Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

Google gets a dose of media reality

I sometimes joke with the Just Media team that media planning could be done by a bunch of trained monkeys. It’s one of the reasons clients are always trying to pay us peanuts for our services!

Indeed in this modern economy of cost cutting and service justification it’s often the impression that agencies like ours that only do media planning and buying (no creative work) are a luxury item that can be replaced, in many cases by clients doing the work themselves. Well for once I have to send my thanks to Google for proving to all that it’s simply not possible to replace hard working media professionals with automated systems and algorithms.

The news Google has pulled out of trying to sell traditional media like print and radio was somewhat of a surprise to me I have to say. I was quietly concerned that potential cost savings offered by media bidding models would attract significant attention and dollars out of the hands of professional buyers, like us. I thought, foolishly it seems, that human input into this process was so devalued by many that a new “agency” model was being created – indeed that was the stated goal.

However the reality is it’s actually getting harder than ever to be in this business. The knowledge required is so much greater than just 15 years ago when I started on the agency side (where I moved for ad sales). Obviously the web has lead to much of that – it’s a media vehicle with almost unlimited options and the ability to combine pretty much every other media type within it (print, radio, TV, events, face to face meeting, out of home – all is replicated in the digital world). However as we have seen even radio, a media format that offers so many similarities with online as regards buying (small standardized ad units, solid audience demographics, calculated values of spot rate based on target reached) it’s really not that simple. Especially complex is the evaluation of the performance metrics so beloved by Google algorithms and also the “human effect” of bias ingrained in most radio advertisers who like to speculate on what times and stations their target is listening rather than using simple mathematics to calculate a reach/impression/value matrix that builds a plan based on desired response.

So thank you Google – for once you have helped prove we still do have a place in this world and that my team is not in any immediate danger of being replaced by chimps and gibbons.

Recognizing great work

So like many I’m a sucker for a good campaign and as a professional of the industry (and frustrated creative director since here at Just Media we do, well, ‘just media’) I do recognize excellence when I see it.

Today I’m congratulating the folks behind the new Guinness campaign. I came across this as an in-banner video on the Newsnow football (soccer) feed. Obviously well targeted to male sports fans (high likelihood of drinking beer in pubs) it immediately caught my attention.

The ad shows a classic build on the old Domino tumbling game that most guys are sure to have played when they were kids (probably girls as well but I have not checked this fact). In this version the ‘domino’s’ consisted of books, cars, fridges, wardrobes and other assorted items. Apparently shooting this ad, which also featured as a TV spot was the most expensive in Guinness history.

Once I clicked on the ad it took me to a game where I was offered the chance to win a sold gold domino if I solved 11 clues. OK so I’ve only had time to solve four so far but I’m already hooked.

Here’s the really clever stuff. These clues include a search feature which drives you to Google results. The agency has bought keyword ads which are the path to the results. In one case it links to You Tube where the clue is hidden in another video.

It’s rare to find a creative so well leveraged across different media types, much less for the team behind the game to spend the time to build out a complex solution encompassing the latest web technologies both in terms of ad creative, and integration into the campaign. The landing page also features great flash creative work.

In a word this brilliant campaign shows just how sophisticated marketing programs are now becoming and also show why both media and creative agencies are working harder now than ever before to create truly unique and multi layered programs.

Hats off to the media and creative teams working on Guinness. I for one salute your endeavours…

Oh by the way did I mention the viral aspect of this ?????

Mixing media and politics

This is a subject I could probably write about all day. I have often been told that here in the US it’s high risk to talk about religion or politics – but what’s a good blog without some controversy !!

So here’s the scene. I’m talking campaign tactics with one of our many creative partners who have a target of senior business decision makers and wanted to consider a variety of media formats. As the conversation turned to TV, I naturally named some stations I’d suggest we consider….

“CNN, MSNBC, Fox News “…

“Oh no” countered my creative friend “I don’t want to support them”

“me neither but they do offer up a strong profile”

And so here’s the dilema for media folks. Sometimes we are faced with using media vehicles we ourselves don’t subscribe to or even support. This is true whatever political side this takes. And it’s a tough call. In most cases there are viable alternatives which means we could justify the choices we make even though we know the real reason is our feeling of discomfort with the content rather than the audience. And yes supporting media with advertising dollars does support the message they promote so I don’t subscribe to the “it should only be about the audience” argument.

But who’s call is it and also are we always consistent? In my own case I’m not. Just a few months ago we recemmended a radio buy using right wing talk radio because the target audience was exactly who we needed to reach (concerned older consumers who would look at an online security product to protect their online banking proceedures). In this case the campaign success required me to “suck it up”.

At the same time we planned another campaign targeting consumers who might install solar panels and it was great pleasure that I could place media buys into public radio and liberal radio stations. Even up the score so to speak.

OK so you probably summize that I’m a bit of a lefty (part of that famous left wing media bias eh !). Actually I’m not really, but then in a country with only two parties it’s hard to not fall into one camp or the other…

And that my friends is really my biggest problem with media and politics….where’s the hghly analytical middle ground that I can support ??? Where’s the good old fashioned “unbiased anti political establishment media” that questions all our leaders and really holds them accountable. Don’t see to much of that these days and we are all the worse off for it.