Huffington: Next Big Thing On Internet = Logging Off
At first, the Terminator seems like a threat to the movie's mother-and-son protagonists, Sarah and John Connor. But "little by little, [Sarah] realized that it was her only true friend," Huffington explained Thursday at the New York offices of Universal McCann.
In other words, just like the Connors survived by embracing the Terminator, Huffington said, "the only agency people who'll succeed are those who fully integrate."
In front of agency head Nick Brien and rows of low- and mid-level creatives and planners, Huffington touched on a number of pet convictions, from the failures of mainstream media and the U.S. government with respect to the Iraq war to the potential for the Web to further transform political races and activism in this country.
The rarely demure Huffington also took the opportunity to predict the "next big thing on the internet" is disconnecting--which might have seemed oxymoronic were it not more of a lifestyle comment.
"Everybody's so overloaded," she said, explaining that our "inner lives" are failing to be nourished in this digital age. Also, added Huffington, "we are an incredibly sleep-deprived society and we're paying an incredible price for it."
Huffington drew on lessons from her experience in politics for her audience of young agency types.
"Fear trumps everything," she insisted. "If people are afraid and you make them feel safe, they'll buy anything."
Evoking the bad practices of some traditional agencies, she also described how many political campaigns have halfheartedly embraced the promise of the new digital age.
"Very often they hire good Internet people," Huffington said, "and then put them in a room."