To Skip Or Not To Skip

Amazon, Netflix, HBO and Showtime. Those were the winners of the Golden Globes. The networks, long the dominant force on the airwaves, were barely visible. From the moment Kevin Spacey built his own “House of Cards,” the industry has been making a game-changing shift. Who could have imagined that the entertainment industry would be driven by an online store?

The way television is consumed has changed as well. We watch it, not only on our television sets, but on our iPads and on our phones. And if we watch it on our actual TV, we’re usually on our phones looking at Twitter or Facebook at the same time.

We no longer tune in to watch a single episode either. We binge watch an entire series. In a single day. Whenever we want to. It’s all on demand.

We consumers are the masters of our entertainment universe. And “advertising” is struggling to keep up. How do we put our messages in front of consumers who are in total control of their own viewing habits?

Simple. We force people to watch our ads BEFORE they can watch their shows. We either make them watch the spot in full or we make them watch it in part.

I’m fairly sure that the “Skip This Ad” button is the most frequently pressed button online. However, this too is evolving.

The Martin Agency broke ground this year when they openly addressed the fact that EVERYONE skips the ads. In their Geico spots, they force the sales message into the first five seconds and spend the remainder of the time quietly entertaining those who continue to hang around. This brilliant execution promises to be the first of a myriad of industry innovations to come.

We’re no longer dealing with :15 and :30 ads. We’re in a whole new world – an undefined landscape that’s changing daily. It’s exciting. It’s formative. And it’s as exhausting as it is invigorating.

Online advertising has tripled the workload for every agency creative department. We don’t just create an ad. We create an ad to fit your
(1) desktop, (2) an ad to fit your tablet and (3) an ad to fit your phone.

There is little standardization. Technology specifications vary widely from pub to pub.

Some E-zine publications allow for embedded video. Others are limited to video that launches through YouTube. Still others allow multiple links in your ad while others only allow one link. So instead of simply resizing a digital ad, we must create a new execution for each individual web-based publication. These days, we spend as much time talking to the production departments of these web pubs as we do talking to our clients.

The exciting thing is, the door is wide open with these new digital formats. Innovations are all around us. And technologies evolve every day. So the next time you’re about to hit “Skip This Ad,” give it a second and see what happens. The results might just surprise you.