The Internet is its own tone

You have to bend your brand communications to suit the Internet if you want to win on it.

So all your communications, including online, should fire on all cylinders on all media, ideally.

The ad industry calls this “integration”.

As if “integration” was a process that applied equally to all ideas.

It’s not.

Integration is what happens when elements effortlessly cohere.

Integration only occurs if your idea has sufficient energy and power to seep effortlessly down every pipe and channel under its own steam.

Think of your favorite idea.

It worked everywhere, didn’t it?

My old ad legend boss used to say that great ideas go everywhere and lousy ideas go nowhere.  He was right then and is right now.

Back when TV advertising ruled the world, this  bend-brand-to-suit-medium thing manifested itself  by creating TV ads that people might conceivably actually WANT to watch.

Being entertaining.

That’s what worked on TV.

We all could conceivably watch TV to be culturally enriched by watching ballet and opera.  But that never panned out did it.

People watch TV to be mildly entertained.  That’s what works for the medium

Being entertaining utilizes only one facet of what makes the Internet great.

But that doesn’t mean ithat being mildly entertaining/mildly useful won’t be advertising’s path of least resistance on the internet too.

Because the Internet represents all of humanity humming along in harmony, brand tone kind of goes out the window.

You don’t get to interrupt the Internet on YOUR terms and project your ideal image your way onto a waiting public.

A brand is lucky, and should be grateful, if it registers even as a blip on the Internet.

The brand must adapt to the tone of the medium and dive in and throw caution to the wind.

Or become a conservative brand  clinging to the outmoded notion of brand image with merely one toe in the digital ocean.

And one foot in the grave.

Now this is NOT intended as a rant for doing digital advertising in 2011.

That would be very 2004 of me.  And that was years ago.

What I mean is that you have factor the internet into all YOUR thinking ALL the time.   Not the only thing.  It should be just another factor.

So when you’re writing a TV ad, the internet is right there IN YOUR THINKING.

In your consciousness.  Effortlessly.

It can’t be an effort anymore.

It’s 2011!

And while you might think this would be a very obvious, almost-to-the-point-of -being-insulting thing to say on an ad blog in 2011, I see precious little evidence of this principle in action in advertising.

In 2011!

IT’S THE FUTUUUUUURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

8 responses to “The Internet is its own tone

  1. you can’t even imagine the trouble I have with explaining clients that transfering a portrait of a leading actor in TV to a banner with the main headline DOESN’T count as internet advertising.

    • oy riki. sounds like pain. but i would blame the person who came up with the TV ad.

      • probably, but he would be wrong person to blame. it was done properly. somehow clients still believe that the only media strategy is to put everything in one media and downgrade the others as merely support media (somehow they leave radio out of this cause it’s audio, imagine the irony). instead of contagiousness they go with repetition. if you know what I mean.
        or did I miss your point?

    • what i mean is that if the creative has truly integrated the Internet into his/her being the idea will travel that much better across all media. Except radio. Because radio is just a pain in the arse ;-)

  2. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Hear, hear.

    Two other related problems I’ve seen.

    The brilliantly executed web campaign with absolutely zero thought put into how anyone would ever see it.

    And the misinterpretation of what you were just saying. Which essentially equates to advertising an advertising campaign. For instance creating a TV commercial to say “hey, we have these great videos on Facebook, you should friend us and come watch.”

    At some point brands actually have to sell a product instead of just announcing that they’ve reached the digital age.

    Which I believe was your point. It should be easy. Who knows maybe back in the day, brands had print ads announcing they had TV commercials.

  4. I love the internet. When an ad totally sucks I can pull it off you tube and show everyone how bad it is! 8)

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