Monthly Archives: October 2008

People don’t like telemarketers…or politicians

So why would politicians use telemarketing? The Republican Party of Minnesota has now called my home no less than 5 times. I’m sure the 20 percentage points McCain is trailing Obama by here in Minnesota is easily made up by continually pestering people by phone in their home. I like that the people who passed the Do Not Call List left a loophole open so they can bug me to vote for them.

These are the same people, i.e. those in government not Republicans vs. Democrats, who are trying to regulate away effective online advertising…unless, it would appear, they see the benefit in using it themselves. All politics is local, so hows about stopping calling me and perhaps reach out to me surgically via the cyberweb?

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Filed under bad media, election 08


CS Monitor folding (wakka wakka) paper edition, going all digital. In case you are unaware, this isn’t a publication for tween and teen girls (no link planted, those books keep folding, one of them did last week or the week before or something, and going all digital because they’re reaching out to those neat-o, digitally acclimated, don’t like paper, dealing w/ POS – and that’s not “point of sale” – “millenials” – OMG!).

FYI, I didn’t read the article and don’t intend to because I read Jarvis’ post on this yesterday. I’m assuming somewhere in the MediaPost piece is some sort of wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth, either directly or from reading b/t the lines about the demise of “traditional” media and the inability to “monetize” it etc. that ticks me off and makes you feel like hail and brimstone are about to reign forth and destroy Sodom – and Gomorrah, for that matter.

Look, maybe CS succeeds, maybe it doesn’t. But this is for sure – they’re not going down in some Revelational ring of fire beholden to their past, offering Lamentations about how they can’t do this or can’t do that. Whether it’s faith in the good Lord or in the media habits of their readership, they’re seeing some sort of prophecy and they’re committed to following it.

BTW, if you read the MediaPost piece and my assumption is incorrect, I’d love to know that so I can be redeemed. I may actually start reading MediaPost again vs. just scanning the headlines to see if anything worthwhile is in their besides curmudgeonly media exec laments, media special interests/bureaus imploring all to believe the sky is not falling on “their” medium, and agency execs continually rationalizing their existence. Seems like there are a lot of folks lost in the desert needing some guidance to the Promised Land.

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Filed under future of media, media on media, media usage, monetizing media

(Don’t) act your age

In case you hadn’t heard, demo doesn’t define youth. Thanks to Mr. McKinney for posting the link via Facebook.

I’ve been reading a few books lately about issues w/ young people not growing up and how media is encouraging them to not grow up. Personally, it comes off as odd from authors who were on the tail end of the “don’t trust anyone over 30” generation. Generational sour grapes.

This particular research, however, is somewhat sad when you read, “people worldwide delay the onset of adult responsibilities and stay emotionally and physically younger for longer, it is becoming more acceptable for older people to participate in youthful pursuits.”

Hmmm, maybe if “older people” paid attention to non-“youthful pursuits” like personal finance we’d be in a different place right now. Kinda snarky, perhaps, but in light of the books I’ve been reading about youth’s inability to accept personal responsibility, that would assume “older people” can, and from what I’ve been hearing, the “older people” are placing blame like it’s nobody’s business. Who knows better if someone can really afford something than the someone who’s spending the money? Anyway…

Regardless, often times as a marketer it feels like you have to make an intervention choice – being an enabler of behavior (in this example, capitalizing on delayed adult-hood) vs. a leader towards new behavior (building a foundation on which moving to adult-hood is okay and enjoyable). I often fret that we focus too much on the latter vs. the former and this feels like it’s one of those cases. I’m sure this is why the Dead Kennedy’s implored MTV to get off the air back in the day (BTW, research was done by a subsidiary of Viacom).

For levity’s sake, allow me to inject a lyric as I am wont to do. I feel my Creative Zen is appropriately named as it seems to push me toward Zen by providing timely songs as my mind turns over topics…

She said “I’m done with looking back, and you look your age
Which is 37, by the way, and not 28
F**king let them stare, ’cause at this point I don’t care”

– Okkervil River, You Can’t Hold the Hand of a Rock and Roll Man

Sometimes you’ve gotta be the girl screaming at the Rock and Roll man, not caring what others think.

