insights, ironies and idiosyncrasies in communication and design

from the wide, wide world and the world wide web

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Powerful print.

Admittedly I'm out of sync chronologically with the real world here, but when this copy of the Evening Standard fell on my lap last summer while on the London Underground I didn't feel that my day had been interrupted I had been negatively distracted; I was very pleasantly surprised. And as I didn't have a blog then I'm forced into telling you all about it now. 

Media strategy too often comes as a pre-requisite on a client brief and media purchasing decisions are too often made by media buyers who have no idea what the campaign actually demands. Free airtime and the lure of barter cloud the vision of advertisers, who tend to make hasty (but seemingly efficacious) business decisions rather than thinking what type of media would serve the message best. 

I'm all for strategy that minimizes effort and maximizes impact, but reserving media before the creative has been sold is putting the cart before the horse. If the message, for instance, doesn't need motion images to carry it then then why waste money doing a big budget TV commercial? Why not establish a longer term relationship via two-way discourse through blogs and forums instead – or at least split the media budget and funnel some funds into a real online presence as well? Communications here (if authentic and crafted well) will be seen as a contribution rather than an interruption.

Perhaps this work for Ecotricity is a fluke (admittedly though the ad is strong also because it appears genuine and personal, being signed off by the company's CEO) but for a pseudo-public announcement tied to a particular date (the day Brown went into office) press is clearly the most apt format for this message – a message that's resonated in my mind for nearly 12 months now – and that's what gives this ad its real power.

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