1. Advertising After the End of Mass Media
by Glen Emerson Morris (from Advertising & Marketing Review
The biggest problem with the end of mass media is that there
is nothing readily available for advertisers to replace it with.
Direct mail has taken up some of the slack, as have a few other
approaches, but they can't replace the attention mass media got
with the public, for one key reason. The creative talent that attracted
a mass audience is missing. top
For over seven decades, radio and TV acted as middlemen between
advertisers and a talent pool of gifted pop musicians, film actors,
directors and other creative talent. With radio and TV rapidly becoming
obsolete, it's up to the advertisers to start developing a direct
relationship with talent in a variety of media. After all, that
was the way it was before mass media.
In the 1920's and 1930's it was not uncommon for companies to sponsor
national tours of dance bands. This practice became so common that
it was difficult for a band to book engagements if they didn't have
a corporate sponsor. (To get around this Lawrence Welk invented
a fictitious company sponsor to get his first bookings. Of course
none of the dance hall booking agents had ever heard of the company
sponsoring his band, but the mere fact that a company was apparently
willing to sponsor his band meant they were good enough to play
It would be very easy for advertisers to try the talent sponsoring
approach again, and given today's technology additional variations
are possible. For instance, a company could sign up a band and carry
live and archived feeds on their Website of each of the bands performances
as they toured across the country. A business could also carry live
and archive concerts from a local concert hall, or for that matter,
a local bar or night club.
There is a very large musical talent pool to draw from. It has been
estimated that non-signed bands are now producing and releasing
twice the quantity of music that the recording industry is on a
To a limited extent, this talent pool is already being tapped by
advertisers. It's not uncommon to hear background music on network
TV commercials that was provided from up and coming bands that haven't
been signed by recording companies. In the future, this will be
happening on a much larger scale. top
Another approach advertisers could take would be to sponsor writers
by publishing books, complete with ads, in Acrobat format online
for free downloading from their company's Website. Over the past
few decades, the publishing industry has created a large pool of
unsigned writers by concentrating on grade A talent at the expense
of grade B talent.
Like the recording industry, the publishing industry decided that
it was much better to have one artist that sold 25 million copies
of something rather than 25 artists that sold a million copies each.
This made good economic sense, at least in the short term, but from
the public's point of view it meant that there was far less variety
available in books and music. It also meant there was less opportunity
for grade B artists and writers to become grade A artists and writers.
And, more importantly for advertisers, it also meant that a great
talent pool was developing with no commercial market to support
Another approach possible in a few years will be for businesses
to offer streaming media of older movies on their Websites, complete
with their own commercials. There are many movies that are considered
too old to be shown on network or cable TV that still have drawing
power with the 50+ demographic segment. Just consider how seldom
films are shown with Cary Grant, James Stewart, Gary Cooper or Bette
Another talent pool advertisers could exploit is the new generation
of movie producers who are making garage movies much like musicians
are making records in their garage, Thanks to advances in digital
video it's becoming possible to produce broadcast quality movies
with just a few thousand dollars of equipment.
A good sample of independently produced films can be seen at the
Website IFILM.com. In their words "IFILM's advanced streaming-media
platform carries the most progressive branding and sponsorship opportunities
available on the Web. Next generation advertising units and integrated
sponsorship programs resonate with the IFILM audience. As the only
place to find and watch movies on the Internet IFILM is uniquely
positioned to tap into the power of a connected, influential and
motivated group of consumers. top
Another option for advertisers not being exploited much is the creation
of audio and video infomercials for their Websites. For decades
advertisers have been limited to making their case in thirty or
sixty seconds. These limits have gone the way of mass media. We
are entering an era where half hour infomercials will be as common
as 30 second spots used to be. If amateurs can make movies in their
garages with almost no budget, companies should be able to produce
cost effective infomercials about their products and post them on
The only factor holding up widespread implementation of these alternatives
to mass media is the relatively slow growth of broadband access
in this country. In some countries access at 25 MB a second is available
for $25.00 a month or less. In the US, access at 1.5 MB a second
goes for around $45.00 a month. Until the US has a truly competitive
Internet access market we can expect to lag behind the rest of the
world in speed and pricing. top
Just as advertisers need to rethink advertising at a fundamental
level, we also need to rethink our country's communications policies
at a fundamental level. We can replace mass media with a solid mass
communications infrastructure, but we're still a long way from having
one. / http://www.admarketreview.com/blog//index.php?module=phpwsbb&PHPWSBB_MAN_OP=view&PHPWS_MAN_ITEMS=9
2. The Future of Advertising is
From: Inc. Magazine, August 2005 | By: David H. Freedman
It's becoming increasingly possible to target "smart ads"
specifically to people who want them. And best of all, you can do
this for a fraction of the price of mass-market.
The world is awash in advertising clutter. For decades
marketers have been spending more and more to try to get their message
out -- only to find their pitches drowned out in a sea of noise
generated by countless other marketers trying to do the same thing.
In effect, companies have been paying big bucks to be ignored. Etc…
3. The Rise of the Consumer-Generated
Media Machine (BY CABLE
NEUHAUS / April 2005 issue)
If you buy the argument
that the end of so-called "traditional media"is just around
the bend, you need look no further than 30-year-old Rafat Ali to
see the (minimally bearded) face of the new order.
4. The End of Advertising and
Media as We Have Known It (Why Tacoda CEO Dave Morgan Thinks Sir Martin Sorrell's
Got it Wrong)
By Dave Morgan, CEO of Tacoda / Published: July 10, 2006
Sir Martin Sorrell, the CEO of WPP and certainly
one of the luminaries of the advertising world, recently penned
an opinion piece on the digital revolution for The (London) Times.
In it, he tried to calm the fears of those in the traditional advertising
business who are uncertain what the internet and the digitization
of media will mean for them, their work and their jobs.
shifting away from advertising, which favors media, to direct marketing
and promotion, which do not,' writes Dave Morgan. 'While this has
been happening for decades, the digital revolution has helped accelerate
the shift. This means less advertising in the future and less money
for media -- all media. That's a reality.' | ALSO: Comment on this
article in the 'Your Opinion' box below.
His thesis? The digital revolution we are experiencing today is
not much different from what the advertising industry experienced
50 years ago with the introduction of television. To him, the Internet
is just one more new medium -- like television was -- and while
it might disrupt the advertising world and advertising agencies
in the short term, the storm will subside, the essence of the advertising
world will endure much as it is today, and the internet will settle
in alongside other media, displacing none of them.
I hope Sir Martin doesn't take too much solace in his own words,
and nor should others working in more traditional roles in the advertising
industry, because he is certainly wrong. The digital revolution
unfolding today is about much more than the introduction of a new
medium into the advertising mix. The web as a medium in which to
place ads is only part of the story. top
There is no question the internet as a medium is quite powerful
-- you only need to have seen any one of the 20 or so cross-media
measurement studies the Interactive Advertising Bureau has conducted
to know that. There's also no question that it's quite pervasive
-- you only need to have seen the new media-audience study from
the Online Publishers Association, which shows that the reach of
the web is now comparable to television, to know that. If this was
all that was going on, Sir Martin's words might have proved correct
Bigger storm coming
The world of advertising is in for a much bigger storm than most
can even imagine. And almost certainly some of the media we know
today will not continue forward. top
Consider, if you will:
Marketers are shifting away from advertising, which favors
media, to direct marketing and promotion, which do not. While
this has been happening for decades, the digital revolution has
helped accelerate the shift. This means less advertising in the
future and less money for media -- all media. That's a reality.
All media are going digital. The digital revolution is not just
impacting the web; it's impacting television, radio, newspapers,
magazines and outdoor. They're all becoming digital in part and
will almost certainly be fully digital within a decade. This will
fundamentally change how they operate. Is a digital magazine still
a paper magazine? Or is it a website or an e-mailed copy? Definitions
and traditional 'siloed' differentiations we use today, such as
magazine or newspaper or television or direct mail, will become
meaningless to most consumers. To them, it will just be news or
information or entertainment or games or great offers. Most folks
in traditional media are not prepared for this -- and they are powerless
to stop it. top
Hyper-competition for all
Markets, media, advertising and marketing are all globalizing thanks
to digital networks and communication. Not only does this mean many
of the boundaries within which advertisers and advertising traditionally
operated are falling away; it also means hyper-competition for everyone,
from the media to the agencies to the clients themselves. Organizations
that have protected their client relationships over the years with
great account management -- though they claimed, of course, that
it was great advertising -- will find themselves in pitched battles
for business with more and more companies that have great teams,
great ideas and great account management. Surviving and succeeding
in service businesses like advertising will require lighter, faster,
nimbler and more flexible approaches. Light, fast, nimble and flexible
are terms not generally used to describe companies in traditional
advertising media. Anyone with a heavy cost structure better watch
Capital markets and business enterprises are becoming more transparent
and more accountable. There was a day when unaccountable advertising
expenditures were taken for granted and no one cared who paid for
the trips to Cannes. Those days are over. Over the past 30 years,
technology has brought accountability to every division of the business
enterprise with the exception of marketing. Finance is digitized.
Manufacturing is digitized. The supply chain is digitized. Distribution
and logistics are digitized. Even human-resource management is digitized.
All of them are accountable in real time for costs and results.
And now, as advertising and media are digitized, they are becoming
accountable too. That means only advertising and media that work
will be funded. And whether they 'work' will be decided by the accountants,
not the chief marketing officers.
Foreign to today's editors
We're now in a consumer-centric world. To consumers, it's "all
about me." This world makes traditional advertising and media
very uncomfortable as they are used to talking to, or shouting at,
consumers. Now, it's about having a conversation, in some cases
with one consumer at a time. This is foreign to almost every editor
and programmer and creative in the business, and is fundamentally
different from how they operate today. Digitization of media and
communication means real-time interactivity and response and conversation
all are possible. Media and advertising that don't embrace this
way of operating -- and for many it's actually physically impossible
-- will go away. Consumers will leave them behind, and marketers
will refuse to fund them.
Sir Martin, the digital revolution is about much more than a new
medium. It is about the beginning of the end of advertising and
media as we have known it. Why? Because that's what consumers and
marketers want. top
5. New-Think Marketing Effort Collides
With Old-Think Media Types
(Philips' 'Simplicity' Campaign:
A Brilliant Creative Standout ) By Jonah Bloom / Published: October 08, 2006
In a(nother) year that's been bereft
of standout U.S. creative, Philips could quite reasonably claim
to have run the best campaign of '06. Simplicity
I am not referring to the shave-your-gooseberries
videos for the Philips Norelco Bodygroom (see shaveeverywhere.com),
although they spread like wildfire, made us laugh and cleared the
shelves of the natty little razor. Rather, I'm talking about the
"Sense and Simplicity" brand campaign in which the creative
excellence is not so much the message, but rather the way it's been
A lot of ink has already been spilled
to explain what Philips has been doing, but allow me to briefly
recap. In short the idea is to embody the simplicity message in
the medium by using Philips' media bucks to improve the consumer
experience. Translating to what? Well, first off, a $2 million sole
sponsorship of CBS's "60 Minutes. "Then there was the
$5 million deal with Time Inc., in which Philips paid to bring the
contents panels in Fortune, Time, People and Business 2.0 to the
first pages of those four magazines.
The consumer experience
There was also a deal with Gourmet
to create a compact 102-page supplement featuring nothing but stories
by well-known authors. Most recently, Philips has been footing the
bill so that visitors to the Wall Street Journal and ESPN websites
can access premium content for free.
Wouldn't it be great if every media
owner applied "Philips thinking" to their brands, regardless
of whether anyone was prepared to pay for it? Sounds like actually-really-care-about-the-consumer
(see also "wishful") thinking. But since the biggest single
problem faced by today's media owners is the finite number of hours
in their audiences' days, it'd surely be a good exercise for all.
Even more than that, however, what
is fascinating about Philips' campaign is how difficult they found
it to persuade media owners to take their money in return for the
execution of some relatively simple concepts. Eric Plaskonos, director
of brand communications at Philips and the brain behind this particular
campaign, heaped praise on the few who could: "CBS, Time Inc.,
Hearst, Conde Nast were willing to do these types of initiatives,"
he said. "It says something about their perspective on the
future of media and that they aren't afraid to try new things in
an effort to bring the best possible product to their consumers."
But he also has painful tales of
executions that were six months in the making, and of others that
never saw the light of day, such as the company's effort to buy
out pre-movie advertising time in theaters and use it to reduce
the length of time theatergoers have to spend watching ads before
they get what they just paid (handsomely) to come and see. Screenvision
"didn't like the ads."
Along with his media agency, Carat,
Plaskonos has been in a number of meetings with media owners in
which executives from different departments were clearly meeting
for the first time: "We've found there's nothing like the 'simplicity'
initiative as a departmental icebreaker. Often sales and other departments
just don't have a strong enough relationship to push through an
He said the business models of
many media owners simply aren't built for marketers who want to
try different things. "Media companies are not as anxious to
deliver ideas as they are their pages, spots and banners. Units
are sold so far in advance that the possibility of turning something
on its head by 'buying out space and/or time' is just not worth
it for the economies of a media company."
That's worrying because there's
nary a marketer left who isn't looking for a bigger, better way
to connect with those media-controlling consumers. I'm willing to
bet that those that can't deliver them because of their silos, retrograde
thinking or formulaic business models are going to find the next
decade very long indeed.
6.Agencies Short on Real Ideas
Should Check Out Edelman.com
Content-Rich Site Informs, Entertains and Sets PR Firm Apart
(By Jonah Bloom / Published: September 24, 2006)
Agencies complain about being commoditized,
yet they do a lot to bring this get-paid-less parity upon themselves.
It's not just their willingness to sell their work for a tuppence
above cost -- although certainly that lubricates the slide toward
sameness; it's the fact that they have marketed themselves (or not)
into a homogenous blob.
A site from which ad agencies can learn
a lot is Edelman.com, featuring a blog and podcast landing page
full of content produced by employees. | ALSO: Comment on this column
in the 'Your Opinion' box below.
I'm often asked which agencies are the strongest right now,
so I try to study up. Yet the more I listen to them or read about
them, the harder it is to answer. Each makes the same capability
claims, and they are all rapidly converging on the same in-demand
hotspots: General-market agencies claim to be digital specialists,
while the interactive specialists claim to be general-market agencies;
direct shops hire creatives, creative shops want data analysts.
Few pin their colors to one strength, process or discipline. Everyone
is multiplatform, client-centric and brand-building -- even those
that clearly aren't.
Studying agency websites
Take a spin around a few agency websites and you'll soon see
what I mean. They've come a long way in a few years in that most
are actually professional-looking and have some depth to them. Leo
Burnett's, in particular, is an original, slick and sticky triumph
-- I challenge you not to get hooked playing with Leo's pencil.
A handful even manage to highlight something that might distinguish
their agency creators from the pack, McCann Worldgroup's Demand
Chain being a notable example.
But taken together the content of the majority of these sites
says: "We don't have a clue how to differentiate ourselves,
so we're going to fall back on some fluffy concepts and jargon."
The number of iterations of "we're the idea agency" is
particularly depressing. Variously they declare their ability to
deliver: "ideas," "big ideas," "catalytic
ideas," "return on ideas," "brand ideas,"
"leading brand ideas," "ideas and ideas" and
"ideas, ideas, ideas."
OK, fair enough. So the business is about ideas. Maybe the
sites differentiate the shops by actually showing those ideas? No
such luck. I found no more than half a dozen examples of ideas worthy
of the name. Several sites linked straight from the "idea"
slug to ads. Ads aren't ideas. A couple did try to illustrate the
nature of an idea they'd had for a marketer, but that led to embarrassments
too -- such as the notion that telling consumers of a candy bar
to "be great" somehow constituted a big brand idea.
So what to do? Well, one big idea for a website ad agencies
could do worse than emulate can be seen at Edelman.com. The independent
global PR shop has turned its site into a blog and podcast landing
page full of content. All the content is produced by employees and
the 17 hosted blogs run the gamut from CEO Richard Edelman's 6am
to Micropersuasion musings from Steve Rubel (who also writes for
Ad Age Digital), from the interesting PR Catalyst from Hoh Kim in
Korea to a video blog shot with a cellphone.
