(this post started out as a comment on a post on the always excellent Ben Kay blog.
but was it so filled with winning and tiger blood, and so long, that i put it here.
winking smiley face made of punctuation)
When we started The Escape Pod back in 2006 one of our motivations was we were heartily sick of all the talk of the digital future.
How the internet was new and cool and you just couldn’t understand it maaan!
But it was definitely going to change EVERYTHING!!!
Meanwhile Google had effectively stolen the Internet as an advertising medium. Something that was lost on an astounding number of ad folks.
So we decided to explore the digital present.
Our original internal mission statement was: ADVERTISING AGENCY OF THE PRESENT.
Which still applies I think.
At the time, digital agencies were hot.
Mostly because the internet was still in the late stages of its infancy.
And there was still some ignorance and mystery about the internet. And how marketers might best use it.
Digital agencies over positioned themselves as kind of the GEEK SQUAD of marketing in my opinion.
We know stuff you will never know dude! So back off old man!
So they set about hooking up the cables and switches and doodads that were beyond the ken of average folk.
Do you know what HTML5 is?
Do you care?
But now that all the internet plumbing has been done, the digital agencies are realizing that the game is up to an extent.
And what’s left?
But that’s the province of the traditional ad agency.
So now digital agencies are faced with extinction, potentially.
To be outlived by the dinosaurs that they were so quick to call dinosaurs.
Advertising has always been about ideas.
And nobody ever cared about advertising.
In fact they actively dislike what we do.
Because usually it’s annoying.
They hate your stupid TV commercial.
They hate your stupid radio ad.
And they hate your stupid banner ad.
And they hate your stupid website.
And they hate your stupid viral video.
And they hate your stupid Facebook app.
And they hate your stupid Twitter idea.
Digital agencies are suddenly forced with actually competing for your attention.
Whether they know it or not, they are in the content business.
And content is hard.
Ask William Shakespeare.
Or Steven Spielberg.
There’s an old cowboy expression that I love.
Never mistake a clear view for a short distance.
I think it applies here.