Friday, December 11, 2009

Going Digital in a world full of TV's & Newpapers

This is just my goofy place to rant, tell stories, and blow off steam. If you want some kookie, kool and fantabulous retro-tiki fun stuff, please visit my retro-matic site at!

For those of you who don't know, I'm the Creative Director of an ad agency in Hollywood, Florida. Not quite like Don Draper, but I do have a bottle of Johnny Walker at my desk.

As C.D., I am responsible for coming up with hip, new ideas to promote our clients' products. I also design a lot of the artwork, and occasionally do some good old fashioned copy writing. Fun job, pay is decent, and I get a corner office with a view of the South Florida skyline. We specialize in traditional forms of advertising, ie, we don't build websites.

Last month we got hit over the head with a request from a restaurant client, somewhat out of the blue. The client told us they wanted our agency to take over all of their online advertising responsibilities, including Pay-per-click, SEO, and all that other krazy new-fangled stuff that goes along with teh internets. Well, we said, no problem. After all, we don't do all of our TV production in-house, or radio, or direct mail. We farm it out. So we'll farm this out too, just managing the operation. Right?

Well, not quite.

Seems this particular client doesn't think we know anything about internet marketing. Even though we've showed them time and again what they should be doing on the net, even though we've given them proposal after proposal outlining online strategies. We even set them up with a Facebook and Twitter account (which they never use). Even though I've made it my mission to learn a lot about online marketing, which lead to the creation of my real blog, Tiki Chris Pinto's Tiki Lounge Conversations, and eventually to this blog, my dark-side vent.

It appears we have a lack of communication with some of our clients. We'll fix that, immediately. But to do so, we're going to have to change our entire system. We're no longer going to be known as a traditional ad house. The market dictates that we become a digital-heavy agency with the added value of traditional media in our mix. For me, this means an exciting adventure into new, mod territory. At the same time it's Goddamned terrifying. But that should make it exciting too, shouldn't it?

All my life, I've lived in the past. I sport fedoras, not because they are retro-cool, but because that's what I would have worn if I lived 60 years ago. I talk the way my grand father's and father's generations did, because that's just how I yap. I drive a 53 Chevy, and for every day use I have a PT Cruiser Convertible Hot Rod that's made up to look like something out of the 30's. I play jazz and swing sax and listen to Glen Miller, Duke Ellington and Elvis. To me, a computer is a glorified typewriter with a built-in filing cabinet and encyclopedia, and changing the ribbons is a krazy pain because I can't find them. Yet here I am, halfway through my kookie life, and I've got to totally switch gears in order to keep my little gig.

Totally? Well, no. Actually the way I look at it, the internet is just another opportunity to exploit, another place to paste up tons of ads, except it's powerful enough that I can show ads to the people who might actually want to see them, and leave everyone else alone. No matter what anyone says, there will always be newspapers and magazines (although they will change drastically), TV ads and radio commercials. (They too will change, to accommodate TiVo and XM). But as those mediums become less usable, the internet will rise to the call. And it looks like I'm going to be riding the top of that wave, or drown trying.

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