My weekly update of what’s going on in new media marketing, pulled from social bookmarking site Creativing.com:
John Rash has a powerful and poigniant piece on recent events in television and video. There’s a profound difference between Reality and Real content. When Reality first hatched, it seemed very ‘real’. By today’s standards, the format is more often than not highly contrived. Of course, the original appeal was the sense that it was real, and people are still looking for content that has a more real feel. The big question is, Where does that end? Or does it end? When you consider the content danger zones of violence and sex, and think about the trend perpetually arcing towards the most extreme examples you can conjure up in your mind, it’s a pretty chilling media horizon up ahead.
From Advertising Age: Brace for the worst year in recorded history. About 65% worst than 1991, the previously worst year. We’re headed for a 5% drop this year, which almost feels like a recovery after a 14% drop in Q1. Increasing the challenge is a projected slow recovery. The cause of this is fundamental change in the media-related world. Newspapers are going out of business, and won’t becoming back. Car advertising is way down, and with vast numbers of dealerships going out of business, those media dollars won’t be coming back either.
Piggybacking on the previous article, Ballmer, speaking at the Cannes Lions Festival, reiterates that media is fundamentally changing, and that to date, only Google has figured out a profitable revenue model around new media formats. He adds that in the near future all content in all media will be digital. It’s only a matter of When.
As if the top-down pressures listed above isn’t depressing enough for the ad industry, there’s also a sword coming in right at the ankles. The user-generated ad phenom is not only sticking around, it’s likely to increase. This year’s Super Bowl was enough of a warning, when the most popular ad (according to USA Today) was done by two brothers in Indiana for practically pocket change. Now here’s another good example of a company crowdsourcing what was once the bread and butter of the industry: 30 second commercials. And getting a nice spot out of it. Contests like this link are proving again that good work can be done for very little money and well outside the traditional agency structure.
So with this sense of industry meltdown, what’s an agency to do? John Battelle (author of “Search”), kicked off his CM Summit with his version of the future of the industry and what agencies should be focused on. It’s a video, and you’ll want to skip to the point about 6:00. His prediction? In a nutshell, it’s all about going from ‘creative’, to ‘adding value’, and from ‘buying media’, to ‘creating media’.
When major tent pole films like Transformers start going with minimal production on their websites, you know there’s a sea change going on. What’s most noticeable here is the expansion of brand tie-ins and partnerships. Not necessarily surprising, given the need for both movies and corporations to cut costs while still getting their name out.
I really appreciate a good contrarian viewpoint. I think there’s a lot of validity here, too. The fall in popularity of MySpace should be a warning to everyone. The key distinction to make is the difference between social networking and social networks. The former is here for the long run, I’d say. The latter is perhaps one of the most fickle online businesses yet. It’s not surprising that Facebook is pushing things like Facebook Connect, placing an emphasis on connecting people and having access to their data, versus trying to be the place where everything happens.
The idea that campaigns in a social media context don’t have an end point the way traditional push advertising does is very real. I’ve seen this come up in social media campaigns we’ve run, in which a group we’ve engaged actually requests that the relationship continue after the campaign has finished. For an indusry accustomed to viewing media presence as a faucet you can turn on and off, it’s important to remember that the participants in the campaign may not be so ready to turn on a dime.
Furthermore, with any campaigns that take on a utilitarian role, there’s the issue of actually taking something away that you’ve given them and they’re now relying on. Brands are needing to extend their thinking further down the pipeline than ever, and at a time when that future is less and less clear.
We saw social viewing play out big with the Obama Innauguration on CNN/Facebook. This will make that type of activity much easier to impliment on a smaller scale. This is great news for brands with something to say and wanting the crowd to help them say it.
Fantastic campaign for LG. 250,000 entrants for a speed texting contest? What’s great about this idea is the lowest common denomenator factor (and I mean that in a good way). Texting is universal now. A very high percentage of people do it, so a contest like this is something a lot of people can relate to. The way they played it out live in Citi Stadium and videod it for TV shows good campaign support and viral anticipation/preparation.
Essentially they’re taking a pile of classic books and turning them into the Super Clift Notes. Each boiled down to 20 tweets. That’s what they scored a book deal with. So, this means they’re turning books into tweets, and then back into books. Now on sale. No wonder the media world is screwed up.