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The Internet Is God; The Indie Shops Are Kings

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A new study from the Experian Research Center just came out saying that people may more attention to ads online than off. It also found that viewers are 25% more engaged in the content of TV shows that they watch online than on a TV. John Fetto of Experian said,

“Web sites that are extensions of properties that exist in other media channels have great potential to funnel audiences that are highly engaged in the first place.”

According to Mediapost:

“The study defines “engagement” according to six characteristics that respondents identify with media: “inspirational,” “trustworthy,” “life-enhancing,” “social interaction,” “personal time-out” and ad receptivity.”

You can view all the results here.

Somewhere you know that WPP honcho Martin Sorrell is patting himself on the back for all his recent digital acquisitions. Let’s consider this for a second (come on, you’re at work on what should be a holiday)… It’s certainly the internet’s time to shine and our guess is that it will continue to be so for some time. The penetration of internet use in America is somewhere between 69-75% depending on whose stats you believe. That’s a big fat number with 72 million of an estimated 334 million US users using broadband. As these numbers grow (and they will), and as connection speeds improve, new creative ideas flourish, that engagement level will continue to soar.

Of course, the internet is still like a shiny new toy. All of us our still astounded by what the World Wide Web (ha!) can do and be. One day, just like TV and just like print magazines (who have always boasted high consumer engagement numbers in the face of declining advertising sales), some new medium will steal internet’s glory. Will it be mobile? Will it be gaming systems? No matter. Only time will tell, but until then – the internet is making the rules.

Traditional advertising agencies have long been playing catch-up on how best to use and harness the web. Most – unsuccessfully. They’ve been late to this party, which is why digital shops like Deep Focus or Poke or iCrossing or Sapient are like kings right now. And guess what? They’re going to stay that way even if the internet is replaced by some other form of media. Why you ask?

Because those indie digital shops operate like trend units. They know what’s going on like, in the real world. They’re operating on the cultural edge. Go on – ask a trad’s inner digital unit or media agency what an ARG is. Ask them what that hot new website is. Ask them about usage of the internet, gaming or mobile devices for kids between the ages of six and thirteen. Ask them how to use Azureus or for that matter what one does with it. We can go on with this list, but… you get the idea.

Yeah. They are kings right now, like Jareth the Goblin King from that movie with Jennifer Connelley in the 80s. You know the one? With David Bowie as the king? Wait a second… we have to look this up… Right. Labyrinth. As king, he ran a strange world that contained a maze that Jennifer couldn’t figure out. Until the end that is, where she breaks the hold of Bowie with the line, “You have no power over me.” Gawd. It was an amazing moment and one that traditional agencies need to come to. You to can use your trend units, live in the world and make some big shifts in creativity, output, risk, overall ability. You to can be beat the malaise from, which you suffer. Be your own king. Sigh.

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