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

Inspired Media Placement?
May 16, 2008, 7:31 am
Filed under: Comment

What next, Brian Clough books in the Alcohol section and Ronaldo’s autobiography on the Dentistry shelf?

I’ve always been a massive, massive believer in intelligent and inspired media – both interms of channel and placement – and I hate how the creative and media departments have been separated because I think everyone loses except maybe the shareholders of the media companies.

I’ve written previously why this situation happened – and I’ve also written how I understand why media companies regard many creative agencies as cocks – but I can’t help but feel it has limited the ‘inventiveness’ of communications because whilst there are creative people in media organisations and media thinkers in creative companies. the solution developed by the company tends to be disproportionately influenced by whatever their core discipline is, which means media companies tend to regard placement as the most important factor whereas creative companies see engagement as the holy grail.

There are many reasons for this – including how each discipline earns its remuneration from its clients – however I also believe ego and arrogance are just as much to blame because we are now in a situation where every discipline/channel in the comms industry seems to believe they alone can solve clients business problems and that is just not the case.

[Mind you, that’s not as scary as this trend for one discipline to start dealing in areas they have little knowledge or experience about – but what do you expect when [1] they believe they are smarter than all the others and [2] they need to keep as much of the clients money as possible can because they’ve sold the value of their core business down the river]

If the disciplines within the comms industry continue to operate in this exclusive manner, then the value of what we do is only going to further decline, which is why I thank my lucky stars I started my career at an agency who practiced and embraced holistic thinking because without that grounding, I might never have understood how things like design, packaging, distribution. content, sales and media can help me help my clients get to a better place.

In my opinion adland works best when it collaborates – sure it might mean your ego and profits take a bit of a hit – but you end up learning, doing and achieving a hell of a lot more than you would otherwise.

As Lee said – it’s not about media neutrality, it’s about idea neutrality and once you get that, everything else just flows …

[PS: If you don’t know what the photo in this post refers to, go ask a Chelsea football fan]

10 Comments so far
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i bet youre going down a storm at that media training thing youre doing campbell. are the media agencies having a competition on who can bump you off first? ill throw in a couple of bucks to get things going.

you raise a major fucking issue but too few fuckers realise it or even give a shit about it which is the really major fucking issue.

doesnt matter if its human or corporate, divorce is never a good thing because it doesnt matter how fucking amicable you pretend you are, you always want to find ways to fuck the other party over whether you do it on the quiet or on the fucking obvious and nasty.

guess which route my exes fucking went with.

Comment by andy@cynic

You’re right Andy, the biggest tragedy IS too few people care about the state of relationships within the communication industry.

One of the worst offenders are clients because they talk about seamless intergration, which means they have the power to insist different disciplines really work together, but then will only pay a small fee so each discipline has to try and slit the throat of the other so they can get their unfair share of the money or the client just focuses all their attention on whoever offers to do the most for less and so someone else loses out entirely.

On one level this system has forced every discipline to be more aware of what the others do so they can compete and offer more effective approaches but it has also led to an underinvestment in thinking and educating because the only way big networks can now make money is by underresourcing and overworking.

Greed may be good but in the advertising industry, it’s been very bad.

Another good post, you’re back on the horse πŸ™‚

Comment by Pete

on a my minuscule level gents,… the one and only media planner here (saatchiLab) a lovely girl called joyce, works with me and the strat planners in the ‘planning’ team. if we are spending our time on a project, scratching heads and gnawing teeth to understand our consumer, who they are, what they do, how they think, then it made sense for me for her to be part of that conversation and start thinking WHERE we were going to talk to them at the same time we were working out what we wanted to say. Right message, right medium, right time. rather than getting garbled version from the account team weeks further down the line when we’d gone off to do more interesting things (or a long lunch.)
we present to client – with ‘planning’ bookending the creative work, ensures a cohesive approach that makes sense and seems to be working(also means we also keep control of the presentation decks, which is more to do with mu desire for dominance and control)
just my thinking though…

Comment by Mr McG

I may look a fawning client by saying this, but cynic’s “target people’s day, not their media consumption habits” is still one of the most powerful communication planning philosophies I’ve heard because it forces everyone to think more imaginatively, inventively and holistically rather than rely on advertisements placed in the more disruptive media channels which often runs the risk of alienating rather than attracting.

I agree with Pete, this is another good post Robert, quite enchanting.

Comment by Lee Hill

I saw ‘Chasing Cool’ next to VB and Jordan books on a shelf πŸ˜€

Comment by Andrea

This is not a good morning to mention media planners to me. It’s not even 8am yet and I am very, very angry.

Comment by northern

Having a bad day Northern?

So I’m guessing this is more evidence that media separation is causing commercial/creative limitation rather than liberation.

Of course it is but no side is blameless except in Northern’s case, which is bound to be all their fault πŸ™‚

Comment by Bazza

I like Brian Clough because when he died Rob closed all the offices for the day in his honor. Soccer had never been so interesting πŸ™‚

Comment by Bazza

Thanks Bazza. The great thing about planning is that you get little credit, but little blame too.
Good to be the dark man in the shadows (if I wasn’t so gobby).

Comment by northern

Strangely enough, this sort of media placement is what we suggested to a book seller client on a pitch. Annoyingly, we didn’t win it.

Completely agree about media.

Comment by Will

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