attracts "more than a half-million page views a day" and Glenn's new book
captures what drives that kind of popularity: "The secret of success in both
business and politics in the twenty-first century," he writes, "will involve
figuring out a way to capitalize on the phenomenon of a lot of people doing what
they want to do, rather than -- as in previous centuries -- figuring out ways to
make lots of people do what you want them to." Hm. As Adrian Wooldridge
observes: "This attractive thesis is hardly original -- Ronald
Coase explained the economics of it back in 1937. It has been chronicled
many times since, especially recently."
Think about the bolded content in terms of marketing to consumers. He has captured the fundamental shift that is occurring in media usage, brand usage and product usage.
I read with a smirk today a story about the new "thing" in advertising - engagement. Seems that like Cold War US Politics, our industry needs a villain or cause celeb to maintain meaning. First there was the Internet, then DVR (TiVo's), Media Fragmentation and now Engagement... I'm sure I missed a few other torches the industry carried, but you get the gist.
Just finished watching my Longhorns survive their first round game of the March Madness tourney. Due to my local affiliate covering the SEC team (Kentucky) I was forced to avail myself of the on-demand Internet video stream.
This is truly the future of at least some of television. Too bad CBS botched it. They limited the stream to 384 kps or less and only gave you two viewing options - a small window (2 to 3 inch square) or full screen. One was too small and the other pixilated. The botched it because had they given me either full-screen at a higher bitrate, or 200% zoom - my son and I would have had a much better viewing experience as we sat in our living room with my laptop sat on the coffee table.
It was too bad because I think CBS got it. By giving me the game on line for free, I was forced to watch the commercials. I had no choice. They finally had a chance to give advertisers a new option - one where you could virtually guarantee viewing and the botched it. Too bad. None-the-less, I assume they (and others) will get it right in the future and we'll have an entirely new channel to deal with... which begs the question - how best to use it?
As I sat on the neutral ground this year during Mardi Gras helping my kids yell for and catch beads, toys, etc., I had an epiphany. Here we were, in the middle of what can only be characterized as organized chaos, and amidst the yelling, screaming, music, etc., an interesting thing happened - we made a connection. As my 3 year old - Hayes - sat slumped in his ladder, fast asleep (poor thing was sick) a float stopped in front of us and on the top deck, some 20 feet away - a young woman (I think - not sure as riders are masked) made eye contact, gave a quick little frown and then reached down and launched a toy, but only after assuring she had my attention and that I realized she was throwing to Hayes. I caught it and waved a thank you to her and then she was off.
This same thing happened a dozen or more times as the parade continued to roll on. I didn't know these people, they didn't know me but they felt something. A connection. A personal connection that made them put down the 25 cent plastic beads and toss an item that costs them (Mardi Gras float riders pay for the stuff they throw out of their own pockets) not an insignificant amount of money.
And that has gotten me thinking. About this idea - connection - the simple human need to connect to others. Powerful.
At first I thought it might just be me but then last night I read a report of Anderson Coopers' coverage - he rode in Endymion - a Super Krewe - the big parades that you see on TV. He remarked "Rolling on the float late at night, I realized Mardi Gras is not about the beads or about Bourbon Street. It's about making a connection, one person to another..." and it hit me - Anderson was right. He had captured the essence of Mardi Gras but more importantly he had captured a powerful human insight... one that I'm sure can be used to create more powerful and effective work.
Have you ever seen someone at a conference or luncheon off to the side yapping on a cell phone and wondered, "Are they really talking to someone or do they just not want us all to know they are alone?" Ever been that person?
Well, if you've answered yes to either... this is for you. Can't wait till they get a US version.
A truly insightful service. Cheers to the boys and girls across the pond for developing this one.
This is a pretty cool ROI tool that ABC just announced. Of course they market it as a targeting tool but think about it as an insight tool - the ability to take the audience of a product and see a snapshot of their true content consumption patterns. Would be really cool if it was extended to all broadcast, print, radio and online consumption. What a picture you could paint. (note: free registration may be required to read article)
Pre-Katrina I had my own Consumer Insight and Brand Planning firm - Brandmarken. As part of the firm's services we posted a monthly newsletter called StrategyReport. I've decided to discontinue publishing that newsletter in favor of focusing on this blog, so I invited all my old readers to pop on over. To each of you - welcome and enjoy.