“Digital Work” vs. “Work for a Digital World”
When everyone talks about the fact that agencies need to “go digital,” it doesn’t mean they need to tear up the TV storyboards and burn the print ads.
As many have pointed out, TV isn’t going anywhere. It’s still the best way to communicate to a lot of people at once.
Problem is, all too often we’re creating the same type of work that we would have made fifteen years ago, when there were very few ways to learn about a product or service. If a commercial told us that Product A got whites whiter, we pretty much believed it. (At least until we tried it ourselves.) Not the case anymore.
We don’t all need to create digital work.
But we do need to create work for a digital world.
PROBLEM NUMBER ONE
In our digitally-connected world, people can choose what they pay attention to. It doesn’t matter what we want to say. Only what people want to hear.
PROBLEM NUMBER TWO
People can get information from better sources than TV commercials. Sources they trust. Like their friends.
Heck, they don’t even need to be friends. Just anyone who’s NOT the brand. Sad to say, most people are more likely to trust an anonymous comment on a blog than what we say in a TV commercial.
PROBLEM NUMBER THREE
Our audience can now talk back.
Yet, we keep talking AT people instead of WITH them.
EXHIBITS A, B & C
Exhibit A: How most people feel about a certain phone carrier.
Exhibit B: What the phone carrier tries to talk about instead.
Exhibit C: What people keep talking about anyway.
We no longer have control of our own brands. We’re now simply one of many participants in the process of creating a brand image. And if we’re not working WITH everyone else, we’re working against them.
A big part of advertising to a digital world is acknowledging what our audience already believes. Sticking our fingers in our ears and saying “la la la, I can’t hear you” isn’t working.