A review of the recent International Advertising Festival at Cannes by AdAge.com http://adage.com/cannes09/article?article_id=137630 declared the “ad age” to be over. The article, which also called the world to which we are accustomed “the age of interruption,” cites a bevy of PR, integrated and internet award-winners at Cannes as proof that marketers are trending away from reliance on traditional advertising.
Are we seeing real change or a flash in the pan here? The fact is real changes are happening. As the public becomes more empowered and more inclined to tune out obvious attempts at self-promotion by advertisers, new methods of reaching them have emerged and gained credence. Reaching audiences through social networking sites, interactive tools and even video games is becoming more the norm. The industry is even learning how to measure return on investment for these more cutting-edge methods.

We think David Lubars, the chairman and chief creative officer of one of the world’s leading advertising agencies, nailed in his quoted that says, “The way the world is heading is voluntary engagement. The work has to be a magnet.”

Yes, the vehicles are new and the messages feel more authentic, which is a good thing, but the principal behind this trend is a classic one. When we at Priority Marketing evaluate any piece of communication, we look at it as if we are the audience and ask this question: “So what?”  If the piece doesn’t pass the “So what?” test, it’s back to the drawing board. If it passes the “So what?” test, it has the magnetic power to which Lubar refers.

As always, we’re providing the most innovative methods at our disposable. However, it’s how well you use the vehicle and the power of the message – the strategic thinking behind a program – that achieves results in the end. Being on Facebook, for example, isn’t as important as your reason and strategy for being there. Some brands will get it right, while some will simply muddy the waters.

The AdAge.com reviewer also noted that the talk at Cannes was about “how (business) will change in very different ways it he future, rather than simply rebound from a deep global recession. There were more questions than answers.”

What have you been talking about or hearing in regard to how the recession will change business for the long-term? How has it changed the way you do business? What questions and answers do you have?