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Posted by Karl Taylor on

TV Ads Are Endorsements Too, Tho.

I’ve been watching with a great deal of intrigue as practitioners across the landscape of the communications industry struggle to derive tactics and strategies that can meet the spirit of the FTC’s fairly clear guidelines that “material relationships” must be disclosed in a manner that is “clear and conspicuous.”

I should revisit that statement.

I’ve been watching as digital marketing practitioners struggle to derive tactics and strategies that meet these guidelines, and I’ve been shocked to find far fewer voices in communities made up of traditional marketers.

Join me, if you will, in imagining a hypothetical spot that will feel immediately familiar.

There’s a catchy tune playing as we fade in on a close up of a well known chef, sweat rolling down the brow as the camera follows the path of the chef’s arms. We’re next greeted with a pan across a series of knives, followed by a close up of the blade of one knife in particular where a brand logo is visible for the first time. We’re then presented with a bit of knives being used to cut food. vegetables, probably — you know, prep work.

after that we see our chef dashing about the kitchen, flipping pans. we see another cut of knives. we see another cut of chef-ly behavior, another pan across the field of knives and a fade to tag line.

an announcer tells us:

“KNIFEBRAND. For When You’re Ready To Get Serious About Your Cooking.”

I can imagine a number of circumstances where precisely this request comes across the desk of a CD/ACD because I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked for it.

I usually just say “no,” but that triggers the “karl is mean” reaction, and so I’m trying to get a little bit better about highlighting the “why.”

Let’s revisit that example.

The hypothetical ad wants us to remember a tag that associates the line of knives with “serious cooking,” and uses the presence of a professional chef to highlight just what is meant by “serious.”

The juxtaposition of shots of knives being used for prep work, the knives themselves and the chef suggest that these things belong together.

Chefs are rather peculiar about the knives they use — and I’ve observed this behavior in every business we’ve worked with across the category. The trouble is, does the chef actually use the knives?

It’s ambiguous.

Would the chef ever use the company’s knives?

No way of knowing.

Did the company pay the chef to claim to use the knives knowing full well that the Chef had a different preference?

That would be sinister, but from the outside, a viewer has no way of knowing.

It doesn’t matter that in our hypothetical ad the chef didn’t say anything, because the implication of the framing was that our Chef used these knives, and, if you’re serious about cooking, you should too.

Why does that matter?

The fine folks at the FTC have an answer.

“Endorsements must reflect the honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experience of the endorser. Furthermore, an endorsement may not convey any express or implied representation that would be deceptive if made directly by the advertiser.”

They continue:

“When the advertisement represents that the endorser uses the endorsed product, the endorser must have been a bona fide user of it at the time the endorsement was given. Additionally, the advertiser may continue to run the advertisement only so long as it has good reason to believe that the endorser remains a bona fide user of the product.”

and state:

“An advertiser may use an endorsement of an expert or celebrity only so long as it has good reason to believe that the endorser continues to subscribe to the views presented. An advertiser may satisfy this obligation by securing the endorser’s views at reasonable intervals where reasonableness will be determined by such factors as new information on the performance or effectiveness of the product, a material alteration in the product, changes in the performance of competitors’ products, and the advertiser’s contract commitments.”

Our hypothetical Chef ad would have a few other problems. That’s because:

“Whenever an advertisement represents, directly or by implication, that the endorser is an expert with respect to the endorsement message, then the endorser’s qualifications must in fact give the endorser the expertise that he or she is represented as possessing with respect to the endorsement.”

In our example, we’d have skirted this guidance by selecting a “popular chef,” but that isn’t really accomplishing any work to qualify the credibility of our expert.

