The Disconnect Between Marketing And Digital Marketing

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Seth Godin has a Blog post today called, Time Has A Long Tail Too, that highlights perfectly the problems that Advertisers and Marketers are having with the Digital Marketing space. The crux of Godin’s post is about how still, after a few years, the Terry Tate Office Linebacker long-form video commercials for Reebok have an audience (welcome to The Long Tail… where products have an unlimited shelf life… with unlimited shelves). In fact, the one video I clicked over to check out on YouTubeTerry Tate’s World – had 932,933 with 332 comments and 4/5 star rating. The challenge is that when you go to the URL promoted at the end of the Terry Tate video, the site is down. You get a page error.

I’m going to make an assumption that someone didn’t just forget, or that a hosting mistake was not made, and say that advertising campaigns and online marketing campaigns are dramatically different from a traditional ad campaign. In a traditional ad campaign, Marketers could get in and out in the span of a couple of weeks. Times have changed. The length of an ad campaign in the Digital Marketing space is dictated by the audience not by when the ad spend dies.

Why would Reebok not want to capitalize on this audience? How much would it cost to keep the hosting of the Terry Tate page active, and use it to introduce consumers to newer brands and campaigns? The options seem endless, and there’s a captive (and interested) audience with a steady flow of traffic being driven to the site.

Marketing was about one-night stands. The Digital Marketing world has changed it to a relationship where Marketers can’t just scream their messages at Consumers. And, as Seth Godin points out, Marketing has shifted from a "how many" to "who" model.

I fear that traditional advertising people just don’t take the time to think about time.


  1. They might have removed it because of the cost associated with using Terry Tate. If they keep using his image and name they would have to keep paying him.
    Still, you have to love that ad.

  2. Every time I remember to click through the RSS to your actual site to comment, I am forever appreciative of the design here. This thing is really exciting. I almost lost my thought process just admiring the work you’ve done here, Mitch. Great stuff.
    You’re absolutely right. Here’s an extension of that thought: Katrina watches videos all the time from YEARS ago. She watches YouTube videos that are from years back. Why wouldn’t you leave some kind of legacy stuff in place, if you can? Like you’re pointing out micro-sites. Why NOT leave them up?
    Residual brand campaigns might still appeal to some people, even if the mother ship has moved on.
    Weird to admit, but I like certain McDonalds campaigns (from years ago) better than others. For whatever reason, I identified with them. Without googling, I can say the following:
    Big Mac, Filet-o-Fish, Quarter Pounder, French Fries. Icy Coke, Thick Shake, Sundaes, and Apple Pies.
    Why? *.deity only knows. But I do remember it.
    Brands have “point in time” connectivity to people who associated something with them.
    Interesting. I appreciate your thoughts on this.
    Annnnd, @Luc: really good point. I wouldn’t have thought about that, but paying for actor’s residuals or something?

  3. @Mitch : According to Wikipedia this campain began in 2002, with only two episode in 2004 and 2005… Maybe it was too early, after all youtube didn’t even exist by the time this passed on tv. Could it be that they forgot this even existed?
    Or the marketing manager left and his successor didn’t want to follow up with an idea from is predecessor ? I know it’s dumb, but its what usually happen. I just sent the link to a friend at reebook, so we might get an answer.
    I agree, they should bring back those ads (Or bring Mister T). The timing would be perfect (. Get a bit of interaction, like a blog or a social media profil. Low cost, high brand coverage. Why can’t compagnies figure this?
    @Chris: if I remember correctly the actors can be pay either by a fix salary for is work or get a paid each time the ads air on TV. Maybe Mitch can confirm this?

  4. Purchasing the rights to actors, directors, photography and such really depends on negotiations. I remember from my own experience that the guys at the classical advertising department were always shocked when they had to buy the rights for the internet, too. Because all of a sudden, they didn’t just buy the rights for, say, 1 year in Germany (in this case), but for world wide, because that is what the internet is: a medium that is globally accessible. It made each campaign relatively more expensive all of a sudden.
    Just imagine what it will be like if they have to buy the rights not for Germany, and not for one year, but for worldwide, for ever!!
    Advertisers won’t be able to not buy the digital rights. So the conclusion will have to be either: better rates in the contracts, or second rate actors, directors and photography. Not the most ideal setup.