The site, according to traffic research from Alexa.com, is
attracting more than 250,000 visitors a month. That's more than
any of the ad agencies' sites and is even beating up on some trade
publications' online offerings.
Direct to consumer
We already know
that today anyone can be in the content business and that traditional
media owners have lost their lock on audience aggregation. A marketer
or agency can, if it thinks it has the skills, go direct-to-consumer.
And some agencies are getting that, the best of them clearly embracing
a movement toward becoming producers of engaging content, not just
commercials. Yet their sites don't reflect that.
There's nothing to stop an agency from creating a destination
site like Edelman's, a demonstration of content -- beyond the reel
-- that shows it can find and engage people, increasingly the essence
of the agency's function. Or, alternatively, they could all play
it safe and stick to the almost indistinguishable pitch-talk that
populates their pages today.
7. Some Thoughts on Obsolete Business Models
And How Big Agencies Have Done Remarkably Little to Reinvent
Themselves (By Jonah Bloom / Published: February 28, 2006)
Alex Bogusky and Lee Clow were chatting about the future of
the business recently*, when the latter dropped this little bombshell:
TBWA/Chiat/Day, he said, should see itself not as an ad agency,
but rather as a media-arts company.
Jonah Bloom, executive editor of Advertising Age.
Also, Small Agency Blog:
WHY WE NEED GOOD IDEAS, NOT MORE AGENCY LAYERS
Maybe I'm jaded and I've spent too many of my years watching
the higher ups call in the media agency 3 days before the big pitch...
Media arts company
In this ROI-obsessed world, a world in which technology is
bringing us closer to the number-cruncher's holy grail of ads married
directly to a consumer transaction, you have to wonder whether there
is a sustainable business model for a company that creates media
It's not easily measurable, yet weaving brands into culture
in such a way that we no longer know where art finishes and commerce
begins can occasionally yield brilliant brand results -- and would
differentiate an ad shop from its media, direct and interactive
siblings, which are better prepared for the one-to-one, transaction-focused
But I didn't want to wax about Clow's proposal here -- I'm
not privy to his thinking -- so much as point out that the guy responsible
for many great "ads" was prepared to contemplate the reinvention
of a large ad agency as something quite different.
Despite an overwhelming mass of evidence that their business
models are fatally flawed and their service offerings out of step
with many marketers' demands, the biggest agencies have done remarkably
little to substantially reinvent themselves. It doesn't seem to
matter how many of their clients shift projects or even full-scale
brand assignments to smaller, nimbler, flatter structured, less-30-second
centric agencies, the biggest agencies seem reluctant to really
blow up their model.
That's not to say there have been no moves at all. John Dooner's
McCann Erickson has made smart use of Worldgroup to offer a multidisciplinary
approach to marketers' problems; Andrew Robertson's BBDO has shown
willingness to make personnel changes and is evolving from a 30-second-obsessed
agency into a flexible organizer of collaborating Omnicom shops;
and Ogilvy has shifted to a single P&L to eliminate financial
barriers to collaboration among its disciplinary units.
Layers of bureaucracy
But all the big ad agencies still have layers and layers of
bureaucracy, rampant job-title inflation and hundreds of people
whose chief role seems to be managing up. Their product has barely
changed (you could count the genuinely big ideas from the last 12
months on one hand), and I've heard at least three separate first-hand
reports of people within those organizations who've had good non-TV
ideas for a client being told that they'd have to be turned into
TV commercials before they could be pitched.
I've recently been rereading "Re-imagine!," management
guru Tom Peters' brilliant look at the new business order, wrought
in large part by the Internet and which, he says, requires every
modern business to constantly destroy and reinvent itself to survive.
He takes issue with organizations that tweak rather than reinvent:
"MIT Media Lab boss Nicholas Negroponte said: 'Incrementalism
is innovation's worst enemy.' Sad fact: Big organizations, by their
very nature, are addicted to incrementalism ... they seldom make
the changes necessary to deal with a discontinuous environment.
... Most big enterprises that survive a challenge from an upstart
do so as shadows of their former selves. Still alive. Still big.
But no longer the pathfinders."
Lee Clow sounds as if he still wants to be a pathfinder. How
many others do, too?
*Bogusky and Clow, the industry's pre-eminent creatives, had
come together to interview each other as part of the upcoming celebration
of Creativity magazine's 20th anniversary, and you'll be able to
put Lee's remarks in a little more context when their one-on-one
is screened on AdAge.com and Adcritic.com next month.
8. Where are the Revolutionaries? / Published:
October 09, 2006
Talk about a squandered opportunity: Titans of the media
industry turned out to speak at Advertising Week-and had nothing
There was an all-star lineup for many sessions that offered
many worthwhile lessons and tidbits; Tom Schumacher even got the
famously private John Wren to open up. But when push came to shove,
about the most provocative comment made during the industry's recent
confab was Martha Stewart's remark that her lawyer wanted her to
It's a regrettable commentary on an industry supposedly on
the bleeding edge of popular culture, one that gives a lot of lip
service to calls for action and motivating the consumer. And it
is by no means limited to Advertising Week; far too many of the
usual conferences have served up smart speakers who stick to safe
topics and warmed-over case studies.
Whatever happened to the industry's paradigm-shifters? The
advertising world is in the throes of the biggest upheaval since
the advent of TV, and the revolutionaries are nowhere to be found.
Instead, there are predictable arguments from predictable sources:
The old-media mavens espouse the importance of integrated solutions
with new media, and new-media moguls chatter politely about spreading
the wealth with network TV. Just once we'd like to hear a broadcast-booster
bash the whole concept of broadband marketing or the other way around.
At least it would get a decent debate going.
Of course, it takes courage to be an agitator. And that's exactly
what's needed to stimulate an industry on the brink of an entirely
new, if you'll forgive us, advertising age.
At this writing, the Association of National Advertisers' meeting
hasn't convened yet in Orlando-and it will be wrapped up by the
time you're reading this. Without benefit of hindsight, we are hoping
that the reinvention and innovation theme-and a roster including
keynoter A.G. Lafley and big-thinking creative minds such as Russ
Klein and James McDowell-will generate a much-needed provocative
The industry most certainly needs one. / http://adage.com/article?article_id=112383
New Book Reports 37% of All Advertising Is Wasted
Five-Year Research Project Tracked
$1 Billion in Spending by 36 Major Marketers
By Jack Neff / Published: August
CINCINNATI (AdAge.com) -- A new
book by marketing industry veterans Greg Stuart and Rex Briggs details
a five year research project that tracked $1 billion in ad spending
by 36 major marketers and concluded that 37% of all advertising
spending is wasted. The study, overseen by the Advertising Research
Foundation, is believed to be the largest one of its kind ever conducted.
10. But New-Think Marketing Effort
Collides With Old-Think Media Types
(By Jonah Bloom / Published:
October 08, 2006)
In a(nother) year that's been bereft of standout U.S. creative,
Philips could quite reasonably claim to have run the best campaign
Philips' director of brand communications, Eric Plaskonos,
and a visual from a recent company 'Simplicity' event focused on
the theme of 'glow.' | ALSO: Comment on this column in the 'Your
Opinion' box below.
I am not referring to the shave-your-gooseberries videos for
the Philips Norelco Bodygroom (see shaveeverywhere.com), although
they spread like wildfire, made us laugh and cleared the shelves
of the natty little razor. Rather, I'm talking about the "Sense
and Simplicity" brand campaign in which the creative excellence
is not so much the message, but rather the way it's been delivered.
A lot of ink has already been spilled to explain what Philips
has been doing, but allow me to briefly recap. In short the idea
is to embody the simplicity message in the medium by using Philips'
media bucks to improve the consumer experience. Translating to what?
Well, first off, a $2 million sole sponsorship of CBS's "60
Minutes. "Then there was the $5 million deal with Time Inc.,
in which Philips paid to bring the contents panels in Fortune, Time,
People and Business 2.0 to the first pages of those four magazines.
The consumer experience
There was also a deal with Gourmet to create a compact 102-page
supplement featuring nothing but stories by well-known authors.
Most recently, Philips has been footing the bill so that visitors
to the Wall Street Journal and ESPN websites can access premium
content for free.
Wouldn't it be great if every media owner applied "Philips
thinking" to their brands, regardless of whether anyone was
prepared to pay for it? Sounds like actually-really-care-about-the-consumer
(see also "wishful") thinking. But since the biggest single
problem faced by today's media owners is the finite number of hours
in their audiences' days, it'd surely be a good exercise for all.
Even more than that, however, what is fascinating about Philips'
campaign is how difficult they found it to persuade media owners
to take their money in return for the execution of some relatively
simple concepts. Eric Plaskonos, director of brand communications
at Philips and the brain behind this particular campaign, heaped
praise on the few who could: "CBS, Time Inc., Hearst, Conde
Nast were willing to do these types of initiatives," he said.
"It says something about their perspective on the future of
media and that they aren't afraid to try new things in an effort
to bring the best possible product to their consumers."
But he also has painful tales of executions that were six months
in the making, and of others that never saw the light of day, such
as the company's effort to buy out pre-movie advertising time in
theaters and use it to reduce the length of time theatergoers have
to spend watching ads before they get what they just paid (handsomely)
to come and see. Screenvision "didn't like the ads."
Along with his media agency, Carat, Plaskonos has been in a
number of meetings with media owners in which executives from different
departments were clearly meeting for the first time: "We've
found there's nothing like the 'simplicity' initiative as a departmental
icebreaker. Often sales and other departments just don't have a
strong enough relationship to push through an idea."
He said the business models of many media owners simply aren't
built for marketers who want to try different things. "Media
companies are not as anxious to deliver ideas as they are their
pages, spots and banners. Units are sold so far in advance that
the possibility of turning something on its head by 'buying out
space and/or time' is just not worth it for the economies of a media
That's worrying because there's nary a marketer left who isn't
looking for a bigger, better way to connect with those media-controlling
consumers. I'm willing to bet that those that can't deliver them
because of their silos, retrograde thinking or formulaic business
models are going to find the next decade very long indeed.
11. Though Ad Rules are Changing,
You Still Have to be Consistent
(By Rance Crain / Published: May 01, 2006)
Could it be that not only is the media landscape undergoing
fundamental changes but that the basic rules of advertising are
also up for grabs?
I was brought up to think that advertising should implant one
fundamental idea in people's minds (Volvo represents safety; BMW
represents performance). But now some advertisers are saying different
things to different buying segments, with no overall unifying theme.
Larry Light, the former marketing chief at McDonald's, startled
the ad world a couple of years ago when he endorsed a
I was also raised to believe advertising's main job was to
move the merchandise, but these days many advertisers seem to use
it to maintain or achieve premium pricing.
Larry Light, the former marketing chief at McDonald's, startled
the ad world a couple of years ago when he endorsed a "brand
chronicle" concept that seeks to tell as many different stories
in as many ways as it takes to reach McDonald's close to 50 million
customers. "A brand is multidimensional. No one communication,
no one message can tell a whole brand story," Mr. Light told
our AdWatch conference in 2004. The "I'm lovin' it" theme
is just a device that shows up at the end to identify the commercial
as coming from McDonald's and isn't meant to be a statement about
I had to travel to Dubai to hear a very articulate rationale
for advertising's role in premium pricing. Mike Simon, senior VP-corporate
communications at Emirates Group, said advertising for the airline
plays a big role in profitability "because we believe that
brand building is about sustaining price premiums. Sales volume
is less a yardstick of advertising performance-our experience is
that advertising influences price more than sales. And yield improvement
goes straight to the bottom line."
It's one thing for a high-priced airline to use ads to shore
up prices and hence profits, but when high-volume brands like Coca-Cola
start preaching from the same hymnal, maybe there's a trend. Coke's
Chairman-CEO Neville Isdell told The Wall Street Journal that the
company's game plan is to re-energize and modernize Coca-Cola by
bringing out brands like Coke Blak that are high-revenue "but
not necessarily high-volume. That is a different mind-set than where
we have been before."
Volkswagen, in its new series of commercials, seems to be emulating
the McDonald's strategy of appealing to different buyers with different,
unrelated, messages. Whether VW will ever get back to a unifying
theme, like "Drivers Wanted," I don't know, but I've been
told it has lots of new models coming and ads will plug the new
The danger is that VW's disparate ads (or McDonald's, for that
matter) could conflict with one another or turn off buyers who the
ads weren't aimed at.
A former VW exec is worried that the car company is spending
big bucks to promote the GTI, which sells only about 20,000 units
a year. (Maybe VW believes, like Emirates, that advertising influences
price more than sales.)
Volkswagen's first GTI ad was titled "Make friends with
your fast," and Bob Garfield contended that the spot's emphasis
on speed was not responsible. VW's latest, for Jetta, shows in very
graphic terms what happens when the Jetta is hit by another car.
"Safe happens" is the slogan. The point is that Jetta
has the highest government impact rating.
But couldn't some viewers conclude that the Jetta was hit by
the same guy who has made friends with fast in his new GTI? Doesn't
the promotion of speed and the promotion of safety send a mixed
I don't think this is what Larry Light envisioned when he talked
about brand chronicles. I believe he expected all the messages to
at least be on the same page. / http://adage.com/columns/article?article_id=108932
12. Risk Aversion is Risky Business for Marketers and Agencies
Among Other Things, It Makes Advertising Creativity an Endangered
(By Rance Crain / Published: February 23, 2006)
The phrase "risk averse" has been cropping up with
greater frequency as a description of the advertising industry.
Rance Crain, editor in chief, 'Advertising Age'
At our Madison & Vine conference in Los Angeles the other
week, Stephen Berkov, director-marketing for Audi of America, said
that when he returned to the U.S. from overseas assignments he was
surprised at how risk-averse -- and at the same time arrogant --
marketers had become. He said what's needed is to "kill corporate"
-- which was turning into a real-life version of the comic strip
"Dilbert" -- and "resuscitate brands."
And in a recent article The New York Times said alternative
adman Robert M. Greenberg, proprietor of R/GA, "prides himself
on being an iconoclast and a troublemaker in an industry that is
flashy and kinetic on the outside but which has grown conservative
and risk-averse at its core."
An era of great uncertainty
What a depressing state of affairs. For one thing, as a Madison
& Vine panelist put it, we are living through an era "where
great uncertainty reigns," and people and companies are hunkering
down around their core competencies -- which might not be the right
ones for the time. If the "old traditional platforms"
don't work anymore, as another M&V speaker said, nobody is sure
what is going to work, so the temptation is to stick to what used
to produce results.
Another factor is the stock market, which has taken a terrible
toll on America's public companies. It beats them up numerically
for missing their profit numbers every quarter, and even if profits
are up stocks get hammered if the Street doesn't think they're up
enough -- or if management injects the slightest caution about the
So companies have learned not to take chances on things they
can't control, and that includes advertising that tries to break
through the clutter, to break out of the pack.
Creativity, an endangered species
Advertising creativity is an endangered species -- case
in point: the latest Super Bowl ads -- and you can blame it on big
agencies and big companies. Here's why:
The big ad-agency holding companies, being publicly held entities,
are especially adept at going where the money is -- on a long-term,
and more predictable, basis. And contrary to popular opinion, the
money today isn't in 30-second commercials; it's in marketing services,
where the big holding companies now get over half their revenue
But as we heard at our M&V conference, marketers aren't
necessarily looking to ad agencies' traditional lineup to drive
their business, whether 30-second spots or marketing services.
Steve Heyer's ideas
looking for are ways to enhance their brands by giving customers
"behind the ropes" access to places and events that non-customers
don't get to go. So Steve Heyer, head of Starwood Hotels, is enlisting
help from hip partners to differentiate its various hotel brands.
He's having discussions, for instance, with Victoria's Secret about
having fashion shows at W hotels. I didn't hear Steve mention ad
agencies as a source for these ideas.
Maybe marketers are becoming more risk-averse where traditional
advertising is concerned. They don't think it's worth the effort
and risk to pour money into the same old things because the results
don't come with a guarantee.
What worries me most here is that the play-it-safe attitude
of the ad industry is indicative of bigger problems. U.S. companies,
and the U.S. economy, have prospered because they were willing to
take chances. We innovated, we challenged, and the result was perpetual
renewal of our system.
