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YEAR 2017: SHAPE UP OR SHIP OUT

According to a colleague that works in an agency based in Ikeja, they almost lost a major account last week because the client believes, after a not-so-pleasant presentation, that the agency doesn’t profoundly understand the dynamics of the highly touted “New Media”. 
 
As against going through the discipline of idea amplification, the said agency had, quite typical of practices within our industry, merely proposed the deployment of the print designs as banners for online. Chikena!
 
Of course, such a “lazy” proposition didn’t sit well with the digital savvy client. They not only showed their displeasure to the agency, they quite ridiculously made the agency team change the “New Media” tag on their PowerPoint slide to, “Old Media on Steroids.”
 
Suffice it to say that key forecasts from the trio of Interpublic’s Magna Global, WPP’s GroupM, and Publicis Groupe’s Zenith, respectively have it that on a global scale, New Media (digital) budget would greatly surpass traditional media spend next year; the truth remains that, 2017 would demand more from us as far as content creation for New Media is concerned.
 
In the light of the above, it’s imperative we understand the changing dynamics of the much touted “New Media”.
 
According to take-outs from the Blake Project, in today’s world of content and content creation for New Media, the audience owns the active voice. Readers read. Viewers watch. Listeners listen. Simply put, content (on New Media) is acted upon, which basically means that content owns the passive voice.
 
However, come 2017, things would take up a newer shape. Content on New Media will strongly become active and no longer passive.
 
Technically speaking, the above projection is already taking shape. Let’s go through some references: Personal informatics Apps have proven the feasibility and appeal of collecting individual data to feed into algorithms that help people stay healthier and more productive.
 
Digital trails now make it easier to monitor what people are doing. Wearables have even gone way further, enabling real-time data gathering for instantaneous feedback and guidance.
 
Google has patented a technology that can detect if someone is watching an ad, and then make predictions about the person’s emotional response to the ad. Samsung’s Galaxy series now use eye-scrolling technology to detect when a reader has reached the bottom of the screen in order to reveal more text. This is in addition to its eye pausing technology that stops video playback whenever a viewer looks away, and restarting it once the viewer looks back; etcetera.
 
Collectively, these technologies now make content active, and they will get even bigger come 2017.
 
In 2017, content would “read” the audience and then actively uses the real-time feedback to change what is being served up to the readers, viewers and listeners. No longer will content passively wait for an audience to act upon it; it will act upon itself based on the inputs fed to it by the active monitoring of the audience. 
 
Aptly put: come 2017, people will read contents and contents will read people. 
 
For us in the creative community, it holds that content creation and deliveries for New Media will shift from fixed to fluid. Creativity for New Media will notably move from a focused message with targeted appeal, to a range of messages that can be patched together in various combinations based on real-time monitoring of the target audience.
 
We’ll need to do more beyond merely adapting print designs as online banners.
 
New media (digital) will immensely shape 2017. And the charge to us is quite simple: Shape up or ship out. 
 
… I’m Just Saying.