Dave Allen-difference of digital

19 Nov

So today Dave Allen came to my creative strategist class. Dave is the director of insights and digital media at North, a Portland, Oregon full service ad agency. They both conceptualize the idea and create the product. Aside from that, Dave was, and actually still is, a member of the band Gang of Four. They mainly produced music in the 1980’s in England. More recently their music is used in an XBox commercial.

Allen’s talk focused on the differences between traditional  media and digital.

Traditional media is:

-The medium is broadcast and about the message.

-It is expensive, complex, and static.

-You can only reach the right people with the right placement.

-Feedback is cumbersome.

-And last, changing mistakes is difficult.

The Effect of traditional media on Agencies:

-The message is focused.

-There is limited competition

-A standardized approach.

-Post-launch analysis is limited.

-Focus is on the campaign.

The digital landscape:

-The experience is focused.

-It is simple, low cost.

-Competition is everywhere and is not limited to brands.

-Technology and context are in constant flux.

-Experience is the critical factor.

-Data is readily available.

-The most successful projects take a long term view.

How does an agency respond to the digital landscape? Ask how a person will consume this type of media and what the purpose is. If you are creating a website, what are you trying to accomplish and what does the user want to see. Allen discussed work he did for Timberline Lodge. He talked to consumers and they wanted to know about hiking, weddings, history, and share their experience. None of this was explained on the website, so he was able to determine a direct purpose and actions he needed to do.

Another thing he said is that a brand should not act like a person. They do not need to have a Twitter or Facebook making a large company appear to be an individual. It is not and is ineffective. Also, companies online should not respond to spoofs of their ads. Part of the glory and downfall of digital media  is that there is zero barriers to entry. Agencies need to learn to work around this and expect it. It comes with the territory.

Ultimately, “Technology just shortens the distance between us,” says Allen. We are social creatures and technology just changes the way in which we interact, but not the interactions. Advertising needs to evolve with the technology, not fight it.



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