Caught up with a former Unilever colleague who is a marketing director for a big bank. In amongst chit chatting about cycling and swimming techniques, we chewed cud on brand and digital integration.

So he believes (or he did) that its not about digital but about the big insight and the big idea.

You know what, he’s right but here’s the issue. That works if the starting context is right, ie, make sure the lead agency or agencies get the media context surrounding the consumer. Most lead agencies (especially the one called or formerly called advertising agencies) are still motivated (culturally and commercially) by 30s scripts and TV storyboards.

If an idea is really that good and that powerful then present the idea as a musical or an event. (I’m in NYC waiting for cheap broadway tickets whilst the Revlon walk for women takes place.)

The issue is that big agencies often struggle to do this because:
1. Its not their skill set
2. Its not where their passion lies
3. It’s tougher to show ROI or impact

The facts are that we have to acknowledge the consumer media landscape. Surely, if you are planning a big consumer campaign in the UK you need to think about social media up front as half of the audience will be using it. This will also help you ensure that the facebook expression isn’t just an add on in the way URL used to be.

The other issue is that social media changes all the rules that traditional marketers and creatives are taught in. Engagement and Conversation are fundamental prerequisites to modern campaigns.

These should be added to any briefs.

So yes, it is still important but media context is equally as important. Its still about the big idea but digital knowledge up front is key.