INTERACTIVE: NEW-MEDIA CLINIC; This interactive stuff: they don’t know, but it’s really about sales

‘This interactive ad stuff is all very well, but isn’t it a bit gimmicky? What’s the point?’ my client said the other day. ‘Oh, there’s more than a point to interactivity, sir,’ I crawled, helpfully. ‘There’s a click, too! A point and click, you see, ma’am. Hahaha. Ha ha. No, don’t press that. That doesn’t work in this demo. Yes, it is very slow, isn’t it?’

‘This interactive ad stuff is all very well, but isn’t it a bit

gimmicky? What’s the point?’ my client said the other day. ‘Oh, there’s

more than a point to interactivity, sir,’ I crawled, helpfully. ‘There’s

a click, too! A point and click, you see, ma’am. Hahaha. Ha ha. No,

don’t press that. That doesn’t work in this demo. Yes, it is very slow,

isn’t it?’



Cretins. Of course, as clients, they are right, but they’re still

cretins. Of course current interactivity is a gimmick: and if I had my

way, it always would be. Think of it this way: I’m pitching

interactivity as a rather nice trinket that only I can create. Oh, yes,

I’m saying it’s the media of the future, and so forth.



I only give them tricks that I say impress the public. This is what

interactivity is, I say. ‘Well, what’s the point?’, they ask, and

I’ll blather on until they get bored. All they know is that it’s the

current fashion, and whenever they need to say they use new media,

they’ll come to me.



What worries me is that one day they’re going to try and answer that

question themselves. They’ll say - what’s the point of an interactive

ad? Rather than have this smug, creepy fool tell me what the public

wants from an interactive ad, what do I and the business want from

interactivity? What’s in it for me? Now, I can disseminate as much as I

want when they ask me. But if they ask themselves, they’ll come up with

a simple answer. As always, they want sales.



Then it’ll hit them. The button every client wants at the bottom of the

page, is a button which says ‘click me to buy it’. Now, if they realise

that, they’ll discover that on the Net, this is going to be possible in

a matter of months rather than years. Suddenly, this is no longer just a

fun bit of the advertising budget. This is sales. And sales is too big

an issue to be trusted to a cowboy new-media consultancy. Sales is

internal. Sales is what the client does. Frankly, it’s all it does.



And then we’re all doomed. So, for mine and your sakes, keep this quiet

will you? And keep telling the dumb jokes. And doing the dumb work.



Dan O’Brien is a new-media consultant. E-mail: danny@cityscape.co.uk./



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