Monday, January 11, 2010

A Glimpse Of The Future

As traditional television advertising continues its death rattles (Pepsi's recent dropping its ads from the Super Bowl yet another high profile example), agencies search ways to remain relevant (and in business).

"What does this have to me?" You might ask, "I just like cartoons!"

Since the birth of television advertising has supported not only broadcast shows -The Flintstones, Rocky &; Bullwinkle, etc. -commercials have fostered technical innovations within the medium and supported smaller production companies.

In some ways, the fall of the monolithic commercial can help the animator. Sure, those quarter-million dollar budgets would be great -but how many of those have we seen recently?

What we have seen is a proliferation of smaller budgets and more modest productions. Online technology presents a plethora of creative challenges (bandwidth and delivery platforms, foremost) but these will improve. In the meantime, there is the opportunity to take part in "integrated" campaigns in a way the :30 spot didn't allow. 

Here, a writer discusses Infor's "Down With Big Erp" campaign. Steve Brodner created the illustrations and we worked with him and PJA Advertising to bring these to the web and to "animated" billboards in airports.

The web components include, flash banners in targeted publications like the The New York Times, Barron's and The Wall Street Journal, "rich media" ads which run before sponsored content on media sites, and a "microsite".

Other "social media" include character accounts on Twitter, and homemade employee videos.

This is a big and expensive advertising campaign, but the size and costs are spread over a longer period, various incarnations and lots of peculiar things.  Further business is created for animators from the borderless nature of the web, as each market may require a tailored delivery.  In developing and organizing this, PJA has shown the value of an advertising in the post-TV age. The breadth of the campaign and the agency's trust of Steve Brodner (and, in turn, their trust of the animation production company) will hopefully stand as an example how commercial animation and commercial illustration can thrive for another 50 years.

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