Friday, March 21, 2008

Media buyers: does digital signage get unified or bundled?

AdAge has an interesting interview online with Chris Geraci, who was recently installed as the new National TV buying director at Omnicom Group's OMD (they work for PepsiCo, Apple and other glitzy advertisers). Here's the most interesting back-and-forth of the interview:
MediaWorks: Thanks to viewing online and watching shows on mobile devices, buying TV ad time has changed. How prepared is your group to start putting together multimedia ad packages that include TV ad time and other marketing ideas?

Mr. Geraci: We've been doing that for years, and I think we're pretty darn good at it. ... We haven't forced our digital expertise, if you will, into the upfront marketplace or digital buyers or digital clients into a TV scenario. Certainly there are places where the combined leverage makes sense. We do a lot of business with certain media owners both online and offline, and those are the places where we will begin the negotiation together. MTV Networks is an example where we've had a fair amount of press.
So if I'm reading that right, it sounds to me like the ability to package together different media is more important/useful/valuable than being able to sell them on the same scale. This is one of those things that we talk about quite a bit in the digital signage community -- on the one side are those who feel that unless and until digital signage space can be sold in a similar (or identical) fashion to television, we're not going to get any buy-in from media planners. On the other side are people who feel that it's a different medium from TV, and needs to be sold as such.

I'm with the latter group, in case you're wondering, but given that I have nothing to do with advertising and media buying/planning, I tend to just sit here in the ivory tower and watch as the other guys slug it out :)

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