Advertising Week 2009, old and new ideas

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The ideas circulating at Advertising Week 2009 are sounding a bit like things I've heard before. Wired editor Chris Anderson talked about the concept of fremium, or giving a way content for free and charging for premium kind of content. This idea, while still worthy of consideration, especially for media companies, is something that has been tossed around by companies like the NYTimes and bands like Radiohead. Give the news or the songs away for free, but charge for the vinyl or the long form story as the Times did with The Times Select.

Yahoo launched a campaign that is all about "you," which felt very 2006, when MySpace ruled the land and the Time magazine person of the year was you. We have all seen how quickly MySpace came to power and was usurped by Facebook, and while, I will not argue that the consumer is in control, I do think it a bit bold for Yahoo to claim that they are offering a groundbreaking innovation in global marketing by recycling ideas that we've seen before. It's not wonder that CEO Carol Bartz, who can be quite articulate, got defensive in front of a room full of inquisitive journalists, claiming that people outside of that room (and New York), actually like Yahoo and that we should go pick on Google.

The most interesting ideas that I have heard this week are coming from the agencies. This afternoon at a Kodak panel on creative in the digital world, creative heads from various digital and interactive agencies talked about the shift that has been taking place in the last couple of years in which brands are looking to digital as the center of their marketing plan, instead of a follow up to a TV campaign. Conor Brady, CCO at Organic talked about the huge opportunity for digital agencies, who are grounded in merging creative with analytics to create interactive experiences are well poised for this shift.

On the same panel, Benjamin Palmer, co-founder/CEO of The Barbarian Group talked about building experiences for consumers on the Internet and not for brands. Sophie Kelly at Strawberry Frog concurred talking about the fact that content should be created and measured throughout a campaign and reworked throughout the lifespan. I think that we will see more of these kinds of evolving campaigns and approaches, as the role of agencies will continue to break down. We may see traditional agencies pitching a Web site, and digital agencies pitching a TV campaign that extends to mobile.


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