Television is still the most effective way to reach people. When combined, images and sound have a power influence on emotions. Until recently, however, the message was directed one way (from the TV to the audience). Now, television can impact the lives of people even more by engaging the audience in the conversation. The integration of digital technology and social media has given advertisers a chance to speak with people versus the previous structure of speaking at them.
In the “Mad Men” era of advertising, agencies had specific television departments. TV was the new medium and the significance of its impact was still being determined. The sole purpose of the staff of those departments was to learn, understand and create the television segment of campaigns for clients. In time, TV became the cornerstone of all mass media and the segmented television department faded away. Television became a part of the culture and it was widely understood as an integral part of marketing, not an addition.
Businesses have spent the past two decades gradually adding “digital departments” to their structure. In advertising, there was a necessity for specific departments with people dedicated to learning, understanding and creating digital segments of campaigns for clients.
In 2011, the internet officially took the title of the world’s largest medium for communication and advertising. Does it make sense to still have “digital” departments, almost as a side item to any campaign, when the internet is now the most widely used medium on the planet?
Just as the television departments transformed to become a part of the entire integrated solution for advertising in the late 1900’s, it’s time for digital departments to do the same.
Digital is no longer something special to be considered as an addition to a great advertising campaign. Yes, the elements can be complex, but they are also necessary. Most important, it is imperative to look at digital as an integral part of creating a two-way conversation.
The digital revolution is far more significant than the invention of writing or even of printing. -Douglas Engelbart, American engineer, inventor, and early internet pioneer
Illustration via MTSCreates