A Clever Interruption Is Still An Interruption

Brian Wiener, CEO of 360i spoke about creating the “Agency of the Future” last week at the IAB Ecosystem conference in Carlsbad, Calif. Jodi Harris, senior editor at iMedia Connection, was there.

To illustrate the need for affordable, consumer-centric innovation, Wiener related the example of “Amanda,” who was shopping in a Barnes & Noble store. Amanda found a book she wanted, but before purchasing it, she took a look at a shopping comparison app on her iPhone. After finding a better price online, Amanda purchased the book from Amazon.com through the app while she was still standing in Barnes & Noble.
“This is happening increasingly every day. Consumers have near perfect access to product and price information,” Wiener explained. “There now needs to be a value exchange between consumers and brands through advertising. Think about how your property can serve as a conduit for deeper interactions between brands and consumers; otherwise you just become an interesting way to interrupt them.”

For all the talk about how strong TV advertising remains today, despite fundamental and obvious changes in consumer behavior, if the best a brand and its agency can hope for is to be “an interesting interrupter,” then the industry is in trouble.
Wiener’s “value exchange” is another way of saying “branded utility.” He’s arguing that advertising that provides value will be well received. It may still be a knock on the door, but one that will be welcomed.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.