10 Reasons Why Digital is Better Than Advertising – Number 10

Of course there are brilliant people in advertising who ‘get it’ too. And blatantly you don’t have to be a web-obsessed geek to come up with interesting interactive ideas. But naturally it becomes easier to consider this world if you spend some time in it. So, at the very least, you understand a few of its basic rules.

It helps to appreciate what makes a great game. Or be able to feel the difference between a good application and a lousy one. To understand how important online relationships are to people. To have lived a day in Second Life before recommending it as the solution to a problem. To be a user who generates content and not a marketeer who just hypothesises about it. The list goes on…

I read an interesting quote recently, I forget where. But the point was that almost anyone could have a go at coming up with TV advertising ideas – we’ve all sat through so many commercials in our lives the techniques and language of TV ads are part of mainstream culture (I’ve got no doubt at all that they’d be second rate rubbish, but there’s something in the thought).

On the flipside, your average teenager with MySpace/Bebo/Facebook pages is way more qualified to come up with ideas around social networks than most boardrooms full of marketeers.

I think you get the point.

From what I can see, lots of the people who really live and love this stuff have taken refuge in small digital agencies. They wouldn’t survive in a place where their Internet access was subject to WPP Group firewalls (although they’d probably hack a way around it). They need to be allowed to run instant messenger and install applications on their own machines. They’re also more comfortable knowing that they can survive being just a little bit nerdy and their obscure cybercultural references will be understood by most people, not just the IT work experience guy.

Of course this will change, and I’ve got no idea where the talented young creatives who’ve lived their whole lives with this stuff will gravitate towards over the next few years. I’m guessing they’ll head for the places where they feel understood and the places with the best opportunities. Who knows whether these will be the same places?

If you’re excited by the possibilities of digital, there’s nothing like having a team around you who are all connected, online people. People who share an enjoyment of constant change and upheaval instead of fearing it.

Digital is fun.

BBH Wins Lynx Digital Account

An interesting ‘moment’ in online advertising. BBH win Lynx digital account. To my mind Dare have done some really amazing online advertising for Lynx (Feather and Blow to name but two), and I’m really surprised that the account has gone elsewhere (if the story is to be believed).

In principle I agree with this quote from the article:

John O’Keeffe, executive creative director of BBH London, said: “A couple of years ago, we might have been at a disadvantage in a pitch like this, simply for lack of having the digital craft skills in-house. We now have that capability: whereupon this, and any other digital pitch for that matter, comes down to the same question that decides any such process: who has the best idea?”

But at the same time I wonder if this is really true.

Is it always down to the best idea winning out? Not really. Do BBH have great ideas? Undoubtedly. Do they have outstanding ‘salespeople’? Almost certainly better then most digital agencies.

I’m not trying to put forward the case for ‘digital agencies’ (interesting how I’m now feeling more and more compelled to use inverted commas around various parts of the term digital agency) particularly. However, something I’ve noticed recently is that the nature of our clients is changing. Whereas previously we used to sell our ideas into digital people, we’re now increasingly up in front of a mixture of digital and advertising people.

The way in which you pitch your ideas to these two groups are massively different. Online people typically want to see more of the ‘how we’re going to do it’, where as advertising people take that stuff for granted. You see an idea, it gets made. They’ve never been through the pain of cross-browser testing a complicated website. And they don’t care how it gets done. And maybe that’s the way it should be (for advertising).

My prediction is that we’re going to see a fragmentation of how brands operate online, there’ll be a bunch of people competing to do online advertising. And a bunch of people doing ‘other stuff’.

I think I know where I’d rather be…

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