Digital Disruption Adds Complexity To The Job of Keeping Things Simple

Are you a change agent? If you work in advertising today, there is no doubt.

According to The Wall Street Journal, a recent Adobe survey found that 76% of marketers think marketing has changed more in the past two years than in the past 50.

Needless to say, digital is the great disruptor. Clearly, there is much opportunity in this turbulent media atmosphere — new agencies with new specialties are being born. On the other hand, there is much chagrin.

Sometimes I miss the days when I had a print ad and a radio spot, said Carlos Figueiredo, a creative director at Publicis Kaplan Thaler. He said it feels like there are “a billion” ad options today.

I know how Figueiredo feels. We want to uphold not just tradition, but craft, and radio and print are great vehicles for it. Also, traditional media tends to deliver desired results.

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Someday, we may in fact bring craft to digital advertising. Media companies, brand marketers and possibly consumers with no ad blockers in place will be grateful. Because for all the talk about innovation and change, when it comes to display advertising, most of what’s out there continues to be an embarrassment.

Of course, display ads represent just one aspect of digital advertising. There are many more creative expressions of brand advertising in digital, including serial video content, mobile utility and the building of brand sites and microsites. Nevertheless, sometimes you just want to make a radio spot.



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.