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How Digital is Changing Advertising Habits

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Tom Eslinger, Digital Creative Director, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide, is interviewed by the Guardian “on how digital is changing advertising habits, branding and old ways of thinking”. Eslinger will be a speaker at the Guardian Changing Media Summit 2011.

What are your favourite examples of innovation in the advertising industry?

There are two sides to this in my mind: cool ideas that connect in a social space to move a business and brand forward and just plain cool stuff that pushes out technology and gives us something to aspire to (and kick the ass of!). So, a favourite will be something with a great idea at its core together with a unique twist on the technology or media channel, as the icing on the cake. I’m reeling off examples that get used in mash-up pitch descriptions: ‘it’s groundbreaking idea 1 meets groundbreaking idea 2!!’. This line-up includes EOS magazine’s Talking Tree, Nokia’s PUSH mash-up with Burton Snowboards, Cerebra Electronica’s brain neuron-powered interactive buildings, Old Spice, Tron:Legacy, The Wilderness Downtown, Nike FreeCity and the lovely iButterfly.

Has behavioural targeting in advertising reached its full potential?

This is at the beginning of a long and possibly scary journey. Amongst the increasing traffic on the road are mobile devices, ubiquitous connectivity and location-specific information, some of which isn’t even there, thanks to mobile AR like Google Goggles; together with augmented reality and all the freaky 3D stuff that’s coming on-stream. Match that up with gathering information at key times and places about people’s social interaction and you’ve got micro-targeted messages that not only live virtually in physical spaces, but also over time.

Essentially we are becoming a planet-sized media space; every square inch is being marked, photographed, driven-through and tagged. We could be creating for dynamic, mobile ad space on Buckingham Palace soon, crowd-sourcing thousands of tourist pics into virtual-mass-composed soft drink ads. Let’s hope the Master Control Program from Tron doesn’t get wind of this or it will be “All over, Rover!”

Will there be a new dawn of local advertising?

Yes, absolutely! The local will be around devices and people connecting and sharing socially, linked around time, place and interests. For example, the ‘community’ of people that love “Paris in the Spring” is a virtual ‘place’ and will eventually have it’s own micro-advertising ecosystem. String enough of those highly lucrative ‘communities’ together and you’ve got yourself a media and creative business. And if you do, give us a call…

Read the full article ‘Speaker interview: Tom Eslinger, digital creative director, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide’ at guardian.co.uk.

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