Tuesday, 21 November 2006

The Red Wiggler and Bubble 2.0

Talking to potential smaller investors, the question of the current investment environment in technology and the Web as "bubble 2.0" keeps coming up.

Here’s why I don’t think this is a bubble or if it turns out to be a bubble, why it shouldn’t be.

People (and not just the kids) are spending more and more time online and yet, still the amount of media dollars proportionately isn’t even close to the traditional mediums of print, radio and TV. It is still painful to get clients to consider online media and when they do, often times they only think about text ads or banners.

It’s a weird generation gap in the marketing community that will need to be bridged and fast -- and when it finally does get bridged? Watch out.

When I was at MacLaren McCann in Toronto (that’s McCann Erikson to you Americans out there), I left the Interactive division and spent a year at the main Agency. There, I worked on a TV commercial that cost 1.2 million dollars. 1.2 MILLION! Built the brand. Won lots of awards, had a cool director, etc. But here is the thing.

Do you know what I could have done for 1.2 Million dollars in the interactive division? I could have conceived and built YouTube for goodness sake.

Peter (Munck) had actually suggested to the Agency in the early days that MacLaren do the first Canadian search engine. He wanted to call it the “redwiggler” (I love that!). What was their response?

What’s a search engine have to do with an Ad agency?

Um…search results? -- Knowing what consumers want to buy? --Understanding purchase behaviour? Customer insights perhaps?

They didn’t’ get it. He got totally shot down in a ‘oh you funny creative visionary kind of guy, kind of way’. The unfortunate death of the RedWiggler.

I digress. My point? It’s not a bubble. People are living online now and marketers are way behind on this one. Traditional TV, with traditional TV budgets and a traditional way of thinking about brand, that to me is the bubble. Mark my words….


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