In 2008 Digitas created what’s now known as NewFronts. It was an effort to shift the attention from traditional TV to Digital Video. According to an eMarketer report in 2008, digital ad spending represented less than 10% of total ad spend, and for most brands it was an afterthought. Today, digital represents 40% of ad spending and is expected to soon surpass TV. Whether this was the work of NewFronts is arguable, especially with the recent decline in companies participating in the event.
But as Donaton puts it,
“Approaches to create, track and measure are as broad as the spectrum of content genres, there’s no clearly defined content industry, no agreed-upon benchmarks. No recognized trade association to give shape and definition to this important segment.”
And now, comparing what Digitas did in 2008 with the first NewFront,(which many thought was a crazy idea at the time), Digitas is taking another stand.
The goal — to take a stand for standards on content quality. “A stand for radical collaboration bringing together brand marketers, publishers, agencies and content creators. A coalition that can come up with common definitions, benchmarks and standards,” Donaton expresses in the article.
Donaton’s aim is to create a team that can build common currencies and give marketers the tools and confidence they need to invest in content, and measure ROI. So his search begins for 10 brands, media owners and agencies to join DigitasLBi in forming, what they are calling, a Modern Content Coalition.
WHAT, WHEN, & WHO?
“This diverse community will author — in 150 days — benchmarks, criteria and codes for how content is created and measured.
In the subsequent 150 days, each of these coalition partners will create a concept (for potential production) that best expresses the standards and codes authored during those first 150 days.”
The clock Is already ticking. Because, according to Donaton, “when content is done right, it represents the best we have to offer as marketers: stories. The kind that have engaged people for centuries. Updated to reflect new technologies, new trends — to ask new questions.”
And it is because of this that Digitas chose the theme of the Caveman & the Astronaut for their 10th annual NewFront, which was inspired by a quote from author and scientist E.O. Wilson:
“We live in an age that combines stone-age instincts, medieval beliefs and god-like technology.”
“Because content doesn’t just deliver what we want. It reflects who we are: Cavemen, huddled around the fire passing stories down through the generations,” Donaton writes. “[And] astronauts, always looking to discover what’s next.”
Today, as Donaton puts it, we stand at a new intersection — the corner of Caveman & Astronaut — where primitive instincts meet god-like technology. “Let’s join forces and explore what’s possible together. Who’s in?”