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An Online Epiphany at adtech
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An Online Epiphany at adtech

Charlie Buchwalter

, Nielsen Online

Having been to just about every ad:tech show during the last 10 years, I have to say that the show in San Francisco this week was one of the best ever. The Moscone West venue was great, the keynotes were superb, and sat through a number of panels with top-notch panelists and moderators. And there’s nothing better than reconnecting with some of the great friends I’ve made over the years in the interactive space.

The folks at socialmedia.com hosted the ad:tech Chairman’s reception Monday night, and I gave the killer list of attendees an overview of our Global Online Media Landscape” report. Immediately after my presentation, Tina Sharkey (Chairman & Co-Founder of babycenter.com) moderated a great panel discussion. One of the panelists, Carol Kruse, VP of Global Interactive Marketing at Coca Cola, made one of the most memorable comments ever during one of her responses. She was saying that ALL brand managers are doing everything they can to bring digital into their marketing mix.

I asked, “Carol: after the 5,000 or so online effectiveness studies that have been conducted over the last 10 years, and all the online folks whining that marketers aren’t spending more on online, why, all of a sudden, are brand managers at Coke wild about digital?” Of course, I was fully expecting to hear that Coke’s brand managers and researchers are finally responding to online’s performance metrics, which clearly speak for themselves, right?

Well, not quite. Her answer? “It’s really pretty simple. Digital is sexy now. After all, celebrities are all over social media.” As soon as the words came out of her mouth, I knew that Carol was speaking the truth. Many players have worked very hard for years to demonstrate the inherent value of a medium that we’re passionate about. And one gets the sense that after all these years, online has crossed the chasm.

Read more from Charlie Buchwalter and the Nielsen Online team at the Connecting the Dots blog.