Forbes.com Presents: "The Intellectual Upfront" Series
By Wendy McHale
Between now and early 2008 we will be running a new MadAve Journal series sponsored by Forbes.com, titled, "The Intellectual Upfront."
What is it, you ask?
First, let's begin by explaining what it's not. It's not "The Upfront", which in media-speak is the TV buying season, beginning in the month of May. Not known for being terribly Einstein-esque, it's more akin to a Vegas convention, complete with air kissing-sincerity and movie star-studded presentations and parties. Then, each vendor locks the industry up in cluby, fancy halls for a day or so, shuts out all the lights and then presents tid-bits of TV show pilots which everyone sneers at. From there, the actual "buying season" is considerably compressed to a long weekend. Some brands say it's a "lost weekend".
If you haven't been through one, just imagine stuffing your pockets on purse on a Friday night with loads of cash, only to find that on Monday morning all you've got left is some loose change, scattered about. You can't explain exactly what it is you bought or if it was really worth it, but you justify your behavior with the rationale that, "Everyone else is doing it"!
Another added benefit is that you don't have to actually start nursing your financial hangover right away. By the time the check comes several months later, you only then have to deal with the pain of the buyer’s remorse. Plus, you can whine about how you got ripped off. That's due to the fact that you can use the same excuse as before, "Everyone else got ripped off too"!
By then, it's almost ludicrous to try to figure out why you spent Millions of $$ in 40-minute "hour-length" programs. You also choose not to pay too much attention to the fact that your brand... and 40 or so others, are force-fit into a medium (44 :30's per hour) that's only getting more expensive and that its audiences are shrinking.
We are "not" talking about that upfront!
The Intellectual Upfront is just the opposite. As compared with the first one - which wines and dines you and then holds a gun to your head to put up or shut up (or threatens to shut you out) - The Intellectual Upfront begins this week with a 4-day kick off @ ad:tech and then extends into the next 3 months or so!
What follows afterwards is a long tail-length advertising technology-based meeting season that gives you the time to actually think about what you should do for your brand. What a concept!
The difference between the two you might say than is that the TV upfront requires that you rely on your gut (or a little further down, biologically) while The Intellectual Upfront requires that you use your mind.
There, does that do it? Good.
We don't apologize for enjoying the Intellectual Upfront more than the other one. The people we'll be meeting and talking to - over the next couple of days and weeks - are more interesting than the others. They also have far more new and news-worthy things to say. Yes, there is some air-kissing, and certainly a fair amount of butt-kissing. However, let's get real. We are talking about Madison Avenue, the street of marketing dreams.
Here's what we have planned. Interviews, contributions and coverage of many of the most talented and fun, yet serious-minded people who will simply razzle and dazzle you with their genius. People that all left traditional and now find themselves in areas such as mobile, digital print, integrated sales, conversational marketing, digital direct-marketing and high technology, who now represent companies which run :30 commercials.
One person whose insights we look forward to sharing with you extensively is someone who can talk deftly about 29 different new media platforms with mind-boggling detail, explained in the simplest language that anyone, even our editorial staff can understand. But we'll leave that until later.
As press, we have been given many "embargoed" announcements, several of which can be shared with you today. For those one or two of you who do not have a masters in PR, an "embargoed announcement" is a term publicists invented which they send to reporters, but then bind and gag them from reporting on until said day of formal release. Others call it media water-boarding. You get the idea...
Special thanks to our friends at Forbes.com for allowing us to bring this "vetty" intellectual coverage to you.
Here are 5 news-worthy announcements which we feel are "brainiac-centric". In our opinion they're thought-provoking. No doubt you will be hearing and learning more about them later in the week: