New opportunities for old media?

Paul Springer

Future commentators will have a field day making sense of advertising between 1995 and 2010, as the subject is rich with rapid change on many levels. Accelerated campaign production techniques and the array of new media platforms have eroded a Madison Avenue model of advertising that had been dominant since the 1950s.

Online advertising spend in the UK alone shot up from £5m in 2000 to £620m in 2004 and will exceed £1.5bn by 2008. Such growth is unprecedented, with annual spending on online expected to match the revenues for television, press or outdoor advertising by 2012. Digital communication processes are thought of as more efficient and transparent – returns on investment (ROI) are more easily measurable, making it an easier proposition for marketing departments to justify to procurement directors. So, is there still a role for traditional advertising media such as television commercials and direct mail in modern promotions? And is the mail drop destined to be a remnant of 'cold call' history?