The Future of Advertising: Part 1, The Medium

Shanghai to Pudong
Pudong 1990 to 2010


Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending the first ever Square Tomato’s first Brown Bag Lunch. Larry Asher (Owner at School of Visual Concepts and Creative Director at Worker Bees, Inc.) was to speak about his “not-exactly-a-book” book and the future of digital advertising. For me especially, this whole event was a testament to social media, down to the way that I heard about it. The invitation to attend this informal “book talk” at the office in downtown Seattle was extended to me via Square Tomato’s Facebook feed.

This book talk had two parts. The Medium and the Message. I use the phrase “book talk” very loosely here. Yesterday’s presentation was indeed a talk about a book, but also about books, publishing, media and the new changes and challenges we face in the age of nonbooks. A book is a bunch of paper pages bound to a hard cover. A book is a presentation of information and ideas.  With the rising increase of e-books and digital media, we need to stop and examine what a book can be. Newyorker writer, Ken Auletta, says: “If the same book is available in paper and paperless form, Amazon says, forty per cent of its customers order the electronic version.” (Newyorker article) In the case of Do or Die by Clark Kokich, it’s an app, an versatile multi-media, interactive book (App-book Do or Die).

do or die book by Clark Kokich

Larry Asher is one of the brains behind the app-book. He remarked how much the world has changed due to new technology, showing a picture of Pudong (Shanghai) and its transformation after a mere 20 years (1990-2010). He compared that to the Internet and digital media. How people get their news and entertainment is very different from how it was twenty years ago. In 2008, Charlene Li publishes Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies and answers the question: How will we, as companies, survive in this unfamiliar terrain? She discusses how businesses can participate in the new social medium.

Larry Asher and Clark Kokich answer the question: How will we, as advertisers, survive in this unfamiliar terrain?

(Read on to Part 2: The Message)


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