When a client says, “I am only looking for digital ideas from your agency,” what does that even mean these days? When Levis puts a video up on YouTube and it gets 3MM views, is that a digital idea? When T-Mobile films hundreds of people singing “Hey Jude” in Trafalgar square and distributes it on the Web, is that a digital idea? When McDonalds includes a SMS link in a billboard that gives you a code for a free Shamrock Shake, is that a digital idea?
What I have grown to learn over the years is that they definition of digital is every-changing. Every new idea is considered “digital.” In the early days, that meant CD-ROM, interactive TV, websites and the online advertising. As new, technology-driven, ways to connect with consumers emerged, they were added to the “digital” list. They included search, mobile, in-game advertising, digital outdoor, kiosks, installations, viral, social media, etc. etc.
It has become much easier to define “traditional.” Print, broadcast and outdoor are never-changing and forever stuck in time. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t perfect elements to a campaign, it just means that there definition will not evolve. It is almost easier today to define digital as everything traditional isn’t.
But, let’s face it, none of these labels matter. Consumers don’t see a difference between digital and traditional, they are simply living their lives the only way they know how. They snack. They browse. They sample. They move effortlessly between digital and traditional mediums and don’t look back. This is precisely why the best ideas out there don’t begin and end in a single medium. They mix media and use the right platforms to tell an engaging story that connects with consumers.
By asking for “just a digital idea,” we are artificially limiting the potential of a great idea.