Even As All Screens Become Social, TV Will Continue To Be “The Fire” We Gather ‘Round

When I was in Boston last October for Geekend/DMA2011, I had a memorable lunch with Baba Shetty of Hill Holiday. At one point, we chatted about how the agency might raise its profile as a content marketing resource, without doing the cheesy promotional thing. I said hold a conference on the topic. Shetty said yes, we’re on that.

Indeed. Yesterday at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, Hill Holliday hosted TV Next, a day-long symposium on Social TV.

According to Boston Globe, Mike Sheehan, chief executive Hill Holliday, said, “I don’t think five years ago anyone envisioned what social media would do for television.” Sheehan added that people in the industry, from advertising executives to show producers, value strong Internet buzz just as highly as strong Nielsen ratings. “All our clients are dying to be part of it.”

The event was streamed live on Ustream, and I did catch a portion of the afternoon spotlight with Shetty and Jonathan Kraft, President & Chief Operating Officer of The Kraft Group. Kraft, at one point, discussed how it will soon be possible to direct your own NFL viewing experience by choosing which cameras to focus on, which audio sources to listen to, and so on.

During the webcast, I published a few tweets about Kraft’s talk. At one point he said, what we can do today on the second screen, we will soon be able to do with that thing on the wall.

Warren Whitlock, noting my tweet, countered that calling it the second screen is defeatist. I replied that the hierarchy of screens is being dismantled, and Whitlock agreed that all TV can be social.



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.