Archive for June, 2012

Media Planning is more important than ever.

Monday, June 18th, 2012

pic source :

So there was no great exploitation of “situationism” over the Jubilee weekend then, or certainly nothing that captured my attention (aside from the advertised notion that the Queen, like so many of the rest of us, eats Mexican).

It doesn’t seem like 35 years since the Sex Pistols “revolutionised” pop music to me.  It is not that it feels like a shorter time span.  It is more that it feels like that revolution in pop never happened.  It certainly didn’t stick.  The return to middle of the road pop was almost instant.  I was discussing the subject with my resident music expert, and he pointed out that it was so much simpler to make an immediate impact in media terms in those days.  One appearance on the Today show with Bill Grundy could catapult you to instant proper fame/notoriety.

Nowadays there is still the instant route to mass fandom via X Factor for packaged pop, but the non-mainstream has much less opportunity to get mass exposure easily.  We are less easily shocked perhaps than in the 1970s, but also and more crucially, we are all watching different stuff, and barely keeping our attention on one thing for more than about 5 minutes before we move on.  (Speaking of 20th century icons, Wharhol couldn’t have been more right with his prediction of 15 minutes of Fame for everyone).

Bands and Brands suffer the same dilemma – to become famous and loved by enough people to drive business success is harder than ever before.  It is media planners I would contend who have access to the understanding of data and of consumers and of media channels to create the journey to success.

The torturous path to public attention now means that some artists who write songs which could be huge hits don’t get to have huge hits because not enough people get to hear them.  For example here’s Ed Harcourt’s Church of No Religion.  Have a listen to this.  My resident pop expert tells me that, if ColdPlay had released it, it would have been number one in 38 countries.  See if you agree.

Lessons from TV

Friday, June 8th, 2012

The current series of Mad Men goes from strength to strength.  This week’s episode (and I won’t spoil it for anyone who has yet to catch up with SkyPlus) was breathtaking.  And last week’s was a subtly pitched lesson in the politics of feminism at work (how else would she have made Partner ?)

The one thing that does not hold up in the show is the length of the meetings.  The characters go into a meeting.  They present the work.  The client rejects it or buys it.  The meeting ends (in about 3 minutes  – Don likes to know he isn’t wasting his time). 

They have a partners meeting.  The agenda takes 4 minutes to run through.  Everyone leaves (or it goes on for slightly longer in certain special cases which we may all be familiar with in one form or another) .

This may seem like a ridiculous thing to raise – after all pinpoint accuracy is not the point of the show (although the horror raised in a recent episode at the idea that a client might only pay for the work that the agency had done, as opposed to the full 15% commission (plus production mark-ups), certainly rang true.)  I raise it because the idea of such short meetings, where you say what you need to say and then move on, fills me with envy.  Of course the real reason that the TV show only shows short meetings is because showing longer ones would be boring.  THAT’S MY POINT.

If you can do it in 20 minutes, why schedule an hour ?  If you can’t do it in 20 minutes then it’s probably too complicated and you should simplify it until you can. 

There was a fad for meetings without seats a few years ago.  The idea was that this would force shorter meetings.  At 5 foot 2 inches I was never a fan of this as it tended to mean that I got a sore neck from looking up at people.  There must be another technique out there that could save us from the 3, 4, 5 hour meeting ?

If you agree with me you could try this, or this.  Or in this weather you could try a meeting outside?