Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Twittering at the back of the class…

I was caught twittering at the back of the class last week at Chinwag's ‘Tomorrow’s Ad Formats’ session.

I suppose I thought it was acceptable after following the entertaining commentary on the Ad Age digital advertising conference by David Armano and Steve Rubel last week.
For me, Twitter is starting to develop and find it’s place this year.
One of it’s interesting uses is as a back channel to events which enables other users to follow events remotely.

I did, however, find the bulk of the content at this particular Chinwag a bit flat and shared the odd tweet to that effect with a couple of other attendees.
I’d hoped to get the usual insight and inspiration that comes out of those sessions but the debate seemed centred around the various forms of interruption based traditional digital advertising - and the merits of this banner vs that pre-roll - rather than new ways for brands to actually engage and involve their customers.

By engage I guess I’m referring to the idea of collaborative marketing, conversation, dialogue, partnership etc rather shouting at people who are not interested.

Wikipedia says: ‘Rather than looking at consumers as passive receivers of messages, engagement marketers believe that consumers should be actively involved in the production and creation of marketing.”

I’m also often prone to wheeling out a slightly older nugget to illustrate this point

Confucious: ‘Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I might remember but involve me and I’ll understand’

Steven from our place, who was on the panel, fought a valiant battle
(I almost typed ‘shone like a Beacon’) to bring the conversation round to this notion of engagement being key however despite a few gratuitous cluetrain references from some of the others it didn’t fly.

I overheard this stat recently:
The number is flaky, I can’t exactly remember but it went something like…

‘…our research found 25% of users found pre-roll ads less annoying than mid-roll’

Yes he really did say, less annoying!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your kind words on my blog and presentation in the post above this.

The Confucious quote is outstanding.

I absolutely agree that that we need to get less annoying and more useful. The more we work with the people who use our clients' products and services, the better we understand them and the more we can help them do the things they are trying to do instead of trying to get them to do things we want them to do.

Anyway, we're on the same page so no need for me to ramble on.

Thanks again.

Eaon Pritchard said...

cheers paul, likeminds and all that...

Anonymous said...

Did you really think that a panel on "ad formats" was going to be about conversation? I didn't.

I think that an ad format is a something you can buy on a CPM or DR basis - like a search placement, a banner, a pre-roll, a pop-up, a podcast sponsorship, a pay-to-place blog post, an affiliate link, an email DM campaign, a push SMS campaign. These days you can even buy conversations.

I don't think it's a website or an advergame.

I sure as hell don't think it's a conversation.

The panel leader was the head of the IAB. It was about advertising.

Perhaps I'm too old fashioned in my definition of "ad formats", but I know that I've gone into PR to get away from them for a while.


Eaon Pritchard said...

@mediaczar, yeah ok fair point. i guess the notion of 'Tomorrow's...'
was what threw me.

Mat Morrison said...

@eaon -- actually, there's a weirder thing that we all missed on the day. It was a shock to hear the "50% of your advertising dollars are wasted - and now you know which 50%" cliche resurrected after a decade or so by Dave-from-Phorm.

I think - because it's a cliche - we all tend to ignore it, and not think about what the actual promise (however ridiculous) really is.

1) When we say this, what we're saying is "we will only advertise to people who will buy your products". This is a bad thing, IMHO. When I drive (say) a Mercedes Benz, or wear a pair of Levis, or drink Grey Goose or whatever it is that I do (none of the above, BTW) it's not enough that I know what the brands stand for. I need everyone else who sees me driving, wearing, drinking my brand choices to know what they stand for, too.

2) One logical extension of the "right people, right message, right time" thing could be: I will only show you the ad you want to see just before you make your purchase decision. This is horrible planning for many reasons, but also a lazy promise. If we're SO good at targeting, and the consumer has so little free will, why not just send the consumer the products they need, when they need it? Why bother advertising at all?


Incidentally, I went into PR 6 months ago because I believe - with you - that we need to change the way we do marketing.

See also: The KLF Manual

Eaon Pritchard said...

@mat - thanks, i thought it was '...but I dont know which half?'. cant remember. I do remember The Manual though - thanks for reminding.
What's up with everyone going into PR? - thats 2 of you in this comments section alone...