Nice day for it...
I have been thinking about the effects of realtime technology on advertising and how it could be the thing that changes everything from here on in. I didn’t see much of it openly debated around the Future of Advertising Agency discussions recently so I thought I might introduce the notion.
Realtime could fundamentally change the mechanics of what success will look like in future – namely the ‘execution’. And I mean execution rather than ‘idea’ because executions are channel specific and have a modicum of predictability. They can now be measured in terms of interactions and social significance – those with a high ‘interest’ or ‘memetic quality’ will be more successful than those that rely on messaging at the right time to the right audience.
The death of the big idea?
I am not saying ideas are less important – they are fundamental - but the quality of the execution is now even more important - rather than merely a component to be worked through later.
The over-focus on the big idea as a single entity rather than a sum of its component parts could be a mistake going forward. And therefore the assessment of the initial idea would have to take into account its technological component as a driver of reach and engagement.
The ECD? Oh yes, we used to have one of those…
In fact I am imagining a world where the skills and breadth of your creative technologist is going to be more revered than your ECD. And that means restructuring the agency. I suggest this is not only possible – but it is highly likely.
The map is not the terrain:
The map is the idea and the terrain is the execution. The terrain is more important in realtime than the map as it is the bit where the light reflects on the retina and the flesh touches the plastic.
The new and shiny might actually prove to be more successful than merely the clever interplay of picture and headline. Those interactions that are culturally relevant played out in realtime will be judged to be more successful than those designed to act as a statement of brand intent at any single point in time.
‘artful craft + process simultaneously experienced’
‘idea + execution’
Old Spice and Converse bear this out.
What does success look like?
In future therefore, I believe the most important qualities that will be measured will be driven by cultural relevance in realtime against:
1) Velocity - speed and quality of memetic attraction
2) Return on Involvement - number and reach of diverse human interactions
Think not? Name any awarded ad you have seen (recently?) where the execution wasn’t 90% of its appeal. What will make it successful in future is the craft brought to the execution in each channel – not just the idea itself.
Oh yes, and the agency of the future will be indistinguishable from Pixar.