In my second day at the Cannes Advertising Festival in France, the workshops and major sessions focused on the changes happening with the advent of digital media. The day began with a presentation by Nokia on the move from the laptop as the primary communications platform to mobile phones, then went to a roundtable discussion with executives from Joost, Google, and other media sites. Legendary Global Creative Director Bob Isherwood from Saatchi & Saatchi had the most interesting quote of the week so far:
“Previously, the industry had only one model: intrusion. For years advertising has leapt out of the television screen into your living room uninvited, and beaten you over the head. Now, with consumers in control of what they view and the messages they receive, the industry has to move from intrusion to attraction. In other words, you have to create messages that people will actually seek out, maybe over and over again.”
The minute he said that, I thought of the challenges for faith based programmers. We joke about hitting people over the head with traditional sermons and pulpit based programs, but it’s really the truth. In a world of digital media, where the consumers are in control, we’ll be forced to be more creative. The cost may be dropping for viral ads, or web content, but it’s also making us be more creative.
We’ll need to create programs and other media content that don’t intrude – they attract. In fact, this is a message to any faith-based communicator – whether it’s films, TV, radio, or live preaching from the pulpit. I said on an interview with Paula Zahn on CNN last year that Christians need to be known as the people who are for something, instead of being against everything. We should be creative and compelling enough to attract people to our message, and in the new era of digital content, it will simply be a requirement.
What changes are you making in your media strategy to attract and not intrude? Let this become our motto. Let’s burn it on our brains, and live it out everyday. Create content that attracts and doesn’t intrude. Be a light, not a club.
Because no matter how powerful your message may be, it doesn’t matter if no one is listening.