Thursday, April 3, 2008

A media match made in heaven

Harold Mitchell, of Mitchell Communication group, makes a very interesting point in a recent AdNews article. He’s touched on a theme that has been troubling me for some time. Let me get it off my chest.

For the past 10 years, proprietors of various specialist communications companies, and eager journalists, have been telling me for that old media is dead. The web will replace everything. No one reads the paper. TV is a waste of money. And who listens to the radio?

I want to get with the times, but I feel as though I’ve been letting the side down a bit. While I downloaded the final episodes of the Sopranos I ALSO continue to watch TV. While I check SMH online during the week, I ALSO love to read a ‘paper’ paper on the weekend. While I listen to pod casts of radio shows I’ve missed, I ALSO listen to live radio in my car. While I search for good prices on Google, I ALSO scan through catalogues.

Am I doing something wrong? To my relief, Harold tells me no. It seems that I am not alone in sampling the best of both worlds. 303 million Americans are used to having old fashioned ‘emotional’ TV commercials that direct them to websites full of ‘rational’ information. Harold talks about TV, but any of the traditional media could benefit from working WITH the internet.

In Harold’s words, “Internet is no threat to TV, it is a great ally. The passions that TV fires are satisfied with the informational depth the internet provides. Never before have we had the opportunity to influence the emotional and the rational as we have with this communications combination.”

It makes a lot of sense and yet it’s a plan not carried out much in Australia. Promotions aside, when was the last time you saw a TV ad that really drove you to a web site dedicated to that message? And I don’t mean slapping the corporate url at the end of the spot. I mean a concerted effort to let TV and Web work together to answer the same brief.

But why stop at TV/internet? A poster style print ad (or Poster) can lead to web-copy as long or as short as you need. Radio spots can only say so much (60 words in 30 seconds). Why not make a whole spot about a web site?

I’ll leave the last words to Harold. “The combination of TV plus (my italics) the internet is the biggest thing to happen in advertising communications since television in 1956. It promises, and delivers, accountable results. Every marketing manager’s dream come true.”