South By Southwest is wondering if content will replace traditional Advertising. They're wondering if Don Draper is obsolete...
"From branded entertainment and viral video to native advertising and social media presence, the real innovation, creative energy and money in digital marketing seems headed away from traditional advertising. It is all about content now. Brands are publishers, entertainers, resources. Sponsors don’t interrupt digital media experiences; they help build and enhance them. They need to reach out to niche audiences in countless smaller channels with custom content that is relevant to that consumer. So, is advertising as we know it a relic of 20th century mass media? Is there still room for the big idea in this world of fragmented, personalized experiences? Is Don Draper obsolete?"
Well Don will be fine for a while. He may need to do some personal downsizing, but we're sure he'll still have what it takes to pay for his bourbon and land the "babes" for some time to come.
The key is for the "big idea" to be both mass-marketed and refined to meet the needs of the individual in their personal on-line "micro-moments" as Google describes them. Broadcasted big ideas may move to a reinforcing role in the future, but they still have and will continue to have an important role in the media-mix for some time to come.