CRAFT: COLUMN - Creatives must master medium not the message/Those who think real advertising is exclusive to TV are as cutting edge as Gordon Gekko walking down the beach holding a mobile phone thesize of a shoe box

It’s official. Advertising is a turn off. A recent survey revealed that one in three people actively avoid advertising messages. This is bad news for the advertising industry - what are we communicative creatures to do?

It’s official. Advertising is a turn off. A recent survey revealed

that one in three people actively avoid advertising messages. This is

bad news for the advertising industry - what are we communicative

creatures to do?



It’s no good staring into a pint of beer hoping to solve this dilemma,

you’re better off looking at what lies beneath it: the beer mat or the

back of your bar tab. I’m not saying the medium of TV has passed its

sell-by date. Rather that since the advent of remote control and the

imminent arrival of digital TV, the advertiser’s message faces death at

the hands of channel surfers. We’ve got over the surprise of seeing ads

on the back of seats in taxis but now postage marks, petrol pumps and

eggs have muscled in on the act.



The medium has become as big a creative challenge as the message;

creatives are being forced to radically re-think how they tackle a

client’s brief.



’Simply’ creating a memorable message no longer cuts it. We need to

think up innovative ways to get the message across. Channel 5’s launch

showed the new spirit of advertising with a non-TV campaign that

encompassed everything from my Sainsbury’s receipt to postcards in

coffee bars carrying miniature versions of the 48-sheet poster campaign.

It was a fresh and innovative approach of saturating the public

consciousness with the message.



Sky Sport showed a similar inventiveness when it recently ran a ’tease

and reveal’ campaign in the men’s press. The Sky ads which gave a new

twist to the dull ’tear and smell’ device traditionally used to sample

perfumes, delivered a waft of fragrance - Ralgex, the unmistakable smell

of the locker room.



At the end of the day, the agency’s primary client commitment must be to

’get bums on seats’. If that means putting ads on toilet seats, so be

it. Agencies of the future will place no other boundaries on their

creative team’s imagination. ’I refuse to get my hands dirty with such

unsexy aspects of the communications business,’ retro creatives

deride.



The attitude not only exposes a misunderstanding of what it takes to be

a brilliant creative today but will ultimately risk the long-term

success of the agency.



Those who think real advertising is exclusive to TV are clinging on to

the past. They are as cutting edge as Gordon Gekko walking down the

beach holding a mobile phone the size of a shoe box. Advertising is

becoming the more streamlined discipline of multi-level communications -

let’s see who is brave enough to embrace it.



Phil Capon is the creative director of Capon Kirchner Balmforth

Trendall.



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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).