Ever watched a movie and missed twenty minutes of footage because you’ve fallen asleep? Annoying isn’t it? A friend of mine who loves the ballet once told me he received an urgent business call in the first interval of ‘Coppelia’ and when he went back for the third sitting he’d totally lost the plot. I guess it’s about continuity and it’s easy for me to see how this fits into most of the corridors of our lives. It is of course a vital part of advertising, despite the fact that most businesses do not consider the issues when they are planning their advertising.
For example, take the media schedule. When, after many months of persuasion, an agency breaks through and gets the client to agree on a planned approach to their advertising, the first thing that gets planned is a media schedule. What takes place next during the presentation is no generalisation. Halfway through the presentation the client starts to take bits and pieces out!
Sometimes it’s economies, sometimes it’s personal likes and dislikes – such as the client who didn’t personally listen to the recommended radio station and demanded it be changed, despite the fact that his target market was some 25 years younger than himself. Then there’s the ‘chop em up’ client who wants to know what an advertisement would look like if it were half a page instead of a full page? I got in serious trouble on one occasion when as a young executive I took the draft advertisment and in complete frustration ripped it down the centre, while advising everyone in the room “it would look like that”.
So getting the full picture becomes increasingly difficult but what’s really important for all clients to know and understand is this. If you reduce, change or amend a media schedule that’s been recommended by a bona fida media person, you can bet your sweet bippie that it’ll have significantly greater impact on the success of the campaign than you think. Media buyers don’t just want to spend your hard earned budget. They present you with a schedule because it’s the best resolution – they researched it and ultimately they use their skill to fashion what will work for what you can afford.
They don’t give you a media schedule because it’s the first thing that comes into their head, they look at the target, they study the ground results, they access the possibilities and they deliver the complete story.
If you mess with it, and that’s your prerogative, don’t come back and want to have your ticket refunded because the story didn’t make sense and the target market didn’t get it.
It may not be what clients want to hear but let me re-assure everyone, it’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Oh! And just as a parting shot, not everyone watches Master Chef, especially if you’re selling fertiliser.