It's time to free interactivity from the Internet and apply it to all media.
Digital media are exploding. People are interacting with the media, content producers, and each other. They reach out to the storytellers. They talk to the authors, the camera people, the producers, the actors themselves. They influence plots in fiction-driven media. They discuss with other fans their favorite serialized mystery's latest clues. They even learn what blogs their favorite journalist reads or pays the most attention to.
Most of this was possible before, of course, but technology is opening new doors and supercharging existing passions. The ever-accelerating transition of various analog media to digital media is incredible. It facilitates an unprecedented level of involvement in media that previously offered little or no means to interact. It's novel and exciting to people over 30, but to the younger crowd it's different.
To the younger crowd, interactive is simply the way things are. They expect it and will begin to demand it from everything. Much in the way they don't have the same grasp on cable versus broadcast as their parents, young people don't know media without interactivity.
That simple fact significantly and irrevocably changes the media and marketing ecosystem. It's a massive disruptive force responsible for all the mountains of money shifting around.
Someone once told me interactive TV has been a year away for 20 years. And the promise of convergence has lived a similar buzz-hype-death lifecycle over the last decade or so. It's here again, and this time it's bigger than the marriage of the Web and TV. It's bigger than Web 2.0, but the foundations of the new generation of sites and services are partially fueling the explosive growth on the Internet and in other new media. It's everywhere and in practically everything. It's ubiquitous.
Let's look at a few examples of technologies that are embracing and enabling this new convergence.
Touchscreens and KiosksGestureTek is making "Minority Report"-style computer interfaces a reality. You can control a computer interface by holding your hand in the air and performing certain recognized actions. Imagine the impact this will have on digital outdoor advertising.
Video and TV
These are just a few examples. The growth of innovative companies and technologies that are enabling new ways for people to get involved with media is rapidly gaining momentum. For marketers, it means an entirely new landscape to consider. It's no longer simply about blasting a single message to a huge group of passive consumers. It's about serving an empowered media consumer with relevant marketing content. It's about more meaningfully engaging them and finding new ways to open your campaigns to participation. It's time to free that philosophy from the Internet and apply it to all media.
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Jeremy Lockhorn leads the emerging media practice (EMP) at Razorfish. The team functions as a think-tank on new technologies and next-generation media, and operates as an extension of current client teams. EMP is focused on driving groundbreaking marketing solutions for clients. Jeremy is a filter, consultant, and catalyst for innovation - helping clients and internal teams to understand, evaluate, and roll out strategic pilot programs while reinventing marketing strategies to leverage the power of emerging media. Jeremy joined the agency in 1997 and is currently based in Seattle, WA. His Twitter handle is @newmediageek.
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