Why is that a problem? The FTC once again provides a bit of guidance:

“Although the expert may, in endorsing a product, take into account factors not within his or her expertise (e.g., matters of taste or price), the endorsement must be supported by an actual exercise of that expertise in evaluating product features or characteristics with respect to which he or she is expert and which are relevant to an ordinary consumer’s use of or experience with the product and are available to the ordinary consumer. This evaluation must have included an examination or testing of the product at least as extensive as someone with the same degree of expertise would normally need to conduct in order to support the conclusions presented in the endorsement. To the extent that the advertisement implies that the endorsement was based upon a comparison, such comparison must have been included in the expert’s evaluation; and as a result of such comparison, the expert must have concluded that, with respect to those features on which he or she is expert and which are relevant and available to an ordinary consumer, the endorsed product is at least equal overall to the competitors’ products. Moreover, where the net impression created by the endorsement is that the advertised product is superior to other products with respect to any such feature or features, then the expert must in fact have found such superiority.” (emphasis added)

Now that is not to say that an ad such as this is entirely unworkable. Say we had managed to recruit a chef who actually did use KNIFEBRAND, and had settled on it after years of searching for the perfectly weighted blade.

Pretend our team at KNIFEBRAND kept detailed records on our customer, and we knew that influencer chef frequently wrote in with detailed questions about materials. Pretend that those detailed questions later became part of the customer discovery interview process and that ultimately we decided as a team that it made sense to employ our loyal customer in a marketing capacity.

Pretend that the fine folks on our team at KNIFEBRAND knew that their knife was superior because of a proprietary application of a bit of science — and that the organization kept detailed records about the general applicability of each of the claims our chef had made.

Well, in those circumstances, you could probably imagine a much stronger treatment of the endorsement, couldn’t you?

Generally by the time you’ve gotten to the place where you’re regularly producing spot, you’re working inside of an organization where you already have a legal review capacity — but as startups increasingly incorporate programmatic TV buys in their marketing trenches, we are likely to see an unfair application of enforcement budgets as it’s simply more practical to start online.

Pure speculation, but the 90 day letter sent out to 90+ Influencers is a pretty good indication of where the priorities are. I expect that as we near August we’ll learn more about just how these rules will be put into effect.

While there is certainly a reasonable debate to be had amongst industry professionals and legal experts about the extent to which it’s right to consider a website an “ad,” and what should be done to reign in the copious abuses of the spirit of the regulatory framework readily observed between any block of television content, the agency has put a tremendous amount of work into assembling a rather helpful collection of resources that explain precisely what they think is and isn’t “ok.”

If you’re somewhere along the path of building a business out of the ethereal world of ideas, especially if you are doing so the “old fashioned way” where “labor” is more readily available than “capital,” it’s a good idea to start brushing up (and for that matter, scheduling appropriate conversations with experts who can guide your specific circumstances.)

“where the message is advertising, online disseminators have an obligation to ensure it is not misleading, just as marketers using traditional media do. This includes, when it’s not otherwise clear from the context, identifying when the endorser has a relationship with the marketer.”

Mary K. Engle, Letter to IAB

TV Ads Is Endorsements Too, Tho. was originally published in Multimedia Marketing.

Posted by Sonne Taylor on

A Primer on Spot TV

I’ve recently begun a quest to learn more about marketing and the way marketing is currently changing due to technological advancement. Part of this is out of interest and love of learning, but it also comes from the hope that I can learn enough about a certain niche within the marketing industry so as to capitalize on the opportunities available.

In the past few weeks, my attention has become focused on spot TV and programmatic advertising.

In case you haven’t heard the term, spot television is specially targeted advertising “spots” on television. In essence, if you have a general idea of who is watching, you can sell a spot to the businesses that would most benefit from reaching that viewership.

The key is just as much in who you don’t reach as who you do reach. Say you were selling female hygiene products, or intense mass-gaining products — you already know what demographics are extremely unlikely to buy your product, so you don’t want to use your advertising budget reaching them. You want to target the viewership that your product was built for. In short, with spot TV it is more important to think about who you’re reaching than what you’re saying.

Shows that had been trapped in late night slots or on smaller channels are starting to have their heyday. In the past, viewership may have came mostly from people flipping through channels and perhaps even watching the ads by accident. That makes it hard to trust specific demographics and meant none of the math could be trusted.

In the last few years innovations in broadcast technology have made it more feasible to reach the audience you would most benefit from.

