Month: April 2013
This post was absolutely inspired by the article I just read: The Church and State of Advertising by @mitchjoell.
6 years ago – when I had begun my original blog, I was at the cutting edge of social media and what could be done with it as a communications person. Understood what it meant for brands and voice, how we could speak directly with our audience and source alternate distribution channels. More importantly, it was about being able to provide actual metrics to the things that were previously difficult to account for.
As the use of digital has matured with people like myself, the evolution of how to use it lead to what many people saw as the pinnacle of “true integration”. The ability for a brand, advertiser or movement to truly become one with other forms of media that they had not be able to truly do in the past. Working in the media I have watched the struggle that inherently exits between the idea of church and state and how complex it can be navigating how to use social media and digital spaces (website and mobile apps) while ensuring audiences can clearly delineate between editorial and advertorial.
Advertisers are really pushing more and more for what they want as true integration. There is push back on the clearly stated “Sponsored by…” or “Brought to you by…”, and a real desire to have their product immersed into content. For information to be organic and seem natural. Agencies are spending more time being extremely clear about their expectations of “integration”, and becoming more strategic in aligning their brands and products that carry similar emotive qualities as media brands.
But I guess that begs the question – is that true integration? Are we assuming that consumers are not informed enough at this stage of the digital age to recognize that inserted products or mentions of them could potentially be tied to advertising initiatives? Does true integration really mean that on morning shows and American Idol that the hosts are holding cups drinking all the same beverage followed by a commercial for that same product? I’m not so sure.
As digital becomes a greater source of media focus – and it is. As we watch the era of print slowly phase out to move over to digital, communications and marketing professionals will watch a new struggle. How to monetize digital assets and ensure there is a clear line between church and state will be the focus for most media organizations. As advertising fatigue and higher levels of consumer awareness grow on ways they are being advertised too – maybe the idea of “true integration”, might just be a fleeting moment of immersion before people catch on to the fact that is advertising.