PodTech recently interviewed Kevin Townsend, Managing Partner at Science+Fiction, about the evolution of digital media. Here are some snippets…
For most of us this is trite, but worth highlighting – the advertising world changed a few years ago dramatically, in that advertisers realized that the traditional medias; print, radio and broadcast commercials, weren’t nearly as appropriate for reaching their audiences anymore, especially because their audiences weren’t what they thought they were.
As a result Kevin, who has worked with George Lucas, says that advertisers need to go multi-platform. I totally agree – anyone not multiplatforming is crazy, lazy and/or about to be sideswiped by competitors.
Multiplatforming means that it is not only about seeing a television show or a movie, it’s about seeing something online, it’s about seeing something in a game, it’s about hearing something in a podcast, it’s about being able to talk to people across multiple platforms, sometimes simultaneously. And each of those platforms has its own pluses and minuses, and the content needs to be able to reflect that, so the consumer gets the best possible experience. The reason why that’s important is because the advertisers are starting to use those individual platforms, to create content as a means of reaching their consumer.
Kevin talks about advertisers being in the best position to create content, because they inherently understand best what their customers are looking for. He calls this a self-publishing model…what’s going on with advertisers is they know their audience well; so they know what their audience likes and dislikes. And one of our clients is Red Bull, the energy drink; and they know that their target audience really enjoys the action sports world. So we created programming that revolved around athletes and events within the action sports world that we knew that the Red Bull consumer would really gravitate towards. And then, in order to make it as strategically appropriate as possible, we also created it so it could be distributed across multiple platforms simultaneously. So not only can you get it in one format or on one platform, but you can get on multiple platforms at the same time. So that gives the choice back to the consumer; do I want to watch television, do I want to be online, do I want to watch a DVD? Whatever choice is, that allows Red Bull to having more quality contact with their consumer, it allows the consumer to have a better experience via the brand. And then going back to Red Bull again, it allows that brand to open up more of a dialog with its customers.
The gist of the discussion is that we have both consumer behavior and advertiser behavior changing to create a perfect storm of user-focused content that drives loyalty. The rainbow will appear when more and more brands recognise that they are not only a distribution channel, but also a mechanism for driving user generated content.