- VS -


(OR 300 Reasons Why It Needs to CHANGE)
"Exhibit B " / (Media Post) Advertising Blues...The Headlines (Stories #48 - #78)
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  1. Advertising After the End of Mass Media (Read Story) top
  2. The Future of Advertising is Here (Read Story)
  3. The Rise of the Consumer-Generated Media Machine (BY CABLE NEUHAUS / April 2005 issue) (Read Story)
  4. The End of Advertising and Media as We Have Known It (Read Story)
  5. New-Think Marketing Effort Collides With Old-Think Media Types (Read Story) (Philips' 'Simplicity' Campaign: A Brilliant Creative Standout ) (Jonah Bloom) (Read Story)
  6. Agencies Short on Real Ideas Should Check Out Edelman.com (Jonah Bloom) (Read Story) top
  7. Some Thoughts on Obsolete Business Models (Read Story) (And How Big Agencies Have Done Remarkably Little to Reinvent Themselves / Jonah Bloom) (Read Story)
  8. Where are the Revolutionaries? (Read Story)
  9. New Book Reports 37% of All Advertising Is Wasted (Read Story) top
  10. But New-Think Marketing Effort Collides With Old-Think Media Types (Jonah Bloom) (Read Story)
  11. Though Ad Rules are Changing, You Still Have to be Consistent (By Rance Crain) (Read Story) top
  12. Risk Aversion is Risky Business for Marketers and Agencies (Among Other Things, It Makes Advertising Creativity an Endangered Species (By Rance Crain) (Read Story)
  13. Global Brands - BusinessWeek/Interbrand rank the Brands that best built their images -- and made them stick read
  14. Consumers Rebel Against Marketers' Endless Surveys (Read Story) (30 Top Industry Execs Gather to Discuss 'Opinion Fatigue' Crisis (By Jack Neff) (Read Story)
  15. Media Is Dead! Content Is Dethroned! Passion Rules! / Commentary (Read Story) top
  16. 'Mass Media Marketing is Over' – Mcdonalds Chief Says… (Read Story)
  17. Why Hollywood Studios Are putting Billions in Play as Lions Gate, Fox Seek Forward Media Agencies (Read)
  18. Entrepreneur Magazine says you have to expose a message an average of 27 times before he'll buy. (Read Story)
  19. Ad Advertising Week: All Hail Fragementation (Read Story)
  20. The Future of Advertising The Implications For Marketing and Media (Read Story)
  21. When Things were Easier for Marketers (Read Story)
  22. Your Marketing Sucks (Read Story)
  23. Is Advertising Dead? (Read Story)
  24. Why Advertising is Broken (And How to Fix it) (Read Story)
  25. Making Your Advertising Message Stand Out (Read Story)
  26. Privatization "Tsunami Sweeps Old Media (Many Others Consider a Future Apart From Wall St.) (Read Story)
  27. Don't Buy Newspapers. Donate Them to Charity / Media Guy's Plan to Save The Dailies.......(Read Story)
  28. Can Google Save Old Meida / Digital Giant Starts Newspaper Trial (Read Story)
  29. P&G Pumps Up Print Ad Spending, Trims TV....(Read Story)
  30. Commercial-Ratings Rancor Derails Rollout (Force Neilson to Re-think Move )....(Read Story)
  31. More Ad World Blues - Account Reviews and Moving / Ad Critics / Archive Links etc...(Read Stories)

1. Advertising After the End of Mass Media
by Glen Emerson Morris (from Advertising & Marketing Review 8/2004)

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.

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 professionally.)

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 yearly basis.

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.

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 it.

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 Davis.

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.

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 their Websites.

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.

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 Here

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. top


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) top

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.


'Marketers are 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. top

Like television?
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.

Certainly wrong
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.

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 over time.

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.

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.

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 out.

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.



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 top


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 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. top


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."


Painful tales

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 company." top


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) top

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. top


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. top


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." top


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. top



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. top

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:


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... top



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 art.


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 ad world.


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. top


Fatally flawed

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. top


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.


Fear incrementalism

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? top


*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 top


Talk about a squandered opportunity: Titans of the media industry turned out to speak at Advertising Week-and had nothing to say.


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 waffle. top


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. top


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 spark.

