In my most recent intervieiws and meetings with fellow CMO's and CCO's, there is enormous buzz from the cable marketing industry as well as the MySpace community sites recent reveal of the impact of their 100-plus million and growing subscriber experience.
From time spent online by MySpace subs versus television at virtually every demographic level, you can feel an undertone of fear among programmers that something very dramatic was happening on those broadband pipes that the Multiple Service Operators (MSOs) are providing-- more eyeballs are leaving.
Follow that closely with last week's stunning news of Google's continued growth and revenue performance and one thing becomes very clear: This stuff is moving fast.
As a CCO with a slew of 20-something interactive buddies that are highly in tune with these new dynamics, the call for new kinds of ad units and experiences couldn't be louder. The sheer velocity of new experiences and enhancements being introduced online -- including everything from del.icio.us to YouTube to Windows Live -- suggests that as an industry we've got to break out of the confines of the HTML publishing grid that got us here and start crafting new kinds of messaging for our brands.
A scan through a dozen MySpace sites indicates that perhaps the bright minds at News Corp. got the business strategy right, but haven't yet arrived at the most elegant ad solutions. Lots of old school banner units (which are frankly more discouraging than encouraging) populate the myriad of personal web pages on MySpace and, according to the 20-somethings in our studio, are destined to drive users onto the next big thing if MySpace can't get to more innovative adjacencies and contextual serving.
My interative instinct tells me they don't have a lot of time given the exodus we saw from sites like Friendster.
Meanwhile, Google continues to innovate their offerings.
The challenge for us as interactive creatives is to start looking beyond enhanced banners and pre-rolls and start developing new ad experiences, dashboards, widgets and advergames that can live adjacent to these environments and become more encouraging to viewers. As much as the ad models for these new experiences are challenging traditional media planning and buying, so too do to the large agencies who serve the brands.
Building relevant contextual messages that live within or adjacent to personalized content or search results isn't rocket science. We just have to get past the traditional penchant for serving the same stuff we have been for years. Evolving our creative from banners to rich media to broadband video has still been a challenge for the interactive industry to standardize-- and we haven't got that right yet.
But there's more. It is not on the horizon... It is already here… and given the sheer velocity of innovation that's coming at us every week, we have to stop being reactive and get in front of our brand partners with work for these new environments that makes them uncomfortable-- because that's what great creatives should do.
Is the change of wind speed in our business a problem or opportunity?
It depends on your state of mind. And your abilty to get top talent to make it happen.
From where I sit, bring it on. These are exciting times and stuff is moving fast.