Ed:Blog November 2007

Three-quarters of the delegates polled at the Association of National Advertisers' annual meeting in Phoenix recently said reports of the demise of the 30-second spot are highly exaggerated. In fact, each morning's sessions were preceded by an a-z reel of moments from the best that brands have to offer.

Underlying the celebration of the power of storytelling were other messages:
Digital is inevitable. The consumer is already in control of your brand. Your world will never be the same. Get over it and get on with it. Advocacy trumps awareness.

Research commissioned for the event from Booz Allen Hamilton confirmed that 90 percent of big-brand marketers expect to increase their interactive media spending, yet only 24 percent feel that their companies are digitally savvy. One of the biggest obstacles is organization - both internal corporate structure and a need for coordination of multiple external specialists and agencies.

Chuck Brymer, president and CEO of DDB Worldwide, spoke of the need for a new role he called the chief community officer - someone who understands the interplay between online and offline and can put programs in place to activate communities.

"The real new media is people," he said. "You and me."

On the efficiency side of things, Becky Saeger, executive vice president and CMO for Charles Schwab Corp., wished for marketers everywhere that the platforms being developed for online media buying and planning be built in a way that is both simple and strategic. "I hope there become good ways to execute what we need to execute," she said. As for coordinating all the capabilities required for the new world disorder, Saeger remarked: "Somehow we've got to get a handle on this because, ultimately, that's the thing that's going to drive me to drink." Is that how you feel?

Laurie Petersen, Executive Editor laurie@mediapost.com

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