of advertising yet to be invented. I believe the creative platforms that will be most prevalent five years from now have yet to be invented. Seriously.
With the vast data engines of the internet and digital TV pumping out actionable information about audiences with unprecedented accuracy, our industry needs creative thinkers generating ingenious responses to these opportunities. Hyper- customization, day-part targeting, contextual messaging and couponing: all of these will be commonplace tomorrow, despite being largely impossible today. The media discipline has never faced a greater need for innovation and ideas.
In his delightfully-imagined book The Happy Soul Industry, Euro RSCG Chicago’s Steffan Postaer tosses his angelic protagonist into a modern hotelroom, where he turns on the TV news: “Finally and mercifully, the piece ended. But then came the commercials. And in their own way, David found them more obscene. Not because of what they were about–banks and cars and video games–but because of how blindly they went about their business. Like the reporters, the spots traipsed across the screen utterly unaware of their context…”
Great insight from Steffan. But we will soon see the final days of commercials that are ‘utterly unaware of their context.’ The sad comScore fact that US Internet users saw 4.5 trillion display ads last year will soon become an archaic indictment of lazy media. Context will change everything. Context and that convergence thing. Convergence between disparate marketing entities far beyond mere online and offline.
I’m talking the convergence of creative and media.