Zeitgeist Media Revisited

Just before Christmas I watched a video which featured Lee Clow¹, and Alex Bogusky²,  talking about the development of brand entertainment and other interactive changes impacting the advertising businesss. It was a panel presentation as part of the Google Zeitgeist Europe conference from Sept ’08.

(¹ Global Director of Media Arts, TBWA Worldwide, ² Partner, Crispin Porter + Bogusky.)

I referred to it briefly in the previous post but it really deserves wider attention.

We get key viewpoints from Lee & Alex on the way that advertising and media intersect with current online trends and how that continues to drive other significant business changes almost everywhere.

Lee is a legendary ad guy who is perhaps best known for the Apple 1984 ad  which was directed by Ridley Scott who I like for 1982’s Blade Runner but you might know him for some other movies.

Alex Bogusky recently won the Microsoft account and I suspect this ad referred to on New Music Strategies might be the first one in a series from that new alignment.

Media markets develop according to the culture they soak in and the ultimately from the local business interests and values of each location.

In NZ where I am located, most of the time local TV is a mash-up of UK /US / Australian and  NZ originated programmes.  My personal preference is close to zero TV since I prefer a more active role in life.

And I can get almost anything I really want online which is more attractive now that bandwidth speeds are improving and data caps are less of an issue.

The Clow-Bogusky presentation has had its video embedding disabled and so I have provided a screenshot and separate link below. Lee Clow of TBWA and Alex Bogusky on Google Zeitgeist (28:16)

Lee Clow, Global Director of Media Arts, TBWA Worldwide and Alex Bogusky, Partner, Crispin Porter + Bogusky

Here are some of my notes and comments on the themes on the content. Advertising has changed from a monologue to dialogue. Also that the dimensions of media are changing as interactivity challenges everything; especially for some (digital native) markets.

What has happened more recently is that it is now easier to validate some of the anecdotal learnings as new   media measurements become easier to assess.

There is a discussion on how gaming revenue has surpassed movie revenue a year or two back but more importantly on what this might mean for marketers and media / advertising sectors. (about 7mins in.)

Research has been telling us this for some time but the cultural changes represented by changes from narrative forms of storytelling are much more obvious now.

The impression is that ad creatives like this change but media fragmentation does make life harder for ad buyers.

Clow makes some comments along the lines of “we are  closer to the tipping point for artists rather than technologists now”.  It seems obvious but I’d agree that it is much easier for creative people to create without needing too much tech help now.

Just looking around at the Mac tribe and all the smart mobile phones now;  it is certainly easier to be connected. Software and other tools are getting better and most importantly expectations have changed.

Add to that faster,cheaper bandwidth and the “always-on” group is managing to spread much further outside the usual global hot-spots.

Lee likes to redefine his business as having changed from advertising to media arts business

They both commented that the whole idea of having brand conversations can be quite scary for marketing and ad managers. There is still scope for other campaigns like the (anti smoking)  truth campaign that Alex worked on.

Alex sees a growing part of the role for traditional media is to seed ideas into popular culture.

The most stunning aside in the panel discussion was this line on US TV numbers.

There is no such thing as broadcast (now) the Number 1 primetime show is only 2% of the(US)  population. (23:45)

I suspect its not quite that fragmented yet in NZ, AU or UK markets but would love to hear any comparative numbers if you have them in a public version.

Marketers now have to work much harder to get channel coverage and offer more choices.

One of the questions from the floor concerned the trend for what has been called “brand entertainment” and was asked by a staff member from Youtube.

Other questions were asked about how these changes might affect public policy style campaigns. Other  media planners were wondering about how to weight their budgets.

Certainly many of these trends around technology and media are not new – just more obvious and heading in exciting directions.

Over the summer break I have been catching up on the very good Media7 shows which are still available over on the TVNZ site.  There are now 43 episodes available and worth watching. Russell Brown³ is one of the presenters and the panel format seems to work well enough.

(³ Great to read about these numbers over at Public Address System (“Google Analytics presently shows 1,169,014 visits to Public Address in 2008, and 3,558,983 pages served.”)

Ironically Media 7 also beats watching actual summer TV and it is all Mac friendly. Happy New Year 2009.