Let's free advertising from the tyranny of trepidation and
13. Global Brands - BusinessWeek/Interbrand rank the companies
that best built their images -- and made them stick
Advertisers who want to reach the Bublitz family
of Montgomery, Ohio, have to leap a lot of hurdles. Telemarketing?
Forget it -- the family of five has Caller ID. The Internet? No
way -- they long ago installed spam and pop-up ad blockers on their
three home computers. Radio? Rudy Bublitz, 47, has noncommercial
satellite radio in his car and in the home. Television? Not likely
-- the family records its favorite shows on TiVo and skips most
ads. "The real beauty is that if we choose to shut advertising
out, we can," Rudy says. "We call the shots with advertisers
The Bublitzes and other ad-zapping consumers like
them pose an enormous challenge these days to marketers trying to
build new brands and nurture old ones. To get a reading on which
brands are succeeding -- and which aren't -- take a look at the
fifth annual BusinessWeek/Interbrand ranking of the 100 most
valuable global brands. The names that gained the most in value
focus ruthlessly on every detail of their brands, honing simple,
cohesive identities that are consistent in every product, in every
market around the world, and in every contact with consumers. (In
the ranking, which is compiled in partnership with brand consultancy
Interbrand Corp., a dollar value is calculated for each brand using
publicly available data, projected profits, and variables such as
The best brand builders are also intensely creative in getting their
message out. Many of the biggest and most established brands, from
Coke to Marlboro, achieved their global heft decades ago by helping
to pioneer the 30-second TV commercial. But it's a different world
now. The monolithic TV networks have splintered into scores of cable
channels, and mass-market publications have given way to special-interest
magazines aimed at smaller groups. Given that fragmentation, it's
not surprising that there's a new generation of brands, including
Amazon.com, eBay, and Starbucks, that have amassed huge global value
with little traditional advertising. They've discovered new ways
to captivate and intrigue consumers. Now the more mature brands
are going to school on the achievements of the upstarts and adapting
the new techniques for themselves.
So how do you build a brand in a world in which consumers are increasingly
in control of the media? The brands that rose to the top of our
ranking all had widely varied marketing arsenals and were able to
unleash different campaigns for different consumers in varied media
almost simultaneously. They wove messages over multiple media channels
and blurred the lines between ads and entertainment. As a result,
these brands can be found in a host of new venues: the Web, live
events, cell phones, and handheld computers. An intrepid few have
even infiltrated digital videorecorders, devices that are feared
throughout the marketing world as the ultimate tool for enabling
consumers to block unwanted TV ads. top
Some marketers have worked to make their brand messages so enjoyable
that consumers might see them as entertainment instead of an intrusion.
When leading brands are seen on TV they're apt to have their own
co-starring roles -- as No. 9 Toyota Motor Corp. did in reality
show The Contender -- rather than just lending support during
the commercial breaks. All are trying to create a stronger bond
with the consumer. Take No. 41 Apple Computer Corp., which last
fall launched a special iPod MP3 player in partnership with band
U2. Not only did the "U2 iPod" say "U2" on the
front and have band signatures etched into the back, but the band
starred in a TV ad and buyers got $50 off a download of 400 U2 songs.
No. 8 McDonald's Corp.'s sponsorship of a tour by R&B group
Destiny's Child means that fans who want access to exclusive video
and news content about the band have to click first on the company's
Web site. "It's hard here to tell where the brand message ends
and where the entertainment and content begins," says Ryan
Barker, director of brand strategy at consultancy The Knowledge
It's no accident that most of the companies with the biggest increases
in brand value in the 2005 ranking operate as single brands everywhere
in the world. Global marketing used to mean crafting a new name
and identity for each local market. America's No. 1 laundry detergent,
Tide, is called Ariel in Europe, for example. The goal today for
many, though, is to create consistency and impact, both of which
are a lot easier to manage with a single worldwide identity. It's
also a more efficient approach, since the same strategy can be used
everywhere. An eBay shopper in Paris, France, sees the same screen
as someone logging in from Paris, Texas. Only the language is different.
Global banks HSBC, No. 29, which posted a 20% increase in brand
value, and No. 44 UBS, up 16%, use the same advertising pitches
around the world. "Given how hard the consumer is to reach
today, a strong and unified brand message is increasingly becoming
the only way to break through," says Jan Lindemann, Interbrand's
managing director, who directed the Top 100 Brands ranking.
Possibly no brand has done a better job of mining the potential
of these new brand-building principles than Korean consumer electronics
manufacturer Samsung Electronics Co. Less than a decade ago, it
was a maker of lower-end consumer electronics under a handful of
brand names including Wiseview, Tantus, and Yepp, none of which
meant much to consumers. Figuring that its only shot at moving up
the value chain was to build a stronger identity, the company ditched
its other brands to put all its resources behind the Samsung name.
Then it focused on building a more upscale image through better
quality, design, and innovation. top
Beginning in 2001, the newly defined Samsung came out with a line
of top-notch mobile phones and digital TVs, products that showed
off the company's technical prowess. By vaulting the quality of
its offerings above the competition in those areas, Samsung figured
it could boost the overall perception of the brand. Besides, consumers
form especially strong bonds with cell phones and TVs. Most people
carry their mobile phones with them everywhere, while their TV is
the center of the family room. "We wanted the brand in users'
presence 24/7," says Peter Weedfald, head of Samsung's North
American marketing and consumer electronics unit.
Now that strategy is paying off. Over the past five years, No. 20
Samsung has posted the biggest gain in value of any Global 100 brand,
with a 186% surge. Even sweeter, last year Samsung surpassed No.
28 Sony, a far more entrenched rival that once owned the electronics
category, in overall brand value. Now, in a nod to Samsung, Korean
electronics concern LG Electronics Inc. has followed its rival's
playbook. Cracking this year's global list for the first time at
No. 97, LG has also sought to elevate its product under a single
brand led by phones and TVs. top
Some of the older brands in our ranking are clearly struggling to
remake their marketing and product mix for a more complex world.
This year's biggest losers in brand value include Sony (down 16%),
Volkswagen (down 12%), and Levi's (down 11%). VW acknowledges its
brand value slippage. "Volkswagen is well aware of the current
deficiencies," says VW brand chief Wolfgang Bernhard. Sony,
which disputes that it is losing brand value, has suffered from
an innovation drought. The electronics giant pioneered the Walkman,
but left Apple to revolutionize portable MP3 players, as well as
digital downloading and organizing of music. Meanwhile, Sony's moves
into films and music put it into areas where its brand adds no value.
Worse, those acquisitions made Sony a competitor with other content
providers. That, notes Samsung's Weedfald, gives his company an
advantage in linking to the hottest music and movies. Samsung, for
example, is lead sponsor of this summer's much-hyped movie, The
Fantastic Four, in which a variety of Samsung gadgets play a
part. VW faces different problems. It has attempted to move upmarket
with the luxury Touareg sport-utility vehicle and Phaeton sedan
models; but that has left car buyers, who associate VW with zippy,
affordable cars, confused. Similarly, Levi's introduction of its
less pricey Levi's Signature line in discount stores means it now
competes on price at the low end, while trying to fend off rivals
like Diesel at the upper end with its core "red tab" brand.
Of course, defining the essence of a brand is only part of the battle.
Communicating it to the consumer is the other. On this front, there
has clearly been a divide between newer brands that use traditional
advertising as just one tool in an overall marketing plan and older
ones that grew up with it. Sony, for example, far outspends Samsung
on traditional advertising in the U.S. on electronics products.
(Samsung advertises on TV only during the last six months of the
year, its peak sales period.) Many young brands that scored big
gains in value, like Google, Yahoo!, and eBay, depend on their own
interactive Web sites to shout about their brands. top
Now some older brands, like Coke, ranked No. 1 in overall brand
value, and McDonald's are decreasing traditional ad spending. In
the past four years, McDonald's has cut TV advertising from 80%
of its ad budget to 50%. Most of the shift has gone to online advertising.
What's evolving, then, is a model in which most brand builders use
a variety of marketing channels. HSBC has branded taxis to carry
customers for free. And although eBay spends most of its marketing
budget on Internet advertising, it also relies on TV to some extent
to boost simple brand awareness. "With fragmentation and ad
evasion, you can't count on one medium," says Tom Cotton, president
of Conductor, a branding strategy firm.
Marketers who do turn to TV are trying to make brand messages as
engrossing as the programming. Last year Toyota, whose brand value
rose 10%, paid $16 million to have its vehicles be part of the storyline
on NBC reality show The Contender, about small-time boxers
competing for a nationally televised bout. The grand prize: a million
dollars and a Toyota truck. Rival Nissan, up 13%, has been parking
its Titan pickups on Wisteria Lane in hit ABC show Desperate
Housewives. The trucks will also ride into the new Dukes
of Hazzard movie this month. top
Nor are TV and movies the only target. No. 1 Coke, McDonald's, No.
88 Smirnoff, No. 16 BMW, No. 23 Pepsi, and No. 61 KFC are among
brands striking deals to plant their brands in video games and even
song lyrics. Deborah Wahl-Meyer, who headed Toyota marketing until
recently moving to the company's Lexus division, says both divisions
attempt to seed magazine and newspaper articles with vehicle references
and pictures. "We have to be more a part of what people are
watching and reading instead of being in between what people are
watching and reading," Meyer says.
In an echo of Procter & Gamble Co.'s creation of the soap opera
on radio and then TV, some brand builders are taking control of
the programming themselves and creating content that tries to draw
in ad-allergic consumers. BMW, whose brand value rose 8% over the
past year, turned out a series of popular short films on the Internet
starting in 2001. The seven-to-ten minute films starred BMW cars
and were produced by A-list Hollywood directors like John Woo. The
German auto maker has moved onto comic books based on the films
aimed at Bimmer-aspiring teens and adults alike. "It's imperative
to create media destinations that don't look like advertising,"
says James McDowell, who headed marketing for the BMW brand before
recently taking over as chief of the parent company's MINI USA business.
BMW has also embraced the enemy, TiVo, the television-top gadget
that consumers use to skip ads altogether. Since last year, BMW
has produced short films and long-form ads accessible through TiVo's
main menu page. BMW fans are alerted to the films in the on-demand
video menu when a BMW ad runs.
Such old-line brands as No. 14 American Express Co. are heading
down the entertainment path, too. Tipping its hat to BMW, AmEx ran
long-form Internet ads/films starring Jerry Seinfeld last year that
succeeded in drawing consumers to its Web site and Webcasted concerts.
AmEx Chief Marketing Officer John Hayes says flatly: "Brands
are not being built on [traditional] advertising." top
Still, none of these marketing ploys are sure bets in a world where
old-school advertising means less. That's why more marketers are
investing in design as a fundamental way to distinguish their brands
and to stay on the leading edge of technology. "Design isn't
just the promise of a brand, like TV advertising -- it's the reality
of it," says Marc Gobe, chief executive of design consultancy
Desgrippes Gobe. Samsung has tripled its global design staff to
400 over the past five years. No. 73 Motorola, whose brand value
rose 11%, and No. 53 Philips Electronics have boosted design spending.
The move sparked the launch of Motorola's hot-selling Razr phone,
the thinnest flip phone ever made. No. 85 Nissan gained 13% last
year on a wave of bold designs, like its curvy Murano SUV and Altima
sedan, as the Japanese company differentiates itself from Toyota
and Honda through design rather than quality.
Good design implies more than just good looks. It's also about ease
of use. Apple demonstrated this with its iPod. Users can pick songs
or download music from the iTunes music bank with the swipe of a
finger. That's blunted sales of Sony's Walkman MP3 player, which
has been criticized as too cumbersome. Design can also mean sound.
Samsung insists that all its products make the same reassuring tone
when turned on. The Samsung tone is even being used in some advertising.
"We want to have the same sound, look, and feel throughout
our products so it all works toward one Samsung brand," says
Gregory Lee, Samsung's global marketing chief.
The era of building brands namely through mass media advertising
is over. The predominant thinking of the world's most successful
brand builders these days is not so much the old game of reach (how
many consumers see my ad) and frequency (how often do they see it),
but rather finding ways to get consumers to invite brands into their
lives. The mass media won't disappear as a tool. But smart companies
see the game today as making bold statements in design and wooing
consumers by integrating messages so closely into entertainment
that the two are all but indistinguishable. top http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_31/b3945098.htm
14. Consumers Rebel Against Marketers'
30 Top Industry Execs Gather to Discuss 'Opinion Fatigue' Crisis (By Jack Neff / Published: October 02, 2006)
CINCINNATI (AdAge.com) -- Market researchers want Rob Pairan,
but he doesn't want them.
The Cincinnati administrative assistant gets two to three market-research
calls weekly at home, and he's fed up. Usually he ends the call quickly. "Sometimes, when I'm in the mood,
I toy with them a little," he said. "I pretend I don't
understand what product they're talking about." Research authorities say the unwillingness of so many consumers
to participate in surveys makes it increasingly difficult and costly
to get accurate data for
the country's top marketers. | ALSO: Comment on this article
in the 'Your Opinion' box below.
He's part of a growing nightmare for marketers-consumers with
opinion fatigue who reject almost all attempts at polling. It's
a problem so big it brought 30 of the top executives in market research
to Chicago on Sept. 28 for a roundtable at the Research Industry
Summit for Improving Respondent Cooperation. The gathering was hosted
by the Institute for International Research in cooperation
with RFL Communications, publisher of Research Business Report,
There, the heads of the five leading global research companies
and top research executives from the likes of Procter & Gamble
Co., General Motors Corp., IBM and McDonald's for four hours hashed
over a problem stunning in its scope, if uncertain in its impact.
After all, no one really knows whether people who don't answer
surveys are similar to those who do, because they don't answer surveys.
But the industry does know nonrespondents tend to be disproportionately
male, black, Hispanic and young (30% of households headed by consumers
25 and younger now only have cellphones and are impossible or highly
expensive to reach by phone).
Response rates under 10%
Though no truly global figures are available, almost every
researcher has seen participation erode in recent years, with rates
under 10% increasingly common. Surveys tend to poll the same people
over and over, often "professional respondents" who go
hunting for research for dollars.
Just 0.25% of the population supplies 32% of responses to online
surveys, said Simon Chadwick, former head of NOP Research in the
U.K. and now principal of Cambiar, a Phoenix consultancy, citing
research by ComScore Networks. More broadly, he said, 50% of all
survey responses come from less than 5% of the population.
That leaves lingering suspicions that survey research may be
getting less reliable. "We're perpetuating a fraud," Mr.
Yet when ComScore presented its findings that only a thin slice
of the population accounted for the majority of research, it couldn't
sell marketers on paying more for a panel free of professional respondents,
said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of ComScore.
"It's like the hole in the ozone layer," said Shari
Morwood, VP-worldwide market research at IBM. "Everyone knows
it's a growing problem. But they just ignore it and go on to the
Not all marketers think it's a problem. "A low response
doesn't necessarily lead to a biased response," said Michelle
Salazar, VP-global brand and business research at McDonald's.
'We don't know'"You may be right, but we don't know,"
said Jim Lochrie, general director-North American marketing research
at GM. The automaker can consistently get the same results from
two surveys, he said, but that doesn't mean both aren't biased the
P&G can't always get even that much reliability, despite
spreading $200 million among 600 vendors who do its survey-related
research. Kim Dedeker, VP-consumer and market knowledge at P&G,
presented one example in which online and mail surveys on an instant-coffee
concept came up with diametrical results.
"If I had only had the online result in this particular
case, I would have taken a bad decision right to the top management,"
In another case, two surveys a week apart by the same online
researcher yielded different recommendations. "We're having
tremendous issues moving from concept to launch," Ms. Dedeker
said. Research that qualifies projects for millions of dollars in
advertising and capital investment sometimes is contradicted by
other studies just before rollout.
While she was careful not to blame online research or specific
vendors, she said the problems boil down to "the integrity
and methodology," with respondent-participation problems one
possible factor. "I'm not sure we're aligned on the nature
of the disease we're treating," she said.
