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Addressing the TV creative // Bad Google // A ghastly idea

06 Sep 2019  |  David Pidgeon 
Addressing the TV creative // Bad Google // A ghastly idea

They've been on and off for years with their discussions, but fresh reports this week suggest Channel 4 is back in talks with Sky to join AdSmart.

If such a deal were to go ahead - and both parties remain tight-lipped - it would allow UK advertisers to target viewers of C4's content more precisely and that could be a big deal – together 4 Sales and Sky Media control more than half of the UK ad market, so addressable would receive a major boost in scale.

TV quality content and digital targeting blended together...that's any advertiser's dream.

But are brands and agencies really ready to make this dream work?

We hear that a new creative approach is required for addressable because much too often all that viewers see are slightly different variations of an original ad - and that, in a nutshell, has been the problem with online advertising for a long time: a bad cut-n-paste effort as if one size fits all.

Addressable advertising can and should be a powerful new tool - but it will require a rethink in creative strategies, and that requires more time, effort and money.

If the deal goes ahead – and the spirit of broadcaster collaboration suggests it really might – then perhaps it's also time to close the gap between traditional and digital creative agencies and make the most of it.


Bad week for...

Google. On the same day it was handed a $170m fine for illegally 'harvesting' – such a nefarious word! - the personal data of children, Google now stands accused of working around GDPR rules to secretly hand advertisers user data. Big Tech should fear Dr Johnny Ryan. The man is on a mission. More on this next week.


...Good week for

The Face. 15 years after its print edition was lowered into a sad grave, it’s now back and hits newsstands today. The music, fashion and culture mag originally launched in 1980 before succumbing to the pressures of online. It’s changed owners recently, been tested online and has now been fully resurrected with Harry Styles, Dua Lipa, Tyler the Creator and Rosalia each getting their own launch cover.


And the winner of this year's most bizarre op-ed is...

Beware the Fool's Bubble - an echo chamber that only dampens debate, regurgitates ideas and endlessly confirms biases.

And, from time to time, will ease the passage of silly and unchecked arguments out from the froth, delivering them to a broader public court where they are rightly treated with derision.

Only by welcoming alternative and outside views – even harsh or unsavoury ones – can we sense check our own and hope for a little wisdom.

This should be, for advertisers, an essential mode of working. Yet we often see marketers so hard-baked into their own peculiar worlds of omnichannel and purpose-driven marketing they fail to see the bigger picture: most people just don’t give a crap, or worse; they see through it and cringe.

Like a comedian who failed to test their material first, their jokes fall flat and the outcome is awkward for everyone.

Which is why someone should sense check the idea that brands should be recipients of Nobel Prizes, an idea born from such ghastly hubris most people would only recognise it as satire.

"The Nobel committee is right to award the Nobel Prize in economics to brilliant scholars in the field of economics," writes Erik Saelens, founder of Belgium's Brandhome group in a Drum op-ed this week.

"Hats off to those winners. But are these thinkers doing the world as great a service as most global brands do every day, year in, year out?"

You can read the full, strange argument here and stand amazed.

Trust in advertising is already at an historic low - deploying the sort of thinking that can only be dreamed up by not living in reality is likely to repel consumers further. Step outside and start living on planet earth with all the other earthlings - because absolutely no one wants to see this next sentence written on a plaque, anywhere, at any time in all of humankind's history:

Marie Curie, Theodore Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Jr. Richard Thaler ... Walmart.

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07 Apr 2020 

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