Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Monday Morning Quarterbacking

A recent article in Media Magazine suggested that most of the
advertising and media world was built on an economic model
of largesse and relative inefficiency.

To that end I would think that more agency people would be
concerned about this year's Super Bowl.

As you know, Frito-Lay is holding a contest for the best homemade
Dorito's commercial. There are currently five finalists, one of whose
ad efforts cost all of $150. Frito-Lay will pay $2.6 million to run the
winning ad on the Super Bowl in front of approximately 90 million viewers.

Amongst these viewers will be many marketers and their families.
No doubt the Doritos commercial will look fine in comparison to the
commercial efforts that may have cost in the millions to produce.
It may even score well in the popularity polls afterwards.

No doubt the spouse of one of the many marketers watching will
turn to their significant other and ask how much their commercials
cost to produce. "Really?", they'll say. And then add that they like
the Dorito's spot better.

Imagine the number of phone calls to agency heads on the Monday
morning after the game.

And the justification that these agency heads will use?

Good question.

To make it even more interesting, Omnicom's Zimmerman agency
has just unveiled something called "Pick-N-Click" ads, an automated
online service that enables marketers to assemble advertising -
TV, print, radio and interactive ads - with a series of drop-down
menus. In fifteen minutes, a user of Pick-N-Click, regardless of
how inexperienced, can build a professional-looking ad.

The so-called "You-Tube Effect" is now demanding marketers to ask
their agencies why their spots cost so much, while other spots that
cost so little can attract 15 million viewers online?

As the Media Magazine article suggests, "there is an 'efficiency effect'
brought on by the Internet that is starting to manifest itself in a macro
way on the overall advertising economy."

While many still feel that this only pertains to the cost of distributing
our ad messages, as of Monday, February 5th (the day after the
Super Bowl), it will also pertain to the cost of creative.

As advertising slowly sinks further into the commodity abyss, perhaps
its time for the industry to stand up and defend what it does.

Unfortunately, it seems that many of our industry leaders have forgotten
what that is.

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