Nor were participants aligned on a solution. Online research
-- once touted as a way to improve respondent cooperation -- now
may be making it worse. While it's easier to respond to online surveys,
it's also easier to crank them out, leading more consumers to tune
them out, said Patrick Glaser, director-respondent cooperation for
the Council for Marketing and Opinion Research.
Bill Lipner, chairman-CEO of Insight Express, suggested a $50
million industry war chest to market the importance of participating
in market research, which several participants said would be impossible
to raise and possibly ineffective.
VNU's Nielsen Media Research has actually seen respondent rates
rise from 36% to 45% the past five years, said Paul Donato, chief
research officer. That's largely because it pays respondents handsomely
for their two-year commitments -- so handsomely that Mr. Donato
acknowledged that some on the Media Research Council think it may
bias results -- allowing panelists to buy cable subscriptions and
Ironically, no one in a roomful of market researchers suggested
researching what might best persuade nonrespondents to participate,
though Dennis Murphy, VP of the technology practice at Directions
Research, said it's time to find out how different nonresponders
really are from responders -- something largely neglected since
Several participants suggested making surveys shorter and less
cumbersome. Mr. Pairan said he'll sometimes answer surveys -- up
to three questions. After that, he tells the researcher his doorbell
is ringing and hangs up.
Copyright © 1992-2006 Crain Communications
15. Media Is Dead! Content Is
Dethroned! Passion Rules! (Commentary
/ by Jim Nail, Monday, Apr 17, 2006)
THE RECENT "NIGHT OF THE Media Heavyweights" event
in New York City was notable for one dramatic shift: the "heavyweights"
- supposedly representing individual media including TV, radio,
newspaper, and magazines - couldn't say enough to promote their
Web and interactive properties. But as they strayed from defending
the "medium" they were invited to represent, it appears
to me an admission that the idea of a company building a business
on a single medium is dead. So if they are not in the newspaper
or magazine publishing business, or the broadcast business, what
business are they in?
Well, it's been said often that "content is king."
But Mike Shaw, president of ABC Networks Sales & Marketing,
seemed to belie this old saw.
He waxed eloquent about the quality of talent and creativity
of today's network programming creating a "Golden Age of television."
But he quickly abandoned television programming to pitch the "Lost
Experience," an Internet-only extension of the program "Lost,"
which will bridge the summer rerun season, keeping fans involved
with the plot and characters until the fall season brings new primetime
episodes. He seemed to admit that great content alone isn't sufficient.
At the risk of stating the obvious - or perhaps of going "back
to the future" - these companies are really in the business
of building an audience.
What has changed is that technology has changed what an audience
expects of its media and content. The interactivity of the Internet
version 1.0 has taught viewers that content isn't limited to a page
or 30 minutes, but should continue as long as they are interested.
The social characteristics of Web 2.0 have taught them that they
should have control to direct the experience for themselves and
engage with other like-minded individuals to discuss and debate
This all comes together in what was perhaps the most common
word heard all night (well, second to Internet): "engagement."
Cable TV engages with its audience around food, home remodeling,
history and other topics. Magazines engage their readers around
family issues, news, health, beauty, hobbies, etc. Newspapers engage
their readers around connections to their local community. Network
TV engages viewers with the cliffhanging drama or compelling characters
At the heart of engagement is passion. The passion consumers
feel about a particular topic, hobby, art form, celebrity, etc.
These "passion groups," as MediaVest calls them, gather
around myriad topics.
So the value creation strategies for future "media"
companies won't be about how to put ink more efficiently on dead
trees, or "owning" a geographic market through a government
license. They will be about finding and activating the passions
in a group of individuals, then giving them multiple ways to indulge
that passion to the hilt. In giving consumers more of what they
want, the media companies get more of what they want: a share of
consumers' time and attention that they can monetize with marketers.
Passion rules. Content must do its bidding. And media
must bend to the will of the cruelest master of all: the consumer!
Jim Nail is chief strategy and marketing officer for Cymfony
(www.cymfony.com), a company that organizes and interprets consumer-generated
and mainstream media content.
'Mass Media Marketing is Over'
McDonald's marketing chief has a wake-up
call for the networks. "The time has come for us to agree
that mass media marketing is over," said Larry Light. McDonalds
is shifting dollars to cable TV and the Internet. "We're asking
media to come to us with creative ideas," he said. "Just
like the (advertising) agencies compete, why don't media compete?"
Advertising is Dead?
A quick look at McDonald's stock market chart for the past 5 years shows that they are down $10 per share. During
this time McDonald's has continued to do the same old mass advertising
spending over $600 million annually on its advertising budget.
Where's the return? There isn't any. They've managed to spend enough money to run
a small country only to become completely irrelevant. If McDonald's
can't find a way to throw enough money at mass media advertising
to improve its image, earnings, and profits why would any other
company think they should do the same? Now's the time to shift your
focus and find ways to take advantage of the new emarketing environment.
Technology is changing marketing, making it cheaper, faster, and
more focused. This is something none of us could have imagined before
The End of Mass Marketing / http://www.cmomagazine.com/analyst/022405_forrester.html
Mass advertising is Dead – Mcdonalds
17. Why Hollywood Studios Are Upending
Spending Billions in Play as Lions Gate,
Fox Seek Future - Forward Media Agencies By T.L. Stanley and Alice Z.
Cuneo / Published: September 04, 2006
LOS ANGELES (AdAge.com)
-- The rapidly evolving media landscape is shaking Hollywood
as two major film studios put their hefty media accounts into review
and another hires -- and dumps -- its agency in less than six months
As more dollars flow from traditional
media to web, video on demand and wireless platforms, News Corp.'s
20th Century Fox has thrown its $1 billion media business up for
grabs as it consolidates most of its worldwide account at a single
global agency. MindShare has handled the majority of Fox's buying.
Lions Gate Entertainment, one of the few remaining independents,
is searching for a new shop for its $130 million account after working
with Palisades Media Group for seven years. And MGM, trying to make
a comeback, hired Palisades for its $90 million account in March
only to abruptly switch to RPA this summer, according to executives
familiar with the matter.
Guides for new-media options
The moves come as the studios, like most marketers, seek out agencies
to guide them through the maze of new-media options. "It's
a wake-up call," said Christian Anthony, chairman and co-CEO
of Special Ops Media, an interactive agency that works with DreamWorks
SKG, MTV, Miramax, Focus Features and others. "The space is
so dynamic that you have to constantly revisit how you address it." top
Marketers "used to want the agency with the clout to get them
a 30-second spot on 'Desperate Housewives,'" said Dennis Miller,
general partner at Spark Capital, a venture-capital firm focused
on media and technology. "Now they're talking about things
like contextual advertising and search-engine optimization."
In fact, although there are no exact figures, Frank N. Magid Associates
managing partner Mike Vorhaus estimates that entertainment companies'
internet spending is up anywhere from 5% to 20%.
A studio's 25 brands
"The studios are launching 25 movies a year, and each one is
a brand with a very short shelf life," said Bill Cella, chairman-CEO
of Magna Global Worldwide. "They have to figure out how to
hit the target in a very short time." Network and cable TV
are still vitally important, but so are viral marketing, online
and emerging media. "The studios are trying to find different
ways to market themselves," he said. top
Crew Creative, a Hollywood ad agency that works with HBO, Universal,
Sony, Warner Bros. and others, said its clients have increased online
spending 25% this year, though with funds diverted from other media,
not new money. "We've had clients tell us to stop building
print ads in midstream because they wanted to redirect the money
to online," said Damon Wolf, a founder. "Everyone's getting
bolder because online doesn't just appeal to niche audiences anymore."
Brad Agate, senior VP-research, Horizon Media, said changes in the
movie business -- flat DVD sales, competition from Netflix and burgeoning
download services -- might be among the causes for the media upheavals.
Media shops' crystal ball
The studios may be trying to see "which media shops have vision
about what the industry will be like in five to 10 years,"
he said. top
Pam McNeely, senior VP-group media director, Dailey & Associates,
Los Angeles, said the recent media reviews are emblematic of the
highly competitive environment. "When a movie doesn't do well,
the producer blames the marketing department and the marketing department
blames the agency." / http://adage.com/mediaworks/article?article_id=111663
Entrepreneur Magazine / Checks like these will give you some idea how your advertising and marketing program is working.
Be aware, however, that you can’t expect immediate results from
an ad. Especially with small ads—the type most entrepreneurs are
likely to be running—you need to give the reader a “getting to know
you” period during which he gets to feel comfortable with your business.
study showed that an ad from a new company has to be noticed by
a prospect a total of nine times before that prospect becomes a
customer. The bad news: Two out of every three times you expose
a prospect to your marketing message, it’s ignored. That means you
have to expose a customer to your message an average of 27 times
before he or she will buy. Evaluate an ad’s cost-effectiveness,
too. Consider the CPM. A cheaper ad is no bargain if it doesn’t
reach many of your prospects.
19. At Advertising
Week, All Hail Fragmentation
By Zachary Rodgers | September 30, 2005
Realizing you have a problem is the first and most important moment in
the recovery process of any addict.
it was with traditional agency executives at Advertising Week in
New York, where digital media and the deep strategy shift it requires
dominated a large number of keynote and panel events -- rather than
appearing as a bullet point in more general discussions of advertising,
as it has tended to in recent years. In session after session, agency
execs conjured up the specter of fragmentation with a relish verging
on emotional catharsis.
agency has to be a more collaborative, communicative organization,"
enthused Mark Rosenthal, CEO of media operations for the ailing
Interpublic Group, during a session at the MIXX conference in Times
Square. "New kinds of internal incentive plans to socialize
this behavior are crucial. The agency of 2010 has to provide total
transparency. How else can you talk to the Internet generation?"
his address on Tuesday morning, R/GA Chairman Bob Greenberg called
the holding company model "seriously broken," and even
agency execs working within the mega-agency groups appear to agree.
Ron Berger, CEO and COO of Euro RSCG Worldwide, called for the reuniting
of media and creative. And Publicis CEO Maurice Levy said the account
manager of the future will act as a bridge between creative and
will have one single navigator coordinating the work of the media
agency and the creative agency," said Levy. "I think that
when digitization and the Internet and cell phones become the core
of what we are doing, it will change the lives of advertising agencies....
The most exciting challenge is to reinvent ourselves, to reinvent
the way we are working, to groom new talent, and to think differently.
We are at a crossroads."
Verklin, CEO of Carat Americas, used more than 10 minutes of his
Wednesday morning address to paint the picture of a bumbling expectant
father named Rob who uses Internet, TiVo and content tagging to
respond to his wife's emotional needs while accepting several super-targeted
marketing offers along the way.
are now, ladies and gentlemen, advertising to the interested. We
are no longer trying to bludgeon... with advertising," said
was the speaker who did not comment on the primacy of media strategy.
Verklin, Levy and IPG's Rosenthal all said that for the agency that
positions itself as an expert in consumer behavior, fragmentation
and consumer control are marvelous opportunities.
the topic of ad-skipping, Levy said, "It is not a problem.
It's a big issue, but it is not a problem. The more there are issues
of this kind, the more the knowledge we have of the consumer is
something that will help make our service indispensable to help
advertisers get over to the consumer."
a little tough to tell who's walking the talk, but some holding
companies are clearly in stronger positions than others. Aegis counts
many top digital marketing holdings -- including iProspect and Carat
Fusion -- among its units. Publicis meanwhile has Starcom MediaVest.
argued that the holding company model is not broken, and that big
holding companies have a special advantage when it comes to breaking
into emerging markets, such as India and China. In these places,
he said, local upstart agencies have virtually no shot at the bigger
who recently became chairman of the agency's Asia-Pacific operation,
would likely agree.
an apparent future and not looking at Asia seems at odds to me,"
he said. "Our industry's not dying… It's evolving and it's
growing. We're seeing reforestation. We're not seeing the creeping
in of the desert landscape in advertising."
20. The Future of Advertising:
Implications for Marketing and Media
Booz Allen's experts reflect on the trends that shaped the
media industry in 2005 and offer their perspective on the year ahead.
Throughout 2005, Booz Allen engaged in a dialogue on the Future
of Advertising with Fortune 500 CMOs and senior media and entertainment
executives. From these conversations, our client work, and research
we've conducted with the Association of National Advertisers (ANA),
it has become abundantly clear that shifts in consumer, marketer,
and media behavior have passed a tipping point.
We expect 2006 to open a widening gap between those marketers
and media companies that know how to engage an increasingly "in-control" topconsumer—and those that do not.
Most companies have long since accepted that their world has
changed and that they need to get more personal, digital, and interactive
in their marketing and media mix. But the true leaders are those
already taking action to ensure they are positioned to win in this
new environment. They are investing today in assets and capabilities
that will effectively reinvent brand marketing and ad sales as we
Who is the central catalyst in this transformation? An emerging
class of "Super CMOs," who are building new integrated
marketing models that are more ROI-focused, multi-platform, and
targeted than ever before.
In this overview, we offer our perspective on how these developments
will reshape media and marketing, and what companies can do today
to prosper moving forward. To read the full Booz Allen analysis,
download the PDF "The Future of Advertising: Implications for
Marketing and Media."
Overview posted January 2006 / http://www.boozallen.com/industries/industries_article/1077807?lpid=660156
21. When Things
were Easier for Marketers
by Nigel Morris, October 2005 issue
ADVERTISING. THE VERY WORD SUMMONS up a different time, in the second
half of the last century, when things were much simpler. The Western
economies, led by America, built a new world on the promise of plenty. Back then, things were easier for marketers. People in the
postwar world were enthralled with a new technology: television.
Soon there was a glowing orb in every living
room, delivering the promise of a better world, a better life --
or at least a life full of wonderful new products. Advertising was
at the heart of this phenomenon. Television delivered mass audiences
to manufacturers, who became experts at making products into brands.
Advertising suffused those brands with promise and made them an
integral part of a new consumer-focused culture. Television was
also cheap. If, as the old cliché goes, 50 percent of your money
was wasted, who cared: The other 50 percent was pure gold. top
Of course, during the preeminence of scheduled
TV, there were other media as well newspapers, outdoor, direct mail,
and milk-bottle tops. All had successes and a role in the advertising
model, but they didn't drive it. Television did. Then came a series
of technologies that broke the stranglehold of the television-based
model. There was the vcr and the remote control, then the explosion
of channels through cable and satellite. Now it's digital television
bringing more channels together with interactivity, and digital
video recorders, the final death knell for scheduled TV.
Today the whole media mechanism is broken.
I'll paraphrase John Hayes, chief marketing officer of American
Express, who says, "For what other product or service would
you pay more to get less?" And this isn't an anomaly or blip,
but a 20-year trend. The convergence of digital tv, broadband Internet,
and mobile is creating a media that is portable, individual, on-demand,
and always on. It's my media, not a broadcaster's, say consumers. top
And if they don't like what they see, they'll
create their own -- blogs instead of newspapers, vlogs instead of
programs, podcasts instead of radio. If advertising isn't dead yet,
then the form of advertising that ruled the second half of the last
century is all but dead -- and the advertising industry will follow.
Things are going to be messy. But in a world where content is separated
from the constraints of time, of place, and of format or platform,
then search functionality will run across all media and be a key
gateway to the consumer.
Of course content will be critically important,
but notions of content are changing all the time. Brands will need
to get more involved, but carefully and sensitively, and for a reason.
Relevance will be increasingly important. And the key element will
be time. Advertising was about grabbing consumers' attention at
a moment in time, but marketing communications will be about creating
touchpoints, experiences, or environments where brands spend time
with people who do, or may, use their products or services. It is
about quality time. I'm not sure what this phenomenon will be called,
but it is different and it's a lot tougher. I do believe that linear
storytelling as a form will be less and less effective.
The more touchpoints there are and the more
interactive the messaging strategy, the more likely it will be to
connect with people and to be effective. And what constitutes effectiveness
will be transformed. The fact that you've supposedly reached a percentage
of the population a certain number of times will be meaningless.
The ultimate test of the industry will be measured on whether people
actually did something --even, heaven forbid, if they bought something.
