Monthly Archives: November 2010

News Int paywall creates around 200,000 digital sales

After
months of speculation, News International has finally unveiled figures for its
paywall experiment at The Times and the Sunday Times websites;
it has generated
105,000 digital-only sales and a further 100,000 print subscribers have activated
their digital accounts, since July.

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NASCAR BLINDNESS

The nearest advertising gets to the real world is the guys in the studio.
Take Chris Walsh, who used to run our studio.
One time, Chris told me his wife wasn’t speaking to him.
I asked him what happened.
He said “It started on Christmas eve.
I was having a pint in the pub when I realised I’d forgotten to buy her a present.
All the shops were shut and the only place open was the petrol station.
I went in and all they had left was a big box of Quality Street.
So I bought that.
Then I went back to the pub, and the barmaid asked me what I had in the bag.
I said it was the wife’s Christmas present.
She said the least I could do was wrap it up.
She had some wrapping paper left over, so she wrapped it behind the bar for me.
Anyway, next morning the wife opened it and she wasn’t pleased.
She said “A box of Quality Street, is that all I get? And you didn’t even wrap it properly.”
So I said “Don’t blame me. That was all that was left in the petrol station, and the barmaid wrapped it.”
And she hasn’t spoken to me since.
So I thought I’d better do something to make up for it.
I thought I’d cook a nice romantic dinner.
So I put some chips in the pan on the stove.
Then while I was waiting, I thought I’d better open a bottle of wine.
But I couldn’t find the corkscrew.
So I went into the shed to look for something to get the cork out of the bottle.
But while I was in there the chip pan caught light.
And when I got back the whole kitchen was on fire.
So I called the fire brigade, but by the time they turned up it had all burned down.
So she’s still not speaking to me.”
See, the real world doesn’t all happen in The Ivy.
In 1972, Richard Nixon won the US Presidency by a landslide.
The New Yorker film critic, Pauline Kael, said “I don’t understand how Nixon won. No one I know voted for him”
Well, no one at The New Yorker anyway.
I was recently reading a blog by a new-media guru.
He was complaining about the unfairness of a worldwide brand rating he’d just seen.
The rating placed Coca Cola at number one, obviously.
But it placed IBM at number two.
And worse, it placed Mac at number seventeen.
The new-media guru was horrified.
He wrote something like “This is plainly rubbish. I haven’t sat in a single meeting where IBM has been discussed, but I’ve sat in lots of meetings where Mac has been discussed.”
As a new media guru this comment is hardly surprising.
But I think what that survey really proves is that new-media gurus aren’t representative of the population worldwide.
These are examples of what Alan Wolk calls ‘Nascar Blindness’.
In the States, all the fashionable media people live and work in New York.
And the only sports they all watch are baseball, basketball, and American football.
So, according to them, they must be the only sports anyone watches.
Except they’re not.
The biggest sport in America is Nascar racing.
Big, fat, tanked-up cars racing each other round the track.
Watched by hundreds of thousands of big, fat, tanked-up fans.
Many, many more than any of the other sports.
But, because no one in New York watches Nascar racing, they don’t even know it exists.
They’ve got Nascar blindness.
That’s kind of how we are in advertising.
We tend to think everyone in the UK owns an iPhone, reads The Guardian, and is fascinated about what goes on at The Ivy.
Which may be why advertising is so out of touch with the real world.

Or, as Eric Morecombe said “Life isn’t Hollywood. It’s Cricklewood.”

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