4 thoughts on “Developing Millennial Advertising Agency AE’s.

  1. Hal, I like that you’re asking the questions, they need discussion! I’m not in the ad biz, but my firm has done numerous social business engagements involving Millennials, and I suspect a contributing factor might be philosophy. Too much advertising, as Stan Rapp puts it passionately, does things “TO people” (interruptive, doesn’t add value). However, I think advertising can transform by rethinking what it does, by re-imagining itself as “software” that helps users do things that are important (not buying usually, more personal). Our engagements suggest that the “Millennial Zeitgeist” is more about helping than “shilling.” Ads can help people if they are reimagined as software. In case this is interesting, I build the case out in “Why Mobile Advertising Is Flawed.”[http://rollyson.net/mobile-advertising-is-flawed/]

  2. csrollyson. Really? Advertising as “software” to empower others in their “work streams”? I’m sorry, but I find that truly amusing. Great advertising, in my humble opinion, is like great entertainment or art – it moves and inspires people in unexpected ways through humor or emotion. Granted, it’s not easy to create work of this caliber. But when it happens, it’s magical. And people remember it for many years (“2 all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onion on a sesame seed bun”). We all want to be touched, moved and inspired and I believe that people are open to that in any and all ways. Yes, mobile ads are disrupting but so are all other ads! Maybe advertising as “software” is a great idea – I don’t know – I’ve never seen it or used it in my “work stream”. Please enlighten me with an example?

    • @jane. Yes, absolutely, and thanks for asking for clarification. Based on most of the advertising I see and study in connection with client work, I conclude that most ad execs may not appreciate the shift that’s been happening for several decades—and is accelerating sharply now. In the 20th century, the 1st screen was the context for for the big money (TV), and it picked up from print in that viewers were mostly grounded in the context of leisure (watching TV or thumbing through a magazine), so interruptive adverts were low-cost to them. The 2nd screen (computer) is a mixture of work and leisure, but users are far more active (engaged in workstreams). Interruptive ads are high-cost to people who are trying to get something done. The 3rd screen has the highest cost of all, and interruptive ads are intolerable. And we all know that the 3rd screen rules for growing groups of users.

      As I wrote in “Why Mobile Is Flawed..”, the model of “interruptive” is over for most users, and ad execs that get the memo will flourish; others will lose relevance. Think of it in terms of the user’s “degree of activity.” 1st screen was most passive, 3rd most active because the user is simultaneously interacting with the physical world, often making logistics work, etc. The flip side is that mobile gives far more context about the user’s workstream. CSRA advises brands on adding value in social venues, and we do this by analyzing interactions and constructing workstreams for key users. Workstream provides context and is the gateway to relevance and the ability to add value. (actual examples: a) learning how to “take my body back” (work out) when I have 2.6 kids and no family in my current city; b) researching whether to buy a new laptop or upgrade RAM and drive b/c my new job requires high octane software; 3) Organizing support for an ordinance to allow gardening in my subdivision by tracking/attending council meetings. Power laws are everywhere, and advertising’s ability to influence the “marginal customer” will be determined by supporting her workstream with information that supports it, that doesn’t “push product.”

      CSRA’s clients gain influence by supporting users in social venues, and ads can do it, too. Yes, I realize that (the majority) of ads are sold through networks that typically have much more primitive approaches because they are focused on volume. That won’t work on mobile in any event.

      Advertisers are getting a short grace period because tablets have more passive viewers than mobiles, so users’ time is somewhat less valuable.

      Having worked with disruptive technology adoption for over 25 years, I observe that the use case for the “advertising of yore” that you cite will not go away, but it will shrink. There will always be a place for “ads as art,” but as practiced now, I agree with you that it’s the glaring exception. Most advertising is “interruptive,” so it does things to people.

      Thanks again for the challenge of coming up with specific examples. I will attempt to capture some and post about them. In the meantime, I hope this explanation helps explain the concept better.

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