Is Google turning old school?

by Tony Fannin, President, BE Branded

Recently, Google announced a joint venture with DISH Network. Google will have access to your viewing habits via the DISH box wired to your TV set. This is a very bold move into traditional media. I think it is the next logical step for them. What I find interesting is the about face of their stance, as well as other new media players, in the belief that old media, such as TV spots, is dead and it should just fade away. Obviously, people still like watching their TV. People will still watch your TV spot if you provide a reward, such as entertainment along with a relevant message. Creativity rules the day. The Super Bowl is an example of how to really engage an audience with your TV spot. Additional proof that the “old school” TV will be here for a while longer is the dramatic increase in flat screen TV sales over the past holiday season. Google and their ilk, with all their bravado, underestimated the emotional connection the general public has with their big set. Often times, this is where the engineer gets caught off guard. People act through emotion much more than they act through logic. So, it’s not a surprise that new media assumed in a few years, they will render any bastion of “old school” media useless.

Another ironic paradox is new media’s initial distain for anything commerce or advertising. Google, in their beginnings, viewed advertising as a form of “hucksterism.” They, like their online brethren, had a very utopian view of the world. “It’s all free. We don’t care about making money. Advertising is evil,” they all said. It’s interesting to see how many are turning to the “devil” to keep them afloat. Advertising is the #1 money-maker for all of new media’s income, including Google. When someone new tries to come into the new media world, their business plan almost always includes, “… and we will generate revenue by selling advertising.” Many earlier online pioneers have said looking back, now they realized they’ve should have put into place some sort of monetization platform, even if it was a penny per usage. This would have been enabled them to slowly increase pricing and offer premium services and content for additional fees because it wasn’t free from the beginning. It’s hard to make people pay for something they got for free before.

So what does Google’s move into TV mean? To me, it shows how an integrated marketing effort is the key to success. No silver bullets. It means there are no boundaries between offline and online – or traditional media and new media. You can’t just live in an online world just as you can’t live in traditional media only either. In today’s marketing landscape, it’s all new media, even tactics that are considered “old school.” Because people engage with all forms of media in a new way, it forces marketers to view all types of media differently.

Practicing marketing basics is still the most important thing you can do to make your advertising and brand effective. Be relevant. Be entertaining. Be authentic. Be creative. These are some of the elements in great marketing and branding, regardless of which school you belong to.


About Be Branded

Tony Fannin is of President of BE Branded, an integrated marketing firm who helps clients BE Somebody to their customers. If you aren't somebody, then you are commodity.

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