During the advent of the Internet, one of the biggest opportunities for businesses was the ability to focus on certain demographics. Before then, the only real option was to take a television, radio or newspaper ad, and hope that it reached the right people.

The concept of targeting was out there, but it wasn’t possible to properly do on your own until the companies like Google built a platform with the ability to segment the market and address the target demographics.

This Renaissance of advertising that disrupted almost every industry is finally hitting cable television. For a while it seemed as cable TV ads might just disappear since the innovation hadn’t occurred that would make it possible to go after the right demographics. With DVR’s, online streaming and piracy, the television advertising industry was being threatened with extinction.

This has now changed. Spot TV and programmatic advertising are making it possible to segment out audiences and provide an effective marketing solution once again.

The biggest reason why this is a potential money-maker is that it is underpriced, and drastically so.

Nobody — including you or I — would ever think of going that route, because we would only see it as cheap but garbage TV spots, or extremely expensive mainstream spots. There is a middle-ground, and that’s where the opportunity is. Comcast Spotlight, which is the advertising sales group at Comcast Cable, is making significant moves in the space and taking advantage of the opportunity at hand.

Now that I’ve explained the basics of the industry, I will next go through the major players, advantages and business models.

A Primer on Spot TV was originally published in Multimedia Marketing.

Posted by Sonne Taylor on

A Reluctant Reformed Cord Cutter

“Back to multi-channel TV…for work no less.”

I caught myself muttering something to that effect a few days ago as I ended up plugging myself back into the universe of multi-channel TV.

It isn’t the first time in the last decade I’ve come back, but for the most part I haven’t been a regular customer of cable since 2007.

At first, there weren’t really streaming services to speak of. Enough of the old alternative distribution channels were still around by the time DVD mailer subscription services started to peak, that I don’t remember ever being hungry for content — even then.

The great thing about the mailer services is that they for a while, they were built for same day turnaround. You could find content, receive it, enjoy it and be on to the next thing before the week was out. If, for example, you worked out the right balance Blockbuster Online’s same-day exchange coupons were a great deal.

It wasn’t long before internet streaming just became easier than jumping through all the hoops one had to to work around the system.

That’s when I subscribed.

I thought about that while I was getting myself plugged back into the world of multi-channel the other day. I wasn’t after sports or movies, locals or networks.

I actually just wanted C-SPAN.

I was reminded of a moment half-way through Disney’s 2016 Annual Meeting Of Shareholders where you could hear Bob Iger refrain from suggesting an eager shareholder download a location scrambler to take advantage of DisneyLife.

I know we get asked about piracy by start ups all the time, but I don’t know that what I’ve said has changed much in the time since. Be flattered someone wants your content, and find a way to make it easier to consume.

There’s always going to be a percentage of people out there who are cheapskates, but with some out-of-the-box thinking, you can almost always find a way to make the attention work to your favor.

I read once that the difference between a fully loaded streaming subscriber and a cable subscriber was around 60$. Niche content subscriptions could make up that gap and that makes them potentially valuable real estate for brands.

Why else would my shiny new cable box have taken to asking me if I’m still watching?

A Reluctant Reformed Cord Cutter was originally published in Multimedia Marketing.

Posted by Sonne Taylor on

It’s All About Arbitrage.

The OG NYSE Opening Bell

Being a media buyer or planner is a little bit different than most advertising. A lot of people are dreaming up experiential or innovative ideas, but I’m just worried about one thing.

Arbitrage.

What is arbitrage though? Truthfully, it’s a word more at home on Wall St. than Madison Ave, but as advertisers become more and more metrics driven it’s slowly entering the vernacular. In the world of securities and commodities, it essentially means that it’s taking advantage of price differentials in different markets and exploiting them for short term gain. An example would be if I was selling gum for $1 a pack and someone 2 blocks away was selling them for $3 a pack. You would buy my gum and sell it 2 blocks away making money on the “arbitrage”.

