Home > Business, TV > Reading Roundup: Everyone Hates Your Ads Edition

Reading Roundup: Everyone Hates Your Ads Edition

1. Meet the new media ad-based pay model dilemma, same as the old media ad-based pay model dilemma.

Why has Google Plus failed to make a dent in Americans’ social media habits? According to the terrific tech writer Alexis Madrigal, it’s because Mountain View got its approach to social completely backwards. In The Atlantic, he prescribes a solution based around embracing the corners of the Googleplex that users adore but the company ignores.

If G+ is on nobody’s agenda, Facebook has the opposite problem. The din surrounding its IPO—and subsequent share price plummet—is inescapable. Chalking up a $100 billion valuation has a way of intensifying the spotlight, particularly from those skeptical that you can sustainably monetize a service devoted to checking forgotten birthdays and posting grammatically catastrophic rants inspired by Fox News.

The challenge looming over Google and Facebook is not all that different from the challenge plaguing the previous generation of media behemoths, the broadcast TV networks. How do you handle customer service when your customers—or rather, the people who see themselves as your customers—aren’t your revenue stream?

That conundrum is back on the broadcasters’ agenda thanks to Dish Network. Word of the satellite provider’s new feature Auto Hop—which allows its DVR users to not just fast-forward through commercial blocks but to skip them entirely—cast a pall over last week’s upfronts. To viewers, it’s a wonder of technology. To networks, it’s one more Exact-O knife to the heart of their business model. James Poniewozik of Time has a clear-eyed take.


2. “Benefits” in this case means discounts and so forth. Not…y’know.

The Harvard Business Review blog serves up a trio of myths about consumer behavior. Number one is the factoid that 77% of consumers don’t want relationships with brands. However, further research indicates that they’re totally open to being friends with benefits.

That’s not me being glib either (well, okay, it is…but it’s not only that). Consider myth #3: “The more interaction the better.” The authors argue that bombarding consumers with communications is counterproductive.

See, people don’t want your brand around all the time, asking about how your day was when you get home, calling you up “just to talk.” To the extent they care about your brand at all, it’s when they have an itch to scratch. The amount of time people think about toothpaste when they’re not brushing their teeth is so miniscule it can’t be measured by human instruments.

It’s the job of most products or service providers to come to mind when a particular need arises, and to lay low the rest of the time. Your brand is not a partner. It is a booty call.


3. Maybe if they fictionalized it? And set it in the past? Oh, and put a brooding anti-hero at the center!

Businessweek casts a halfhearted glance at AMC’s languishing reality show The Pitch, and gets at the core of why the ad agency competition program draws an audience about the size of Paterson, NJ. It’s not just that the show lacks the sort of vicious, back-biting conflict typically associated with reality TV, though. It’s that it lacks…well, everything.

No point of view. No compelling approach to depicting the creative process (which is what I was most hoping to see, even though dramatizing creativity is notoriously difficult). Most of all, no consistency: the competitors and the judges change every week, so there’s no through-line to build on, no characters to hook your interest. The end result is a string of quasi-documentaries too keyed up to be informative yet too flimsy to be emotionally engaging.

Oh well. If nothing else, The Pitch does generate entertainment value in the form of Agency Spy’s weekly recaps—and the comical invective filling the comments section.

  1. May 26, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    We are disappointed with “The Pitch” as well. The “Drama” added doesn’t help. What the show needs is a host- like George Lois or Jerry Della Famina- and the ability for them to beat up on the client for giving the agencies stupid briefs- like Pop Chips wanting something viral.
    We thought it would be a platform for serious discussion about how to select an agency- and what a good brief and pitch would be like- but the show is sadly lacking- and we’ve been o-5 in our picks so far: http://thenextwave.biz/tnw/the-pitch-on-amc/
    However, if you want even more cutting reviews than Agency Spy- head over to Felix’s rants on The Denver Egotist: http://www.thedenveregotist.com/search/node/the%20pitch
    You’ll split a gut.

  2. May 26, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I also beat up on The Pitch. Simply terrible.

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