Saturday, March 15, 2008

Planting Seeds and Harvesting Crops

A smart guy once told me that advertisers are either planting seeds or harvesting crops. What he meant was advertisers were either generating demand for a product or they were taking existing demand and turning that into money.

When Bob Iger said, "I'm not worried about Google cannabilizing our advertising." I thought of this statement.

Google (all search really) is a fantastic tool for taking existing demand and turning it into money. Disney uses it to take existing demand of its content, harvest the demand into visitors, and sell other advertisers the opportunity to plant seeds. Advertising around (and yes even interrupting) content is a one (of many) tactics used to plant seeds.

Now is interruption the best tactic to do this? No. There are deeper ways to plant seeds w/ people through engagement and CRM. However, the ability to scale the reach of your seed planting is limited compared to interrupting great content. Interruption can go wide but not deep, engagement can go deep but not wide. An advertiser needs all of this. And impactful creative has to be everywhere.

This doesn't mean it will always be the biggest piece of the pie, or detract from the value of generating engagement but if we think interruption is going away completely we are kidding ourselves.

Disney's Iger: No AOL Bid