The Today Show has its problems. But the loss of Katie, America’s sweetheart, isn’t what I’m talking about today. I’m talking about the ads. The things that are supposed to be supporting the show. As sick as the content of the show is, the way the advertising business is treating our clients, our messages, and our viewers (consumers? customers?) is a self-fulfilling prophecy of doom.
But first, remember the old saying “the shoemaker’s children are going barefooted?” How certain people have a tendency to take care of every one else’s needs except their own? Good. Now, park that for a moment.
Remember the saying, “shooting ourselves in the feet?” How, no matter what some people do, they end up harming themselves first? Good. Now, take those two sayings, combine them, and you’ll get an idea of just how ridiculous the ad business is dealing with the media and clients and customers, as evidenced by a recent viewing of the Today Show — and just about everything else on TV. And you’ll get an idea of how, as an industry, advertising and media are conspiring to do more harm to ourselves than 10,000 Mark Zuckerbergs on steroids. OK, enough waffling. To get to the point, here’s what I saw.
I saw a pod of TOO MANY DAMN COMMERCIALS, TOO SHORT COMMERCIALS, AND TOO MANY OF THOSE DAMN PODS TOO CLOSE TOGETHER. Thus, training the audience to turn off their minds, relax and float downstream — or even worse, GO TO THE BATHROOM!
1: TOO MANY SPOTS IN THE POD. Why do we need so many commercial breaks? Especially when the content of the show itself is so weak? Can’t the networks break up the pacing of the spots a little, to surprise the audience and keep them off guard. It is so predictable, we have Pavlovianly (sic) trained them to scram.
2: WHY SUCH SHORT SPOTS? We, in the creative departments, are not immune. Our wonderful, creative, Cannes-ready scripts are chopped down to 15 second abortions. Noise, noise, noise. Who really thinks these 15 second commercials, no matter how expensive the production or how wonderful the idea can do anything to CHARM AND DELIGHT our audiences? NOISE, NOISE, NOISE.
If we, as an industry, don’t start getting back into the business of surprising and delighting our audiences (with selling messages they love because, although people hate advertising, they love great advertising), if we don’t start doing that all we are doing is cashing the checks for the passengers on the Titanic after the noble ship had already sunk.
And we’re not doing that, are we?
Too much coffee this morning. Now for some yoga. And tofu.