Every year, the PILIVE Conference takes place in the charming 19th-century Old Bilingsgate Victorian building, picturesquely located on the banks of the River Thames. This is a much more intimate meeting of the Digital Marketing industry than the powerful DMEXCO.
This does not mean, however, that this is not an inspiring event and abundant in digital novelties, especially since everything has been prepared once again on a grand scale and classic British diligence.
Last year I wrote about the fact that during my stay in London I found out that banner advertising is still lively, despite the very dynamic market. However, after this year’s September visit to Cologne, I began to doubt it deeply: banners seemed to be moving into the sphere of automation, and their design and attention to detail go down the line. This was also confirmed, in a way, by Google’s recent manifestos, which pushed the creative issue to the margins, saying that nowadays it is primarily important to provide as much content as possible in the shortest possible time. I was going to the next opening of PILIVE in London with the intention of confirming my belief in the correctness of Google’s demands and … accepting them. I was surprised, however.
THIS IS WAR!
Already during the first performances on the main stage, I felt slightly confused. It turned out that the demands made by PILIVE speakers do not necessarily find a point of contact with Google’s manifestos or theories presented at the conference in Cologne. In the lobby you could hear directly that the advertising policy of the tycoon on the advertising market may be expressive, but it significantly distorts the reality. Bumper ads? 6 seconds to focus the user’s attention? It’s absurd. It turns out that a good, noble design and creative idea are still of value.
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You can’t help the impression that the Google conference I commented on some time ago mixed up well in the digital advertising environment. What I observed during PILIVE seems to be a kind of defensive reaction, not to say counteroffensive. Advertising agencies, both the creative ones and those providing tracking tools, are currently outdoing each other in ideas for making their offers more attractive and creating an alternative to simple, automated advertising.
Influencer Marketing leads the way, i.e. advertising using the reach of well-known and popular social media channels of: celebrities, bloggers, actors and singers. It is accompanied by Affilate Marketing, which is basically a very similar phenomenon, but much more general. Afitlate Marketing is about using third parties to generate traffic and improve campaign effectiveness. Such solutions are enough universal that they work in many areas and industries: from automotive, through fashion and entertainment to sports or children’s.
BANNERS ARE BORING?
Where are the banners in all of this? Somewhere in the middle. And they are the subject of many discussions. Widely offered, for example on the aforementioned DMEXCO platforms which automate the process of creating banner campaigns, shortly led the advertising banner to a dead end . The ability to create animations using a range of available transitions and a wide range of automatic solutions on the one hand allows you to save time and generate multi-banner campaigns without the necessity to produce one piece after another.
Unfortunately, such a solution does not leave much room for creativity, limiting it to the necessary minimum and solutions available within a given tool. Boredom and predictability, which using Flash or later Adobe tools managed to fight against some time ago, are back again. My interlocutors at PLIVE have often emphasized their longing for effective ideas, attention to detail and eye-catching design, while praising at the same time the companies that, despite the prevailing ‘fashion’, still prefer such solutions. There were also voices saying that a return to a classically prepared, animated banner is a matter of time, as automation works to the detriment of both customers and advertisers – their campaigns are becoming less and less effective, and the financial balance clearly states that it would be better to invest rather in design, than to lose at the outset by sending into the standard world and unremarkable banner.
I usually came back from London with an optimistic attitude. It is no different this time: PILIVE once again poured a lot of knowledge into my head and opened more gates that I didn’t know yet. If I were to point out the biggest advantage of the British conference, I would say that it was an opportunity to exchange opinions with people who do the same thing as you do. And as it turns out, they feel very much like you. I am convinced that such meetings make the world of advertising simply better. Trzask! Studio too.