Now when this comes to advertising this is incredibly interesting. There’s tens of thousands of different media products sold by millions of different publishers. While most aren’t perfectly transferable, many are on some level. Utilizing things like MMM (Market Media Mix, which is a multivariate regression analysis of your media buys) you can being to put together patterns of what media properties, on average, have what impact on your sales and assign dollar value to them.

Now from the perspective of media planning and buying this is a unique chance to set ourselves apart. If we can utilize analytics and past performance data, we can identify opportunities for clients and help them make more money than the average. For instance, if a $1000 a month billboard in Breckenridge is as effective as $2000 a month in Facebook ads, it only make sense to buy the billboard. What gets really interesting, is when you measure the various combinations of these tactics in congress. At the end of the day, my job looks a lot more like hedge fund manager than marketer, but the future looks more like a combination of stock broker + artist rather than one general “marketer”.

It’s All About Arbitrage. was originally published in Multimedia Marketing.

Posted by Jeromy Sonne on

In Advertising, Value Can Be Found Everywhere.

Most lay people have a very poor understanding of the craft of advertising. You only have to see the entire cottage industry of awards and certifications that exist to know that for a bunch of communications professionals, we have a really hard time communicating our value.

Another example of this is a constant march of “me too” style requests that come from clients wanting some new piece of ad tech or to buy ads on some new platform in order to be relevant.

To be clear, I’m not blaming clients for this. In the vacuum of information, the veritable island of ignorance we leave them on, this sort of response is only natural. I’m going to challenge the notion that new is inherently good, and that the latest bell or whistle is going to magically going to make your marketing click.

What I’m saying is: value can be found anywhere.

Nielsen came out with a report not too long ago saying that, I kid you not, radio is actually the most valuable advertising medium out there at this moment.

You’re probably wondering why. I mean, doesn’t radio predate just about everything? Surely it’s saturated and doesn’t offer nearly the targeting options and data insights that digital does?

All that may be true, but at the end of the day it’s all about that arbitrage.

I have a unique perspective working in a media agency as opposed to other more creative agencies. While most people think of Mad Men and Don Draper making the big pitch, we’re more like Harry and the computer in the backroom.

My job has more in common with a hedge fund manager than it does with Don Draper’s pitch meetings. For people like me, it’s all about the numbers. It’s all about finding a medium, or some platform, or a place to buy ads that’s ignored by the mass market due to human bias or just plain old missed opportunity and exploiting it to make people more money.

That’s why to guys like me radio is really exciting.

A hedge fund manager may get really fired up about a really boring business, not because they’re trying to buy sexy businesses for the sake of being cool, but because they care about acquiring assets that are undervalued and making money off them. (Gross oversimplification, I know).

Radio is just a single example of this phenomenon. There are thousands of these opportunities that exist all over the place in the modern and constantly shifting media landscape. If I can leave you with a lesson here’s what it should be; Don’t chase new for the sake of new. Chase value over whatever’s hot or sexy at the moment. If someone comes to you with an idea that seems dated or strange, consider it, but also demand a justification with hard numbers, not conjecture.

Oh and, if I were you, I’d think about buying some radio.

In Advertising, Value Can Be Found Everywhere. was originally published in Multimedia Marketing.

Posted by Sonne Taylor on

Stop trying to be Coke.

I get it. Coke has a fantastic aesthetic. They also have a killer brand. They have innovative marketing campaigns and crazy customer loyalty. So it’s natural you want your ads to be reminiscent of theirs. Truthfully?

Regina is tired of you being a poser.

No matter what you do you aren’t going to be Coke. Nor frankly do you want to be Coke. They have an origin story, an evolution, that you will never have. That story, all the people that contributed to that story? That isn’t your story. You don’t have the advantages they do. Your product will never be special in the same way that theirs is.

Why did I go on this rant?

First off, this isn’t some shot at Coke (mostly). You could insert any company that people are envious of in this category. In the past, I’ve talked with folks (especially teams at startups) that see an ad campaign from a more successful competitor and instantly want to copy it. This is foolish for a few reasons:

1. You have no idea what the performance of that ad is. It could be killing it or they could be lighting money on fire. Outside of corporate espionage, you won’t ever know either. Don’t assume that if an ad exists, or that you like it, that it’s performing well.

