As readers of Repman know, I’ve been talking for some time about the power of word-of-mouth and public relations in reaching the new, technology-enabled consumer. The rise in importance of word-of-mouth and PR is a direct result of both "practices" understanding and managing the "trust" that is so essential to creating digital dialogues between organizations and consumers.
At the same time, though, advertising has been doggedly hanging on to the traditional 30-second advertising spot (and some of you have vehemently protested that the good old TV spot is just as effective as ever). Monday’s copy of Advertising Age contained a fascinating editorial by Rance Crain that explained, in part, why advertisers and their ad agencies have been slow to abandon the traditional and embrace the digital. For advertisers, it’s because, says Crain, they don’t "get" digital and are content to play it safe with "sexy and fun" TV spots. For their agencies, it’s because traditional advertising profit margins are significantly larger than what the ad shops can earn in digital. Plus, both parties think they know what’s best for consumers (in other words, they’ll decide what information the consumer will use to make a buying decision).
Crain calls the ad industry’s mindset an "arrogant attitude." In my opinion, it will come completely undone when consumers continue to "Tivo" commercials, channel surf past mind-numbing 30-second spots and walk out on Broadway plays that ambush audiences with live commercials before Act One. When digital media does take over, says Crain, "all the king’s horses and all the king’s men won’t be able to put traditional media back together again."