The Ideal Ad Campaign to Run In TV News
How many marketers are selecting news programming these days as the ideal selling environment for their products? Our advice to many of our TV advertiser clients is to get out of the "News daypart" ASAP.
Any smart marketer should question selecting Katy Couric, Diane Sawyer or Anderson Cooper as the content producers their ads should be embedded in, especially if you are tasked with marketing high-end international jet travel, or gas guzzling automobiles, or investing in the stock market or literally dozens of other products. We love Katie, Diane and Andy as much as anyone but all their skills at manipulating perception are no match these days with our worlds' realities, no matter how they try to gloss the news up or de-claw it down.
Former TV reporter turned talk show host, Phil Donahue, wrote in his book years ago that in the cynical world of TV news departments, there is a timeless bromide, "if it bleeds, it leads." Today, this simple formula for prioritizing the order of news stories could cause an IBM mainframe to crash due to the too numerous "Leading Bleeding" choices.
We were proud to publish Tom Deierlein's "Letter From Baghdad" yesterday, on both a personal note and professional one. Of all the photos Tom sent back to share with us, the most striking were the ones of the kids. While there were similiarities to the photos he sent us to the ones we see in the news, they hit us different. They abused our sensibiilties because for one, the photos we've normally received from Tom in the past were of shots from a recent Silicon Alley party, or conference. People with drinks in their hand having fun, not of little children with basic supplies in their hands, living in the modern equivalent of hell.
For all the wealth and freedom we still enjoy in the western world, who amongst us does not see the crushing effects that poverty and violence in the streets here at home? In the US, violence erupts between cops and robbers or internal disputes, and appears sporadically. It is not 24/7, 365 in 100% of everywhere you go.
We can debate what percent the underclass represents in the US. Regardless, it is still higher than it ought or should ever be. However, we all can agree it does not represent 100% of our culture. In Iraq and in too many other world sore spots, it does. Think about it. 100% of various regimes these days are being crushed with poverty and violence in the streets. 100% of the children. There's no getting away from it. What does that do to a person? You don't need to look around the world. Just look at our jails at home.
Years ago, a now fabled newspaper, the Journal-American ran a test during the height of the Vietnam war. In 1968, the editors decided to run the same headline/page 1 story on both that week's Monday and Tuesday editions. Americans back then were so worn down by the bad news in the paper that the editors did not receive one comment or complaint from its readers. What was their takeaway? People had by then decided to just tune it out. Who doesn't think that is happening these days to people who care to watch the news? Is that the kind of media environment that's going to spice up your brand? Probably not, no matter how fine Katie does her magic at 7PM vs 7AM.
All media content effectiveness strategy aside, we found one brand campaign that would get really spiced up with positive awareness by running in News. It's from the "Youth For Human Rights" organization. Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) is an independent non-profit corporation headquartered in Los Angeles. Most recently, YHRI produced this series of 30 audiovisual public service announcements, one for each article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The first of these messages, released in late 2005, has so far been screened to more than 130 million people.
YHRI also publishes the UNITED Human Rights Handbook, providing educators and leaders with a practical tool with which to teach human rights to the young.
YHRI produced a total of thirty :30 second spots. Take a few minutes to look at them. We know they'll move you, whether you see them on Larry King Live or on the MadAve Journal. However, the ones who could really appreciate seeing them are the "100% country" children, who live with poverty, violence and the lack of human rights everyday.
These spots aren't going to inform them anymore than they already know how bad and sad things are in their world. But if they did see them, it might provide a little comfort knowing that there are people like our friend, Tommy Deierlein and others who know that the world they are living in is NOT supposed to be that way.
As media planners we recommend these spots run 100% in News. They really won't be as effective anywhere else.
Tangentially, have you ever wondered what global standards the western world has determined should be a threshold for human rights, both domestically and internationally? Here they are:
1. We are all free and equal. We are all born free. We all have our own thoughts and ideas. We should all be treated in the same way.
2. Don't discriminate. These rights belong to everybody, whatever our differences.
3. The right to life. We all have the right to life, and to live in freedom and safety.
4. Slavery - past and present. Nobody has any right to make us a slave. We cannot make anyone our slave.
5. Torture. Nobody has any right to hurt us or to torture us.
6. We all have the same right to use the law. I am a person just like you!
7. We are all protected by the law. The law is the same for everyone. It must treat us all fairly.
8. Fair treatment by fair courts. We can all ask for the law to help us when we are not treated fairly.
9. Unfair detainment. Nobody has the right to put us in prison without a good reason and keep us there, or to send us away from our country.
10. The right to trial. If we are put on trial this should be in public. The people who try us should not let anyone tell them what to do.
11. Innocent until proven guilty. Nobody should be blamed for doing something until it is proven. When people say we did a bad thing we have the right to show it is not true.
12. The right to privacy. Nobody should try to harm our good name. Nobody has the right to come into our home, open our letters or bother us or our family without a good reason.
13. Freedom to move. We all have the right to go where we want in our own country and to travel as we wish.
14. The right to asylum. If we are frightened of being badly treated in our own country, we all have the right to run away to another country to be safe.
15. The right to a nationality. We all have the right to belong to a country.
16. Marriage and family. Every grown-up has the right to marry and have a family if they want to. Men and women have the same rights when they are married, and when they are separated.
17. Your own things. Everyone has the right to own things or share them. Nobody should take our things from us without a good reason.
18. Freedom of thought. We all have the right to believe in what we want to believe, to have a religion, or to change it if we want.
19. Free to say what you want. We all have the right to make up our own minds, to think what we like, to say what we think, and to share our ideas with other people.
20. Meet where you like. We all have the right to meet our friends and to work together in peace to defend our rights. Nobody can make us join a group if we don't want to.
21. The right to democracy. We all have the right to take part in the government of our country. Every grown-up should be allowed to choose their own leaders.
22. The right to social security. We all have the right to affordable housing, medicine, education, and child care, enough money to live on and medical help if we are ill or old.
23. Workers' rights. Every grown-up has the right to do a job, to a fair wage for their work, and to join a trade union.
24. The right to play. We all have the right to rest from work and to relax.
25. A bed and some food. We all have the right to a good life. Mothers and children, people who are old, unemployed or disabled, and all people have the right to be cared for.
26. The right to education. Education is a right. Primary school should be free. We should learn about the United Nations and how to get on with others. Our parents can choose what we learn.
27. Culture and copyright. Copyright is a special law that protects one's own artistic creations and writings; others cannot make copies without permission. We all have the right to our own way of life and to enjoy the good things that “art”, science and learning bring.
28. A free and fair world. There must be proper order so we can all enjoy rights and freedoms in our own country and all over the world.
29. Our responsibilities. We have a duty to other people, and we should protect their rights and freedoms.
30. Nobody can take away these rights and freedoms from us.