Scattered Pictures Of The Smiles We Left Behind

Jon Fine of BuinessWeek argues that growth of “below the line” activity means marketers don’t need their media partners like they once did.

When it comes to advertising, marketer and media property were once partners. But that relationship, like so much else in this space these days, has gotten quite complicated.

Fine also shares a cold hard fact of marketing communications life (yet one that’s sort of difficult to believe):

A survey by Veronis Suhler Stevenson found that spending on below-the-line initiatives accounted for 62% of total marketing spending in 2008, up from 57% in 2004, while standard advertising accordingly fell 5%.

Of course, without intimate knowledge of the survey, it’s hard to know what was considered above the line and what was considered below. What is plain to see is that two-dimensional print ads, radio and TV, or above the line activity, do not make for the kind of arsenal a modern brand needs.
There was a time when I was mildly ashamed of my marketing services background. Thankfully, I grew up and that inner turmoil passed. Now, I count my blessings that I have promotions and event marketing experience to compliment my Web and traditional experience, because I’m in a much better position to move the needle for brands than I otherwise would be.



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.