Sorry folks. False alarm. Nothing to see here, just some attention grabbing headlines.

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Stop thinking about websites – they’re dead,” that was the headline statement from Asda at the 2013 Social Media World Forum in London. Naturally there was a lot more said at the event than just that, but for some reason this was the statement that caused millions of us to fall to our knees and ask the question, “Why God? Why?

The nation, neigh the world was still paralysed with grief at the news that we had just lost websites when adverting industry legend, Trevor Beattie announced that we had also lost television. Yes my friends, Mr. Beattie, the man who had brought us FCUK and ‘Hello Boys’ broke the news that after 70 years, “the 30-second TV commercial is dead.

Websites and the 30-second television all dead within days of one and other – it was just too much to cope with. Imagine it, a world with no more dancing ponies, or websites with pets that look like their owners. It really was the start of the Aztec Apocalypse we had been promised.

So you can imagine my surprise when I got home and turned on the television expecting to find reports surrounding the End of Days, only to switch on and see not one, not two – but dozens of 30-second TV commercials’, including one from Mr, Beattie’s own agency: http://www.bmbagency.com/projects/moo) featuring a mooing cow cheese container

Fearing some sort of television zombie apocalypse, I rushed to my computer to see if I could contact other survivors and glory be – I found that there were still websites out there.

So what’s going on? Has London heard something that the rest of us haven’t, or is it just the latest hype by a PR machine that’s churning out the same basic obituary story, but with different victims. {INSERT NAME is dead}.

My money would be on the latter. You see; it seems to be the popular thing to do at the minute to come out and announce the demise of one media channel or another. I suppose it’s like the old adage says, “no news sells like bad news.

But what if we didn’t have to play media Cluedo and no one had to die? What if we could find a way for all of the communication channels to co-exist? We did it in the past, so why can’t we do it again? I mean, radio didn’t kill press and television didn’t kill radio. And I did hear a rumour on the lowdown that television and online had even worked together.

In an earlier post, http://wp.me/p3lEBu-10I’d touched on the subject of how planners were having a much more difficult time now trying to solve the Brand / Channel / Audience equation. But it’s not an impossible task and some agencies are managing to do it without having to resort to channel murder. Yet whilst some are embracing the challenge others appear to have found a much more brutal approach to resolving the problem. They just kill off what doesn’t fit into their neat pigeonhole equation.

However – rather that killing channels off, shouldn’t we be welcoming the arsenal of opportunities that are now at our disposal and finding new and exciting ways of using them to improve the conversations that brands are so desperate to have with people?

OK – so television isn’t the dominating force it once was, but it’s still a pretty useful card to play if you can afford to do it right and most importantly of all, if it’s relevant to the people you’re looking to start a conversation with. And there I go again with that word – ‘people’. It’s strange how often they get forgotten about in the melee of obituaries and channel bashing. And to prove my point, think about this – two weeks ago television reintroduced us to something that many of us will have spent thousands of pounds in therapy trying to forget – PJ and Duncan’s, Let’s get ready to rumble: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bj_g50RXFbA

Television brought it back to peoples attention and the web allowed people to make it the UK’s Official Number 1 – something it failed to do when it was originally launched all the way back in 1994 and something that those of you who bought it online will one day have to answer for.

But it does go to prove a point – people are fickle and you shouldn’t be in a rush to kill off anything that still has a role to play in communicating with them. Just because we start the conversation on TV doesn’t mean to say that it has to stop there. If the subject matter is relevant and engaging, people will take it and pass it on.

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3 comments

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