The Revolution Begins

So who’s in charge, as in who’s really in charge?

For way too long we have been caving into Google and Facebook, lamenting the loss of control that advertisers and advertising has.

The Digibabble narrative went like this: Digital media has killed all else because of their vast and magical powers controlling pricing, access, supposed laser targeting, engagement, and of course, reporting (or lack of it).

Interestingly enough, the Trump-era focus on fake news, and maybe even worse, the mainstreaming of hateful and racist content that we had ignored for so long, began to boomerang on brands as their ads got dragged along by our own viewing and the notion that somehow the brands we liked (based on targeting) were paying for, and supporting, drivel and vileness. This has caused advertisers to rethink, in fact, completely retool their media strategies, starting with boycotting certain sites to actually cutting down the mindless algorithmic allocations that allowed their messages to be dragged to thousands upon thousands of places, without a clue as to their appropriateness or true value.

And the revolution continues, or as Ad Age put it “the worm appears to finally be turning”.

Now let’s be clear: “Digital is everything”….so, as I keep soapboxing, the debate on digital vs everything else is a non-debate. But the follow up is “Digital is everything, but not everything is Digital,” meaning in this case —who cares? The question is how good is the content? And how many people watch it?

As Ad Age reported:

Recent headlines from two of the most important mass media clients, P&G and Coca-Cola, should be turning heads. A few weeks ago, Advertising Age reported that Coca-Cola’s Chief Marketing Officer Marcos de Quinto defended TV as providing the biggest bang for Coca-Cola’s marketing buck. Coca-Cola’s data showed its TV investment “returning $2.13 for every dollar spent on TV, compared with $1.26 for digital.” That’s a big win for a broad-reach medium that has had very few lately.

And:

P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard said the focus would be on “reach and continuity.” Most importantly, the article noted: “On the TV side in particular, the move seems to reflect what some brand managers privately have said for years in the face of optimizer-driven buys that focus on thinly watched cable shows—that they saw better results from broader-reach primetime shows.”

And cutting through the Ad-babble the message gets clearer:

It will mean that consumers will finally start getting what they want, not just from streaming options like Netflix, but from cable operators and TV networks for a change.

And, I’d only amend it to say that consumers will start to get what they want from all sources and advertisers will once again be in control of their own destinies.

So what’s the bottom line?

In the 4th of my 7 predictions for 2017 from my cloudy crystal ball I wrote:

TV will continue to grow in importance. And by this I mean TV in all its glory across all its platforms and devices. The trend of buying great series and shows from countries other than your own will continue, as Netflix has shown that subtitles do indeed work. However, the issue will not be content or what platform or device you watch it on-as confusing as it is… do I watch on my big TV through Samsung, Fios, Xbox, Amazon or link my iPad? I see the real issue being how do I pay for it all? Everyone will keep producing their own unique content forcing me to buy in to their platforms or service, but 80% of their offering will be the same as everyone else’s and btw I want that live content too-sports, news and whatever else. My cloudy view? Watch for the next cable-like consolidation offer. I’m ready to bet that advertising will play a key role in reducing the price.

P.S. take a look at Apple’s new app icon for video entertainment before you comment…

Folks, we are back in control. By we, I mean you and me—the watchers—but I also mean the industry I represent.

And that control is as simple as on/off, click, change the channel, swipe…whatever…listen:

“I had a desire to prove to myself that I was actually in control—that I wasn’t a puppet.” -Sean Parker

And let me add…last, and certainly not least, paying for the advertising…

So exercise your power! It’s yours for the taking…or should I say watching!

What do you think?

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