The Digital Creativity Conundrum

When it comes to digital, marketers and agencies tend to talk a bigger game than they have. Many either stick to advertising strategies that worked in other mediums such as television or merely ape an ad campaign that recently went viral instead of creating innovative digital campaigns that best take advantage of online interactivity. For every campaign such as the Volkswagen’s “small Darth Vader” campaign that ran during the Super Bowl and continues to get many video hits, there are many campaigns that fall flat.

“What we often miss is the interactivity of digital. The beauty of digital is that we can add value and provide something tangible,” said Randall Lloyd, senior vice president of sales at RockYou, on a panel at DIGIDAY: ON MEDIA. “We’re starting to learn what users want and give them something they want in exchange for engaging.”

Such creativity is key for making an impression on online video watchers because online advertisements account for a far smaller percentage of Internet-video viewing than television ads do for TV viewing. Last month, the typical online video viewer consumed about 13 minutes of video advertisements during his 14.5 hours of viewing, or less than one minute per hour, according to ComScore. That compares to the typical television advertising of about 16 minutes per hour of programming.

With that in mind, advertisers will need to become more creative by finding ways for computer users to interact with their brands. Lloyd mentioned the use of Sour Patch candy within a videogame as a way to boost brand awareness without having to resort to traditional advertising.

“In the next five years, if agencies can’t instill true cross-channel creativity, you’re going to see significant names fail,” said Ned Russell, managing director at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness.

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