Monthly Archives: October 2011

If You Ask A Stupid Question…

I almost expect new research on our media usage to be misleading these days. You know the sort of thing; like asking an online panel how many hours a day/days per week do they claim to do this or that and then concluding that people spend more time online than doing anything else. We’ve had a steady flow of that kind of research from the digital specialists for so long now that I’ve become inured to it, but when the industry regulator – OFCOM – engages in similarly dodgy research, the hackles begin to rise again.

In their latest study of young people’s media use, OFCOM asked a sample of 1700 children (aged 5-15) and their parents a number of questions about how much time they spend with different media channels and how important each one is to them. In particular, they ask a question about which piece of technology they would most miss if it was taken away from them; television, the internet, or their mobile phone. Read more on If You Ask A Stupid Question……

“Two little dickie birds sitting on a wall” … why TV is all of a Twitter

“Twitter has gone ballistic”. This was the phrase used to quantify the popularity that “Steps Reunion” had achieved, and why Steps should sate the demand of the Great British Public and reunite. (*Exhale*, yes confession time, my guilty TV secret is Steps Reunion on Sky Living HD)

But Stephen (the highly successful manager bought in to manage the Steps re-union) was right; they indeed trended on Twitter during each of the recent shows.

And so do lots of other TV shows. You know, those “must watch shows”, the ones that you used to talk about in the kitchen at work whilst making a cuppa, or if you are American, inspire those “water cooler moments”.

Cooking with Gas – The concept of non-goals

In keeping with the on-going cultural domination that is Scandinavia (Steig Larsson, The Killing, Wallander, Nordic Golden Square etc) a Swedish café called Nyborg has recently opened in North London’s  Muswell Hill. Weekend day rye bread open sandwiches, cinnamon buns, Saturday morning bacon rolls and a good line in coffee are all present and, understatedly, stylishly, correct.

Where Nyborg  differs is the breadth of its Sunday Lunch menu . This consists of: roast chicken for two with potatoes and a tomato salad.

And that’s it. A menu of just one dish. This is a certain kind of genius. Read more on Cooking with Gas – The concept of non-goals…

Rusbridger will be happy with circ dip

I am pretty sure executives at The Guardian will be pretty chuffed about the 4.4 per cent hit the paper’s circulation has taken after its 20p cover price increase, as reported by Media Week this morning.

When The Guardian’s 20p lift in cover price made it at £1.20 the most expensive national daily newspaper in the country (excluding the FT),  editor-in-chief of The Guardian Alan Rusbridger, and other executives were clearly worried about the impact it might have on its circulation. Read more on Rusbridger will be happy with circ dip…

The media pitch – 11 starter questions

The media pitch hasn’t changed but it should. Over-scoped briefs seeking solutions to too many ill defined marketing communications problems, sloppy processes and ludicrous media costing templates designed in the 1980s for an analogue world, all too frequently conspire to achieve an incredibly ambitious goal – the status quo, with the promise of huge cost savings! Surely we can do better than that?

Well done to ISBA and the IPA for creating website – a worthy endeavour and timely reminder of the basic principles of good business practice, as well as decent human behaviour. What a shame it is, that in 2011 agencies and clients need to be reminded to be respectful, brave, open and transparent… Read more on The media pitch – 11 starter questions…

What is more difficult, fighting to get content on IPTVs or a seat on a train?

It’s 6.35pm and as my, short on carriages, and over-crowded train pulls out of Waterloo, I’m left wondering whether people prefer for life to be easy, or just not too difficult. The difference? Well, I would argue that we all want an easier life, but it needs some challenges otherwise we get bored. As long as people don’t go out of their way to create difficulty, then we should be happy most of the time.

Feel the love. I heart media brand advertising.

Internet brands advertise in Newspapers. Newspapers advertise on TV.  TV advertises in Newspapers. Radio advertises…  Does this feel like the Civil Service entrance exam yet?

No, I am not going to ask you what comes next, or which media is missing…  But after seeing the latest Google ad in the Evening Standard yesterday, I got to thinking…  Which media brand advertising do we love and what can we learn? Read more on Feel the love. I heart media brand advertising….

BBC staff must remember to take ironing boards to Media City

Recently, I visited Media City, up north, and took a tour around the new working environment of hundreds of BBC staff. On first impression, Media City is like something out of a JG Ballard novel: eerie, shiny, futuristic-looking buildings edged along the Manchester ship canal but there was no people around  In design, Media City is a bit like Berlin.

Berlin minus the Reichstag and its other historical structures, mind you, which is kind of my point. Now I am all for decentralising more  BBC TV and radio brands out of London, as the BBC is a national institution and not the preserve of a supposed cultured London elite. Read more on BBC staff must remember to take ironing boards to Media City…

Big head versus long tail

I was interested in Arif Durrani’s blog on how shows like the X Factor has brought the whole family back together on the sofa providing what he terms ‘Saturday night social glue’. Whilst TV advertising around popular programming could be seen as expensive, these media platforms offer many opportunities for media agencies to deliver cost effective ways to engage audiences.

In the age of connectivity, TV advertising can be used to create timely, relevant and short-lived engagement that creates long term value for brands. These tactical ‘i was there’ moments support one of the dynamics of change we identified at Total Media: Big Head vs. Long Tail; brands are using expensive mass media – the Big Head – to create intensive engagement in the brand narrative but which lives on in social media long after the spot has run – the Long Tail. Read more on Big head versus long tail…

I’m no Lady Gaga

Well how to attract attention to my first post on the world of marketing procurement and I have sought inspiration from Hamish Pringle’s book Celebrity Sells to draw you in.

Working with both clients and agencies I see both sides of a constantly evolving and increasing in importance relationship. The buying of marketing services is not a new fad. I was doing it at O2 when they were Cellnet, Diageo were instrumental in this early stage when they were Guinness as well as when Maureen Lipman was the face of British Telecom and they had their own procurement team. Read more on I’m no Lady Gaga…