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Filed under media on media, media usage, pop culture, target audience

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should

One of the things I prided myself on when I was leading a “new”, “digital”, “interactive” media group was I liked to say, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” Obviously an odd thing to say for the dude who was supposed to be leading the charge into the brave new media world. I have this problem with things needing to be strategically relevant and stuff, not to mention relevant and useful for the people you’re trying to influence or act and whatnot. My bad. Anyway, had a couple of brushes w/ that recently.

Got me to thinking, hey, this is great fodder for a post when I get a chance to get to it. I started recalling bits and pieces of some article I’d read way back when that was related to this.

It was mine as it turns out. Ironically, Eyeblaster was running on the page when I went there, expandables on roll over that sat there for a good 5 seconds after rolling over. Can…should…

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Quote of the Day – POTUSA as Global Communication Vehicle, Riff, GCV as buzzword

Lump sat alone in a boggy marsh, totally motionless except for her heart

No, no, I’m kidding. I’m a kidder. At least I am now…later in this post, I’m going to be pretty serious…

“The modern Presidency is as much a vehicle for communication as for decision-making, and the relevant audiences are global.”

10.13.08 New Yorker, Talk of the Town, spelling out why BO makes more sense than JM (and SP for that matter)

When I see the blistering, sarcastic, sardonic tone of the commentary by “my friends” in the electorate – many of which also happen to be card-carrying members of that raggedy segment of the electorate known as the media/marketing/advertising industry – on the candidates via, primarily, what could be considered “global communication vehicles” (or, in current industry parlance, “social media” – Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc.), I think you can all ZIP IT and just point to this quote.

Seriously, this freakin’ election has been going on for 2 years – more actually if you really think about it (BO’s speech at the DNC before becoming a senator, Bush crushing McCain in SC primary via dirty media tactics – I’ll come back to that later). Screaming at each other when you mostly all agree about something really isn’t helping. Effective frequency has been broached. Tell it to people who might need to be influenced – i.e. those who are undecided since media outlets on the left and the right are saying those few million of us who exist will be the ones deciding this thing.

Frankly, the tone of what’s being spewed forth from those outlets makes me think if I didn’t have a career in this media/marketing/advertising industry I’d probably just stay home because I can’t figure out which is the lesser of two evils. That, my friends, sounds like a potentially relevant strategy – be so derisive in your communication that you harden the base and generate so much disdain in the democratic process that the undecided just don’t bother. Short sighted, perhaps, but effective nonetheless.

For the love, people, most of you are in jobs where you need to figure out every day who the best prospects are for your or your clients’ messages, how you should best craft those messages to change perceptions and actions, and where/how often you need to say the things you need to say. Practice what you preach. Get out of the echo chamber.

And if you all really believe in the power of “social media”, seems this would be just the sort of thing “social media” can be used for to do more good in spreading the word in a beneficial way…right? Or is “social media” just about showing your network that you’re blistering, sarcastic and/or sardonic? Take a cue from BO – his use of social media as a positive force in spreading and effectively (and efficiently, I might add) explaining his message and refuting the other side’s POV has been masterful. It has had a great influence on this Indy.

Of course, I’m giving the vast rabble of the electorate a lot of credit for being rational people who will respond rationally when spoken to rationally. Worked pretty well in times of crisis for other Presidents – Abe in his speeches and proclimations leading up to and during the Civil War, FDR and his “fireside chats” during the Depression and WWII, JFK debating Nixon and during the Cuban missile crisis, etc. I think 2000 and 2004 proved pretty well when they’re spoken to irrationally w/o an effective or coherent rational response they will behave irrationally. It’s a shame JM decided it best to mimic those derisive tactics that brought him down in the ’00 primary. Against a rational and relatively impervious candidate (vs. a reactive and overly emotional one) they just don’t work. Oh, and remember it almost made you switch parties in ’04. Now that’s a true maverick.

