I'm in Cannes at the 55th International Advertising Festival and for the past two days have been sitting in one session after the next listening to advertising experts pontificate about the digitisation of our world. I say pontificate, because there has been little else. Lots of hot air and regurgitation of statistics and statements that we all know about. Very worrying actually. The Internet has been around for fourteen years and cannot be considered or talked about as a new media. You see what we all want to learn about are the successes of this mass media. Granted it's tricky harnessing the channel to market for brand marketing purposes and we need dialogue to understand the pitfalls. However, what any sensible marketer or media person wants to know about is the results of campaigns that have used Digital channels successfully.
Admitedly, despite my irritation, not all has been lost in the past two days. I sat in a presentation by Mindshare Interactive yesterday who shared a case study on their US client Unilever and Sprint. The media agency created a communications campaign which harnesses social networking in a meaningful manner, proving that it can deliver results. In the Motherhood is a social networking site which has been extended into a real time television programme. Marketing head of Suave (the Unilever brand) admitted, the campaign took over a year to get through the system due to sceptism and concern digital wouldn't deliver. However the concept of getting moms to share humourous but challenging parenting experiences on a social networking site has proven a real hit and worth every single cent of marketing investment. Next year this web launched initiative will become a fully fledged television programme. Now that's interesting!