2. Any attempt to copy will come off as disingenuous no matter how well you pull it off. Even if someone is a direct competitor, they have a different origin story. Their motivations are different. The people running the company are different. You are not them.

3. Best case scenario is you’re a derivative, and no derivative ever made it big. Do you really want to be Uber for X? Or Airbnb for Y? Hell no! You want to be the one that people compare themselves too. No one calls Airbnb ‘Holiday Inn for X’.

You don’t want to be them.

The thing that really kills me whenever I have this conversation is that it always comes from a place of insecurity. I just wish it was as easy as one of those scenes in those cheesy teen movie where the girl takes off her glasses and suddenly realizes how beautiful she is. It isn’t though. I have empathy though. Business, especially startups, are hard and can be really scary.

You have values. You have goals. Your story matters.

I guarantee something in your goals, your values, who you are as a team will speak to a customer demographic. Finding that story and utilizing the right tactics is important to be sure. However, copying someone else’s story is a sure fire way for people to feel like you’re giving them a bunch of corporate BS speak (Because you are). Besides, people love a genuine person. Especially if you’re an underdog.

Take calculated risks. Don’t copy people. Tell a real story.

Stop trying to be Coke. was originally published in Multimedia Marketing.

Posted by Sonne Taylor on

The rise of durable advertisements.

There has existed a loose understanding between publishers, advertisers, and consumers. Consumers get content from publishers in exchange for viewing ads. Publisher’s get their work financed by advertisers in exchange for renting advertising space. Advertisers get access to publishers audiences in exchange for financing their production. Television, display advertising, billboards, radio ads, etc. all work like this. However, we’re seeing a dramatic increase in value to advertisers as the rise of independent content creators continues. I call the phenomenon “Durable Advertisements”.

First, we need to define what I mean by durable advertisements. In a typical advertising scenario you’re renting space from a media company. An advertisement does not live forever, but rather expires when the purchased media is used up. It’s finite. A durable advertisement is one, that because of the nature of the media, doesn’t ever disappear. It’s integrated into the content medium in such a way that if someone views it in the future.

Secondly, it’s distinct from native advertising in that the advertisement is separate from the actual content and doesn’t dictate or attempt to mimic the content.

So what’s an example of a durable advertisement in action?

Gimlet Media is a fantastic example of a company that’s selling durable advertisements. (Full disclosure I have no relationship with Gimlet Media outside requesting a media sheet. Alex won’t even return my unsolicited emails). Their startup podcast has fantastic replay value. I frequently go back and listen to season 1. Every time I re-listen to it, I hear the same advertisement from companies that bought that space.

The reason I replay it, and I suspect that others replay it, is that the content itself has enduring value outside of the moment. It’s not the weather, it’s not a daily stock report, it isn’t the news. It creates and inherent value that endures.”In the same way that “Confessions of an Ad Man” by David Ogilvy is still considered mandatory reading in the advertising industry, the ideas and content are to some degree timeless. It’s evergreen content. When many of the most popular content creators of our day become popular, it’s because they’re building something new. Something that resonates. Not simply riding a wave.

From a formatting standpoint, they do a good job separating the ad from the content. From a technical standpoint though, there is no ad slot like we would think of when it comes to say display advertising. As an end user, It’s all the same audio recording. This is what I mean. Where a display ad is served from an ad server based on impressions in real time. Gimlet ads persist regardless of if 1 person listens of 1 billion. This is beautiful because if you believe they’re a growing brand (Which I do) you can piggy back off 3 phenomenons to deliver a lot more bang for your clients media dollars.

1. As their brand keeps growing and people view old episodes you’re getting free media.

2. Binge Watching.

3. A desire for authenticity.

Millennials absolutely love binge watching. As a millennial myself I can vouch for this. (I watched an entire season of House of Cards in a day. No judgement.) The question of course though is why does this matter? One word. Repetition. I’m not going to get into the details as to why repetition is so valuable, but when building top of mind awareness, repetition is a big deal.

