Today a new company Thinaire is placing low cost links to digital content in physical objects such as shelf talkers and magazines. People can just tap their mobile phone to the object and the
content appears on their screen and can be shared in the usual ways plus by tapping a friend’s phone whereupon the content leaps phone to phone. This is only one small part of the continuing
evolution of all (including in-store) media into digital media. All print media to the extent that they continue to involve printed copies will utilize links like Thinaire’s to become woven
seamlessly into the one digital mediasphere that is forming. Radio is migrating into digital and cellphone+stereo earpods will be the next stage both by radio receivers in phones and by all-digital
stations led by Pandora springing up
The advertising industry is gradually becoming aware that sponsorship of good content (including fun/social games) and of good
causes has far greater power to win hearts and minds than interruptive pitch/offer messages no matter how clever. Today Cause Marketing is still only a billion dollar slice of the advertising pie but
in the future, with the precise media/creative ROI measurement now available through companies led by TRA, things that work will quickly balloon to the level justified by their economic efficacy. CMOs
and bright agencies will devise mixtures of Cause, Game, Social aspects to make advertising and even promotion far more intriguing, fun, and self-satisfying for media audiences.
New forms of web-based testing, brain and psychographic research will develop that understand how people tick so much better than today that creatives will be equipped with powerful insights to
help shape effective messages. Sophistication and creativity will merge into talent that is not only rational, emotive, perceptual and intuitive but also appeals to whole human beings instead of to
one small layer of their most petty purchasing interests. Share of ROI Uplift will become a way that media and agencies are compensated, with trusted third party research companies led by the ARF, ANA
and 4As ensuring that the ROI report cards are scientific and objective. The media business will become more fun for all with fewer doomsday scenarios and a never-ending game of day to day surprises
enabled by technology and human ingenuity. Resistance to advertising which had always been futile will now also become nearly extinct due to the enjoyability of the new formats.
Bill Harvey, Vice Chairman and Chief Research Officer, TRA, Inc. (TiVo Research