Media Matter; Audiences Matter More

We are supposed to be good at words. We are after all in the communications business, although if you’ve had the misfortune to read a typical agency pitch document or sit through yet another conference paper on neuroscience and the media you may wonder.

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Want to Pitch?

What a weird business we’re in. On the one hand we talk a lot about the need for consistency in relationships, about the need to truly understand the client’s business, about the importance of our work being acknowledged and respected in the advertiser’s Boardroom. And on the other we celebrate pitches as if we were involved in a sporting event (we even delight in publishing new business league tables).

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Audience Measurement in 2020. A Blueprint.

Last week’s Cog Blog laid out the case for this being a watershed year for audience measurement. We are facing an increasingly complicated media world within which we use multiple devices to consume content selected from a vast array of choice. We consume at times and in places that suit us, not the content providers. And we’ve been trying to make sense of all this with a set of tools that were imagined in a different age.

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Audience Measurement in 2020 – A Watershed Year

The Cog Blog is nothing if not prescient. Here’s an extract from a post on 9th January. That’s, oh almost a month ago (or sometime in the last decade in the minds of those from the cult of the shiny thing). I wrote: “‘Measurement’ is believe me the topic of the moment.”

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Janet and John Do Advertising – Badly

I delayed last week’s post until after the glorious / miserable (delete according to choice) day when the UK left the European Union. For those overseas, this happened at 11pm on Friday 31st January.

The wait was so that I could, without being accused of political point-scoring write about the incredible ad campaign run by the Government to ‘Get Ready for Brexit’.

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The Telegraph and The ABC

Last week an unusual thing happened. The Telegraph Media Group (TMG), publishers of The Daily and Sunday Telegraph announced that they were pulling out of the ABC (for overseas readers, that’s the UK’s Audit Bureau of Circulations, the industry-wide measurement of newspaper and magazine sales covering around 1,200 titles).

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Word of the Year

Last week I was (I think entirely justifiably) snooty about predictions. The Cog Blog doesn’t make predictions – if only because of an entirely rational fear of being called out a year later for getting them hopelessly wrong.

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Lessons (To Be) Learned

It’s traditional to start the first post of the year with predictions for the year ahead. It’s inevitable that a few of these will come true (on the basis that even a stopped clock is right twice a day), and equally inevitable that most will never happen.

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A Letter to Santa

BJ&A has done work for the7stars and Byline Times, both mentioned here.

This is the last Cog Blog of the year; Christmas, family, cooking, presents and fun all mean I won’t have time to post again until the New Year. So, it seems appropriate and timely to use my mighty platform to write to Santa. Here’s hoping.

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Time to Shine

Media research has had a bad rap for many years. I have something of an inside track on this as I started my career as a media researcher before moving into comms planning and agency management. Actually, that’s not quite accurate, as pre my research days I had been an agency messenger, but even I could see that that was a career path with limitations.

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Audience Measurement – Enter the Advertiser. Part 2: Who Pays?

The last Cog Blog post referenced the announcement made at the 2019 asi TV and Video Conference in Prague by Phil Smith, Director General at the UK advertiser association ISBA of an advertiser-driven intervention in audience measurement via a cross-media initiative called Origin.

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Audience Measurement at the 2019 asi Conference – Enter the Advertiser (Part One)

The measurement of audiences to media channels is both essential and far too often ignored as a topic by many of those in agencies and ad sales organisations who seem to spend much of their time polishing their oh-so-cool social media personas.

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Backwards Through The Glass

Remember all that fuss about media rebates and transparency? How naughty old network agencies were guilty of hanging on to benefits negotiated with their clients’ money? And how, no doubt following a charabanc ride to Damascus every one of them swore blind that they had put the bad old days behind them and were now focussed on charging their clients open and honest fees just like their role models the management consultancies?

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Wrong Address

You would be forgiven for thinking that we’ve learned our lesson when it comes to bright shiny things. Time was when all a tech business had to do was announce they had discovered that they had the answer to some knotty (and unsolvable problem) and my social media feeds would, along with the trade press light up with ‘informed experts’ praising the solution to the skies. Especially if the ‘answer’ was entirely devoid of detail.

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On Political Advertising

As I’ve said before this is not a political blog, and so what follows should not be seen through any partisan lens. That said, it’s time we thought a bit about the state of political advertising.

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Relevant or Creepy?

DISCLOSURE: BJ&A HAS DONE WORK ON THE KANTAR DIMENSION STUDY MENTIONED HERE

One of the dilemmas we face with online advertising is identifying just where relevance stops and stalking starts. We all want to see ads that are relevant to us and our needs, but to what extent are we prepared to give up elements of our privacy to achieve that?

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What’s GroupM For?

My apologies to GroupM for the click-bait title. I could just as easily have substituted OMG, MediaBrands or Publicis Media for the WPP media operation, but that’s what you get if you’re the tallest poppy – you attract all the attention, wanted or not.

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How Many Ads?

Disclosure: BJ&A has consulted with Kantar Media on the Dimension study mentioned here

It has been reported that both ITV and Channel 4 have been arguing for the maximum number of ads per hour limit to be lifted. Historically the major UK broadcasters have operated at 7 minutes per hour, rising to 8 in primetime. Smaller broadcasters have been known to run to 9 minutes, still way below the EU maximum of 20%, or 12 minutes per hour. In the US, the figure varies by network but averages around the 12-minute mark.

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Procter and Gamble – Searching and Reapplying

I grew up on the P&G media account. When I first got involved, I didn’t understand them at all. They had their own processes, their own rules, and even their own language made up of acronyms.

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Keeping an Open Mind

Disclosure: BJ&A works with Byline Times, sister to the Byline Festival mentioned in this post

The best, and most successful people within advertising have always kept an open mind. They recognise that ideas come from anyone and anywhere, and there is great merit in looking outside our own little circle both at the wider world, and at those engaged in other creative endeavours.

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