Sunday, 20 December 2009

The world is going T-shaped

Consistency is a bit out of fashion as a word these days - cue "only liars need to be consistent", "it's about coherence" blah, blah - but I was pleased to see some elements of consistency in the Campaign essays on integration from 12 agency experts.

First of all, you don't get anywhere with a "message" these days. Oh, no. You have to have a brand idea or agenda, or a brand experience, a brand story or transmedia narrative if you must, or at least a brand conversation. And whatever it is, for God's sake make sure it's not some under-nourished, lifeless little offering. It must be rich, expansive, generous - entertaining enough or useful enough to share. Again and again.

And there is the issue of participation. Some go as far to say that it's not about integration these days but participation. Letting other people develop the thing. Consumers in the driving seat. Adult to adult instead of parent to child.

The phrase "none of us is as strong as all of us" popped up a few times. This is the collaboration card. Leave your egos and hierarchies at the door.

It's OK to show your seams or VPL or any other kind of line these days. In fact we should be embracing and celebrating the differences between different channels. There was rather a lot of celebrating and embracing going on in these articles. But matching luggage isn't celebrated and embraced any more. That's reserved for the orchestra.

So who is going to be doing all the creating, celebrating and embracing of these transmedia narrative agendas and the like? Why, the new breed of T-shaped people, who have deep knowledge of one communications discipline with broad understanding and respect of the full range. I think I'll spend Christmas becoming T-shaped to face the Teenies or whatever ghastly moniker the next decade gets.

No comments: