Rose-tinted testicles

My highlight from this year’s Media 360 was when John Nolan of North One TV, talking about the dangers of nostalgia for a bygone TV era, just stopped himself before advising delegates not to look at the past through “rose-tinted testicles”. I can ‘testify’ it is indeed a dangerous game.

At Thinkbox we try to avoid rose-tinted anythings at industry events.  There is still the occasional danger that a speaker will get the basic facts about TV wrong and we’ll have to put our arm in the air and correct the telly bollocks being spoken .

Blissfully, there was very little need for challenge at this year’s Media 360. Instead there was plenty to celebrate about the role that TV is playing at the centre of so many of the most successful integrated marketing plans. Some personal highlights include:

The inspiring story behind the TV ad that turned around the fortunes of Hovis by its Marketing Director, Jon Goldstone.

The tour de force from YouTube’s Bruce Daisley. Trying to solve the challenge that more than 53% of online video ads are never completed, he used air horns, audience participation and a reel of TV ads to demonstrate how great creative work will not only not be skipped, but will be watched happily right through to the end.

Bruce also introduced the audience to two innovative ideas: the “risk Panini” (you had to be there) and a new “good ads pay less” strategy to encourage better online video ads on YouTube.  It got me thinking that a version of this is effectively already running on broadcast TV.  The best TV ads get uploaded, recommended and viewed millions of extra times at no additional cost to the advertiser on social media such as Facebook and YouTube and recorded and rewound on digital television recorders, earning anything from 1% to 5% of the paid for audience for free.

Then, fresh from their Grand Prix at the Marketing Society Awards for Excellence for the same case, we had a brilliant presentation from Simeon Adams from BBH. He showed how, with a fraction of their competitors’ media budgets but with huge ambition and a big bite of Bruce’s risk Panini, Yeo Valley joined up with the event TV phenomenon that is the X Factor, integrated highly engaging TV creative work with social media and point of sale, and achieved spectacular business results.

Then came David Abraham who eloquently made the case for Channel 4’s special role in a multi-channel world, giving a platform to outsiders and ‘the seriously pissed off’.  When asked about the role of the channel brand in an on-demand world, he explained succinctly that “it’s not just about navigation, it’s about curation”. I couldn’t agree more.

And then there was Manjiry Tamhane, the Global MD of econometrics company OHAL, who demonstrated yet again how econometrics conclusively proves the effect TV has in driving other response media and how the short-term ‘saving’ of coming off TV even for a short time will be hitting your profits for a long time after.  Can’t get enough of this proof.

The competition between five new media opportunities had most people thinking that these were hardly competitors and that at least three of these could be easily integrated into one experience (ie product placement in some online video viewed  on a mobile).

There was plenty more besides from other advertisers including Sainsbury’s and Tetley and the whole shebang was chaired expertly and amusingly by Mark Holden of PHD (I suspect he’s going to be flooded with offers to chair things in future). 

Given this sort of positive report card for TV, I for one will be ignoring the warning and donning the rose-tinted testicles as my accessory of choice from now on.

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