Today’s Ad Game — Spinning Plates for Fun and Profit

I was talking with a young, talented producer at a major (Big 5) international ad agency last night. You would kill to have this 24 year old (24 YEAR OLD!!!) on your staff. As a way of checking in on that state of things, I asked him to describe his typical day.

Fasten your seat belts.

He gets in two hours before the “creatives.” He starts to answer the almost 200 e-mails he’s got in his in box from the past NIGHT! He starts to chart on the eight or nine projects he’s working on. (Not like in the good old days, he says, a year and half ago when he started, when he could work on one project at a time.)

What kind of projects? I ask.

A couple of radio productions, a few websites in various stages of design and wireframe, some web banners, putting some reels together for a big new business pitch, re-cutting some old TV spots, bidding out some new ones.

Does this kid have time to eat? Much less take a “bio break?”

The reasons are clear. The agency, which shall not be named, has shrunk. More work is being piled on. Even the once untouchable art directors and copywriters are supposed to be able to play almost any position on the field — from radio to TV to web to print to promotions.

He did mention they do have some kind of bar, or some way to get drinks in the afternoon, around 4.

They need it.

(Although, to be fair, it does remind me of my days when I was running my own shop after I left the cocoon of major agency-dom.)

More on this topic later…I’m exhausted just remembering it…

The Netflix Effect or What’s Four Billion Hours Between Friends

About a week or so ago, the C.E.O. of Netflix, the folks who used to send you DVD’s in the mail and killed Blockbuster and who now stream just about everything and anything, made a post on Facebook, ““Over the last three months, you all watched over 4 billion hours on Netflix.”

There are about five extraordinary things about this action — making a huge corporate report on social media, the use of the words ‘folks,’ etc. etc. But the thing that most struck me was “Four Billion Hours.” That’s a whole lotta hours. Which is probably why Netflix stock shot up 25% (while Apple’s fell???) There are a lot of reasons and ramifications and thoughts, but I’m just going to let my head soak up the number. 4 BILLION HOURS. Where did those hours come from? A little from sleeping. But mostly, I would advise you to ask Warner Brothers, Columbia, ABC, CBS, and NBC. Except for sports, those 4 BILLION HOURS came right out of their hides. Assuming 10 to 20 commercials per hour has been vaporized for every one of those 4 BILLION HOURS, things get very clear, very fast.

Or, as I said earlier, that is one heckuva lot of hours.

Now, I’ve got to go watch some Netflix.