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The LinkUp Blog The Industry's Best-Kept Secret

July 18, 2008 / Toby Dayton

The Rise Of Multimedia Or Why I Get My Ass Kicked Playing Call of Duty 4 on XBox Live

It seems that more and more stories are popping up about the value of multimedia, multi-channel advertising strategies. The most recent was a study by Integrated Media Measurement which found, not surprisingly given both the source and the topic being studied, that advertising on more than one media platform increased the effectiveness of the campaign (see the June 24th press release from IMMI). Being a part of a company whose value proposition is founded on that principle, these stories are always both rewarding and amusing to read. They are obviously rewarding because they further validate JobDig’s business model based on delivering recruitment advertising solutions to employers that truly incorporate print, the web (web ads plus digital media such as podcasts, email, digital newsletters, etc.), radio, and TV.

But these stories are also amusing for many reasons. First, the value of real multimedia, multi-channel, multi-platform media and advertising is so obvious. I am not talking about the fake, weak, or silly attempts that so many media companies and ad agencies have tried over the years, but the legitimate cross-platform integration that has always existed in various forms (at least for the past few decades) but is becoming more and more prevalent every day. It’s like reading about a comprehensive, multi-million dollar study that proves that exercise and smart eating habits are good for you. They have to be done and people need the hard proof, but they always run the risk of being somewhat pointless.

Secondly, the pathetic attempts that some media companies and ad agencies make in how they construct multi-channel campaigns and media offerings are a mockery. There are plenty of solid solutions that do truly qualify, but there are even more that are worthy of scorn and derision. It is these shallow, misguided, and completely flawed assemblies that justifiably generate skepticism and make it both akward and challenging for people to talk about the power of multimedia and cross-platform content and advertising delivery. It’s like the humorous scene from “In Good Company” when the CEO of the media behemoth gives his ridiculous speech to the newly acquired sports magazine about the cross-platform integration he envisions, complete with his silly handshake gesture. The charade is revealed when a befuddled Dennis Quaid asks why a reader of a Sports Illustrated type magazine would want to see content and advertising about computers and technology.

But as Dave Morgan points out in a good piece from May, the world is not only different today, but changing at an increasingly rapid pace (trite and obvious, but true nevertheless). What is missing from his list of reasons why multi-media is becoming more and more ‘real’ is the basic fact that newer media companies and ad agencies (at least the ones who ‘get it’ – a phrase I hate to use but it does, on occasion, apply) have been born into today’s world. It’s the same reason why I get my ass kicked every time I play Call of Duty 4 on XBox live – I grew up with Intellivision and the original Nintendo. New media companies today have never known anything but how things can, should, and must integrate today. JobDig, for example, was founded just 7 years ago and from day 1 we have built, integrated, sold, and distributed content and advertising across multiple platforms. We never had to adapt, transition, change, or fumble through the mis-steps that have derailed so many media companies that try to mash together disparate parts to create a cohesive whole. We’ve never known anything but what we do today and there have never been internal struggles or battles among various fiefdoms and competing platforms. We’ve certainly had our issues to overcome, like any start-up, and there are constantly new technologies and media forms to understand and integrate (social media, for example), but new media companies today inherently possess a different mind-set and perception of the world than their older counterparts. And it is that unique perspective that gives them an advantage in today’s media landscape.