MediaPost Publications The Media-Sales Relationship Dynamic: Top-10 Dos and Don’ts 02/27/2014

•March 7, 2014 • 1 Comment

EllynMPostMediaPost Publications The Media-Sales Relationship Dynamic: Top-10 Dos and Don’ts 02/27/2014.

You’d think that, after writing MindOnMedia[Sales] for nearly 5 years, I would have summarized a list of Best Practices to use by now. To be sure, I’ve written about many of these very items at length, and maybe one day soon, I will write one like this…from the Sales side.

Until then, here is a great summary list, coming from the all-important Agency side [and maybe it is actually better one comes from the Agency side in some ways!] The perspective here, from Ellyn Rice at Piston, an indie shop in San Diego, takes that Agency view. But really her work here goes beyond that, looking at the relationship from both sides on how to proceed…and NOT proceed. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Automakers Should Just Let Apple And Google Build Their Infotainment Systems – Business Insider

•January 3, 2014 • 2 Comments

Maybe because of the Toyota experience recently with Prius [and its alleged 'automatic acceleration' woes], but you would think that the automakers of the world would have taken to outsourcing their electronics in this area by now.

After all, it is quite common in the back pages of AutoNews to see a ‘Where Was It Made’ schematic breakout of various car models, detailing where most parts of that car are made, and the parts-supplier company that made that item [since so much is in fact outsourced, which most consumers don't realize or pay attention to.] So why not their Infotainment systems?

Of course, then again, since these are also really the new toy to play with, maybe the OEM’s have just not arrived yet at the conclusion they SHOULD be outsourcing these fully, and soon. Or, maybe after the difficult, unfortunate Prius situation, there is hesitation. Maybe these systems become so intertwined into the car, interconnected into its most basic core, that it is seen as proprietary, and they are unwilling to relinquish that much control. A fair point, even though they essentially do this with things like power trains, tire technology, and steering/cooling elements.

But let’s get real: Until they can offer up a system as cool as the iPhone/iPad, or as universal as Android, they are fighting a battle that will not end.

Automakers Should Just Let Apple And Google Build Their Infotainment Systems – Business Insider.

MoM[S]: 2013 In Review

•December 30, 2013 • Leave a Comment

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,200 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 37 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Chaos of TV Creative: Agency or Client?

•December 27, 2013 • 1 Comment

Like you perhaps, I have had time over the holidays to relax a bit, and get caught up on some TV movies/shows not seen in recent months. Now I could be wrong, but just from watching on a single night…I noticed a slew of *very* bad Holiday ads, with all kinds of things wrong with them.

Not naming any names here [as many seen were from clients/agencies/brands I have worked with previously, and am sure to work with again in the future], but the quality levels were so noticeable…in an off way…that I have to wonder: Client or Agency?

Granted, both parties facilitated these ads ever seeing the light of day to begin with [or light of TV/Video screen, if you prefer], but in my experience, it is usually one prevailing over the other. This is just some of what I saw was wrong with these spots:

  • Having absolutely no identifiable ‘message’, or point, to the ad. [And worse, trying to tie THAT, whatever "that" is, into some form of 'Holiday Sale' notifier.]
    • “Abstract” may work as Art form, or Music composition. Not so much in conveying meaning in a :30 or :60-second spot.
  • A fragmented, false or undeveloped “premise”: This is advertising at its full-cliche’ best. Or worst.
    • What do I mean here? The cliche’ part arises, as many ad concepts for commercials build around a “premise” that either creates a problem/solution, a statement about the product, or a goodtime humor element, hoping to create a positive feeling about the brand with laughter.
    • Examples: the ecstatic aunt, dizzy over your new floor cleaner. Or the ‘whoosh’ of hair from a car commercial…even though the speed limit is 65 in most of the US.
    • Viewing these, as a consumer, there comes that feeling that ‘something is missing’ from the ad. Or it ‘feels out of place’ somehow.
    • This is a result either of poor concept, poor conception, or lack of development. Somehow there is a disconnect that no one saw during production, or just allowed to pass. Not good either way.
    • Last, many times an issue with premise will result from faulty dialogue, poor editing [where scenes or dialogue are cut short], or lack of a coherent, cohesive theme to begin with.
  • Is the context relevant? Even if the ad is free of glaring errors or problems, does it make sense to its audience? Did the setting work? What about that “premise”? Was the theme of the ad clear, and did it convey a message, one that most in the audience could identify?
    • Just because you got a wry smile from someone, did that actually further the brand? [Too often, I may snicker at the humorous "premise" the ad postulates. But that may be an uncomfortable one…and may also do nothing to aid recall or interest.]
  • Being too damn “cutesy”. Yes, sometimes being cute DOES sell. But, except in very rare cases, being cutesy does not.
  • On both of these last two, some would say that just noticing the premise or the cute factor alone, is the greatest faux pas. While I might agree overall on that point, that also may not be giving quite enough slack, especially on an item that subjective. [In the end, all of these are subjective anyway, so this takes it just one step further.]

