Review by Allein Moore
What Jim Aitchison did for print ads, TV commercials and radio spots in the 90s, Josh Sklar has done for digital advertising in publishing his new book ‘Digital Doesn’t Matter’. Bearing in mind the speed of development across the digital platforms, this book may not be relevant for too many years but right now, it is a “must read” for both clients and agency people. Sklar has collect observations and experiences from the people are making the running in digital advertising arena. Because of his time in Asia, this book is peppered with names that many of us in the region will know. My name is not one of them which is a disappointment but not unexpected as I left the agency business before digital took off. As creative director, I was the proud possessor of a semi translucent blue iMac which everyone in the agency admired but bearing in mind the dreadful banner ads and text ads running across the base of feature phones in the early days, I doubt that I would have been an enthusiast for the new digital advertising age.
But many of the slightly younger creative people quoted in this book worked on through the infancy of digital advertising, encouraged by people like Josh Sklar who was an evangelist for the new world. They are now showing brand managers exciting and highly effective ways through digital platforms to engage with the customer.
Look out for quotes by Andy Greenaway, John Lambie, Chris Kyme, Valerie Cheng, Craig Mapleston, Steve Elrick, Peter Moss, Jeff Cheong, Sean Lam, Ken Mandel and several others who worked in Singapore. Alongside these are comments from people like Jeff Goodby, Jim Speelmon, Jon Cook, Joe Zandstra and other prominent figures working in Australia, Canada, UK and the USA.
Unlike, the series from Aitchison, this is not a ‘how to do it’ book. It is a wonderful collection of stories from pioneers in digital advertising and an insight into where we are today from the people who are working at the coal face. It is clear from what they say that the advertising industry is still undergoing major changes internally and tight budgets are not helping development. In my day, the crafting of the ad or commercial was as important as the idea. Craft may currently be taking a back seat, but it is clear from this book that ideas remain a vital ingredient to success in any platform, digital included.
True to his beliefs, Sklar financed this book by crowd sourcing. I hope a traditional publisher picks this up and produces a hardcover version with the illustrations reproduced on a higher quality paper. It deserves better production.