You're The One That I Want!
Wanted: 12th Grade High School Media Planners
Today the New York Times reported that high school 12th graders show a better grasp of market forces than expected on U.S. Economics test.
Some wonder if their sophistication of economics would help turn the current condition of the US economy around; if we had more of them clean out their locker and take charge of 2008 media planning. Based on trends we see in their sophistication in new media, their knowledge could be put to work best to put the umph! back in economic growth.
The problem often is a generation gap between offliners versus onliners. But if traditional marketers can't relate to next gen'ers, maybe they can to baby-boom hero, John Travolta. Not from what John is doing today but from what he and the Fortune 1000 CEOs of today were doing back high school themselves. For example, like Travolta in the film, Grease.
By 2011, spending on the internet will be over $60 billion annually and will outdistance newspapers to become the nation's leading ad medium. The question is why should Madison Avenue wait for another 3 to 4 years to achieve a more balanced allocation of media resources? Would listening to American high school students help speed up the economy again - which is often impacted by Madison Avenue – by capitalizing on their economics of new media?
How different is Martin Sorrel from John when he announced to his agency chiefs last year to chase young talent on the street to fill soon-to-be-vacant media positions to tune up WPP for the next media race. He's been smartly polishing up his shops with the same care as Travolta did with his hot rod!
Better Shape Up
As Bill Bernbach preached, the future belongs to "the brave." He didn't say "the young." Age is irrelevant when you're young at heart and have as much understanding of economics as high schoolers do of the new media economy.
Hopelessly Devoted to You
We were therefore felt surprise and sadness for our friends at BBDO, the agency who has annually had more TV spots running in the SuperBowl than any other agency - with healthy average production costs of $300,000+ per :30 commercial when they lost $80 million in Frito-Lay business; one of their corner-stone accounts. If you recall, the Texas-based Frito-bandito marketer ran the now famous Doritos TV spot in the SuperBowl which cost a total of $300.00 (Three hundred dollars).
It's not just BBDO that has to learn how to interact on the dance floor. How many agency heads at the other leading agencies think videocasting means when they toss a VHS copy of Grease across the "TV room" to their honey on Saturday night, to "shake it up" and watch the film as they chill out in their recliner?
You're the One that I Want.
According to the Times, Bruce L. Damasio, president of the Global Association of Teachers of Economics, said the economics results showed that "many of our 12th-grade students have a pretty good grasp of the logic of economics."
Mr. Damasio cited a question that asked students to identify the most likely effect of an increase in the hourly wage of baby sitters. Eighty percent of students answered correctly that the time spent by teenagers on baby sitting would likely go up, whereas time they spent on other activities would decrease, he said.
There Are Worse Things I Could Do
Some believe one of the reasons new media will have to wait until 2011 is that the current team of management across many companies are babysitting their brands, which will also decrease activities, such as sales.
In light of the recent crash in the housing market, many money managers are playing it safe, just as brand marketers are who allocated chunks or 70% or more 2008 TV. You don’t have to be a film reviewer to know that the winners on Wall Street and MadAve are those players who take a bullish approach in a bear market. Once the market stabilizes, they are the ones who have grown at the expense of their meeker competitors.
Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee
Advertising platforms have moved well beyond simply advertising on websites. Today's digital landscape is changing on a daily basis. With so many new platforms to choose from, Mobile, Streaming Video, Social Networks, Consumer Generated Media, blogs, behavioral and contextual targeting, digital out-of-home media, how would you ever know how to distinguish these if you're still listening to Sandra Dee?
Balancing the report on high school students' strengths and weaknesses, the Times also reports from Mr. Damasio that high schoolers don't know everything. He said, "We see that many students are pretty shaky on the terminology of economics and on the actual ways that financial systems work." At least they have an excuse, not enough experience. What excuse do senior Wall Street veterans have?
Beauty School Drop-Out
When Frenchy dropped out of high school to attend beauty school, she accidentally died her hair pink in the hair coloring tinting class. But then she had a dream that Frankie Avalon serenaded her with the line "Beauty School drop-out, you're not cut out to hold a job." Back then, pink hair got you fired. Today in more than a few highly regarded next-gen media firms, pink hair will get you hired!
It did for Travolta in his latest hit, Hairspray!