Stop hiding behind mediums

Last week I attended an event where a leading figurehead from the TV industry spent 45 minutes talking about how great the medium was. I couldn’t agree more – I love TV, I watch tonnes of it, and in fact since having my Sky+ I watch more TV than ever, the only difference being I only watch what I want (no channel surfing because I’m bored) and I watch a 1 hour programme in 40 mins as I forward the ads and ignore the titles. What amazed me was not one ad was shown. No mention on how to make an engaging ad, or how to stand out amongst the rest or what is the magic formula for a truly amazing piece of TV advertising. I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t believe in the power of TV to build a brand – it kicks arce (spelt like this because there’s a swear filter on BR). What I do hear is what needs to be done with ads to make them work harder in TV.

Newspapers are also to blame. I read the Times every day during my long commute, but recently I’ve migrated to the ePaper version. It’s great – I download it, turn pages, zoom in and out and download versions for later.

Mac Speech

My Mac even reads the paper for me, which may sound lazy, but I can now type and digest the news at the same time. However, all the effort appears to have gone into the medium (newspaper) with little or no thought going into the ads it hosts. No interactivity, no working links, no video, no bespoke creative. Too much focus in the medium and not enough in the delivery of the work. I bet agencies don’t even know their work appears in the e-version.

Online is another culprit. Clearly video is a very exciting development in internet advertising. With broadband penetration at 90% and bandwidths getting bigger we are consuming more than ever. However banging on about the fact that the internet can host video only says part of the story. This maybe the reason so much online video is actually repurposed TV spots. This does not make the most of the online opportunities. We need to hone our craft so that the right video is delivered so that the message works as hard as it can. Keep saying you can do it, doesn’t make the work any more impactful.

So lets all make a pact – let’s stop talking about mediums (platforms bla bla – don’t get me started) and lets talks about ads and how to make them great. Ads that are fit for purpose and make the most of their placement. Heaven forbid this might actually mean making bespoke creative for TV, print and online – oh the chore of it all.

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    You read The Times? I thought you were more of a Star man.

    😉