Month: April 2012

Media or Creative first – are we really still having this debate?

When I started in the media industry 12 years ago, the talk at the time was about how media planning should come before creative thinking. It was common talk amongst all media agencies and it had a lot of resonance in a world where media opportunities were exploding with the mass take up of the internet, the proliferation of digital TV and the rise of digital radio (what happened there!?) The difficulty of wading through all the multitude of media options gave real momentum to the claim of the media strategy to be an integral part of the marketing strategy. Within a couple of years it was seen as pretty much conventional wisdom, although there was some reluctance on the part of other advertising services agencies, understandably. But it was pretty well accepted that the context of an advertising message could often be as important as the message itself.

So the article below from Antony Young, would be exactly the type of article I would expect to have been written 10-12 years ago. Except it wasn’t written at any point in the previous decade. It was written last week.

here is the article in full : Six Reasons Media Strategy Should Come Before Creative

I was really quite shocked to be reading something like this in a publication such as AdAge in today’s marketing environment.

Not only did I think that the value of “the medium” had already been well established in our industry, I also thought that we had grown up and moved well beyond any kind of debate which put media before creative or creative before media.

Surely there is general consensus in our industry that what is required is a collaboration between all the key disciplines to ensure that all elements of a marketing campaign work in an integrated and orchestrated way to deliver against marketing and business objectives.

Surely we have moved away from protectionist attitudes such as “my discipline is more important than your discipline” Putting it simply – placing an irrelevant message in perfectly targeted media environment will have no more success than placing a wonderfully crafted message in front of an audience who have no interest in the product. It’s daft to claim that the media is more important than the message, but equally the message shouldn’t ever be developed in isolation of the media options.

I believe (and I thought most of my peers also believed) that the creative approach and the media approach should stem from the same overall communications strategy and should feed and nuture each other in an ongoing, organic, iterative, real time process. Surely the concept of a linear process where you make an ad, you buy some media to distribute the ad and then walk away is something that our industry has walked away from long ago?

But maybe I’ve been deluding myself. If the article above is anything to go by the media industry hasn’t really gone anywhere in the past 12 years.

“The Voice” leading the way in Talent TV and beating Britain’s Got Talent to boot

Back in January wrote a post about how the talent show concept was evolving as viewers were getting tired of the formulaic mocking of the weak and vulnerable for the entertainment of the general untalented public.

This trend started to manifest itself with shows such as “Must be the Music” and “Got to Dance”. Both of these shows were relatively small as they were on Sky 1 rather than ITV or BBC, but they were definitely successful within the context of that channel.

It’s great therefore to see the ratings success of “The Voice” – beating Britain’s got Talent by 4 million viewers during their crossover and by more than 10% across the show. That is an amazing success for a show that is relatively unknown and that hasn’t built up a fanbase yet and it’s not a fluke based on the novelty factor – this week was the third in the row that The Voice beat BGT.

Rosie Millard of the Independent wrote the following opinion piece on the battle between the two – worth a read.

I’m excited by this change, both as a viewer and an advertiser. I work for a number of brands who want to be able to live out strong positive brand values and be seen to contribute to and improve the media they exist in. A show such as The Voice represents a set of values that hundreds of brands would love to be involved with and the one shame for us is that ITV failed to secure the show and so we can’t get near it. Hopefully that will mean it will spawn a series of competitors that take up these positive values and also allow commercial involvement.

P.S. I do actually hope that there is still a place for Britains got Talent though and it can stop being a freak show and start to celebrate true talent – otherwise, where will get to enjoy little gems such as this