The past few months already, the term digital has mostly left my vocabulary as an advertising professional. Instead, the preferred word is interactive. Not only because words matter, but considering computational ubiquity is just a few years away (from TV to nano sensors), saying a media is digital is almost an oxymoron.
Interactive goes beyond online communication and starts to explore new frontiers, from outdoor advertising to context sensitive ads (Minority Report, anyone?). Take for instance a shopping center in Portugal, promoting a witchcraft fair with an outdoor taking sensors and measuring the amount of people who walked underneath the ladder.
Would you call this digital? maybe. But interactive it definitely is.
If Leo Burnett did the above being a somewhat traditional agency, you can expect digital agencies to do the same. R/GA is breaking down walls, exploring new areas such as event marketing or data visualization, while creating and producing commercials. But they surely kept their interactive background.
It’s the evolve or die time for digital agencies, and they could start by dropping the digital.
On a side note, the same thing happens regarding ‘social media’. Even if the most experienced web professionals call it ‘social web’, the former has become so popular with the press, that it’s hard to escape from this broadcast view.
Digital or social is not about the media. It’s about how people behave on those channels. Or as it’s often called, culture.