Middle of the Road Messages Get Stuck In Traffic

Everyone recognizes how the content revolution has forced the agency model to change. Our industry must adapt to making new things in new ways to better serve the explosion of content platforms. We must evolve to produce ideas Faster and Cheaper.

But advertisers must also change. And that’s getting far less discussion.

Today’s sheer volume of content radically changes the context for commercial messages. YouTube claims that people upload 300 hours of video every minute–with this much choice, there’s simply no need to sit through anything uninteresting. ‘Commercial breaks’ are a thing of the past.

Today, the rarest commodity of all is attention.

Advertisers must adjust to recognize that those Faster and Cheaper ideas must also be Louder. Is what you’re saying or how you’re saying it enough to keep your audience engaged? It better be.

One way to make ideas Louder is to make them resonate more powerfully with a specific market. This is the best kind of messaging; deeply personalized and deeply engaging. And many advertisers are already pursuing this.

But another solution is to become more extreme, in both what you say and how you say it. In this case, clinging to the time-honored code of broadcast standards and practices will make advertisers fall behind the national digital conversation.

Consider Josh Ostrovsky, whose Instagram posts boast 5.7 million followers. In just the past year, he’s launched a wine, published a book, guest stared on VH1, walked the runway at Fashion Week and signed with CAA, all thanks to his appropriated/curated web jokes.Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 8.28.52 AM

He refers to himself as “The Fat Jew”, which is outlandishly offensive to advertisers. But not to his rabid daily audience.

And that’s why we think advertising could be getting a whole lot more interesting pretty soon. Because if advertisers want their hard-earned dollars to earn notice in a landscape dominated by Grumpy Cats and Kardashians, we’re all gonna have to find a lot more interesting things to say. And a lot more interesting ways to say them.

Dennis & Mike

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