The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

No Wonder Advertising And Planning Is Losing It’s Value …
March 3, 2008, 7:03 am
Filed under: Comment

From Media Magazine

So let me get this straight – the “insight” to this campaign is that they’ve discovered “fans” of this radio station raise their voices when talking to someone, rather than turning down the volume of the radio.

Insight???? INSIGHT????  More like Badsight.

Surely If people are so happy to talk over what 987FM broadcasts, it means no one cares about what’s going on?

Isn’t that the real insight? 

Which means they’re spending money telling people there’s no real reason to check out the station.


And before someone writes in and tells me the ad is saying people love the station so much that they keep the volume high so they don’t miss a thing – I’ll just point out the execution shows a man [in possibly the most pathetic attempt at ‘humour’] still talking loudly when he’s ordering his Russian Bride because he is so used to talking over the shit that is blaring from the radio tuned into 987FM.

Whoever made, approved and planned this campaign needs their head examined or at least a quick trip to the DR’s.

Oh hang on, it came from McCaan the DEMAND Agency – the company that is focused on getting results.

Blimey – if this is their brilliant DEMAND STRATEGY in action, I now understand how they’ve just lost the majority of Microsoft to Crispin. [Poor Pete, ha!]

What’s the betting that in the weeks to come, we learn the final nail in the coffin was when McCaan revealed their big insight as being …

“People like computers and because the majority are Windows based, that means Microsoft is the brand that brings the World closer together”.

Actually if it was that, they’d probably of loved it … remember this is a company that has senior executives behave like this …

Radio station [and much television station] positioning is awful.

It’s all focused on a generic ‘variety’ prop and yet it so doesn’t have to be that way.

One of the things I’m still proudest of was the work I did with TRIPLE J in Australia …

Triple J

Rather than talk about what they played/did, we focused on their values and philosophy which – because they purposely [1] encouraged new artists rather than play the usual mainstream radio shite and [2] opened up debate on political issues that could/would affect Australian youth – we expressed as ENEMY OF AVERAGE [read: passionately against mainstream mediocrity]

We did all sorts of stuff … Bad CD Amnesty day, posters that told people in yuppie areas that we didn’t like them [because it was important to prove to our core listeners that while we were advertising for more people to ‘join us’, they had to be the right people, not the chino wearing, yuppie-scum] anti-beige Volvo day, ‘Music Appreciation CD’s’ [featuring talent launched by Triple J like Silverchair and Killing Heidi] print ads which had “Warning” stickers people could place on things that they thought were ‘dangerously average’ [we got threatened to be sued by HMV for all the stickers that were being found on CD’s in their stores] pseudo-sponsorship of television shows and rock concerts you SHOULDN’T watch/go to, ‘piss on Mariah Carey’ toilets and some ads – which were done so cheaply, that if you look at numbers 1 and 2, you’ll see my bald head in them.

This ad below is a spoof of the Australian Government’s “Anti-Smoking” campaign

This was a viral ad we did when the Rolling Stones were coming to tour …

And even when we had to promote specific shows, we did it in a way that was true to the core idea …

Now you might not like the ads or the station [personally I hated most of the music Triple J played which actually served as inspiration for the idea] but you can’t deny they tell you exactly what this station passionately believes in which – thanks to reverse-phycology – resulted in Triple J enjoying their highest audience increase in about a decade [turning around a 3 year audience decline] and winning the most effective consumer campaign at the Australian Marketing Effectiveness Awards despite spending literally 10% of the budget of their competitors.

So to the guys who did the 987FM ads – please go back to the drawing board and find a real brand and consumer insight and then maybe you’ll come up with a more seductive and motivating proposition than “THE STATION WHERE YOU DO ALL THE TALKING”

20 Comments so far
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I love the ‘warning’ sticker idea.

That Microsoft video is genuinely terrifying though. He looks like he eats iPods for breakfast.

Comment by Dave Mortimer

That Singaporean radio idea is truly terrible and has absolutely no chance of making more people want to listen. You’re right to say that in marketing entertainment companies, there’s a real habit of just talking about the variety of output except it’s usually not that broad and has little or no central focus to what the company stands for.

I still remember you telling me that a great idea was one that motivated people to think or care or act and that Triple J thing is a perfect example of that despite you manipulating with people’s sense of purpose and self image 🙂

I’m going to be rather busy for the next few weeks so I’ll not be around as often as usual, but I’ll still be popping in for some thought stimulation or offensive blog material.

Comment by Pete

Looks like Pete is going to have the Microsoft wurst punishment. Good luck to ya I say. Its bloated like their organisation.

I’m goint to find a way to livecast the view from my office window its a metaphor for China.

Comment by Charles Frith

I think Pete’s big fat bonus will keep him motivated for a little while Charles – but after that – well I think he’ll either go mad, bad or work at cynic 🙂

Comment by Rob

I like those Triple J ads, especially the one with the band and the bees…

Nice idea Charles.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

But don’t you think my acting was brilliant – even if I was only on screen for 0.457 of a second?

I personally think I made all the difference 🙂

Comment by Robert

i remember loving the Jay & The Doctor one when it came out – especially ‘cos having Jay & The Doctor at breakfast (ie prime time) was strategically quite a spin from their predecessors. it certainly flew in the face (ha!pun!)of who their competitors were at the time -shock jocks, teams of 5 hilarrrious people, or the super serious and ultra respectables.

And musically, JJJ had a changing of the guard of music manager from Mr Techno Cool to the alt music King, which saw the music they played slowly being eeked back into the true ‘enemy of average’ that started the station (albeit still a little on the beige side). Dunno if you had anything to do with that element of reshaping Triple J, rob, but if you did, kudos. And if you didn’t, well, double kudos, ‘cos you were able to contextualise and sell their new direction to even the most cynical of listeners.

Comment by lauren

and of course, it was all down to the .457 seconds of you with a mic in your hand 🙂

Comment by lauren

As much as people may think I’m talking a load of bollocks, the reality is we were involved in every aspect of the Triple J rebranding, including fighting for their music policy to return to ‘anti-average’ and their Triple J CD collections to be ‘beige filtered’.

They were – and are – a fantastic client, but then most brands with little money but big beliefs and dreams, are.

Comment by Robert

“Typical attribute” – What, that they are all lonely sad folk who have to mail order to have sex or relationships?

I’d say they went execution first, thought to follow; but its not even good enough for that. Even that rubbish idea could have better executions.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I don’t listen to 987fm but I wouldn’t say no to a Russian bride. Well, a Russian babe at least.

Comment by Billy Whizz

billy could fall into a bucket of tits and come out sucking his thumb. why the beautiful and delectable april is with him is anyones guess but the odds in the office are on “research experiment”

Comment by andy@cynic

I’ll take ‘undercover documentary’ at 1/2

Comment by Rob Mortimer

i’m going “looking for a greencard” at 3/1 🙂

Comment by lauren

R&D into Frankenstein type creations at 3/1?

Comment by Rob

I’m comfortable with my “good catch” status so fuck you you fucking fucks.

Comment by Billy Whizz

🙂 (that’s for Mrs C, the rest of you can fuck right off)

Comment by Billy Whizz

truth hurts.
better late than never.
got to be cruel to be kind.
etc etc etc.

Comment by andy@cynic

So April’s her name and not her leaving date? Congrats Billy.

Comment by John

rob – thanks a bunch for linking to this post. you made my day bringing steve back into my life bahahahhh!!! i got seven words for you: this video is the best thing ever! 😀

Comment by peggy

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