Advertising in a Crisis – Be Wary of Lessons from Past Recessions

It is no surprise that our industry’s commentators, researchers and (naturally) bloggers are all focusing on what happens to marketing and advertising during a recession. These include the excellent Mark Ritson, whose column in ‘Marketing Week’ references data right back to the 1920s.

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So How Is It For You Media Chaps?

Time to rewrite the old rule: never believe your own publicity should surely become never believe your own Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / LinkedIn feed. We are in danger of running around in ever decreasing circles, screaming at the same people, recycling the same news, the same rumours, the same lies.

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That Cicero Knew a Thing or Two

Faced with an unprecedented worldwide health emergency, how lucky we are to have access to literally millions of ‘experts’ just a click away. It was only a matter of time before the ‘100 Lessons Marketing Can Learn from the Coronavirus’ articles started to appear, and sure enough it’s now hard to avoid this or that marketing commentator pontificating on one or other aspect of this awful situation.

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Pay Attention!

If you have been (paying attention that is..), you’ll be aware of a group called The Attention Council which met last week in London. Some of the more interesting things about this group is the variety and quality of its founders, the variation in the work they’re doing, and where they’re based. Not so long ago, measuring attention was a rather niche, not to say lonely activity. Not so today.

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There is Hope

I’ve always been something of an optimist. Even though last week’s Cog Blog post was full of doom and gloom (although you have to admit there were some great ads) I like to think that lessons have been learned and that the ad business is, finally, coming to terms with the world as it is today.

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Where We’ve Gone Wrong: An Illustrated History

Advertising has never been a particularly admired profession. Indeed, some would say it isn’t a profession at all. We’re not doctors or teachers, we’re not even lawyers or accountants. We don’t make or do anything of any great practical use to humanity. We help people sell stuff.

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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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