The result? Branding will become more important than ever.
Remember branding? It was that thing that agencies used to get paid to do--separating one company's products from another company's products. And making one product worth more than another product.
Recently, branding seems to have diminished in importance, taking on different meanings for different people. But the fact is, a brand is the trust people have in the product. And trust is built through emotional connections.
The best way to create an emotional connection? Sight, sound, and motion. And the best vehicle for delivering sight, sound, and motion? Yep. TV.
Today's new media experts proclaim that with sight, sound, and motion now available on a variety of devices--phone, PC, iPod--television is no longer an important part of the mix. There's even a move on now to replace the word "television" with the word "video." As if that will help.
But in my opinion, believing that a PC is the same as a TV, or calling it "video" rather than "television," misses the point. It is the context in which a message is consumed that determines how that message is absorbed.
Or, to put it another way, when it comes to branding, size does matter.
Today, most of us have three screens in our lives. For simplicity's sake, let's call them large (TV), small (PC), and mobile (cell phone). We use all of them, usually for different reasons. Down the road, the same stuff will be accessible on all of them. But that doesn't mean that we will absorb the same message the same way on each of them.
One of our screens goes on the wall. One goes on the desk. And one goes in our pocket. This allows each to offer something uniquely different.
The large screen allows us to connect viscerally. Size does that. The small screen, rationally. (Online search is, for the most part, a left-brain function.) And the mobile screen--well, that allows us to use its mobility and connect tactically.
With one, we can move the heart. With another, the head. As for the mobile screen--well, that moves with our customers so that we can be there at the point of attack (I mean, purchase).
Viscerally. Rationally. Tactically.
Heart. Head. Help.
Three very different opportunities. Three very different creative challenges. Three very different ways of communicating. Which is why all three have to be used if we're going to be successful.
For agencies to believe that a screen is a screen is a screen is doing a great disservice to their clients. And ultimately, to themselves. For if agencies cannot offer branding, what do they have to offer that cannot be gotten elsewhere? And, for much less?
To eliminate television is to abandon branding. Which is to eliminate an agency's reason for being.
Why is it sometimes that we can't see the TVs for the screens?