12.11.2009

A Creative Alien at the iMedia Agency Summit

This is a guest post written by blogger Renee Crawshaw, Associate Creative Director at Traction.

I've just returned from the iMedia Agency Summit in Scottsdale. On my first day, a group of four Summit veterans took us newbies aside to tell us what to expect in the coming days. Afterward, I asked the group of 40 or so freshmen if there were any other creatives present. Not a single hand raised. It was plain to see: I wasn't in Kansas anymore.

Now, to be fair, the iMedia Agency Summit is the opportunity for agency media planners and buyers to meet with digital publishers and technology providers. But as the person who is ultimately responsible for communicating ideas through digital media, it's important that I understand their capabilities. That's why I jumped at the chance to go. And I encourage more creatives to get their names on the invite lists of future Summits. Here is a bit of what I took away.

Collaboration, education, and standardization.
At the Summit, these three ideas were meant to apply to the relationships between media agencies, publishers, and clients. From a creative person's point of view, I say that they apply to how we here at Traction approach a project. We employ cross-discipline collaboration, starting at the concepting phase. In addition to the copywriter and art director, our brainstorms include our UX designer and our technical leads. This organic ebb and flow of expertise from each discipline results in experiences that generate visceral responses and reflect natural human behaviors on the web.

Traditional, digital, social: it's all a big blur.
Deelish, isn't it? I'm a copywriter by discipline. Nine years ago I felt my advertising career was all but wrapped. The San Francisco ad scene was decimated by the dot com implosion. And this new-fangled thing called online marketing limited me to a character counts and static executions. Today, technology has caught up to what I do—and is pretty transparent to me. Not only can I work in my familiar territories like video (for you traditionalists, that's what used to be known as "broadcast"), I now have a host of new channels in which I get to tell a brand's story. At the Summit, we heard a lot about the importance of developing original content for interactive video. I'm looking forward to it.

It can be messy at times. All these options. All that content. None of us quite speaking in the same language. But to the consumer, it all mashes up to a yummy dish of relevance.

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