For awhile, I considered whether we could call this annual edition of Ad Age the Post-Digital Issue.
Consider the evidence: Nobody thinks about having digital experiences vs. analog experiences; in fact, we jump between the two without a thought — or, in many cases, we have them simultaneously. How many of you watch TV with a laptop in front of you or walk around with a mini-computer in your pocket? (And have you tried to buy a TV recently? Try finding one that comes sans internet hookup.)
Secondly, we’ve seen a stark evolution in the kinds of companies leading the way in digital success. In the past, as part of our Digital A-List, we’ve honored a Who’s Who of Silicon Valley: Google, Twitter, Hulu, etc. We’ve got a few of those on the list this year, but you’ll also see many more marketers, including Starbucks, Mtn Dew and our cover girl (and arguably the entertainment brand of the year), Lady Gaga. Even one of the Silicon Valley stalwarts on the list, Facebook, is probably more a nod to Procter & Gamble, Honda and Ikea than anything else. It’s a sign, I think, that marketers, too often categorized as slowmoving and digitally challenged, have done a pretty good job embracing the changes that technology has wrought.