It will be a challenge for all involved, but ultimately it may be
more rewarding for all -- consumers, marketers, and even we who
are in advertising. top
Nigel Morris is CEO of Aegis' Isobar. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Your Marketing $ucks
July 24, 2003 By
Jonathan Jackson / 235pp. New York: Crown Business. $24.00.
In a sense, this was a book that had to be written. As the
economy, and along with it the marketing business, spirals to new
depths there is an understandable desire to reexamine all conventional
wisdom. Those marketing tactics that worked so well when times were
good are now suspect. And with good reason.
As Mark Stevens lays
bare in his insightful new book, much of the accepted thinking about
advertising is just plain wrong. Of course the title suggests that
Stevens feels warmly in the matter, but his premise is absolutely
correct. The sacred cows of marketing must be slain.
Let's start with the notion that marketing that doesn't produce
sales is still somehow effective. Anyone who has dealt with the
brahmins of Madison Avenue will hear this all the time. Yes, they
will admit, sales haven't increased but we've increased your "share
of mind" among consumers so let's keep the campaign going.
Stevens rightly tells us that it would be faster and simpler to
simply shovel the money out the window.
Another favorite canard is the awards game. We realize this
ad hasn't done anything for your bottom line, the creative team
will admit, but the good news is that we've just won a Clio. Run,
as fast as you can, away from this agency Stevens advises.
Of course much of this foolery is not a recent phenomenon but
started in better times when marketing budgets swelled and sales
were virtually guaranteed. It is no surprise that many of the towering
figures in modern advertising, like David Ogilvy and Rosser Reeves,
came of age in during the great post-war era of prosperity.
Unfortunately, that heady mindset stayed in the ad business
for decades to come and failed to acknowledge the changing realities
of the marketplace.
Not content to merely take potshots at the big agencies, as
valid as those criticisms may be, Stevens does offer a solution.
Dubbed "extreme marketing" it can also be translated as
simply effective marketing. In other words, the marketing tactics
Stevens advocates actually produce results. What a concept!
Without stealing too much of Stevens' thunder, he is at his
best when he advises companies to start from scratch. That is, reject
everything you think you know about marketing and dare to imagine
something different. Saying that you want a brochure simply because
your competitors all have brochures is not sound marketing, although
it is a good way to waste money and generate fees for an agency top
Given the inertia that is invariably found at large corporations,
it may be wishful thinking to suppose that Fortune 500 companies
will simply pull the plug on their marketing efforts and take a
fresh look at things. Yet Stevens does relate a few poignant success
stories he has had in overcoming corporate torpor so hope is still
Undoubtedly small and medium-size businesses that are better
able to stop on a dime will be the first to heed Stevens' sound
advice, and they may well set the example for others to follow.
In the end, something has to change because too much of the marketing
out there today truly does suck.
Jonathan Jackson is an independent consultant based in New
York City. He has written extensively on internet advertising and
e-mail marketing since the inception of the internet. A frequent
guest speaker, Jonathan has addressed global audiences on marketing
and advertising topics and also teaches marketing at colleges around
23. Is Advertising Dead?
by Joe Mandese, June 2005 issue
In the summer of 2001, I began
working on this story for another magazine. It never got published
because the magazine I was writing it for, Brill's Content, folded
due to the lack of advertising support. The story was about whether
advertising was the wrong economic model for funding media content.
The story wasn't actually my idea.
It came from the consumers of media themselves. After tracking a
couple decades worth of data on media trends, something became apparent:
Consumers were spending more of their time - and perhaps more importantly,
more of their own money - on media that were funded primarily by
consumer spending, not advertising. By the summer of 2001, the trend
approached a tipping point in which advertising would soon become
the subordinate economic model for media. And that made me wonder
whether advertising was a mistake, and whether the rapidly shifting
economics of the media industry were beginning to prove it so.
It was easy to think that in the
summer of 2001. Although dot-com economics were quickly unraveling,
there were still some giddy notions in the air. Bob Pittman still
ran the world's largest media company, which was then called AOL
Time Warner. Pittman gave speeches to Wall Street analysts who talked
about an even more fundamental transformation in the economics of
media: AOL's ability to sell products directly to consumers with
personal, one-to-one transactions. Instead of commanding CPMs of
tens of dollars for advertising, Pittman claimed that aol could
reap hundreds of dollars per individual user. He sold it to Wall
Street. He sold it to AOL Time Warner's investors. And, he even
sold it to AOL Time Warner's management. And suddenly "content"
was no longer king of the media realm; "commerce" became
its royalty, and for a short while it seemed to reign.
It proved to be a false prophecy,
and the fundamentals of commerce as an economic model for media
content began to erode as fast as the share values of any company
whose corporate name ended with the suffix '.com.'
DotBomb: Media Implosion
By the fall of 2001, a series of
events seemed to push AOL Time Warner, as well as the entire media
economy over the edge. The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks sent advertisers,
consumers, and investors fleeing from all but the most traditional
media economics, triggering what proved to be one of the worst recessions
ever for the media industry.
By mid-October, Brill's Content
had folded, and Brill Media Holdings, a company that once planned
to provide media content directly to consumers on-demand and for
one-time fees, was on the verge of going out of business.
Within a year, Bob Pittman resigned
as coo of AOL Time Warner, and the company dropped AOL from its
corporate name. Advertising, once again, ruled mass media economics,
albeit in recessionary times.
But somebody forgot to tell media
consumers. After getting a taste of what it felt like to access
media content on-demand, consumers clearly liked the convenience
and control. What's more, the Internet taught them that most content
could be accessed for free, as long as they didn't mind skipping
past banner ads as fast as their content was served.
TiVo taught them to do the same
with TV commercials. And the economics of media were beginning to
shift in a way that was unimagined by the e-commerce evangelists.
Commerce wasn't king. Neither, apparently was content. The consumer
Fast-forward four years to the
summer of 2005 and there are some ironic similarities to the summer
of 2001. The Internet is once again booming. Dot-coms are once again
some of the fastest growing brands, and online ad spending is surging.
But the fastest growing segment
of online advertising isn't content and it's not even commerce-related.
It's consumer-driven. It's called search, and it's another indication
that consumers are in control of their media content, including
advertising. Instead of media companies and advertisers pushing
content to consumers, consumers are pulling the content they want,
when they want it, and to the media platform they want it on. Search
is simply a way for consumers to control how they access advertising
"When I first realized what
was going on, I thought it was the end of civilization as we know
it," says Alvin Silk, Lincoln Filene professor emeritus at
the Graduate School of Business Administration at Harvard University.
"The technology was totally changing what economists thought
was the cost of search."
By "cost of search,"
Silk, regarded as one of the leading thinkers on the economics of
media, isn't referring to the cost of buying a keyword or online
search term. He means the principle used by economists to describe
the "information need of advertising."
Under the ad-supported model of
media, the cost of search economics was fairly simple, Silk says.
"Advertisers paid for media, and consumers watched their ads."
And for the past hundred years or so, economists thought that was
the correct model. "Advertising
existed, because it informed consumers and lowered their cost of
searching in other ways," he explains.
But online search, and ultimately
TV-based search is changing all of that by enabling consumers to
bypass the middleman (advertisers) and their middleware (conventional
"Why can't consumers buy information
directly? Why do they have to consume it jointly with entertainment
and news?" Silk asks. "The answer was that it was always
more efficient to do it that way and that if you had to sell information
to consumers directly, you'd have to put in place ways to charge
for it and collect it and that would make it inefficient for consumers
and advertisers. And now you have to wonder if that hasn't all drastically
To understand this shift in consumer
behavior, Silk says you have to look not at the mass market of media
consumers, but at a certain sub-segment that developed their media
consumption habits over the past 10 years, when the Internet became
their content portal and when on-demand TV technologies altered
how they used so-called linear media.
The New Media Consumer
You have to look at someone like
Joshua Lovison. Lovison, 21, an undergraduate film student at New
York University, doesn't consume media the way most of us still
do. When he wants to watch TV he doesn't turn on
ABC, CBS, Fox, or even Comedy Central. He watches BitTorrent or
Gnutella, online file-sharing communities that give him instantaneous
access to virtually all of the same content available on over-the-air
or cable TV, on-demand, when and where a computer screen and broadband
access are available.
In fact, Lovison doesn't even use
the term "program" to refer to the file he downloaded
of an episode of Comedy Central's "South Park" recently.
He calls them torrents, a generic term used to describe files of
TV shows and feature films peer-to-peer file sharers exchange via
BitTorrent, Gnutella, eDonkey, Ares, or FastTrack.
Lovison is not alone. According
to a report by Brian Wieser, vice president-director of industry
analysis at Magna Global USA, such networks now average about 3
million users each quarter.
"Peer-to-peer clearly reflects
consumers' interests in accessing content in on-demand environments,"
Wieser says. "Equally important, p2p reflects consumers' interests
in procuring content that can easily be moved from platform to platform
(i.e. from pc to TV to portable digital player, such as an mp3 player
or Sony's new PSP)."
Lovison affirms that view, acknowledging,
"It's completely about convenience." He wants what he
wants when he wants it. While that raises huge implications for
media rights holders and marketers alike, it's a drop in the bucket
that threatens the very fundamentals of Madison Avenue.
"Commercials are really annoying,"
he says, "and advertising is becoming completely irrelevant
because of the Internet." By irrelevant, Lovison means he does
not watch any advertising when he downloads a torrent. The files
usually strip advertising out to save space and download time.
The funny thing is that Lovison
is not opposed to advertising. He even understands that advertising
is the reason many of the files he downloads exist in the first
place. He just believes that to reach him, "advertising has
to change fundamentally."
Those fundamentals, he says, are
that ads either have to be integrated directly into the media content
he watches and have to be relevant to him, or it has to be advertising
content he seeks out directly as part of a product or service via
a search process he initiates.
"I don't care about the mommy
van commercial," Lovison says, describing the shotgun way in
which many TV ads are still scheduled.
Clearly, Madison Avenue understands
this. It is the reason why so many agencies and TV networks have
flocked to branded entertainment and product placement. And it's
the reason why online search is booming. But Harvard Professor Silk
believes these tactics are still in transition as the media industry
tries to develop a new set of economics that will replace traditional
Even ad industry bible Advertising
Age seemed to acknowledge as much in its recent "Chaos Scenario"
cover story written by columnist Bob Garfield. His take is that
the media marketplace hasn't evolved the way past futurists predicted
it would, and that has left Madison Avenue ill-prepared to make
"There is no reason to believe
the collapse of the old media model will yield a plug-and-play new
one," Garfield wrote. "On the contrary, there is nothing
especially orderly about media's New World Order. At the moment
it is a collection of technologies and ideas and vacant-lot bandwidth,
a digital playground for visionaries and nerds."
One of those visionaries is Rishad
Tobaccowala, the chief innovation officer of Publicis Media. Tobaccowala,
a former tech nerd who founded Publicis' Starcom ip unit, is now
leading the charge on video convergence. He is the main architect
behind Publicis' Video Investment Group, a unit that coordinates
media across all video platforms: TV, broadband video, and ultimately
cell phone screens and whatever comes next. Tobaccowala says Publicis
no longer distinguishes between these platforms. "They are
all ways of delivering a video message," he says. The big difference,
he adds, is how marketers utilize various video platforms to reach
As confident as he sounds about
his grasp of the media future, Tobaccowala is the first to admit
that he's not absolutely sure how it will pan out.
The biggest change he says he's
preparing for is when "the Internet becomes television"
and when people start using TV like the Internet. The convergence
of these two platforms will lead to a seamless, on-demand, and ultimately
fragmented video advertising marketplace, in which ad messages are
planned not to reach households or even demographics, but individuals.
In such an environment, traditional
concepts of target-based media planning will become completely irrelevant,
Tobaccowala says. The new focus of media planning, he predicts,
will be on "reaggregating audiences."
A number of agencies are beginning
to explore, test, and even make media buys based on the kind of
disaggregated addressability Tobaccowala advocates. Carat CEO David
Verklin has become a major champion of the concept and has created
a new unit within Carat Digital to test new forms of interactive,
addressable TV advertising. The unit, headed by Carat Digital Executive
Vice President Mitch Oscar, has already begun implementing addressable
ad schedules for clients such as Hyundai. Working with the automaker's
local dealers in markets where cable operators can deliver addressable
TV ads, Oscar is trying to find out whether the return on these
kinds of advertising investments is greater than the traditional
broad reach, impressions-based advertising of the past.
"At the end of the day, all
a Hyundai dealer wants to know is how many people actually showed
up on their lot because they saw an interactive TV ad," says
Oscar. In that world, he says, CPMs [cost per thousand] and GRPs
[gross ratings points] are far less important than response rates
or conversion rates. Sound like direct response, or maybe the Internet?
If it does, that's because Tobaccowala is right. TV is becoming
the Internet. And vice versa. Their economic models are fusing,
transforming everything we know about the way traditional advertising
To date, that transition has been
slow, because the primary gatekeepers of the TV advertising business
- the big cable TV operators - are loath to embrace that change.
The rollout of addressable TV advertising has been slow, and so
far is only practical at the zip-code level, rather than the household
or individual level that would make TV targeting truly analogous
to the Internet's. Tech firm Invidi, plans to deploy its addressable
advertising switching capabilities onto some big cable TV systems.
Among the key players backing Invidi's rollout are Carat CEO Verklin
and former gm Mediaworks Chief Rick Servaitis, who are on the company's
Invidi's technology is attractive
because it can segment and serve ad messages based not on the kind
of TV shows a target is likely to watch, but on what they happen
to be watching at that time. In other words, Invidi will enable
ad messages to be behaviorally targeted on TV in much the same way
they are online.
The other big convergence between
TV and online advertising models is search. Carat's Verklin recently
predicted that a "search tele-vision" platform would soon
emerge. Both Google and Yahoo! have launched video search services
allowing users to find any video content posted on the Web, in a
way that conventional TV navigation systems could never have foreseen:
TV viewers search for any program, on-demand, and with relevant
advertising messages embedded. That sounds like Josh Lovison's TV
programming dream come true.
The only problem with this dream
is how to make it work economically. Can the $60 billion invested
in the current TV ad impressions business be effectively converted
into branded content, search, and granularly-targeted addressable
advertising messages? Some people think so, and they think it might
even be better than the old advertising model it would be replacing.
"What if we're wrong? What
if people aren't skipping commercials when they get control? What
if there are other options?" asks Gregory Wilson, founder of
Red Ball Tiger. It helped develop TiVo Showcases, which are based
on the concept that if an advertising message is relevant to a consumer
they'll actually sit through several minutes of it.
Wilson believes much of the current
dialogue on Madison Avenue is misdirected and focused on figuring
out ways of "circumventing" consumer control to keep people
from skipping commercials.
"In the long-run, that has
to be a losing battle," Wilson says. "Once people get
control, they're not going to look at something they don't want
to see. The only solution is to create good spots and relevant spots
that people will want to watch. The trick is to make commercials
so that they're not interruptive. And that goes against everything
Madison Avenue knows. My belief has always been that the only way
for advertisers and agencies to retain control is to give the consumers
Why is that a better economic model
for advertising? Because, Wilson says, it means that the ads people
do see will have much greater "accountability." And if
they are choosing to watch those ads, then Wilson says they are
"involved" with them. Wilson's term for describing this
new economic model is "roi," for return on involvement.
In the long-run, he says, it will be a better model for advertisers,
agencies, the media, and even consumers. Advertisers will pay for
ad messages they know consumers are interested in and involved with.
Agencies will be compensated for creating ads and media strategies
that deliver them. The media will benefit from having happier advertisers
and consumers. The consumers will be happier with their media content,
because it won't be interrupted by annoying, irrelevant advertising.
24. Why Advertising is Broken (and How to Fix it)
Reprints By David Pasternack, Did-it.com / August 29th, 2006
Historians may someday refer to the year 2006 as the year that
the advertising establishment transformed.
The forces behind this transformation have been simmering for
a long time. For many years, marketers have suspected that the broadcast
media they buy is overpriced, that the sample-based measurement
tools used to assess the effectiveness of advertising are antiquated,
and that mainstream ad agencies and broadcasters are not up to the
job of providing the kind of accountable, multichannel campaigns
required in an era of fragmented and overlapping media consumption.