This extends far beyond Gimlet Media. Podcasters, Youtubers, etc. are all selling durable advertisements without even realizing it. As independent content creators continue to grow in number they’re going to realize how much more valuable their media is than a typical broadcast.

The opportunity to build authenticity with an audience is unprecedented. Many times, things like ad sense make little or no sense to a content creator. It’s disruptive (In a bad way) to the experience they’re crafting for their audience, and doesn’t provide enough revenue to justify the interruption of the story they’re trying to tell. With these durable ads, media companies, brands, agencies, etc. can work with the content creator to build the kind of advertising experience that their audience will not only respond to, but be thankful for. They know how hard it is for small publishers to make enough money to do what they do all the time. If brand support of independent lets creators produce more or create higher quality content the audience will recognize that. This creates a situation where consumers are not only tolerating the advertisements, but are actually happy that big brand support is giving them more of the content they crave. I can’t think of a more real way to build a positive and authentic relationship for a brand than supporting the things their consumers care about.

From an advertiser stand point, I have an opportunity to not only get my clients more value but also support independent content creators? Sign me up yesterday.

Durable advertisements are on the rise, and every single stakeholder wins because of it. If you’re an advertiser I would suggest you take advantage of this phenomenon before content creators wake up and realize exactly how valuable the space they’re selling is.

A big thanks to Jake Cohen (@jfccohen) and Cory LaNou (@corylanou) for help with this article.

The rise of durable advertisements. was originally published in Multimedia Marketing.

Posted by Sonne Taylor on

How I Learned To Stop Hating And Fell In Love With TV

It was the fall of 2007, and I had finished my coursework early. I took the opportunity to walk along the University of Iowa’s campus exacting my vengeance on arrant leaves that had yet to be properly piled. As I walked I inhaled the crisp air. I felt the the change around me. But I felt something more than the renewal of fall. I felt a gnawing pain in my stomach.

I had had some trouble in the past and knew that if I spent a little time resting, I’d probably get right back on my feet. Recognizing this, I made my way across the walkways and cut through fields to return to my room as quickly as possible.

When I got back, I collapsed on the bed. I did what everyone does when they feel cold and alone, I slept.

I didn’t get up for a full two days.

This isn’t that story, and that’s not the important part.

I knew that if I was going to have to spend that much time alone, recovering, I’d need to find a way to occupy my mind. I recognized that if I didn’t, I’d quickly fall behind and would have a much bigger problem on my hands. I knew that I could do better. I knew that I could be better.

So I looked around and took inventory of what I had in front of me. I had a television. I had a really fast internet connection. I had time.

I started obsessively consuming media. In one week, I watched every episode of The Jeffersons. I signed up for Blockbuster Online because they let you exchange DVDs for in-store rentals. I could queue up “deep cuts” online, copy them to my hybrid computer-dvd player and return them for recent movies.

I spent every hour I had, watching for every detail.

Normally I’d BackLink TiVo Here, But Michael Cronan Deserves It More.

I looked at what worked and what didn’t. I looked at online reception to content. When I grew tired of one source, I’d simply queue up another source on my phone and pretty soon, I’d be watching three videos at once. (I do this still today, much to the chagrin of every person I’ve ever shared an office with.)

When it occurred to me that “professional media consumer,” was really only a job if you were willing to play the Academy game (and I was already at a pretty serious disadvantage there,) I started using my TiVo in a way that would likely give Ira Bahr a heart attack. I started using my TiVo to skip programming and watch ads instead.

It wasn’t long before I noticed that smaller and smaller brands were advertising on TV.

I had developed a strange relationship with media during this time, and I think rightly or wrongly I felt that TV was an untouchable. I thought, like many digital marketers, that for a brand to get onto TV it had to have accomplished some herculean feat of business development.

So when I noticed the emergence of small brand advertisers, I dismissed it as a sign of the collapse of the medium.