The industry most certainly needs one. / http://adage.com/article?article_id=112383


9. 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 08, 2006


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. ... top




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 of '06.

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. top



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. top


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."


Painful tales

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 company." top


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 the brand. top


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." top


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 badges. top


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. top


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 message?


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 Species

(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.  top

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." top


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 year ahead. top


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 and profits.


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. top


Steve Heyer's ideas

What they're 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. top


Let's free advertising from the tyranny of trepidation and timidity.




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 today." top


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 market leadership.)

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.

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 Group.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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' Endless Surveys

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. top


Opinion fatigue

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, and CMOR.


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). top


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. Chadwick said.


Cost issue

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. top


"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 next project."


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 same way.


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," she said. top


Different results

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. top


Paid respondents

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 DVRs.


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 the 1970s.


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. top


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. top


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 it further.


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 in shows. top


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! top


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?"  top


Proof Mass 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 web. top

The End of Mass Marketing / http://www.cmomagazine.com/analyst/022405_forrester.html

Mass advertising is Dead – Mcdonalds / http://www.focusedwebdesign.com/fwd/archives/2005/04/index.html


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."

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.

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.

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."  /



18. 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. top

One 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. top

So 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.

"The 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?"

During 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 media teams. top

"We 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." top

David 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.

"We are now, ladies and gentlemen, advertising to the interested. We are no longer trying to bludgeon... with advertising," said Verklin.

Rare 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.

On 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."

It's 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. top

Levy 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 accounts.

Verklin, who recently became chairman of the agency's Asia-Pacific operation, would likely agree.

"Picking 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. top


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 know them. top


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." top


Overview posted January 2006 / http://www.boozallen.com/industries/industries_article/1077807?lpid=660156




21. When Things were Easier for Marketers / Column: Perspective

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.

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.

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.

Nigel Morris is CEO of Aegis' Isobar. (nigel.morris@carat.com)




22. 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. top


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 alive.


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. top


Xxxxxxxx top


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 the world.


23. Is Advertising Dead?

by Joe Mandese, June 2005 issue top


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. top


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. top


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 was.


Consumer-Driven Reality

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. top


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 content.


"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 advertising messages). top


"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 changed."


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. top


"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." top


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.


Alternative Economics

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 advertising.


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 the transition.


"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 viewers.


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. top


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 works. top


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 board.


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. top


"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 complete control."


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 top


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. top


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 media buying. top


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 and expire. top


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 advertising marketplace.


David Pasternack is president of Did-it.com, a New York-based search marketing firm. Reach him at dave@did-it.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? top

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. top


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 other concept.


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. top


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 like.)


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. top


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. top

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? top


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 top


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.

Old-media stalwarts
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."

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.

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."

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 Edelman.

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 with them."

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 top


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?)

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.

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.

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 the public?

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: sdumenco@crain.com  / http://adage.com/mediaworks/article?article_id=112966



28. Can Google Save Old Media? / Digital Giant to Start Newspaper Trial

By Nat Ives  / Published: November 05, 2006 top


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.

"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."

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.)

"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.

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 like.

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 this system."

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) top

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.


A.G. Lafley
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 better.

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.

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 marketers.

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.

Declined comment
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 contracts.

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."

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 63.5%.

Xxxx / / http://adage.com/article?article_id=112994


30. Commercial-Ratings 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. top


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 expected.

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.


Xxxxxxxxxxx / http://adage.com/mediaworks/article?article_id=112983


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31. Goodby's New Saturn Spot: Mediocrity Like Never Before / TV Work is an Absolute Surrender to Corporate Unimaginativeness

By Bob Garfield  / Published: November 05, 2006


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?


Absolute surrender
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 TV commercial.

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.

Advertising Unimaginativeness
"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.

Google Earth
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



32. 18 Big Ideas From the Idea Conference (From Some of the Industry's Most Dynamic Minds)

By Andrew Hampp  / Published: November 05, 2006


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 go."

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 occasional bong!)

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. Heyer said.

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 company.

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, better execution.




At Ad:Tech: 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 folks."

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."



Ignore 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 Worldwide, said

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 recommendations.

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 ads."

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 platinum.

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."

Consumer-generated 'crap'
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.... top

Compiled By Daniel Sage / President of MobileAdMarketing.com (300,000 Mobile Ad Spaces Available in 300 Markets in 48 States)


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