"Santa was good to OfficeMax.
The company -- which is eschewing TV advertising entirely -- took what it would have spent to make three 30-second spots and created 20 holiday-themed microsites aimed at catching a viral wave and touting its stores as gift-giving destinations."
This has to make Madison Avenue nervous. The staple of big-money advertising for years has been the 30-second television spot. Make and average product for average people and pump sales with TV spots. That has been changing gradually, but now the cultural shift seems to be picking up momentum in the advertising world.
One great aspect to this change is the shift from the importance of the medium to the importance and salience of the message. Take a look at television advertising. Companies spend hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars producing a 30-second spot. Most of them are not memorable. But, until recent years even a non-imaginative spot that aired often enough would create a bump in sales.
There's a shift of power taking place in the world of communications, advertising and media. It's a trend and not a fad. Intrusive advertising is declining in favor of advertising that people want to watch. Companies who get creative like Office Max will rise. Those who stick with the old models will decay.
OfficeMax has made a bold move here to say "screw television, we're betting our future on the web." It will continue to be an interesting story to follow. And, you can count on plenty of others to try to mimic their success.
Yes, Bob Dylan, the times they are a-changin'.