Despite the availability of all sorts of new media for advertisers to use -- the web, mobile phones, video on demand, and so on -- most don't seem to understand or embrace the real interactivity they allow. All too often, their new-media strategies rely on just reformatting existing old-media advertising, so VOD becomes nothing more than a vehicle to deliver standard TV ads, or the web a place to display smaller versions of print display ads. But slowly, some companies are realizing that instead of just using these media to push their advertising at anybody and everybody they can, they're much better off and their advertising is much more effective when they get individual consumers to pull advertising to themselves. A new breed of ad agencies are convincing companies that this sort of thinking should lead their advertising strategies, and that new media shouldn't be thought about only at the end, after a traditional agency has created the big 30-second TV or magazine ad. One significant difference with these companies is how they bill for their services: they typically tie their fees to growth in their customers' businesses, rather than using the antiquated agency billing model based around retainers, hourly rates and media-buying commissions. As one agency exec says in the original article, this is backwards: traditional agencies are charging high prices for what are commodity services, while undervaluing the creative work that's actually worth a premium. The idea that advertisers need to do more to engage consumers, particularly when using interactive media, certainly aren't new. But with companies increasingly moving their advertising dollars away from television, perhaps they're starting to catch on.
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