Few television shows generated as many spirited, laughter-filled discussions as the classic Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz program "I Love Lucy." During its six-year run, people would go out of their way to spend that half-hour with Lucy, just so that they could recall their favorite moments the next day with their friends or co-workers. Quite simply, Lucy became part of our national discourse. Around our offices, we affectionately refer to this as the "I Love Lucy" moment.
I was a part of a panel discussion at ad:tech New York last Wednesday addressing the fact that consumers -- and advertisers -- are now dealing with the reality that content can be consumed by using a number of different devices. Thanks to this new world we live in, the "I Love Lucy" moment can potentially happen anytime, anywhere.
But for whatever reason, it has not happened online... yet. Still, while we're not at the point where viewers are consuming online video exclusively, there's been significant growth. A June 2010 study by the Pew Research Center in Washington D.C. revealed that seven out of ten adult Internet users have viewed or downloaded video content.
In other words, the online "Lucy" moment may not be as far off as some may want you to think.
And when the right programming comes along to make it happen, it will mean nothing but bad news for the traditional television advertising model, one that essentially consists of throwing out 30- or 60-second spots and praying that something resonates with a consumer. It's good news, though, for those who are ahead of the curve and understand the power of a new digital broadcast model.
As this trend continues and we march towards that all-important first online "Lucy" moment, forward-thinking marketers must demonstrate the ability to recognize the importance of what I call smart reach, or associating themselves with excellent content while delivering relevant advertising at the right time for the right audience.
And as it stands, smart reach is a luxury that the current broadcast television advertising model just can't afford.