Ad agencies sound the alert

November 11th, 2004

Back page of the Financial Times November 9th 2004
Ad Agencies sound the alert over the mobile phone.
The principle outline of the piece is that the ad agencies are going to find it much harder to reach young people as their habits has changed so dramatically as a consequence of the mobile phone.
Its good that media and advertising agencies are addressing the issue. Its good that they are doing research.
There is a lot of research out there already via a whole host of companies. The reality is that we have arrived fully into a new era revolutionised by converging technology. The tradtitonal agency model of interruptive communications is dead.
Valerie Accary at BBDO explains that young people are constantly looking for new experiences. The FT explains this means that the implication is TV advertising should be suprising to succeed. But the point is, is anybody watching?
SMLXL's whitepaper The revolution will not be televised , published last summer confronts these issues, that ex-Coke CEO Steve Heyer descibed thus:

economic and social developments demand a new approach to connecting with audiences, with consumers: [1] The economic landscape around media cost-efficiencies
[2] The escalation of property and sponsorship costs
[3] The trifecta that is the fragmentation and proliferation of media, and the consolidation in media ownership — soon to be followed by a wholesale unbundling. [4] The erosion of mass markets [5] The empowerment of consumers who now have an unrivaled ability to edit and avoid advertising and to shift day parts [6] A consumer trend toward mass customization and personalization [7] And the emergence of an experience-based economy, where cultural production is more important than physical production

Whilst P&G CEO Jim Stengel says TV advertising stopped working circa 1987.

Alan Mitchell in his whitepaper for SMLXL "The Long Goodbye " explains why marketing in general has arrived at this situation. And that companies have to completely rethink how they market themselves and how to go to market.
But it is not just the mobile phone, its PVR's, its the internet, its a whole lot of stuff that makes todays world significantly different from yesterday. Funnily enough SMLXL is designed to deal successfully with this newly converged future and to 'engage' customers/stakeholders and not to interrupt them.
This issue has raged in the US, online, in the mainstream media. But do we discuss it in the UK? Where is the inteligent conversation and debate? Because the issues are exactly the same. Perhaps Emily Bell in the Guardian and Gary Silverman are starting that debate in ernest? It needs to be had.

Additional reading:

The new bottom line

The long goodbye or are you talking to me

I hate to shop but I love ebay

Imagine there is no internet

All in a tizz over TV advertising

Even longer goodbye

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