Couple this discontent with the runaway success of new, auction-based
forms of advertising pioneered by the major search engines, and
you have a genuine crisis of confidence in the advertising establishment.
The roots of this crisis are well summarized in a new book
by Rex Briggs and Greg Stuart titled “What Sticks: Why Most Advertising
Fails and How to Guarantee Yours Succeeds.” Interestingly, the authors
aren’t Web marketing zealots but seasoned ad professionals (Mr.
Briggs is the CEO of a cross-media marketing measurement firm; Mr.
Stuart is the CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau). Using
data compiled over a five-year period and vetted by the Advertiser
Research Foundation, the authors tracked the way 30 major marketers
bought more than a billion dollars of media and measured the actual
effectiveness of this spending. Their conclusions: 37 percent of
advertising dollars are wasted, amounting to some $85 billion dollars
of waste per year.
Messers. Briggs and Stuart blame a number of factors for this
colossal waste: first, the fact that in far too many cases, critical
decisions made by CMOs and ad agencies are still being made “by
gut.” This approach, which eschews metrics in favor of intuition,
may have worked in the 1980s, when the attention of most of America
could be summoned with a 30-second spot placed on popular shows
on the three major networks, but it’s poison in today’s diffracted
media environment. Contributing to the waste is the fact that sample-based
audience research is inadequate or ignored, and that far too many
marketers continue to use antiquated “silo” thinking that fails
to bring in all of the essential organizational stakeholders (sales,
marketing, top management) into the ad decision loop.
Messers. While Briggs and Stuart don’t lay the blame for this
waste exclusively on the heads of broadcasters, its findings suggest
that reform, when it comes, will come from outside, not from within
the advertising establishment. After all, that wasted $85 billion might not be doing a thing for marketers,
but it’s being pocketed by those who run media. From the broadcasters’
perspective, the lost money isn’t waste: it’s profit, so there is
zero incentive for media owners to fix the system.
The findings also go a long way toward explaining why, right
now, there’s so much resistance on the part of the broadcast establishment
to the E-Media Exchange (an initiative created by a group of blue-chip
marketers designed to use an electronic auction to bring the actual
cost of buying media in line with its value), and to the various
moves that Google to extend its auction-based ad platform into non-search
Lately, the broadcasters have come up with dozens of reasons
why bringing automation and market transparency to media buying
can’t work. They cite the notion that network buys are too complex
to be auctioned off, and bridle at the notion that what they do
can be “commodified.” The big broadcasters have dug in their heels
and refused to participate in the E-media Exchange. This behavior,
in my view, is irresponsible, especially in light of a recent McKinsey
study citing the fact that while viewers of traditional TV advertising
have declined 50 percent in the last decade, broadcasters have hiked
rates by 40 percent. Clearly, these broadcasters have a lot to lose
by reforming the way media is bought and sold, and they’re not going
to let the change happen without a fight. They hope that by boycotting
the future, they can make it yield, but they’re about to learn a
terrible lesson: consumers and marketers, not agencies and broadcast
networks, have seized control over advertising’s future. Transparent
media marketplaces are the wave of the future, and their efficacy
has been demonstrated by Google and the other engines pioneering
a way to make the pricing of advertising rational and its consumption
relevant and non-intrusive.
There will be a lot of pushback from the advertising establishment
in the next year, and I’d expect to see an escalating flow of FUD
(Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) being flung back at the forces of
reform. My recommendation is to ignore the FUD, and keep your eye
on the E-Media Exchange and Google’s various moves to extend its
real-time auction technology to offline media. The future is being
built right now and forward-thinking marketers will benefit from
understanding and exploiting the way that rational advertising markets
work, and forward-thinking agencies will do their utmost to adapt
their practices to the radically altered marketing landscape. Those
that can adapt will thrive; those that can’t or won’t will wither
This new, rational marketplace may not replace the old school
way of selling advertising with glitz, glamour, smoke-filled rooms,
and three-martini lunches tomorrow, but despite the resistance from
the broadcast establishment, the-times are-a-changing, and you have
a lot more to lose by betting on the old model persisting than you
do on the new model becoming the paradigm for building tomorrow’s
David Pasternack is president of Did-it.com, a New York-based
search marketing firm. Reach him at email@example.com
25. Making Your Advertising Message Stand Out
In a world over-saturated with words and images, how can you
get your ads to rise above the din and capture an interested audience?
By Roy Williams/ May 01, 2005
I did not die today. I am, for the moment, alive and well as
an ad writer. But I fear I'm being stalked by iPods, cell phones,
instant messaging and increasingly fragmented media choices--and
they're gunning for my life.
Over-communication is riding rampant across the mindscape of
America, putting greater-than-ever pressure on ad writers to produce
ads that seduce and jealously hug the attention of the customer.
Today I will teach you a little about how to write such ads.
The key to seduction is the opening line. So open big. I'm
not talking about hype, like "Save up to 75 percent off this
week only at blah, blah blah." I'm talking about a statement
that is fundamentally more interesting than anything else that might
be occupying the mind of your prospects. For example, I bet your
attention was drawn to my opening line: "I did not die today."
Magnetism is why I chose it, and I had utterly no idea how I was
going to bridge from that line into the subject matter at hand,
but that's irrelevant. The key is that it can be done. So be bold
and have confidence; a bridge can be built from any concept to any
How should you get started? Don't think of your subject matter
first and then decide how to introduce it. And don't open with a
question directed at your prospect, such as "Are you interested
in saving money?" That technique's been overused to the point
that it now borders on becoming a cliché. (Rhetorical questions,
such as "Whatever happened to Gerald Ford?" are OK, however.)
Instead, think about creating a magnetic opening statement,
then figure out how to bridge from the opening line into your subject
matter. Original openers surprise the Broca's area of your brain
and gain you entrance to the central executive of working memory--conscious
awareness, focused attention. The central executive will then decide
whether your thought has salience, or relevance to the listener.
This is what your bridge must supply.
Next, write a bridge that justifies your magnetic opening line.
If you fall short here, your opening line will be perceived as hype.
Game over. But if you do it right, you can then insert your subject
matter from the angle created by your opening line and bridge. And
finally, you have to figure out how to close in such way that you
loop back to your opening line. (Having secured the involvement
of your prospects, you're now free to use direct questions if you
It's really not that hard.
Hey, there's another good opening line: "It's really not
that hard." Now select a client at random and write a bridge
to follow that opening line.
Here are some other opening lines for you to try:
"I've heard that your heart stops when you sneeze."
"The TV commercials with the Keebler elves have always
been my favorites."
"Don Quixote just won't go away."
"Plutonium is the rarest of all substances."
Here's what I've done so far:
1. I opened this column with "I Did Not Die Today,"
having no idea how I would bridge from that line to the subject
matter of the column.
2. I then created a bridge to justify my opening line and create
salience for the central executive; "I am, for the moment,
alive and well as an ad writer. But I fear I'm being stalked by
iPods, cell phones, instant messaging, and increasingly fragmented
media choices--and they're gunning for my life."
3. I then gave you enough details to satisfy the central executive's
demand for salience.
4. Now it's time to loop back to the opening line. Let's see
if I can do it:
The times are changing, and so must ad writers if we will live
to see another day.
Will you change with the times? Or will you continue to wear
the blindfold of yesterday's ad-writing style and walk voluntarily
before the firing squad?
Roy William's is Entrepreneur.com's "Advertising"
columnist and the founder and president of international ad agency
Wizard of Ads. Roy is also the author of numerous books on improving
your advertising efforts, including The Wizard of Ads and Secret
Formulas of the Wizard of Ads. / http://www.entrepreneur.com/advertising/adcolumnistroyhwilliams/article77682.html
26. Privatization 'Tsunami' Sweeps
Old Media (Cablevision, Tribune Co., Many
Others Consider a Future Apart From Wall St.)
By Claire Atkinson / Published: November 06, 2006
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Media companies
may be in the communications business, but it appears they're
increasingly tired of talking to the Street.
With digital chaos rapidly upending
old business models and analysts ga-ga over the likes of Google
and MySpace, going private is the emerging business model for
traditional media firms.
Of course, the trends that drive companies to go public or private
are somewhat cyclical, but what's new in the media space this
time around is private equity's ability to lay its hands on bigger
and better media brand names. In just the past few weeks, stalwart
old-media names such as Clear Channel, Cablevision, the Los
Angeles Times and The Boston Globe all have been targeted
by private-equity buyers. And a flurry of rumors are surrounding
the likes of Viacom, the New York Times Co. and Martha Stewart
Living Omnimedia, which actually got a bit of a boost to its share
price last week thanks to the speculation.
"We've bought high-quality companies in the shape of VNU
and Univision. No one would have ever thought about buying these
companies two to three years ago," said former Viacom chief
financial officer Richard Bressler, who joined one of the most
active private-equity funds, Thomas H. Lee, earlier this year.
"What's happening now is a great tsunami event. There is
so much change going on in the world driven by new technology
and changes in consumer habits, which drive uncertainty, and that
leads to depressed equity values." top
AdMedia Partners Director Jay Kirsch added: "Public market
valuations for media companies are below 10 times EBITDA [earnings
before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization], and a
few years ago, they were 12 to 13 times. Combine that with large
amounts of private equity available and low interest rates, and
it's the perfect recipe."
Underperforming media stocks
In an open letter to Viacom in July, Pali Capital research analyst
Richard Greenfield underlined the major reason why so many media
companies are thinking about going private: Media stocks have
been underperforming the wider stock market. "The more we
think about how Viacom stock continues to underperform the market,
the more we think, 'Why isn't Viacom a private company?' Viacom
management then would be free to run Viacom how they want, without
worrying about public shareholders." (A Viacom spokesman
had no comment.)
Talk of privatizing is most pronounced among traditional media
businesses such as print and radio, which often were the basis
of one family's fortune and now are particularly challenged by
advertisers' whimsy for newer messaging vehicles. Observers last
week were viewing the bid for The Boston Globe, owned by
the New York Times Co., as one that could actually go through,
if only because it gives the Sulzberger family a way to get its
hands on enough cash to take its battered stock off the public
markets. In cable, the Dolan family made an offer in recent weeks
to take Cablevision back into family control. Radio giant Clear
Channel hired Goldman Sachs two weeks ago to examine "strategic
options," which many read as a precursor to privatization.
In August, Forbes took cash infusion to boost its digital operations
from Elevation Partners -- headed by U2's Bono -- rather than
tap public markets. top
Wall Street's limited view
The Mays family, which founded Clear Channel, likely is frustrated
by Wall Street's limited view of growth opportunities for radio.
It's a common complaint among CEOs who can't grasp why their stocks
are down, and one most often made by family-run businesses, which
may only have gone to the public market in the first place as
a way to satisfy family members looking to cash out.
Newspaper companies in particular seem ripe for attracting private
equity. Former Knight Ridder title The Philadelphia Inquirer was bought by entrepreneur Brian Tierney's Philadelphia Media
Group earlier this year. The Tribune Co., after receiving lackluster
bids for its group of newspapers, has said it will consider separately
selling some of its papers, including the Hartford Courant and Long Island's Newsday, which is bound to mean many
will end up in private hands. Already the Los Angeles Times has attracted interest from music mogul David Geffen. Another
Tribune title, The Baltimore Sun, has attracted interest
from a local investment group.
Newspaper's bottom line
The problem for newspapers was summed up in a pessimistic report
from Merrill Lynch this month suggesting it could be another 30
years before online revenue represents even 50% of a newspaper's
bottom line. Wall Street views the prospects for radio in similarly
bleak terms. Susquehanna Radio was acquired a year ago by a private-equity
partnership involving the usual suspects: Cumulus, Bain Capital,
Blackstone Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners.
James Cramer, host of CNBC's "Mad Money" and founder
of financial website TheStreet.com, says too many media-company
CEOs just can't see reality. It's not that their businesses are
undervalued; it's that Wall Street figures they just don't have
any place to grow. "There are a lot of people who mistakenly
believe their businesses are not in secular decline but cyclical
decline. They are so sorely mistaken." Mr. Cramer is bearish
on radio stocks and suggests many print titles might be better
run as trusts by "rich people who don't mind taking a beating."
Others agree. In a recent debate, Technorati founder David Sifry
suggested newspapers might want to emulate the National Public
Radio business model. (Ad Age's Media Guy has a similar idea.)
Space to retool
The stampede toward private rather than public funding is driven
by other factors. It's hard to impress Wall Street with growth
while traveling at top speed and trying to execute a sharp left
turn. Mr. Cramer believes there are other things going on. Media
companies are seeking the space to retool for the digital era,
while private-equity firms are sitting on so much money that they're
under pressure to make investments, and that's causing them to
lose some of their discipline about what to get into. "They
have to make something happen." top
Private investors make a similar pitch. "Our time horizon
is longer than most people buying public stock," Mr. Bressler
said. "We may agree with an investment thesis, but we may
have a view over a seven-year timeline about where that growth
is going to come from," as opposed to the average 15-month
tenure of a CEO, he said.
But will advertisers derive any
real benefits from media companies opting out of the public markets?
Richard Taylor, senior VP-brand marketing at Time Warner's AOL,
thinks it's possible. "If their business is healthy and they're
not scrambling, it could mean longer-term partnerships where you
both build value over time. If going private can help further
that end, then I'm all for it."
Going private also allows a company to stick to its knitting.
"I spend every minute thinking about my clients and not a
minute justifying what I'm doing [to Wall Street]," said
Richard Edelman, head of the family-run public-relations agency
Effectively value assets
Thomas H. Lee's old-media fund was put at $6 billion and was for
a long time the biggest in the world, but private-equity executives
say it's now dwarfed by other private-equity funds. How can private
equity help? "They can fix companies and do things that don't
fit a reporting cycle," said Tolman Geffs, managing director
at Jordan Emiston Partners. "Stepping back, we're placing
a big bet that well-informed private equity can, in the long run,
value assets more effectively than the public markets."
Robert Routh, a media analyst at Jeffries & Co., has another
opinion about why so many media firms are looking to go private:
"As a result of new regulations as well as liability, it
no longer pays to be a public company unless you have to be. It's
much easier and cost-effective and there's much less stress on
management in terms of having to deal with other parties or investors
when they're private as opposed to public. They're subject to
a myriad of rules and regulations ... and the cost of complying
Xxxxxx / http://adage.com/mediaworks/article?article_id=112981
27. Don't Buy Newspapers. Donate
Them to Charity / Media Guy's Plan to Save the Dailies
By Simon Dumenco / Published: November 05, 2006
So Jack Welch wants to buy The
Boston Globe (maybe). David Geffen wants to buy The L.A.
Times (maybe). Philly uber-flack Brian Tierney already rounded
up enough fellow investors earlier this year to buy the Inquirer and the Daily News.
And, as Edward Wasserman just noted
in his media column in The Miami Herald, "Other hometown
rich guys are reportedly eyeing at least three Tribune papers:
the Baltimore Sun, Hartford Courant and Long Island's Newsday."
Wasserman added how silly it is, how delusional it is, that newspaper
people across the country keep looking hopefully to rich-guy white
knights to save the day. We're all forgetting, he points out,
that lots of the mega-wealthy "amassed great riches by cutting
corners, cutting costs and, for all I know, cutting throats."
(Remember Welch's "Neutron Jack" nickname, given the
thousands he laid off when running GE?) top
Maybe because of the mogul hagiography that still passes for business
journalism these days (especially in business magazines), we still
somehow think that brand-name CEOs can and will fix everything.
It's like we're back in the '80s and Donald Trump is saying to
New York City, "Step aside, I'll fix Wollman Rink!"
Trump, you may remember, took a great leap toward being a national
brand when he offered to take on the corrupt, overbudget, perpetually
mired reconstruction job on the iconic Central Park skating rink
-- and did it in record time, and under budget. Trump, the brand,
suddenly seemed capable of miracles.
It's a measure of our collective desperation about newspaper journalism
that many of us are so convinced that some of the greatest inky
brands need injections of not just cash but branded cash. top
I think what we need is something almost completely opposite.
Something, in fact, approaching quasi-public funding that is specifically
disconnected from investors (institutional or individual) and
their egos and whims. What newspaper journalism in this country
needs is to be taken away, by design (not by largesse or by the
relative enlightenment of individual owners who believe in journalistic
independence), from all sorts of specific market pressures.
