When the obsession with digital isn’t always a good thing

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Not wishing to be completely on trend and spend our entire budget in digital and social media, we have taken the unfashionable step of buying some traditional media. Our media selection includes a package of lovely big 96-sheet poster sites in and around major transport hubs. They are a great targeting fit for our commuter audience.

There’s no doubt that social and digital channels are transforming the way we do business, but if I have to listen to another agency telling me that I should spend my entire budget online I shall lose the will to live. True, the move towards integrated or brand-centric campaigns is a massive step forward from the old institutional model of a fancy expensive TV ad with a bit of PR and BTL on the side using whatever budget is left over. But I do genuinely worry that too many agencies have now confused a brand-centric communications strategy with the latest obsession of trying to build entire brands on Facebook.

I’m kicking myself for being fobbed off so easily by a Soho creative who probably doesn’t pass many 96-sheets

There are huge advantages to marketing online. Campaigns are distinctly more measurable and better still, the creative work tends to be developed and reviewed in the correct environment. When I am asked to sign off an online activity, I am given a URL link where I can see the work living and breathing on my own laptop or smartphone in the media space where it will ultimately appear. I do not sign off concept boards and then cross my fingers that the end result will look good when it goes live. I know what I am getting. Agencies and traditional media owners would do well to bring such ’in-situ’ mock-ups to their own approval processes.

I write this having just driven past one of our latest 96-sheets, where the copy was just far too small to read at distance. I remember it looked perfect on a concept board from six feet away set against the clean white walls of the agency meeting room. We did raise this issue at the time, but were politely told not to worry about such detail and the agency reluctantly agreed to nudge up the font size by one or two points. I am kicking myself for being fobbed off so easily by a creative who works in Soho, no doubt walks everywhere and probably doesn’t drive past many 96-sheets and even if he did, he’s probably be too busy playing on his iPhone to notice them.

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