Digital is not another media 1

I’ve been attending various major media’s programming launches recently here in Montreal or Upfront as they’re also called. Being focused on digital, that’s really what I’m there for, while I still want to know what’s going on in traditional media.

A recurring theme now particularly from television is to prove they are still relevant and important in the digital age. I’ll be the first to state to anyone how important TV is in time spent, ad spend, overall reach and actual impact and performance against almost any audience, all ages. I guess they feel threatened a little now that digital has surpassed TV in ad spend and is still growing in all respects.

However, the one error they all do in making their case is presenting digital as “another media” which IT IS NOT. Digital is not another media. It is a whole universe of media.

Internet is not a media?

It all depends on which angle you look at it, but from an advertising or marketing point of view, digital is not a media. Digital is a universe of media as rich and varied as off-line media (or traditional media) constitute their own universe of rich and varied possibilities.

Why another universe of media, rather than just another media?

A media has a very focused and narrow set of ad formats. Think of any traditional media and you have multiple variations for one ad format. Newspapers offer text and pictures in various sizes, no Audio and no video. Out of home offers pretty much the same but you have to greatly limit the number of words you use. Radio offers audio only, of varying duration. And television offers video. You can’t have just text or just audio.

Digital on the other hand offers them all, combined or separately, as you wish: text, image, audio and video, each in various lengths, shapes and sizes.

Digital is a universe of media possibilities

Digital offers a number of different ad format possibilities from video pre-roll to display, to classifieds, email and paid search, and let’s not forget social and native ad formats as well. These are available across a number of different types of content environments and platforms. A display ad is always better if you indent to build reach and awareness. Paid search is always better when you intend to generate sales and conversions. Each digital ad format has its own strengths and weaknesses which are comparable to those of individual offline media.

See the following chart for a clearer understanding.

ad vehiciles per campaign objective

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