An interesting questions was just posed on Quora: Can digital advertising ever replace traditional advertising? My initial answer started to say ‘yes’ until I realised the distinction is pointless. There is no such thing as traditional advertising; the method of consumption and delivery are constantly changing. Glossy magazines evolved from newsprint and only the fact they have to be printed is similar their styles: reproduction and consumption habits wildly different. Colour was an evolution in print but also in television, as will be high-definition and 3D. Why would we class a broadcast 3D television ad as ‘traditional’ and an image-based banner ad as ‘digital’?
The question assumes that there is an identifiable difference moving forward. Is a digital outdoor screen classed as a traditional billboard or a digital ad? Is a targeted commercial fed to your set top box a traditional television ad or a digital ad? Is an advertisement inserted into the audio stream of your favourite radio station a radio ad or a digital ad? They may be bought and sold in ways that are similar to their “traditional” counterparts but delivered to smaller, segmented audiences by technologies we class as digital. I agree with Chris, the distinction is not really relevant. If a there’s a large image across the railway tracks at the metro station does it matter if somebody’s had to get out there and stick up sheets of paper, if it’s projected and changed every few minutes or if it’s activated in some way by your presence & delivers something relevant to you? It’s still a large image across the tracks. I wonder if the distinction is helpful or a hindrance?
Thoughts? Add them the the Quora discussion.