Monday, November 14, 2016

The MultiPlatform Age

The  recent election in the US – and the BREXIT referendum in the UK have proven one thing decisively – media statistics are at best unreliable; at worst manipulative and biased.


 If you can’t rely on the media for statistical analysis in elections, how can you rely on them for reporting on advertising – which affect the bottom line of all media organization.  

 Advertising pays for the media moguls’ golden parachutes.  Is it in the best interests of the these guys to let their underlings report the obvious – that a lot of TV advertising is wasted dolllars, yen, pounds, and euros.

 Of course, not.

 So we have a zillion articles like this one:

This article says that TV advertising works -- because most big companies think it does.

Yeah.  Hillary Clinton thought TV advertising worked, too and spent a hug amount of money on it – only to lose to Trump, who realized, as a media guy, that advertising is really just publicity – and there are many ways to do that -- especially notoriety   His open-ended, controversial media comments were enthusiastically reported by a media eager to discredit him -- but generally distrusted.  Call it blow-back or just smart persuasion but Trump's  relative lack of TV ad work actually played to his advantage. The media did all his work for him -- for free!

 Hillary didn't understand how TV advertising works.

Neither do most companies -- and (sadly) most ad companies.  (Where is Don Draper when you need him?)

While TV commercials can be very effective  -- you have to be very smart to do them right.  If you have a limited budget, you will have to look beyond TV to other tools. 

Years ago I wrote a pitch for a small Japanese ad company in competition for French bottled water makers first introductory campaign in japan.  Our competitors were all the big names – Dentsu, Hakuhodo, McCann.  They offered campaigns centering on TV ad work, usually celebrities.   

My approach involved a lot of research into the French bottled water industry, emerging trends in Japan and elsewhere.  I concluded that TV ads could come later.  I didn’t offer any TV advertising at all, arguing that the money could be more effectively used on other publicity tools, targeting specific demographics.   In the beginning, you needed to mobilize what are now called “influencers” – the young people who embrace trends and drive them. I argued you need what I call "virality".  You didn't  need to waste money on celebrities to establish French water as “cool”.  It’s French. It’s cool by definition-- and relatively easy to make go viral.

 Sometimes less if more.  Of course, we won.  

The French companies themselves still don’t put up money for TV ad work here.  They let their distributors do that. 

TV ads can achieve "virality".  Look at the Internet.  Certain companies produce TV commercials that are always getting impressive hits on YouTube.  BMW, Benz, Audi, for example
They do so by sheer creative excellence and a level of originality that is hard for competitors to match.

You can no longer consider TV commercials just by themselves.   In the age of multiplatform media, commercial content cannot be successful unless it can be ported to digital media --something of a challenge – because digital media today allows more choice than TV used to, once upon a time.

Yes, fast forward is a thing.  And nobody watches a YouTube commercial longer than 4 seconds unless it is interesting  In fact, the boring ones are just "negative" advertising.  Why piss off potential customers?  

Commercial work must be both entertaining and art.

No comments:

Post a Comment