In our industry, we’re accustomed to seeing offline media spawn online. Print magazines produce magazine sites. Banners complement existing TV campaigns. We’ve finally come to a point where the Internet is viewed as its own medium, attracting its own marketing dollars, as opposed to simply an extension of something else. Yet it still turns my head when I hear of a site influencing an offline channel in a meaningful way.
Last week CanWest MediaWorks, parent company of auto classifieds site driving.ca, announced it is producing a TV version of the property called Driving Television. The program is being developed in conjunction with Tencrows Media Group, and its launch represents the creation of the first Canadian automotive resource to be available in online, print, and television.
So CanWest’s newspaper classifieds were transformed into online listings and now those listings are being reinvented for TV. Did the dog wag the tail, or did the tail wag the dog?
It’s interesting to assess the value publishers are placing on different mediums these days. One could argue TV is the dominating channel here based on its historic reputation and reach. You could also suggest print is the prize medium, since its auto classifieds sections started it all. But the truth of the matter is that the Web property is clearly at the core of this trio. It’s driving.ca that consumers flock to. It’s the driving.ca brand they remember. CanWest is even putting episodes of Driving Television on the driving.ca site. What a wonderful testament to the power of online media, no longer a second-class medium.