So, an immodest proposal: We must overhaul the tax laws in this
country so that the mega-rich don't have to buy and run newspapers
to support journalism (especially since the real motive in such
cases is usually not so much about supporting journalism but influencing
it, distorting it, bigfooting it). We need to look to a model
that echoes the Scott Trust -- the charitable foundation that
props up one of the world's greatest newspapers, Britain's The
Guardian, and keeps it, by charter, editorially independent.
Remember, it was easy -- from a tax perspective -- for Ron Lauder
to shell out $135 million this past June for a Gustav Klimt painting
for his pet tax write-off, the Neue Galerie, his tiny New York
museum of German and Austrian art and design. We need to make
it that easy for Richie Riches and Richie Rebeccas to systematically
support newspapers not by buying and running them themselves,
but by supporting Scott Trust-like organizations that fund and
run newspapers independently.
There are random examples of this sort of thing here and there:
Mark Cuban's support of corporate-fraud reportage site Sharesleuth.com;
the Poynter Institute, which supports, among other things, Jim
Romenesko's media blog; Jay Rosen's "open-source" indie
journalism site NewAssignment.net, which has gotten funding from
the MacArthur Foundation; and any number of rich guys propping
up conservative and liberal opinion journals. But the examples
are always random, piecemeal, mere drops in the bucket. top
If Geffen or Welch really wanted to go down in history, they'd
engineer a series of Scott Trust-like charitable foundations that
would exist solely to support and take over the operations of
troubled newspapers across the country. And before it's too late,
lawmakers must make it as financially advantageous -- and emotionally
rewarding -- for billionaires to contribute money to such trust-funded
newspapers as it is for them to shower cash on other nonprofits.
We need systematic charitable scale to ensure the survival of
newspaper journalism in this country. Some might think it's pathetic
that we've gotten to this point. But is a Klimt painting pathetic
because it needed some rich guy to fund its preservation and to
ensure its survival and continued exposure, in perpetuity, to
There, I've said it: Many newspapers have, figuratively speaking,
become total charity cases -- so let's just face reality and figure
out the best way to make them literally so. ~ ~ ~ E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org / http://adage.com/mediaworks/article?article_id=112966
Google Save Old Media? / Digital Giant to Start Newspaper Trial
By Nat Ives / Published: November 05, 2006
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Sometime
in the next two weeks, Google plans to switch on its Print Ads
system for the first time, letting more than 100 advertisers bid
for ad space in more than 50 daily newspapers over a three-month
trial. And unlike in earlier experiments in which Google bought
magazine ad space and re-sold it, sellers and buyers will interact
directly through Google's system, meaning publishers can accept
or reject bids at their discretion.
Old media's lifeline
With the participation of major papers from The New York Times to Gannett Co. titles, Google seems to have convinced publishers
that the system really might deliver new advertisers without undercutting
existing relationships and rates. EBay is making a similar assertion
about its planned marketplace for TV spots. If the dot-coms prove
their claims, new media may find itself playing the unusual role
of lifeline for old media.
If the Print Ads test doesn't deliver new advertisers, of course,
you can bet newspapers will do everything possible to kick Google
back off its turf. But for now, everything is a tryout and everyone
talks like friends. top
"For publishers it's a way to get to a whole new universe
of advertisers, which we will bring to the party and get to them
without a lot of expense," said Tom Phillips, Google's director
of Print Ads since March and, once upon a time, a co-founder of Spy magazine. "For advertisers it's a way to buy print
media very efficiently, buy it across a broad array of alternatives
and buy it at a price that the advertiser sets."
Bruce Telkamp, senior VP-business development and marketing, eHealth,
said the service could streamline the cumbersome process of finding
ad space around the country. "We do all of our media buying
in-house, both online and offline," he said. "We're
hopeful that through Google's aggregation of a large number of
advertisers and the efficiencies the platform brings -- not only
us, but potentially the papers themselves -- the program could
have the potential to lower advertising costs, to bring efficiency
to a less-than-efficient industry." top
There was some concern among publishers when Google first confirmed
its interest in the print game back in August 2005, the fear being
that auctions might just drive prices down.
'It's an experiment'
Executives at the Times itself seem willing to find out.
"Yes, it's an experiment," said Denise Warren, senior
VP-chief advertising officer, New York Times Media Group. "We
don't know how much it's going to yield. We always hope there
is revenue at the end of the rainbow."
It doesn't hurt Google's latest bid that newspapers in general
are continuing to lose print-edition readers. Eric Blankfein,
senior VP-channel insights director, Horizon Media, suggested
that newspapers' trouble might explain why Google is focusing
on papers for this test instead of magazines, where it first began
trials selling offline ads. (Although, at the American Magazine
Conference in Phoenix last month, Google VP-Advertising Tim Armstrong
made a strong pitch to the magazine industry to join Google in
experimenting with some revenue-splitting models.) top
"It's smarter to go to newspapers right now because they
need more help," Mr. Blankfein said. "The model, whether
it's half-baked or not, probably would augment any business that
newspapers are getting and certainly offset the losses they've
been experiencing. I don't see any downside for newspapers."
A lot at stake
As much potential as there seems to be, there is a lot at stake
as well. For a sense of the players' vastly different scales,
let's check 2005 results. The Times took in the most gross
revenue of any U.S. paper, about $1.9 billion last year, according
to Ad Age's 2006 Leading Media Companies report. Google
reported 2005 revenue above $6.1 billion.
Nor do buyers or Google admit much possibility that media agencies
could be cut out of the process -- or that big marketers could
shop for rock-bottom pricing instead of negotiating with papers
the way they do now. For one thing, many of the advertisers involved
are too small to rate much attention anyway from the big agencies.
Some of the big ones don't use newspapers much as it stands. top
For another, Print Ads doesn't do everything agencies and direct
negotiation do. Marketers can specify all kinds of things, like
what section they want to appear in; where in the country they
want to appear; what days of the week they're looking for; and,
of course, how much they want to pay. They just can't specify
everything -- nor do papers have to accept any offer they don't
Papers set ad format
"It doesn't guarantee competitive position," Mr. Phillips
said. "It allows the newspaper to set the ad format so that,
for instance, the big broadsheets will just accept quarter pages
and less. So their big Verizon full-page clients will not be using
Print Ads is also free for participants in this test. Google wants
to eventually take cuts of the money changing hands but for now
is just going to watch and see what happens.
Let's see if everyone is still friendly once results are in next
March. / http://adage.com/mediaworks/article?article_id=112950
29. P&G Pumps Up Print Ad Spending,
Trims TV (Digital May
be Hot, but Giant Finds Mags, Papers and Direct Work Harder)
By Jack Neff / Published: November 06, 2006
CINCINNATI (AdAge.com) -- As the
world's biggest marketer hunts for the next media revolution,
it's rediscovering the oldest medium of all.
Procter & Gamble Chairman-CEO A.G. Lafley last week told analysts
that P&G is "reallocating investments from parts of the
communication plan that aren't working as hard for us to parts
... that are." What he didn't add is that print is the workhorse
carrying a larger load.
Armed with sophisticated marketing-mix models and confronted by
a growing array of new-media choices, P&G is realizing it's
oversubscribed to TV, and is pouring more money into print. TV
as a share of its measured media fell 2.9 points to 69.3% in the
first half of 2006-below 70% for the first time since 2001 --
according to TNS Media Intelligence data analyzed by Advertising
Age. You might assume that meant the marketing leader was
betting bigger on digital media, but that's not the case.
Reduced TV spending
As it reduced TV spending, P&G hiked spending on national
magazines 22.3% and outlays on all print 23.9%. The medium now
commands 28.2% of P&G's $1.6 billion first-half outlay, up
3.5 percentage points from a year ago.
The move mirrors a similar trend in last year's numbers compared
to 2004. But it also follows a period since 2001 when P&G
under Mr. Laflley roughly doubled overall measured-media spending
to $3.4 billion annually and TV led the way.
P&G isn't about to let go of its huge spending edge over rivals
just yet. Nor is it giving up on TV; outlays on the medium are
still up 4% in the first half. But the company is tracking ROI
Most P&G brands are now in their second or third years of
using marketing-mix models extensively, and that's generally the
time by which marketers who use models to fine-tune media plans
generally have made the biggest reallocations they're going to
make, said Mike Hess, director-global and consumer insights for
Omnicom Group's OMD.
Olay and Pantene
Though P&G has shifted some funds to the internet, online
remains a paltry 1.4% of P&G's media outlay, up from 1% last
year and 0.5% in 2004. The increases are led essentially by three
brands: Prilosec OTC, Gillette and Herbal Essences. The shift
to print is far more broad-based, though, focused heavily so far
this year on P&G's big-spending beauty brands, Olay and Pantene. top
P&G also has continued to do more direct marketing, with the
second big double-digit increase in as many years for its fiscal
year ended June 30. But most of that shift is going toward e-mail
programs that have little or no media cost, said John Cummings,
whose DBM/Scan service tracks database-marketing programs by package-goods
Overall, P&G mailings and e-mailings increased 48% to 469
in the 12 months ended in June, following a 35% increase the year
before, he said. As a whole, the package-goods and drug marketers
he tracks boosted mailings and e-mailings 32% in the year ended
in June. top
A P&G spokeswoman declined to comment on specifics of media
allocation but said, "It really depends on the needs of the
brands and where their consumers' interests are."
Pricing weighs heavily in any marketing-mix or ROI analysis, Mr.
Hess noted. And P&G's shift this year may be accentuated by
delivering on its promise to wring cost savings from its acquisition
of Gillette Co. Since that deal closed last October, it was too
late for P&G to use its newfound clout in the 2005 upfront.
But it could use its muscle to negotiate new print deals immediately.
It's impossible to know how much of P&G's increase in measured
print advertising represents flexing muscle to get more ad pages
for its dollar, since TNS data is based on rate cards rather than
But beyond pricing, many marketers are coming around to see more
value in magazines, if not newspapers, said Rex Briggs, CEO of
Marketing Evolution and co-author of the ROI tome "What Sticks." top
20 cross-media studies
A recent analysis of 20 cross-media studies found magazines the
most consistently successful parts of the media mix, he said in
an e-mail. "That's not to say that marketers shouldn't keep
innovating and working to make digital and other new advertising
forms a successful part of the mix. But in their race to embrace
the new, they would be remiss to underleverage magazines."
For marketers using marketing-mix modeling, shifting to media
where they spend almost nothing or relatively little generally
yields better returns, Mr. Hess said. What they don't know at
first is how much more they can plow into a medium before they
hit diminishing returns there, too.
P&G Not Alone P&G's move to print has been mirrored by
rivals that use marketing-mix models too, including Unilever,
Clorox and Johnson & Johnson. And some of them have made far
more dramatic shifts.
Unilever last year cut TV in favor of print. TV as a share of
the marketer's media budget fell below 50% (to 45.1%) for the
first time in decades. Print climbed 12 points to 37.7%.
But Unilever backtracked in the first half of this year, taking
advantage of a softer 2005 TV upfront market. Print fell five
points to 32.7% of the budget as TV rose more than 18 points to
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Rancor Derails Rollout (DVR Debate and Cable's Worries
Over Data Force Nielsen to Rethink Plans)
By Claire Atkinson / Published: November 06, 2006
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- With $40
billion in national TV ad dollars at stake, the only thing the
broadcasters, cable networks, syndicators and media agencies can
agree on is Nielsen Media Research's new commercial ratings aren't
what they want.
The plan to report commercial ratings
in addition to program ratings --postponed late last week for
the second time -- has been picked over by all players, who are
trying to slice the numbers in ways that portray them most positively.
Two weeks ago, cable networks boycotted the plan until they got
what they wanted. Now the broadcast networks have put the release
of commercial data on ice until they can have their way too. That
leaves marketers and agencies frustrated and weary of the debate.
Despite an industry willingness to make commercial ratings a reality,
the hurdles to getting there have been more numerous than any
Time-shifting sticking point
The sticking point this time is a debate over just when the value
of a DVR viewer expires. Last June, the broadcast networks pressed
Nielsen to issue data on commercial ratings under the assumption
they would be compensated for all time-shifted audiences as long
as viewers watched the commercial -- even if they watched it a
week after the program originally aired. Some advertisers, such
as movie studios and retailers, were unwilling to pay for viewers
watching these ads, and the subject became a major bone of contention
during upfront negotiations. The agencies won, and the networks
agreed to sell ad time on the basis of live viewers only, potentially
leaving money on the table.
On Oct. 30, Nielsen issued a new report on DVR viewing that revealed
around 90% of shows are viewed within four days. But Nielsen's
commercial-ratings file reports people who watched programming
as it aired-that is, live; those who watched it using a DVR on
the same day (live plus same day); and those who watched programming
by the seventh day after it originally aired (live plus seven
days). Some broadcasters soon realized that after losing last
year's upfront battle over time-shifted viewing, advertisers would
be unlikely to swallow commercial ratings on a seven-day basis
next time around either.
"Live plus seven may not be a deal that can be made,"
one network sales chief said.
Three or four days later?
The networks also realized they don't want to sell simply on live
plus same day. A good compromise may be to make deals using a
live-plus-three or -four-day commercial rating. But which one?
Three? Four? That's for the next round to decide.
David Poltrack, CBS Corp.'s chief research officer, suggested
that some advertisers, such as grocery or packaged goods, might
still value a live-plus-seven commercial rating and could chose
to buy on that basis.
Nielsen's Sara Erichson, Nielsen's general manager-national services,
said the industry looks like it is coalescing around a single
metric that would measure DVR playback of commercials at around
three or four days after a show is initially broadcast.
Nielsen is holding a three-day national client meeting on the
issue but is also planning another meeting later this month to
get its timeline back on track.
Cable and syndication have their own issues over how commercial
minutes should be reported, leaving Nielsen with a Sisyphean task.
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Goodby's New Saturn Spot: Mediocrity Like Never Before
/ TV Work is an Absolute Surrender
to Corporate Unimaginativeness
Bad News Advertising Links....
By Bob Garfield / Published: November
A WINDING MOUNTAIN ROAD??!!
To see the introduction of Saturn's Aura midsize sedan from Goodby,
Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, is to wonder where
Goodby and Silverstein were when this thing was being produced.
On vacation? Hospitalized? Guantanamo?
There hardly seems to be another explanation, other than maybe
absolute surrender to the client's worst instincts, to shed light
on why an agency of this caliber would have produced a generic
Look! A crash-test bulkhead! Look! A rugged fashion model squinting
with driving intensity! Look! The California sunrise glinting
into the lens! No surprise, of course, that a General Motors product
introduction would embrace every single cliche of the auto-ad
genre. This, in addition to losing money and shutting down factories,
is what GM does. It's just amazing that Goodby went along for
the ride. It's as if the creative team had been possessed by the
spirit of Benton & Bowles.
And it's not just the imagery. It's the copy, too.
"There is a way to design a sedan that embraces the road
and the driver," says the voice-over, finally, after the
succession of shots cut and pasted from the annals of advertising
unimaginativeness. "Introducing the 2007 Saturn Aura midsize
sedan. Saturn. Like always. Like never before."
That's pretty funny. The paradoxical tagline happens to be correct,
but in exactly the opposite way intended. This commercial is indeed
like always-like brainless car intros have always been. And it
is like never before in the sense that it is utterly devoid of
the values and brand ethos that have undergirded every Saturn
ad till now.
Oh, the car looks nice enough. But why in the world would GM run
away from a brand culture painstakingly cultivated over 20 years
to trot out yet another midsize sedan in a marketplace glutted
with midsize sedans? And why would it go to one of the three best
advertising agencies in the world to do it? This spot isn't a
job for Goodby, Silverstein. It's a job for robots.
There are, of course, answers to all of those questions -- answers
that would probably make you sad. Perhaps we should be grateful
that GM allowed the agency to apply its vaunted skills to the
online side of the creative. Here they allow the user to type
in his zip code, whereupon Google Earth takes him from some vantage
in space zooming in through the atmosphere to his own country,
own state, own community and in through the front door of his
(possibly) nearest Saturn dealer.
