Saturday, July 07, 2007

Why invent new ideas when you can buy them?

There was an interesting post the other day in a blog that I read occasionnally by a London-based company called Brand Tacticians. It was entitled 'Why buy media when you can earn it?' and argued that investment in media will be increasingly redundant because of free distribution on sites like YouTube. It's not a particularly new concept but it is pretty compelling.

Why, a marketer might ask, should I buy expensive 'old school' media when good creative will show itself to millions? In fact, very few marketers actually ask this question. Most are realist and understand that there are limitations to how compelling and user friendly they can expect their brand and sites to be. They don't really expect to be able to create the next YouTube or Facebook (MySpace is so Web 1.8) or even the next Lonely Girl 15.

Hence the title of this post. Why would you risk substantial amounts of budget on an idea that might or might not go viral? That might or might not be relevant to your brand or your business objectives? Why wouldn't you stick to an advertising approach that works consistently and that delivers against your commercial objectives?

I may be coming across as a bit of a reactionary from a digital media point of view bu that's not the case. It takes an enormous amount of luck and talent to have an idea and an execution that generates 'media' by itself. This is not the kind of talent that creative agencies can deliver 100% of the time and not the kind of luck to bet the farm on.

There is still a vast amount of quality media that can be bought. As long as this is the case it makes sense the that the majority of a marketer's efforts should be directed this way. Simultaneously, however, they need to be looking forward and experimenting with new channels and, in some cases, pushing their agencies to work harder on new approaches.

I've been involved a little bit in a project for hp that I think strikes the balance between realism and forward thinking very well. It's due to launch in a couple of weeks and I'm looking forward to sharing it.

1 comment:

Rodrigo said...

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