Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Broadband Video Buzz

Broadband Video Buzz & The Interactive DilemmaBy Terry O'Gara
Originally published on Adholes, Wednesday, June 7, 2006

BBDO gives birth to Atmosphere. Mezzina Brown renames itself Agent 16. The Barbarian Group is redefining the very meaning of ‘Production Company’.

It’s no secret that established agencies and migrating talent have spent the last several years re-branding themselves with new mastheads, or by creating distinct interactive divisions. However, many creative suppliers remain entrenched in the traditional broadcast economy and are –perhaps– just starting to dabble with online media. Sure, every broadcast design firm and music house has their own website, but how many have necessarily been commissioned to work on online media pieces? Here in New York, not as many as you might think. (If you can tell me which ad houses are partnering with which post houses to produce killer content, post some links and let’s get a list going. )

A decade after the initial Internet explosion, many post-production houses can be said to have only dabbled in the medium, if at all. –And not for not wanting nor for lack of adventure. Actually, more than a few high-end creative suppliers have confessed new media budgets just don’t pay the bills. One wonders if Interactive work, like banners of every shape and form, really doesn’t lend itself to an external collaborative process, and therefore it’s all produced in-house?

Will Broadband Video Commercials change this? With recent IAB recommendations, and new formats rolling out of companies like Unicast and Forbidden, all of a sudden the future of Internet Advertising looks a lot like, gulp, the :30 TV spot.

Which leads me to this basic question: If every designer today is required to be an HTML whiz, will a director’s job change when hired to shoot expressly for broadband? How will an editor’s? Hey, will anything actually get shot EXPRESSLY for broadband, or will we actually be looking at repurposed :30’s? Are there any new skill sets that post-production staffers will have to demonstrate before the e-crowd believes they ‘get it’? And if audience/consumers are equally happy with content, regardless of screen size, and agencies handle the integration, why would anyone in post have to upgrade their skill set?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Interactive Advertising/Interactive Process

In late spring of 2006, my company Position Management, was commissioned by a Los Angeles production company to produce a State-of-the-Industry market analysis on Interactive Advertising. The report would thereafter serve my client as a reference tool with which to identify clients, contacts and other points of entry suitable for investigation by their associates. It was a project I was quite excited to work on, especially as I had been chasing the broadband video tail since the previous decade.

Obviously the resulting report and its findings are confidential, therefore I won't be divulging its contents here. However, as I carried out my task, I endeavored to conduct parallel research for a story which might end up in one trade magazine or another. Of current interest to me was the fact that eight years after the founding of Blister Media, and fifteen years after my first Interactive job, it was readily apparent that most traditional production companies who worked on broadcast advertising projects still hadn't worked on an interactive project, save their own website. Not only that, but some of these shops, despite their relative inexperience, promised vertical branding solutions. Whoa. Hello, people, that means top to bottom.

Anyway, I was –and I continue to be– intrigued with process. That is, how does a particular medium affect the way creative people work? You know, of course I already have my own ideas about this, but it's important to find out what other people think. Some people will tell you the technology has no bearing on their process. Others will tell you that it changes everything. Despite the fact that everything can be distilled to electro-magnetic waves, I can tell you from personal experience, that I write different music at a piano than I do a synthesizer. The electronic keyboard's layout might be identical to that of the piano, and it might in fact only be triggering a piano sample; but something changes in my brain when I know the possibilities have suddenly become limitless. –Or narrowed, for that matter.