There the actual sales manager greets the customer and offers
to show him around. It's amazing and creepy at the same time.
The juxtaposition between the cutting-edge satellite-imaging technology
and the right-out-of-central-casting car huckster is pretty hilarious,
but mainly just cool.
This involved shooting scenes at 21 big Saturn outlets around
the country (presumably with more to come) and integrating the
footage seamlessly into the web interface. Would that such thinking,
or even just style, had even slightly informed the TV intro. But
no. In exactly the way GM has integrated the hitherto independent
Saturn division into the corporate juggernaut-as-big-as-it-used-to-be,
the company has forced Saturn advertising to use interchangeable
parts. Gee, how will that work out?
Like always. Thanks to Goodby mediocrity like never before.
Review: 1.5 stars / Marketer: Saturn / Agency: Goodby, Silverstein
& Partners / Location: San Francisco
Big Ideas From the Idea Conference (From Some of the Industry's
Most Dynamic Minds)
By Andrew Hampp / Published: November
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- From leading
architect David Rockwell to leading creative Alex Bogusky; from
the man who built Second Life to the marketing chief of the very-real-world
Starbucks; from a guy who plans and buys media to a guy who expresses
himself by making toys. They all came to share their big ideas
and pass on their tips for fostering creativity.
More than 550 people gathered in
New York to hear them at Advertising Age and Creativity magazine's inaugural Idea Conference. Here are a handful of ideas
and insights from the day. To see some edited highlights of the
speakers doing their thing, check out the video at AdAge.com.
1. Limitations and small budgets are inspiring
"I can be at my most creative when I have constraints,"
said Anne Saunders, senior VP-global brand strategy and communications,
Starbucks. The coffee behemoth started out humbly as a small Seattle
chain. "When I have a lack of time or money, that causes
me to think differently. We don't spend a lot of money on traditional
advertising." Less than 2% of Starbucks' operating budget
is spent on advertising. Instead, word of mouth and the physical
presence of each location have been its best tools.
2. Trust your gut -- not research
Pointing out that Steve Jobs didn't create great ideas by doing
market research, multilingual ad man David Jones, global CEO of
Euro RSCG, exhorted ad execs to stop asking permission. Drawing
on British comedian Vic Reeves' assertion that "96.2% of
all statistics are made up," Mr. Jones argued that the best
ads aren't based on research. He cited P&G's brilliant viral
effort for Charmin toilet tissue created by Euro rival Publicis,
which riffs off the many euphemisms for elimination and, as Mr.
Jones said, did plenty to put the brand in pole position.
3. Think like a band
"What does a band actually do? They create music and they
don't know whether it's going to sell," said Chris Stephenson,
general manager-global marketing for Microsoft's entertainment
business, which launches its much-anticipated MP3-and-video player,
Zune, on Nov. 16. "They'll tour -- they're not sitting in
an ivory tower behind their desk. It's a very do-it-yourself culture,
but ideal. This idea of thinking in a really open-minded, expressive
way like an artist is really important."
4. Approach your consumer from a 'molecular level'
The first thing Steven J. Heyer, CEO of Starwood Hotels &
Resorts, asks himself when it comes to designing a new hotel is:
"What do we want our guest to feel?" He and David Rockwell,
founder and CEO of the Rockwell Group, discussed the innovations
they've made to the luxury-hotel industry by designing experiences
that appeal to the traveler who hates traveling but loves being
there -- think mountain views, health spas and expanded bars.
5. Digitize everything
Not just your ads, but also your store, your product and even
your employees. Here to help you is Linden Labs CEO Philip Rosedale,
creator of the virtual world Second Life. What was once the futurist
domain of "Tron" is now something anybody with a broadband
connection -- and potentially an ailing first life -- can tap
into. Think you can't make an emotional connection in the digital
world? Then you should have seen the star of a heart-tugging video
Mr. Rosedale screened, a woman who found a husband and a career
in Second Life.
6. Nostalgia is death
Quoting Bob Dylan, Paul Budnitz, founder of Kidrobot, took aim
at the marketing world's tendency to slavishly ape bygone pop
culture. (That means you, VH1 and Hello Kitty.) Mr. Budnitz said
there's no creativity behind thinking derivatively -- like, for
example, when marketers create toy spinoffs of blockbuster films.
He offered the notion that real creativity is about making something
that is "entirely new and in the moment." He did, however,
distinguish nostalgia (bad) from appropriation (good), in which
familiar themes serve as a jumping-off point for the creation
of a completely fresh idea, as evident in the twisted work of
Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami.
7. Let consumers inside
For the Barenaked Ladies' first independent release on the Nettwerk
record label, co-founder Terry McBride wanted them to be able
to work outside the 12-song-per-album box. Their recording sessions
yielded 29 songs, from which Mr. McBride pulled 250 tracks for
fans to mix into their own versions. The mixes will be submitted
for a forthcoming fans' EP. "It's not about control, but
the fact that the fan owns the brand," Mr. McBride said during
the Corbis "Who Owns Your Brand?" breakout session.
"Fans do all the marketing for us."
8. Prototype early
That way, said Paul Bennett, chief creative at IDEO, you won't
end up with "dinosaur babies" (a product "so ugly
only its mother could love it"). Creative teams can sometimes
get so wrapped up in a project they can't let go or realize it's
not going to work the way they initially intended. Making prototypes
early on in the creative process helps with troubleshooting and
allows for feedback on the more complicated areas of the product.
"The notion of prototyping is, if it's bad, you can let it
9. Drugs won't supply your 'Aha!' moment
They no longer fuel the creativity of Alex Bogusky, chief creative
officer at Crispin Porter & Bogusky. "There was a time
where I'd be working on something where I'd need to drink,"
Mr. Bogusky said. "The problem is, the longer you do it,
the smaller that window for creativity gets. And then you're trashed."
He also pointed out that getting to that eureka time requires
hard graft and is often about ripping up lots of OK ideas and
starting over. (And you thought it was just brilliance and the
10. Flatten management structure
"We don't have enough managers, and we intended it to be
that way," said Google's chief engineer, Craig Neville-Manning,
who credited that lack of bureaucracy as a big reason for the
search giant's success in bringing new products to market.
11. Market to the interested
In analyzing a recent Iams campaign, David Verklin, CEO of Carat
Americas, found that 40% of the American population owns a dog.
"When I run an ad on TV, 60% of the people watching have
no interest in it. It's bad for the client because they don't
want to advertise for people who aren't interested. And it's certainly
bad for the delivery system, putting ads in front of people that
are boring them."
12. Go for a brand back rub
Eric Plaskonos, director-brand communications at Philips Electronics
North America, introduced the concept of "brand chiropractics"
to the crowd in his closing statement, citing Philips' recent
innovative spreads in Gourmet and its sponsorship of commercial-free
football games. "It's slightly unorthodox and [hands-on],
but when it works it makes you feel really good."
13. Give consumers some control
"Once you've allowed the consumer to create something around
your brand, you have to assume that is not something you can control,"
said Jeremy Allaire, founder and CEO of Brightcove. Brightcove
allows marketers to build video-content channels of their own
-- and provides users with the building blocks for their own creations.
This way you can make sure the ideas are still coming from the
marketer, and that's the key to successful consumer-generated
media, said Mr. Allaire. "It's highly empowering to consumers
and helps to accentuate those brands as opposed to diminish them."
14. Turn Advertising Week into a charity push
Euro's Mr. Jones also made a plea for all agencies to give all
the profit they make during that week to charity, rather than
just enjoying the booze and schmooze of a week-long industry event.
He also suggested that the industry collaborate to tackle a big
issue that week -- in the style of ProductRed, Bono and Bobby
Shriver's effort to combat AIDS in Africa.
15. Discourage sleep
In some ways Mr. Heyer and Mr. Rockwell's biggest idea is to transform
hotels into big bars and meeting spaces that just happen to also
have bedrooms. "We have to give [guests] a reason to use
their time in other ways. The last option is sleep," Mr.
16. Don't be (obviously) big, be brilliant
Asked how he "stays cool," Kidrobot's Mr. Budnitz alluded
to his success, saying "we make more toys and more money
than you think we do." He said he devotes a huge amount of
time to working out how to be big without getting bad and he said
the key, quite simply, is to be guided by the question "Is
it beautiful?" Don't be guided by money or other considerations.
17. Sit under the table
IDEO's Mr. Bennett was all about seeing things from fresh perspectives.
He cited the work of one of his staff who had done a project for
Ikea in which he was asked to produce storage devices for young
kids. To develop ideas, he followed a child around for a day of
play. Noting that the children he observed liked to huddle under
tables, the designer ended up eschewing traditional shelves and
went with a device that attaches under the table and allows kids
to shove toys between rubbery protrusions -- the product is now
a best seller.
17. Every day should be independence day
For a recent BMW print campaign, Jack Pitney, VP-marketing at
BMW North America, and Roy Spence, founder and president of GSD&M,
played up the car company's uniqueness in the automotive industry,
explaining that it's the only automaker that isn't part of some
greater parent company. "BMW is a very unique company because
we're purpose-driven," Mr. Pitney said before pointing out
that it's hard to beat the competition when they're your parent
18. All creatives are created equal
Perhaps most stunningly, Mr. Bogusky said he believed there were
great creatives everywhere, but that they are too often hampered
by bad management or the strictures of structures. The message
was clear -- free your copywriters and art directors and you'll
get better ideas and, most importantly in Mr. Bogusky's view,
The Moment Is Right for Online Video Ads
By Andrew Hampp / Published: November 07, 2006
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- It was
a bit of a coming out for Suzie Reider, YouTube's chief marketing
officer, who has been in the post for about a month and a half.
Ms. Reider has kept a fairly low profile media-wise through the
news of the Google's acquisition of YouTube, but as one of the
panelists for "The Online Video Revolution: A Marketer's
Dream or a Consumer-Generated Mess?" at Ad:Tech, she was
full of opinions on her new employer, YouTube users and how marketers
can use the site.
Best possible owner
Google, Ms. Reider told attendees, is the best possible parent
for YouTube. "Well over 100 million videos are being watched
a day on YouTube. I can't think of a better owner for YouTube
than Google," she said. "They've been able to help us
enormously with the back end and infractructure."
She added that Google has also purchased YouTube just as sales
of online video ads are poised to take off. "A year or two
ago, the broadcaster didn't have the opportunity to buy what you
were selling," Ms. Reider said. "The format was something
agencies didn't have the tools or management capabilities to buy.
We're seeing more of interactive agencies who actually have broadband
And just what does she think is the appeal of YouTube? "It's
about content distribution. There are ways for comedians and artists
and filmmakers to rise up and be found in ways that never would
have happened before," Ms. Reider said. "If a talent
agent is not going to own that starlet who's waitressing nights
and trying to crack her way into Hollywood, there's going to be
other ways for performers and content to rise up and be found.
That's what the YouTube environment is all about: digital distribution
of entertainment content."
'Community in control'
She listed as an example the underground contest for unsigned
bands, sponsored by Cingular, that started six weeks ago. "We
had 2,500 pieces of content come into the system that were bands
uploading their shows and they were totally in control of that.
Users were posting video replies. All of that happens, but it's
the community in control, not us."
The global nature of YouTube, she noted, is another reason why
the video portal has found so much success. "You can search
for content by language, then you can see content in the system
for that country. The way I've been thinking about the site is,
it is global," she said. "If you start to cord it off
and have localized versions of it, you lose the very essence of
what's so powerful about it and bringing content in from all over
the world. If you only want to see content in a foreign language
you can search for that too."
the Research and Trust Your Gut
/ Euro's David Jones Tells Idea
Conference to Take Back Creativity From Consumers
By Lisa Sanders / Published: November 02, 2006
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Relying on a "Dilbert" cartoon
to soften the blow of an at times harsh condemnations of ad industry
practices, David Jones, CEO of global agency network Euro RSCG
that rather than talking about
how to redefine creativity in a fast-changing world, "we
should just get on and do it."
As one of the ad industry's next-generation leaders, Mr. Jones
dissed consumer-generated content and the research industry while
exhorting a standing-room only audience at today's "Idea
Conference: Redefining Creativity" to think of themselves
not as makers of ads but as creators of short-form content. He
said the industry needs to show how powerful creativity can be.
The Idea Conference was hosted by Advertising Age and sibling Creativity magazine.
Not a shy guy
After teasing a smattering of laughs by showing a "Dilbert"
cartoon in which a character describes his day at the office ("As
usual I worked 'til midnight, worsening a presentation for a meeting
that won't happen for a project that doesn't exist"), Mr.
Jones, who is not shy about speaking up, laid out his thoughts
on how to move the industry forward. His talk focused on four
His first piece of advice: Stop worrying about the 30-second TV
commercial. The death of the TV ad is highly overrated, he maintained,
and "to talk about it is to miss the point. Our industry
is the best in the world at short-form content. We should think
of ourselves as creators of short-form content, not 30-second
Admitting to a bit of shameless promotion for his agency, he showed
"Waterboy," an animated commercial that runs for more
than two minutes, created and produced by Euro's Paris office.
"'Waterboy' took on a life of its own" after it was
aired, said Mr. Jones. The ad's soundtrack, which featured a cover
of Queen's rock anthem "We Will Rock You" sung by a
French schoolboy, was a spectacular success in France, where it
was released as an album. The album went gold and the single reached
He then criticized a popular trend in advertising today: the use
consumer-generated content. "We've got to stop thinking that
consumer-generated content is an idea," he said. "It
isn't. It is a phenomenon." The problem with relying on communications
created by regular Joes, he said, is that they "rarely create
content with your brand strategy in their pocket."
While admitting that some of what's posted on sites such as YouTube
and Heavy.com is good, he called most of it "crap" and
added that brands for the most part are not welcome on those sites.
The exception, he said, is "if you post brilliant ideas,
you'll get attention. The brand then gets control." To show
how that can happen -- in another promotional push for Euro --
he offered up consumer takeoffs posted on YouTube of an ad, called
"Dancer" and created by Euro RSCG London, in which a
Citroen C4 grooves in a parking lot. "Our industry cannot
delegate the creation of brilliant ideas to consumers. We have
to be at the starting point," he said. "Consumers can
take off from there."
Taking a "swipe at the research and pre-testing industry,"
Mr. Jones next exhorted listeners to stop asking permission. Drawing
on a "truth" from British comedian Vic Reeves that "96.2%
of all statistics are made up," Mr. Jones -- also a Brit
-- argued that some of the most well-liked ads aren't based on
research or focus-group results. Instead they but rely on a creative
director's gut instinct of what consumers will like. He cited
Procter & Gamble's effort for Charmin toilet tissue created
by Euro rival Publicis Worldwide that riffs off of the many euphemisms
for elimination. "Publicis took a risk, and did it without
a bit of research," he said.
And by way of reinforcing the previous point, his last bit of
advice was for creatives to "trust your gut." Advertising
is changing fast, and to not take a risk is risky -- even though
it's scary to take a risk. Risk-takers who've won big, according
to Mr. Jones, are Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and director
David Fincher ("Fight Club," "Seven").
Really redefining creativity
He suggested changing the current format of Advertising Week,
the weeklong boozy schmoozefest where industry insiders host seminars
and events attended by more industry insiders, to focus instead
on having the industry collaborate to solve big issues. "Others
are doing it," he said, citing ProjectRed, an effort spearheaded
by Bono and Bobby Shriver that brings together brands including
Gap, Converse, Motorola and Apple to fight AIDS in Africa. "If
we really want to redefine creativity, let's do something good
with it, and use it to tackle some big issues."
More News to Come....
By Daniel Sage / President of MobileAdMarketing.com (300,000 Mobile
Ad Spaces Available in 300 Markets in 48 States)
Facts and Stats on Mobile Outdoor Advertising...
- Some 150 Million
Americans Commute Every Business Day.
- The Average
American Travels 15,000 Milers Per Year.
- Outdoor Media
Reaches 96% Percent of US Consumers.
- The Average
Truckside AD Reach is about 50,000 per day.
- The Average
CPM Rate for Truckside Ads is around $1.50!
to the American Trucking Association - The Average Delivery
Truck Makes 16 Mil. Impressions a Year.