From there, the related, crucial questions from the title of this article then arise:

  • Did the client insist on the creative/message, regardless?
  • Or, be honest here – Did a too-small/reduced client budget, with a too-short turnaround window, force the agency into something not fully developed?
  • Even worse than that: Did the client at some point, insist on an add-on to the original message? Basically changing something with a theme, into something with a theme…and some type of Direct-Response “action” message, thereby destroying the original concept? Happens quite often, I’m afraid.
    • I think we are seeing more of this, as marketing/advertising is required to justify its “ROI”, to corporate Purchasing departments.
  • Next…what about the agency; was the spot something they thought was “clever”, to which the client deferred judgement?
  • Did the agency insist on forging ahead? Was the approach/concept taken, one the client agreed with or understood? Sometimes you wonder.
    • The one related to this of course, concerns whether the agency was ‘chasing awards’ with the work, or not. More than once in the past [but not always], the Grand Effie or Gold Lion winner at Cannes, has been something few have ever seen, let alone brought attention to the client. You see this debated in AdWeek/AdAge every now & again.

At this point, many of you could be asking, “OK, so what does this have to do with Media Sales, exactly?” Good point. And the answer is easy: As more ad/commercial content is ported to the Digital side [whether you call it Digital Media, Second-Screen Content, or something else], it is YOU, that will be held responsible in part if or when the ad ‘doesn’t perform’. And with the many metrics available, this is a very real concern.

Now, all of this could in addition be seen as issues of a Branding nature. And I would note in closing that, while this largely is a “What’s Wrong” list, it is not meant to be a complete summary; it is mainly a starting point for dialogue. Nor does it mean, that the opposite of these items would by definition be the only things that make a *great* ad. Far from it.

What about you? See anything you have liked, or not liked, in late-2013?

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A Reflection on ‘Rate Deals’…

•October 23, 2013 • 1 Comment

I think I’ll just let these two article headlines stand for themselves, without much comment. I did not include a link to the first one, since by its gruesome nature, I do not want to add to its site traffic.

As I work with many Autos clients…and have for years…it is probably best to let these speak as they are, and not discuss any one Brand, especially when the picture addresses a larger issue, even as it snares this automaker here.

But I will point out, that it is interesting these appeared…and were published on…the SAME day. Highly ironic timing, for those that see the possible correlations and how these seemingly juxtaposed each other today…

digiday1

mediapost1

What We Talk About When We Talk About Programmatic

•August 5, 2013 • Leave a Comment

What We Talk About When We Talk About Programmatic.

This piece from Jed Nahum on AdExchanger, is an excellent summation of the truth, mystery, reality, myth & legend, that are all a part of the quickly-emerging world of automated Digital Media buying, planning and selling.

And as he also states near the end of this work, the world IS big and it will incorporate all of the areas he outlines, even as the ‘legacy’ methods also remain in the mix.

The Ad Tech Shakeout is Coming | Digiday

•July 12, 2013 • Leave a Comment

The Ad Tech Shakeout is Coming | Digiday.

You really have to wonder when you read an article like this, from Digiday. One talking about how, of the many firms that now make up the Digital Media Ecosphere…very many of the more recent arrivals onto the scene, are…not…profitable. Busted, broke, living off of VC dollars, hoping to either be bought, magically figure out the model that will make them money, or just go public.

What this also puts loudly onto display, is the irony that most of these same firms…in their endless hype about how they will ‘alter the economics of the Web forever’ with the new efficiencies that only their firm offers…seem to revel in such stuff even as they themselves lose money every day, week, year. Really now? Where are YOUR efficiencies? And if your “solution” is so great for the Ad world, how come you can’t make any money with it?

Even more, the cackling reaches cacophonous levels most often from the “experts” at these firms, surrounding the RTB environment. Their farce only grows as they prattle on endlessly about how there is ‘a great need for automation’ in digital advertising, shaking out all human intervention [and costs with it, presumably], even as NONE of these people are with or making any of their own firms profitable.

That is funny/sad, or sad/funny. Depends on whether you are a VC or not, I guess. And yes, all of this nascent technology is in early stages, so revenues will find a place soon. Until then, maybe a more humble realism about their skillsets [and financial viability] might help such people next time. But I guess that would be ironic too, wouldn’t it?

[On a separate note, I interviewed back in the day with some of the firms named in this piece. So my final thought surrounds how truly arrogant some of these players were in the hiring process at the time...all while running firms not making a dime. Snicker. Are they impressing anyone beside themselves, then or now?]

 
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