Flick this

The big news today is that Google will be selling ads on TV, as well as radio and print, which they’ve been doing for a while. So long to all those small market media buyers from New Jersey to Nevada, from Portland to Port St. Lucie. It was nice doing business with you.

As we move more and more into the global-digital age, dominating, innovative companies like Google will become mega stores for just about everything. And as the technology becomes more sophisticated there will be less and less need for expensive, specialized media conglomerates like ad agencies and media companies. Just think: you wake up with an idea for a product and rather than actually making the product, you run to the computer and create a graphic model of the concept. With Photoshop and Illustrator you create advertising for the product and with Dreamweaver you create a salespage for the web. You call up Bank of America and set up a merchant account. 4 or 5 hours later you use the same material to create a 30 second spot and you link up to Google where you but air time on Family Guy and The Simpsons. 24 hours after you woke with your big idea you are taking in millions from people buying a product that exists only in your head. Here is the future.

I just read where an Icelandic art student named Rebekka Guoleifsdottir (real name) had inadvertently created a career for herself as a photographer by loading hundreds of images onto the site flickr.com. Using basically snapshots, she starting by posting her drawings on the site. Then she started taking shots of herself and the Icelandic scenery and posting those too. Before long she was graduating from a disposable film camera to a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT, and by incorporating Photoshop into her skill set, this creative but relatively inexperienced artist has just landed a commission from Toyota to shoot a print campaign for the Prius. It seems that the age of the professional artist/artisan is over and the age of the experimental, adventurous amateur has begun.

Who needs an ad agency? For that matter, who needs talent? The skill sets are changing along with the technology, faster than it takes to read this page. You have to keep treading water and try to anticipate the next wave or you’ll drown.

As my friend Roy Gerber used to always say, mostly on the golf course, “better lucky than good.” I might also add, better clever than good.


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