Friday, January 16, 2009
TV isn't dead, it just has a nasty cough
It's 9.50 on a Friday night and I'm captivated by a one-day cricket match between Australia and South Africa. SA need 14 runs with 13 balls to go. It's broadcast in Channel 9, with a single, good old-fashioned 30-second ad between overs. With the entertainment on offer, I'd imagine the audience will be sitting happily through them.
But what happens when the entertainment isn't quite so good? As is often, if not usually, the case?
If you're an ad-blog junkie like me, you'll read a lot about the death of broadcast media. How the TV stations are toast and newspapers a quaint throwback. It's all RSS, YouTube and podcasts these days, don't you know.
But there are moments, like this game tonight, where the broadcast medium can prove it still has its moments. And doubts remain over digital's ability to move mass markets on its own.
So while TV isn't quite as dead as some would like it to be, it appears that digital isn't quite grown up enough to step into the breach just yet.
For creative people like us it presents a particular challenge; it's not enough to invent ideas that work for either broadcast or digital. You must invent ideas that work for both.
An idea that works well on television but is unitelligible online ignores the new consumer reality. But a solo digital idea can simply get lost in an ocean of limited time and unlimited choice.
Do such ideas exist? Of course they do. And if you're not getting them you should be asking your agency why not.