August 11, 2006

Defending the Web

I feel like I constantly have to defend the web, almost like a preacher defending a religion. I have been defending it since the mid 90s when I had to explain to my clients that the web isn’t going anywhere, that it wont go down and that it hold endless possibilities for creative messaging.

Here is a comment I recently made to add to my list of defensives…

Once again I feel the need to comment in the name of Interactive. We keep asking ourselves these questions of how sticky something is but it seems like an exercise in futility. Who can predict the fickle habits of the public? The web can! We know where people are going, where they came from and how long they stayed, we know what they looked at and what they clicked on and as Interactive evolves more and more into the top spot as the anchor of a campaign we can come up with more creative ways to market. For example, an interactive agency can potentially create two or three campaigns at once, if something isn’t working or need adjustment it could potentially be tweaked on the fly. The level of control is limitless. Agencies need to understand and embrace the flexibility of the medium to be able to feel out and test the public reactions as they change. The web is a dynamic world, results are practically instant and adjustments can be made based on feedback, its interesting that any interactive project can be deemed a failure, unless it is way off the mark, but when adjustments need to be made or a direction needs some tweaking it can be done in a million different creative ways. I think that people are real and when dealing with the fantasy world of advertising and the over hyping of products and services of our clients we need to understand that people know that realistic expectations are set based on exaggerations and that those exaggerations are simply a form of entertainment of sorts to help create an emotional attachment to the brand and just like a relationship needs to be coddled and formed so to does the user, before now you got what you got because the medium only allowed for static presentations but the expectations set by the web now create a demand by the public for more effort from the advertisers to entice their audiences. Attention is hard to get in this world of many distractions and in order to grab that attention we need to understand the more complex habits of the consumers and how they want to be marketed to. The web offers us so many more opportunities for success and if used correctly our failure rate should decrease dramatically as long as the campaign is on target. The question posed was What Sticks? But perhaps we should be asking ourselves How Many Chances to We Get to Make it Stick? You can never know for sure is something is going to work but the web offers us the ability to at least adjust if we see that it isn’t working.

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