Today, on the CNN Money website, an article was posted announcing that Encyclopedia Britannica plans to stop printing in book form.
(Click for article)
You might not think much of that, but to me it’s an historic moment. I grew up on encyclopedias, spending hours in the library combing through science, history, geography, etc. There was something about the design of the information, interspersed with small photos, which made the information inviting to read and easy to understand. I loved well-crafted print ads and powerfully simple billboards.
As a NJ ad agency owner, I look back fondly to the days I was cutting my teeth on retail print advertising, nearly a decade before Al Gore invented the Internet. Print media had a wonderful permanence to it.
Far from being troubling, this kind of change is exciting
Already I see my younger employees ignoring printed media. They get what little they read from the Internet. Almost everyone in this younger generation claim they don’t read at all.
Our grand-children will have a very different experience with information. While there is a reduction in print media, access to information has never been greater. It’s “always on” and always being updated and clarified. For a ad agency who embraces this kind of relevant access into consumers’ lives, this will truly be an exciting time.
What it means for leading ad agencies, both in NJ and worldwide, is completely and utterly letting go of the past. It’s time to embrace digital now, before the train completely leaves the station. I know a lot of folks in the business who are still fighting this trend. They’re missing out on one of the most epic changes our business has ever experienced.