Starcom exec: Broadband is THE window to the future

Starcom exec: Broadband is THE window to the future.
Writing for MediaDailyNews, Jeff Marshall, senior vice president-director, Starcom IP, the company’s digital business unit, notes that the 30-second television commercial may be dead, but it should become a part of everybody’s Internet advertising strategy.

With the breakneck increase in broadband access to the Internet, streaming and cached video have created a new period of evolution online: The Entertainment Age. We are now officially beyond the text heavy and simple graphics of information/news, communication (email and instant messaging), and commerce. The PC world can now lay claim to sight, sound, and motion in the context of reaching sizable audiences for advertising purposes.
Marshall says the analog communications world took 500 years to evolve — from the printing press to television — while digital has evolved in just nine short years. Citing a 30% broadband penetration by year’s end, he urges the advertising community to put their faith in online video advertising.
How will marketers adapt to the new world of ultimate consumer control and content/audience fragmentation? I argue that broadband is THE window to the future. Streaming/cached video online is essentially video-on-demand (VOD), which closely reflects the digital video recorder experience. No one knows for sure how the consumer will adapt to their new tools of control; however, lessons can be learned by paying attention to what works for marketers in broadband video. A glimpse into how we can create marketing success in a VOD and personal video recorder-controlled future can be found today. It is time for advertisers to buck up, because there is no better time than the present to look ahead.
Marshall is dead right in saying the Internet has moved beyond text, but even in the online VOD world, users will make a decision to view based on what’s presented to them in text or graphic form. Marshall is wrong, however, in advising us that the 30-second commercial is viable online. I agree that VOD (or VNOD, Video News on Demand) is the way of the future, but I can’t imagine the advertising community will lead us there. The Web is a finicky tool for them, because the consumer clearly is in charge. Interrupt them at your own risk, but give them the power to decide what to “watch,” and they’ll check it out, if they’re interested. This is the paradigm with which we all must work in the future. In our Postmodern, digital world, mass-marketing is dead, and the sooner we have the funeral, the sooner we’ll be free to develop real solutions.

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