April 13, 2010

Digiday Presents: Holding On To Media Planning In 2010


Is your client humming the bars from, "Bring Me to Life," Evanescence's heart-stopping/throbbing song that catapulted it up to the top of the charts, or is that you?

Are they giving it to you straight, or worse, are they telling you what you wanna hear while they have their eyes on the shop across the street?


Call my name and save me from the dark.

A little nervous? Would we be overstating the jumpiness MadAve has right now as it begins planning and executing 2010 media budgets for clients who "may not be exactly in the greatest of moods?"

Could the age-old axiom, "Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM" be the very thing that deletes you from staff "head count."


Save me from the nothing I've become.

Evanescence's success is a sign of the times. According to many music critics, their music is powerful and memorable because "it is mysterious and dark, and places a picture in the listeners' mind." If it's a mystery what your career will look like next year, you have good cause for anyone's nerves to be brittle right now.

So picture this. It's 7:30AM, it's the day after the presidential election, your brand's down 114% vs YAGO. You're on your way to work thinking to yourself about the reaction your client's going to have in the 9:00AM meeting from the ideas you've written into the media plan. Let's go through the deck, shall we?

Television: Ahh, the economy. Let's come back to that one. Down 2%? Whoopteedo. Now is the time to think Online Video meets the social web. Think Nabbr. Call John Glascott or Adrienne Skinner.


Radio: Too much clutter. Create a video spokesperson unit with Innovate Media and have your own video spokesperson sit on the radio station's site. Produce your radio spot to push listeners to the radio stations site and let a real person bring your message to life. Don't listen to us. Stanford University is who we are listening to.


Print. Okay, something I can believe in. Yeah. The only real magazines that have a thought leader shot and surviving are pubs like Forbes and The Atlantic. VOGUE also works and will until the end of time or narcissism, which ever comes first. Cleverworks.us can get you a deal like none other.


Newspapers: The Financial Times, the WSJ and most of all, His Majesty the King's New York Times. Still it breaks our heart to even hear that it could fade away. That said, the idea of David Geffen buying almost 20% does not make us nauseous. He's a smart guy and he'll make the New York Times into a movie set. Hey, it worked for Woodward & Bernstein with the Washington Post. Watch him put his dreams to work.


Out of home: Definitely. Note to self. Check out digital outdoor and The Outdoor Video Advertising Bureau, otherwise known as OVAB.


Promotion: Back to Innovate Media. Check out their Innovate Ads.


Events: Definitely. If you're thinking "inside the media beltway" think DPAC and Digiday. Call Nick Friese or click on the apps ad above. And if you're in the windy city after Labor Day check out ad:tech Chicago show is a must. ad:tech NY is the Mother of all media technology conferences and this year its in the Javits Center.


Digital: Of course, but where do we begin? The client still thinks digital is search with the New and Improved Microsoft Bada BING. Still, If your creative team still wants nothing but TV, tell 'em to turn on the WSJ.com and see the best creative under the Sun. Still got TV on the brain? How about TVGuide.com and Rob Adler, easily the most connected guy with the people who pull the strings.

Now that I know what I'm without,
You can't just leave me.
Breathe into me and make me real.
Bring me to life.

Where does that leave me/we/us/them/it? Go get another cup of coffee. The answer lies in none of the above and all of the above. Come again?

Media investments in 2010 are going to be based on integrated packages. They should be media company-specific. If you haven't been paying attention, media properties have been consolidated into a handful of major behemoths, which btw are still quite hungry for acquisitions.


Though it's counterintuitive in the sense that you, the agency, think you have to take more meetings, to look at more options, to spend less money, to show your client that you're sweating more blood, sweat and tears on their behalf; the truth is you'll keep your client from wanting to pull yours and their hair out in 2010 by keeping your options structured in a "media company-specific" mashed up approach.


General Market: Take TV for example, NBC. People watch programs, not channels, right? Right. And few if any have the style and classiness of the Peacock. Plus, with all the changes you could probably get a great deal, particularly if you insist on building their line-up of killer web properties. Together these will give you more than enough reach and frequency against 25-54. Call Nick Johnson for sales and Matt Ellsworth for Marketing. Two of the smartest guys this side of Jay Leno.


Assuming the re-depression ends before the year 2525, the only source that will tell you to spread your limited funds all around town is the network buyer who wants to keep your dough siloed. The media companies will pitch you for it all. And they'll give you a better deal across the board than if your agency allows its TV unit buy the TV, the magazine group buy the print, the digital group buy the digital and so on and so forth. Deal deals walking.

All of this sight,
I can't believe I couldn't see
Kept in the dark
but you were there in front of me

Need to train your team to walk the walk. Think Leslie Laredo and the Laredo Group and her brilliant team. Forgive us for grinning but Jason Heller wins the "Smartest Media Trainer Alive" award hands down. The pony tail doesn't hurt!

B2B: Forbes.com. Their CMO, Bruce Rogers knows how to package their world-class properties in numerous verticals print, global site, Forbes TV, killer conferences, world-class events, marketing research and integrated promotions ,etc...


Radio: Think Entravision, especially for the Hispanic market. Call Monica Messina. Recognize the name? Yes, she is the better half to everyone's favorite digital sales pro, John Messina.

Search: We will never recommend Bing over the G-giant, who continues to blow away everything in its way. More importantly, machete always in hand, it continues to create paths, not follow them.

Print: Think. Again. The Atlantic.

Outdoor: A little trickier. Go to an outdoor buying agency. Like MacDonald Media.

Kids: Call Sesame Workshop and find out what you can do with the greatest dolls on earth.

Sports: Begin with ESPN and end with NBC Sports. They'll plan the rest with you by sports franchise, really. Top tier.


Social Media: This will take two long to dominate your time at the social cocktail party that your brand continues to try to get invited to. Here are some out of the obvious thoughts. IGN for advergaming. Scott Bender is your guy. Since people are publishing video beyond blogging, call Delve Networks. Do the 30-day trial. Or better yet, get your creative team to sign-up for it. It's free so your holding company will like that.

Mobile? Call Paran Johar at Jumptap. Want to reach the mobile LGBT's? Call Heidi Lehmann at MoxieQ.


Whether you're an Evanescence fan or not, it's time to get out of the mosh-pit and into the mash-up. You may not get a big fat juicy kiss at the end of the day, but you and your client will feel more awake inside!


If not, you may hit bottom faster than you think.


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Don't Go Into the Bathroom!