An Advertising Epidemic: Why Ad Execs Shouldn't Have to Sell Ideas; Rather Prescribe Solutions. Stop Creating Ads and Start Creating Useful Things that Advertise. Building Platforms To the Future - Now.
I'v been stuck to the computer most of the day but I'd have to say it's been a pretty productive experience. It's amazing how much information you can find in the form of videos, podcasts (which I'm not sold on), blogs, Twitter Feeds, and Facebook posts. While the 2016 Olympic Voting took up most of my morning, it's a post in the early afternoon that really caught my attention.
In a a video titled "The Way Forward," Bob Greenberg and Barry Wacksman of digital agency R/GA discuss ways in which they are changing the framework of advertising - specifically digital. What are they doing different? They're not creating advertisements, rather they are creating useful things that advertise - most importantly, what they call platforms.
People are reading and listening more than ever, however the digital landscape has changed the distribution channels. More people listen to music, but CD sales still decline. More people are reading, but magazine and newspaper are no longer the most prominent mediums. Television is still a huge part of society, but DVR, on demand, and online have changed when and what people watch.
What does digital allow us to change? It allows us to change the way in which we place our media. It's no longer about what you buy, its about what you own. It's not about delivering a message to a target market, its about bringing that target market to you. How are the most successful agencies changing the landscape of advertising as we know it? They are focusing on platforms rather than campaigns.
What is a campaign? At the most basic level, a campaign is something that comes and goes. It delivers a short-lived message to a consumer in an up and down cycle.
What is a program? A program is designed to create ongoing relations with an audience or a consumer. Most often a program is created with the intention of rewarding loyal consumers.
What is a platform? A platform is the future of digital and interactive advertising. A platform creates long-lasting interaction between brand and consumer. A unique application that often provides useful tools to an audience of individuals while also connecting them with the brand. Let's take a look at R/GA's example.
Who's heard of Nike? Everyone. But not everyone has always been interested in purchasing a pair of Nike Running shoes. Campaigns have attracted the attention of consumers in the past, but a huge audience was still out there looking for ways to connect with the brand and the running lifestyle it promoted. A platform needed to be created to connect user and brand. What was the platform? Nike +.
Nike + introduced a chip in Nike shoes that allowed users to track their runs on a computer. After you were done with a run, you could log onto your Nike + account and see all the statistics associated with the run. I'm sure everyone has heard of this. It's been around for about 3 years now. Results? Users have logged in over 160 million miles in 3 years. The average user logs onto the platform at least 3x a week. The product was a huge success. In 2008, R/GA took this to the next level. They hosted the largest race in World History. People could gather at one of the locations around the world, they could run in their backyard, or they could watch others run online. Individuals posted pictures, congratulated one another on message boards, and interacted with each other through different social networks. The platform brought the world together, and continues to do so to this day.
We're at a time when advertisers shouldn't have to sell ideas to a client. Advertisers should be there to prescribe solutions. What does it boil down to? Talent. Finding individuals who can tell a story, think outside the box, systematically manage the execution of an idea, and do what's necessary to make it work. Advertising is an epidemic that makes some people sick. It's finally time to change that perspective. Let's go digital and find useful solutions that make the audience and consumer happy, healthy, and headed in the right direction.
View the original video here. At around 37 minutes, it is long, but I strongly recommend it. Their presentation is great.