Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

Bad news, “savvy” marketers – you ARE the clutter.

In Media, Memorable Marketing, Research on February 11, 2015 at 3:59 pm

Saw an interesting research brief the other day. The Center for Media Research was summarizing a study from Track Maven that shined light on a truth that we all know, intuitively -but all vainly think is only a problem for someone else.

To put it bluntly, in the blind effort to inundate every potential customer with their oh-so-valuable messaging, marketers are spewing it out to every possible channel. They pat themselves on the back for “capitalizing” on every social media trend, never missing a trick, being present on every virtual stage they know (or have recently heard about). The only trouble is, they are apparently doing it without paying nearly enough attention to the content of that messaging.  As a result, too many of them are simply boring more people in more places, and contributing to the overall marketplace din that they are presumably trying to cut through.


The study highlighted in the report shows that there is far less engagement per item as this tonnage has grown. A bit self-serving for the organization conducting the research, perhaps – but does anyone out there really doubt that it is true?

This marketplace is really nothing more than an analogy to the whole “parity” marketing struggle so many companies go through. If your product isn’t different, isn’t unique, isn’t interesting, then you are doomed to a battle on price, at best. Or in this case, relative anonymity, since no one cares.

It’s a logical thought process, of course – but too much though is going into the distribution end, and not enough into what is being distributed.  Too many times today, buzz-trends like “native marketing” are really just “naive” marketing. Just getting in people’s faces isn’t a good thing. Getting into their minds is far better – and takes real work.


For 2013, one marketing idea buried the rest.

In Media, Memorable Marketing on December 3, 2013 at 6:47 pm

“Outside the box” is a  horrible cliche’- mostly because it’s the price of entry for any marketing communication effort these days.  The number of messages bombarding the average brain every day makes it obvious that bland, “typical” messages simply won’t penetrate.  To me, that means that effective advertising and public relations efforts do have to meet one simple standard: they have to be smart.

They have to demonstrate creativity born of insight; the kind that only happens when its creators stop thinking in terms of a particular magazine page or 30-second TV unit. Every project should start with a clean drawing board and a simple strategy that includes WHOM we’re talking to, WHAT we want them to do and WHY we expect them to believe us.

With those as the only parameters, I think my favorite marketing effort of 2013 came from Brazil, and featured Count Chiquinho Scarpa. He is an exotic Brazilian billionaire, somewhat famous for his excentric behavior. He announced on Facebook  his intention to, on a given day in September, bury his  luxurious Bentley automobile worth  $500,000 in his yard – a la the ancient Pharoahs who buried their priceless artifacts, as if to be reclaimed in the afterlife.

A Bentley for reference – in case yours is in the shop.

The Brazilian population was outraged – and the country’s media channels, and many international ones, grabbed the bait like the starved piranha in the nearby Amazon.  The event was discussed and debated endlessly, with talk shows obsessing about it and newspaper editorials calling him out. Scarpa himself appeared frequently to “explain” his reasoning and fan the flames.  In all, many millions of dollars worth of media time were allocated to the topic.

On the appointed day, with media everywhere (including in helicopters overhead), the Bentley Read the rest of this entry »

“Effective” frequency? How about “offensive” frequency?

In Ad Creative, Media on July 17, 2009 at 1:21 pm

In the world of media planning, “effective frequency” describes the minimum number of times a TV spot must be seen by an individual within a certain period of time for its message to make an impression.  It seems to me (and I’ve taught media courses) that there is  little science and a great deal of guesswork in arriving at a number. The starting point is typically three, but that number can vary widely for all kinds of reasons. many of them arbitrary

My TV watching is probably about average in amount. But if I am to believe that media planners are doing their jobs well,  certain ad campaigns must have “effective frequency” numbers of approximately 7,253.  They aren’t necessarily bad commercials. But I CAN’T STAND SEEING THEM ANY MORE!

For starters, let’s talk Alltel. Perhaps you’ve seen the spot in which good old Chad is led by an androgynous child up to his family, scavenging in an amusement park. The big payoff line is  “Billy, I found you a new retainer!”  I’ve come to inadvertently recite the dialogue along with the characters.  Another Alltel spot is less annoying, but only a little less overexposed. Chad helps a group of superheroes to stay connected inexpensively with “My Circle.” Read the rest of this entry »

Save a newspaper – eat a Big Mac!

In Media, Research on July 8, 2009 at 4:00 pm

All in all,  it was a pretty interesting article. Granted, it was reporting the results of research conducted by a newspaper organization. But I’m glad to hear any good news about newspapers, so it was good to hear that newspaper readership is growing sharply in developing countries. (And also that in this country, combined print and on-line newspaper readership  is up, as well.)

But it contained a line that stopped me:  “More adults read a newspaper every day than people eat a Big Mac every year.”  Trying to process that comparison, I felt like quoting that Monte Python character: “My brain hurts!”  I mean, I guess it’s impressive. Lots of people eat Big Macs, right?

Well, yes. Except for those who don’t have a McDonald’s nearby. Or don’t like McDonald’s. Or do like McDonald’s, but not Big Macs. But then again, we’re talking about a whole year, compared to a day. And basing it on people as opposed to the more limiting adults on the newspaper side of things. Read the rest of this entry »

Favre’s return no surprise. But THIS one IS!

In Media on June 17, 2009 at 11:23 am

Let’s talk about comebacks. Optimism. Desire. Energy. Sure, the return everyone is talking about is Brett Favre’s with the Minnesota Vikings. I’m all in favor of that one. Sure, the soap opera gets a bit tiresome. But he’s been a great player, and if he wants to continue–and there’s a team that wants him–he should do exactly what he’s doing. Ignore the clueless couch potatoes and sanctimonious sportwriters talking about tarnishing legends. That’s HIS business.

Favre popping up again isn’t a big surprise, but here’s one that IS: a brand new home-delivered daily newspaper is emerging in Detroit. According to this article in the Lansing State Journal, two publishers are launching a brand new daily in an attempt to fill the void left when the major Detroit papers recently cut back on the days they provide home  delivery. As you all know, the newspaper industry itself is back on its heels, trying to figure out a way to survive, let alone grow. Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t read the newspaper? Don’t brag about it.

In Media on May 30, 2009 at 6:56 pm

After posting comments on numerous blogs, most of them business-related, I’ve decided to start my own. Of course, it’s more involved than I thought. (Silence, wife!) While I’m learning the drill, I’ll toss out an opinion to get things started. For this first post, full disclosure: my degree is in Journalism, and I started out to be one.

The past few years  have seemed like one long obituary for newspapers. Fewer people than ever interact with a printed newspaper on a daily basis. And, at least according to the college classes I teach (admittedly the least newspaper-friendly demographic), they aren’t flocking to newspaper-run Websites, or even news networks, as an alternative, either. So it’s not a case of “why buy it when I can get it free?”  It’s more like, “I don’t have (i.e. won’t make) time for the news; besides, I’ve got social media to keep me informed.” Read the rest of this entry »