BTW, I’m really liking “Global Communication Vehicle” as opposed to “social media”. “Social Media” feels less and less relevant every day – or maybe it’s brilliant in it’s simplicity…who knows w/ these things; as an industry we lose interest relatively quickly in buzzwords and trends, or maybe we think we’re just so damn good at developing new buzzwords and trends we feel the need to do so consistently to substantiate our existence and make our jobs seem a lot more complex and hard to keep up w/ – maybe we all just just double our aderol and suck it up. What was I saying again? Oh, yeah.

So, Global Communication Vehicle sounds really big and important. It has a nice sounding acronym – GCV. It refers to what is accomplished by using it – communication – vs. the container in which what happens occurs – media (though that whole “vehicle” at the end is a bit disconcerting, but, again, “V” right after the combo of “GC” just sounds so euphonious – someone get me a nickel for using that word now). It takes it beyond a seemingly trivial use – to socialize – and makes it seem like Colin Powell as Barack Obama’s top advisor on international matters could use it to fix Darfur or see K-G and B in Putin’s eyes. Ooo, new shiny object is prrriiiitttyyy…..


Filed under bad media, communication platforms, election 08, media coverage, quote of the day, riffs, twitter

Headlines I’m Tired of Seeing

Media not naturally based in screens not figuring out how to monetize themselves in a media world being filled up w/ screens.

Especially when any and all research about media usage (intentionally didn’t plant a link because it is ubiquitous, outside of various medium-specific bureaus trying to spin it) is showing that people are more apt to use screens than not.

Please, show me some really high indexes for non-screen media (I triple dog dare you) and I’ll show you an upcoming generation of people w/ expanding buying power (and it’s not just Mom and Dad’s money anymore since Mom and Dad are taking a bath in this little financial market meltdown) who don’t know about life w/o connected/inter-connected screens.

Personally, I think having the (anecdotally – I have no hard facts on this) most popular show among media, advertising, marketing people be about glorifying media, advertsing, marketing people from 40 odd years ago is perhaps holding us back. I prefer Larry Tate, thanks. Anyway…

God, this crap wears me out. I will continue to paraphrase Gandhi – ignore, laugh, fight, win. Non-screen media industry, please stop fighting and realize your future is contained on and w/in the soft glow of electric sex (no, not the leg lamp from A Christmas Story) or just do one, last, big banzai charge and be done w/ it.

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Filed under future of media, media usage, monetizing media

Political Twitter

At first I thought the Twitter coverage of the election was a spectacular thing. It was fascinating to see in real time people’s reactions to the first debate.

I noticed that the audience composition of those participating in #debate08 was actually relatively balanced. Maybe not as many McCain supporters as Obama supporters, but there weren’t as many of “The L Words” in there as I thought. Super scientific, I know, but the pro-McCain comments were not lacking is the point.

To that end, as this second debate was unfolding, I started to notice that the comments were primarily in a few clusters.

1. Sound & Fury Signifying Nothing: Trash talk about the candidates styles, nothing on substance, general snarkiness.

2. I’ve Got a Bat and the Horse Isn’t Dead Yet: Random regurgitation’s of facts and figures on specific topics being discussed that only a person who is voting based on a particular issue would know about.

3. Fact Checking Lurkers: Not sure if they’re w/ the various campaigns, but some well-informed people seeming to plant well-timed topics.

And then I shut my laptop.

I realized that those three categories meant you were dealing w/ people who, by and large, had already made up their mind. They’re just playing a tennis match at this point and I’m wagging my neck around as the ball goes back and forth. It’s not helping me one bit.

I realized I was looking at everyone else’s thoughts and throwing out my own pithy 140 character or less quips based on the soundbites of the debate I was able to catch when not reading everyone else’s comments about the debate that was on the TV about 8-10 feet past the laptop with which I was enthralled.

I’m not really sure how I’m feeling about Twitter’s use in this way now, but I do know I won’t be on the laptop for round 3 next week. I’m thinking there is some fascinating evaluation that needs to be done to see what it all means and how it can be better used to influence because I can tell you for this indie it’s not all that influential.

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Filed under communication platforms, election 08, twitter