Speaking at Ad:Tech in the Digital Consumer Forum this year, the penny dropped. There is a real clue in the name Ad:Tech and it really suited my presentation titled ‘Advertising’s Seismic Shift’, which was about how the landscape of advertising is under going a transformation of seismic proportions, brought about in changes in the technology customers are choosing to use.
The traditional agency structures and classifications that have evolved over the past 40 years have done so in a technology communications landscape that has remained relatively stable, or at the very least, evolving gradually. And this equally applies to client side too.
Television has traditionally been the dominant medium in which most advertising ideas have been conceived, because it has been the medium that customers have previously been paying most attention towards. And rightly so. But, simply because this has been the dominant structure, doesnâ€™t mean it will remain so. The most coveted awards at Cannes this year went not to posters or commercials, but to computer games, fragrances, tap water and widgets for Facebook.
In my presentation I wanted to take a step back and show how rapid changes in technology have always led to innovation in creativity. Indeed once a technological change becomes main stream then creative innovation becomes an absolute necessity. Whilst the primacy of the idea is absolute, the very nature of what constitutes advertising will change radically now that customers have complete control over the advertising they wish to participate with.
There was a very good set up for the forum from Danny Klue Meadows.
The thing is… us agencies are like dwarves on the shoulders of something far bigger. Whilst at least we had an audience, it was the technology companies, the Googles and the Microsofts who the punters have come to listen to. Still at least we had a platform, whereas I didn’t see any of the tradtional agencies at the show. Fish are the last to recognise water.