time to turn the media model on its head


I find from time to time that standing on your head really is the best way to get a new perspective on things. I remember at school when I did my first self portrait that we were advised to look at our drawing upside down as it was easier to spot where the drawing wasn’t working.

Well so it is with the age old approach to media and advertising strategies. Not only does looking at these things upside down highlight some problems in the present multimedia/digital age – it may also provide the basis for the answer.

In general terms for years and years we have delivered emotive but mostly passive messages through traditional advertising streams like Print, Outdoor, TV and Radio. At their very best these messages are engaging and thought provoking – initially hitting an emotion and then staying with you on a deeper level. At their worst they are either pretty, superficial brand implementation or a cheap joke that lasts till the next ‘cheap joke’ gets your attention. Fine in a traditional media approach, executions from the great to poor all have a degree of success or so we think (no real hard metrics to prove either way!!).

In this model the perception of what we need to create and how we create both a strategic plan and spend to achieve this are based on the top down TV & Outdoor + a mix of print and radio + followed some consideration for new digital channels like online and mobile.

But if this ever changing world in which we live in‘ is to be embraced then we need to look at things differently. The basic principle of engaging as many of our target audience in an effective and engaging manner is being missed if we follow the traditional model – principally because the figures tell us TV and magazines (traditional media) are in decline – while new media is on the up. Further more those who engage with new media are doing so in an interactive not passive model.

So simply ‘turn it on its head’. Flip the model round with 5 easy steps:

1) identify your target audience
2) identify all the non traditional media they engage with
3) build media strategy and spend from the bottom up – you might not even need to make a multi million (insert currency here) TVC
4) develop a message and creative direction that works for an interactive/cross media world
5) deliver & measure

Here’s to handstands.

image by ‘Perfecto Insecto

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