Monthly Archives: January 2009


The first Super Bowl was played in 1967, as co...
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Every sporting event has a break of some sort during which everyone involved – players, fans, coaches, announcers – catch their breaths, adjust their strategy (another chili dog or time for dessert?) and get ready to push to the finish. In football it’s halftime. But this weekend, football IS halftime. Continue reading


Filed under sports business, Uncategorized, What's Going On

TCP Lets You TCB

One of the things I never quite understand was why companies spend so much time worrying about their businesses and so little time worrying about the people that make those businesses happen.  I’ve been in senior management meetings when the subject of office space or a benefit program has come up and the concern is always more about the impact on the bottom line than on people’s lives. Continue reading

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Filed under Helpful Hints, Reality checks

The Fast Lane

I’ve posted before about how tough times such as these provide terrific opportunity for those companies that have been managed well. Here is a good example from today’s MediaPost:

Echoing comments by Procter & Gamble‘s top executive, the CEO of chocolate maker Hershey Co. said lower ad pricing offers an opportunity to get more for less–and his company intends to take advantage of it. The company also plans to boost spending by as much as 25% to further capitalize.

Online and other CPM’s are down. Why is an entirely different discussion, but the fact is that one can now get more media value for the same dollars. Frankly, I’m thinking attention levels to any commercial that doesn’t feature the Sham-Wow or Snuggie or Billy Mays are way up too, providing an added benefit to spending now. If your competition is sitting on the sidelines, your share of voice goes up as well.
Hunkering down to weather the economic storm is one thing – hiding in a bunker and becoming invisible is another. People are still working and spending money and even getting new jobs.  Advertising now can be like getting on the freeway at 6AM. It’s not as crowded and you’re able to get where you want to go much more rapidly. Just be careful and make sure you don’t take any wrong turns.

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Filed under Helpful Hints, Thinking Aloud

Doing The Accounting

Once in a while, someone will ask “How did we do?”  In one of my past lives, one would hear responses like “the media plan delivered X number of GRP’s at Y CPM ” but rarely about how it impacted sales.  There seemed to be a disconnect between the spreadsheet on the Media Director’s desk at the agency and the one on the Chief Revenue Officer’s desk at the client.  Every so often, a forward-thinking client would try to get everyone in the media and marketing chain to be accountable, but the fact that so much of the media world was estimates – ratings, attention levels, commercial effectiveness – it was almost impossible to say if a pop in sales was due to fabulous creative, brilliant media strategy, or just dumb luck. Continue reading

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Filed under Consulting, Reality checks, Thinking Aloud

Staying Focused

As I’ve often said, there’s no limit on the sources from which one can learn a great lesson if you’re predisposed to observing and thinking about what it is you’re seeing.  I was reminded of this again yesterday afternoon as I was walking the dog.  Amazing what a 15 pound ball of fur can teach a guy. Continue reading

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Filed under Consulting, Helpful Hints

Repeat After Me

Chief Justice John G...
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President Obama took his oath of office for a second time yesterday.  We won’t debate whether he needed to or not but, as usual, we will discuss the business lesson we can learn from his having done so.  Confused yet?  Read on! Continue reading

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The latest bit from the respected Pew/Internet study is out.  It’s long (138 pages) but contains some interesting nuggets:

  • The mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the Internet for most people in the world in 2020.  I still don’t know why we think of mobile devices as phones that compute.  They’re really little computers that have voice capability, as does your PC if you have a mic and Skype.
  • The transparency of people and organizations will increase, but that will not necessarily yield more personal integrity, social tolerance, or forgiveness.  More on this below.
  • Voice recognition and touch user-interfaces with the Internet will be more prevalent and accepted by 2020.  Umm – maybe even by 2010?  Seen that new iPhone thing, folks?
  • Those working to enforce intellectual property law and copyright protection will remain in a continuing “arms race,” with the “crackers” who will find ways to copy and share content without payment.  I’ve been on the “enforcer” side and it’s a losing battle, believe me.  All the music industry did for 10 years was destroy itself and the fact that they finally have a digital business model of sorts isn’t helping.  We need to think about better models, not imposing old ones.
  • The divisions between personal time and work time and between physical and virtual reality will be further erased for everyone who’s connected, and the results will be mixed in terms of social relations.

Sadly, 55% disagreed with the following:

Social tolerance has advanced significantly due in great part to the Internet.
In 2020, people are more tolerant than they are today, thanks to wider exposure to others and their views that has been brought about by the Internet and other information and communication technologies. The greater tolerance shows up in several metrics, including declining levels of violence, lower levels of sectarian strife, and reduced incidence of overt acts of bigotry and hate crimes.

Not a very optimistic point of view and I, for one, think that the next few years here will change “the experts'” thinking on this.   Not only is it good when people have differing points of view but also that they express them.  I’m not so Pollyanna-ish to believe that everyone will meet in the middle one day but I do think people can learn to coexist peacefully even if they don’t agree with their neighbors on everything.

What do you think?  Before you answer, think BACK 10 years to the digital world.  Would you have believed we’d be where we are today?

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Filed under digital media, Uncategorized