Time went on, and I got better about knowing my limits and how to apply my insights and developed some vague idea of where I wanted my life to head.

Proof Of Early Adopter In-Door Kid Status.

I had always been an early adopter. (I think my mom might still have my old AskJeeves Kids T-Shirt and to this day one of my favorite childhood accomplishments was getting a joke on PBS’s proto PBS Digital Studios kid’s show Zoom)

That’s come at a cost. One of the more dramatic tolls, was that I was very quick to dismiss things that felt like the “old world.” I had to be. The old world didn’t have a use for people like me, and on the horizon, I could see a world where everyone valued the voice of an individual more than “conforming,” to the status quo. I jumped in with both feet.

I had a lot of early successes as a digital marketer. The platforms were new enough that the only people who had consumed as much media as I had were hidden away making TV happen. I knew what worked because I knew what had worked before.

I knew that brands couldn’t run ads that said “Widget 5$” anymore, because they had run those ads since the 1980s, and there’s only so much you can yell at a person before the abhor the idea of becoming a customer.

I was a rising professional. Digital Marketing was my canvas — but I wasn’t doing anything new. I had stumbled into one good bit of luck by figuring out that combining old world data and new world distribution channels was the way to help brands stand out and fight against entrenched competitors.

I carried on. One success lead to another and by the time I had built a playbook that got a team a lot more success than they’d have otherwise found, I had enough experience to hang up own shingle and start my own venture.

One of the first clients we worked with wanted help launching a local restaurant. My business partner, Jeromy Sonne had fallen in love with the product (a good sign) and I was impressed by the founder’s dedication to bringing an authentic experience to the members of the community.

We put together a digital playbook that ran ads across channels in three episodic bursts. Each burst targeted a progressively wider audience (which any good digital ads guy will tell you, is a great way to build momentum,) but the client wanted more. The client wanted a billboard. Hats. The works.

I had worked in those genres before, but I needed a way to combine a new world strategy with old world tactics. I needed a way to do something that would break through the noise.

I decided we should troll the competition.

Jeromy Sonne pulled a map of all of the different places that our client’s competitors had a storefront. We cross-checked the storefronts and the availability of local billboards. I went to work designing an image that ostensibly suggested that if customers were unsatisfied with their food, they ought to bring their receipt from the competitor and our client would make it right.

That mix, the client’s vision the buy in, they all conspired to achieve success. But I’ve believed it was that brash display of confidence that worked — and throughout the launch, there were lines out the door and around the corner.

The lesson I learned from that success was more valuable though. I learned that I had to change the way I thought about old world media.

If you keep an eye out for media trends, you’ve likely noticed an increasing number of startups making ad buys on television.

I can’t speak to specific cases because I don’t have the customer data to evaluate the performance of the work of the marketers who have decided to take this leap.

What I can tell you is that over the years, an increasing number of digital marketers are softening on the digital part. As we age and mature, we start to look at digital like it’s just another marketing channel — a valued part of the promotional mix.

Coming up as a digital (or I guess direct response) kind of person puts you at a serious advantage for tackling a question advertisers and marketers alike have wrestled with for quite some time.

Don’t believe me? Give Rob Moffat’s “The Impact Of TV Advertising” a read.

You’ve likely heard about “addressable tv.”

If you haven’t, I (highly) suggest you check out Jordan Weil’s fantastic “Addressable TV: A Primer Written In Plain English

Saavy marketers like the fine folks at Making Lost My Name demonstrate this agility beautifully. In “How We Made A TV Ad For Our Seed Stage Startup,” you can read about how the team applied the principles of cross-platform attribution to find an ROI for spot TV buys.

So now when we meet with a prospective client, that’s the first thing I look at once we’ve sized up the market. Who is this business trying to communicate with, where are those people, what media do they consume and what do they value.

More often than not, when I ask myself those questions these days? I have to consider spot TV.

And that’s how I learned to stop hating and love TV.

How I Learned To Stop Hating And Fell In Love With TV was originally published in Multimedia Marketing.