If digital TV is a revolution in TV viewing then the question at the conference is, who is going to lead it? Big spending advertisers, media, or advertising agencies? During the conference I got the impression that we were all on different sides, pointing at each other to go first.
Advertisers need to develop a stance on this kind of media, but we need clearer direction from our media specialists.
There was also an interesting jockeying for position between the advertising and media agencies, each wanting to be seen as having the better route map through the digital landscape. The way seems to be open for either of them to dominate since this is new territory, and success will come down to the quality of ideas each puts forward.
For us at Walkers, media is only a part of our business. We conduct 9 million transactions a day and it is maintaining and improving these which dominates our time. What I am concerned with is getting my staff to find innovative ways of encouraging people to snack. We should not get caught up in stale arguments about marketing or media efficiency instead. It is judgment rather than numbers which matters most.
The conference was full of speculation, but I would have liked to have heard a bit more about penetration rates of the various elements of new media so far, and what can be drawn from this. Instead, we tended to get people from various industries banging the drum for their area of the market. A little more rigorous examination of the issues was needed.
This is because the stakes are so high. Are we on the cusp of a revolution? I think so. The key issue which everyone has to respond to is that people are living in an ever more individualistic and casual manner. We have to crack that issue and still find ways to talk to people. Communication will become more difficult rather than less.