Lévy As Renaissance Man

Publicis Groupe CEO, Maurice Lévy, was asked by Vint Cerf, internet pioneer and chief evangelist at Google, to peer into the magic looking glass and describe the future of technology.
The Guardian has his response.

Five years is an eternity in technology, but from our vantage point a few things are clear about what the internet and internet advertising will look like in 2012. One, virtually all media will be digital, and digital will enable almost all kinds of advertising. Two, online advertising will depend more than ever on the one element which has always been at the heart of impactful advertising, both analogue and digital: creativity. The explosion of media channels means this is a glorious time to think and act creatively. In art history terms, we are at the dawn of the Renaissance after the Dark Ages.
Just as the Renaissance broke down the distinctions between sacred and profane art forms and between individual and community, so we are seeing a similar exciting blurring today – and this will only intensify. Linear media is fast giving way to liquid media, where you can move seamlessly in and out of different settings. Prescribed time – the 7 o’clock news, the Friday night out at the cinema, etc – is now becoming multitasking time. People are no longer willing to put up with interruptions for a commercial break during their entertainment experience, and so we have to find incredibly creative solutions to interact with them and engage them in genuine and honest ways. This implies a brave new world of engagement and involvement between marketers and consumers and will also mean co-production between marketers and media owners. Scale will be critical: in five years’ time, around 2 billion people will be constant internet users and mobile internet computing will be ubiquitous. What a great time to be in the business!

I bolded the sentence above because to me it’s the heart of the matter. Chief Marketing Officers must venture beyond their corner offices and mix it up. The best of them will enjoy doing so. Same for the brand teams and the agency teams on the business. The Age of Participatory Media is upon us and there’s nowhere, and no reason, to hide.



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.