Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Dare To Go Digital

The dust may have settled on the year that was but the graduate recruitment machine soldiers on. Today we have my homeboy Will Lion talking about digital agencies and why you should apply to Dare's grad scheme this year. Their application deadline was today, but has been extended to the 20th of this month, so get applying. And good luck.

Will is a graduate at Dare and his blog is here.

100 percent digital

It might be overstated (there is probably always going to be the bed, bog, bath element) but Mr Billingsley's comment is almost certainly right: we're going to be digital advertisers because the world is now digital, and getting more so.

What does all this digital malarkey mean for people looking to get into the communications business and, before we look at that, what does digital mean anyway?

One of the lovely insights of Dare's grad video; where the parents of Dare folk gloriously fail to define what their children do, is that pinning it down is tricky.

Part of its slipperiness is that things just keep shifting. Facebook was born in 2004, YouTube in 2005, Twitter in 2006, the App Store in 2008 etc. The only constant is change.

The other thing about 'digital' is that it is polysemous; it has multiple meanings.

It is used to refer to electronic media (web, screens, mobiles, ipods, nike+ shoes etc) but also, and more importantly, the behaviours those media have unleashed and fed: interaction.

There is an important difference there that Jeremy Bullmore expressed perfectly in Campaign when he said,

all about interactivity

There are two important things there for grads trying to get into the industry. The first is, whose roof?

Most of you will have been concentrating on the big above-the-line ones. That is a good bet for a digital future as long as that ATL agency gets digital, which means they aren't just talking about it, they're doing it (hmm, a black sheep has just popped into my head.)

On the other hand, another good bet are the agencies whose best is yet to come: the digital ones, primed as they are to thrive in the coming digital ecosystem.

And now for the second important bit of Mr Bullmore's quote: if you're worried about applying to a digital agency because it's got the word digital in it, don't be: as he says, it's not really about tech, it's about interactivity.

And what's that? It's spreading the intelligence more evenly between people who make stuff and people who consume it. Sometimes it's only a little, sometimes it's a lot.

This interactivity lets you do a lot more than you can at your typical traditional ATL agency. Or to reunite that idea with its owner:

we are not an advertising agency

I think that's really exciting (and Mr Tait has 9 more great reasons digital is better for those interested). In digital you're unshackled from just doing TV, print and radio to all sorts of exciting things like sites, applications, blogs, games, branded content, widgets, podcasts, social things and experimental stuff. And a lot of this (not all) is actually useful to people; it's additive rather than interruptive.

In my experience grads tend to think of digital as something on-the-sidey and techy. Maybe it once was. Now it ain't. Technology is so ubiquitous, so ready-to-hand, that it's becoming invisible and when that happens it gets socially interesting. In other words, technology and culture used to be separate, increasingly they are the same (look what you're doing now.)

It's a brilliant time to get into an industry that's only going to grow (even in these tough times) and that's much more about interesting interactive ideas than it is about tech.

Go on, apply!

Obviously, I am biased but this would be a good place to start...

(For those wanting more, I suggest you have a play in here, read this, canoe back up this and maybe watch this. That should be enough to be getting on with.)


Anonymous said...

Great post Sam,

I don't know why, but there just doesn't seem to be the knowledge/motivation amongst grads to explore some of the opportunities in Digital.

Personally I wouldn't want to look anywhere else, hopefully some others won't either now!


Anonymous said...

boaHas anybody heard back from Dare yet?

Anonymous said...

Has anybody heard back from Dare yet?

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