By: Jonathan Schultz
With old media readership and viewership tanking, and advertising flocking to new, lucrative opportunities on the Web, the face of the industry is undoubtedly going to change. The question is not so much a question of whether or not it’s happening, or even when (we’re living it) – the question is what it will all look like when everything is said and done.
“With more than 42% of the country’s TV homes equipped with digital video recorders, which allow users to fast-forward through commercials, and some younger viewers leaving TV altogether, advertisers are rushing to build Internet infrastructures, create Web videos and funnel content to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest” (James, 2012).
If the advertising world is in agreement that digital media is the future, they’re certainly unsure as to what it’s going to look like. For instance, there is a huge following behind utilizing the interactivity allowed by digital, Web based platforms, pioneered by agencies such as AKQA, “Omelet, Ignited & Blitz” (James, 2012), but also the information giant, Google, with its search-based advertising software and endorsement of interactive advertising through its “Creative Sandbox” service.
In the online video field, many advertisers are inextricably tied to trying to use old media tricks in a new playing field. “There are essentially two areas of discussion that dominate the conversation when it comes to online video. Both are tethered to the Mad Men world of ‘things we’ve always done.’ The first is pre-roll — putting spots in front of content… The second is the creation of branded content” (Kleinberg, 2012).
There is still faith that online video advertising can be more, so long as advertisers realize the full potential of the medium: creating discoverable content in an age of search, creating video for their websites and owned online presences, integrating brand content in to actual content, and incorporating video into a greater, integrated brand experience (Kleinberg, 2012).
Whatever the industry is going to look like, there doesn’t seem to be any doubt that it will be there in the end. While some agencies are struggling to come to terms with the changing tides, other shops are jumping on the bandwagon and making a killing, particularly those on the SoCal setting.
“L.A. agencies have been in the vanguard of the ad evolution. The region already boasts such prominent creative shops as TBWA/Chiat/Day, RPA and Deutsch LA. Upstarts have taken root in the same narrow band west of the San Diego Freeway, drawn by the proximity to the beach and the nearness of major entertainment hubs, music labels, video game makers and an increasing number of Internet firms, including Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc., which have opened outposts in the newly minted Silicon Beach.”
There shouldn’t be a shortage of jobs for those advertising students willing and able to get with the times. The industry is on the cusp of an exciting frontier. Ultimately, it will be up to the new class of promoters and planners to decide how this exciting and exotic business will survive in a media system in the process of being turned on its head.