  5. Hey Mitch. Can I play devils advocate here. I know I always seem to come from the same angle, but you seem to be coming from the same angle as well. What I mean is that you say in the last line of your blog post that you basically fear that traditional media will forget the longtail.
    I guess I figure …who gives a crap?
    Like I have stated in other postings to your blog…let the industries kill themselves. It’s either change and adapt, or be killed. My usual statement about traditional media. It’s that whole play on the fact that big business and large media companies are cash driven. They are only worried about their content TODAY. They dont care nor do they have the agility of the smaller companies to manage that kind of longtail content.
    So Mitch as per usual I say …it’s just another hole for us as digital marketers, and for myself as a marketer of my own art, and my own personal brand to exploit the short comings of the big blue chips.
    I would have to assume that these large companies would need to start using services like those offered by Twist Image, or they are seriously going to fall to te wayside of those companies that are managing their longtail content.

  6. @ Chris Brogan – any compliment from you is taken with the highest regard – but you knew that already 😉
    I think we see “legacy” (or the cool, new term, The Long Tail) as an obvious “d’uh” but after reading Luc’s note it could be a issue of rights management too. Maybe Terry Tate didn’t give it all up to Reebok?
    @ Roland – excellent points. I guess because our work at Twist Image revolves mostly around digital marketing, global rights, etc… are a no-brainer. Now, the former music industry guy in me knows this issue real well. Rights managements – in general – need to be re-looked at. Working by geography is a disaster… it’s not helping anyone… except maybe the publishers 😉
    @ Keith Burtis – I understand that point of view. I look at it differently. We’re all a part of the Marketing community. I have a strong belief system that is based on the idea that I can’t have a strong business without a strong community. This is why I spend a lot of time training Marketing professionals. The better we all get at this new channel, the more money and opportunity will come to all of us.

  7. Mitch, I agree with you that to share your experience, and knowledge with others to improve the overall business and community is the noble thing to do. It is also the right thing to do. I guess the way I have looked at it my whole life is that many of these large companies are very reluctant to move to a new model, especially the ones that take time and effort to build. The “industrial age mentality”
    I have many friends that work for the so called blue chips, and they have always used the shotgun approach to marketing that was untrackable, and purely based on spending huge dollars to reach mass audiences. Many of these folks have lost their jobs and I currently have two other friends that are seriously in jeopardy of losing their jobs in marketing.
    I didn’t really mean to come off mean spirited in any way. My point is really that times change, and models change….and there needs to be a paradigm shift. When I talk to these guys about social networking, and network marketing on the net they look at me crosseyed and in disbelief. I applaud you for your efforts and you have surely made a believer out of me, but it is definatly true in my mind that either people and models will change or they will eventually lose. Keep chipping away Mitch your doing the right things! I love your Podcast, and I love your Blog.

  8. Thanks for following up Keith.
    All opinions and conversation starters are welcome here. I know my perspective is probably dramatically different from my competitors who live in the “kill or be killed” world that is corporate business, or the Bloggers who feel like their opinions should be the highest regarded one on their own Blog.
    I do see things a little differently.
    I embrace the competition (or, as I like to call it, co-opertition). I do believe in The Wisdom of Crowds – that all of us are smarter than any one of us. I also have faith that good people do the right things… and they get ahead.
    I also know that most people would consider me a “Sucker” for thinking like this.
    I’m fine with that too 🙂

  9. Mitch:
    I echo the sentiments on the blog design, as I shared other times. To me before we are marketers (what — we do) we are people (who) and when I think of it that way, it makes much more sense to all push in the direction of evolution and integration of experiences. Who knows, we might not even call it marketing in a few years…

  10. Mitch, we may just call it communicization…cool blog name huh. As far as your belief that good guys finish first, or at least that they come out on top and feeling great is a beautiful sentiment. I feel the exact same way, and I always have. I will admit that I have been stepped on in the past for being the nice guybut this never squashes my spirit. Sa I have heard you say in the past Mitch, it’s all attitudinal.
    If your giving…your getting. Law of reciprocity…right? Those who were meant to find you will, and you will attract to yourself those that share like thaughts. Mitch keep building baby…and I’ll quit rambling.
    Cant wait to share my new “Giving as business” model with you.

  11. Traditional media still has the mentality “I was here first”. Most have no intentions of changing what they have been doing… and its apparent by their subscriber ratings and declining advertising revenue.
    Even if the excuse is that they can’t continue to pay for image fees to that particular campaign, there is no excuse for a broken link. At mimimum, it should redirect to the current campaign. That’s influence power lost in “Page Does Not Exsist” land.

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