The Media Kill List - Volume 3

19 Dec 2018  |  Boris Grump 
The Media Kill List - Volume 3

Everything that needs taking down and burning in adland

Volume 1 (2016) // Volume 2 (2017)

Influencer Marketing

Don’t have an original thought left in your head? Love a good bandwagon? Then we have the latest stupid shit for you: why not pay a nineteen-year-old stay-at-home freeloader with social anxiety issues and a narcissistic personality disorder to tell the bots that follow them that they love your product? Non-peer reviewed, in-house research proves it works!

Micro Influencer Marketing

Don’t have the budget for an actual influencer? No problem! We also have an unlimited supply of failed influencers that we, a specialist influencer marketing agency, has convinced you have higher engagement levels.

Micro-influencers might appear like they are just unsold inventory repackaged for clueless marketers, or - even worse - just normal people on the internet. But that's what 'traditional' media wants you to think.

They're actually factory-farmed, chlorine washed and mechanically separated bits of chicken sold to you as free-range, grain-fed peacock. But that's what The People want! It's authentic. It's real. Besides, your agency has been doing that with online display for years and you didn't mind.

Bravery knows no bounds in adland

Throughout 2018 brands continued to be celebrated for their bravery with not just one award scheme, but two. Little wonder anyone can even get any work done with all this heroism going on.

Heroic feats like using the letters 'KFC' to say 'FCK' because you ran out of chicken and paid a copywriter to tell a joke on your behalf, or using "normal people" in your adverts for some oven chips, like 'brave brand' McCain. It's making our hearts flutter more than when Boomer the dog narrowly escaped being burned to death when the aliens blew up the tunnel in Independence Day.

Perhaps next year - after deploying an innovative marketing strategy that challenges conventions? - a brand might want to enter yet another bravery awards scheme?

Until then, place a hand over your heart, bow your head and fall silent as we remember the courage of BrewDog's marketing department, celebrated in The Marketing Society Brave Brand of the Year for pursuing "a community-focused, responsible marketing strategy with irreverence."

Brand purpose

We all seek purpose in our lives. We are all on a spiritual quest for meaning.

Why am I here, you ask.

At seven-fifty-eight pm, why the hell am I still in the office reading Ian's sorry excuse for a strategy document?


But brands also need purpose. And why shouldn't they? It's almost 2019 for goodness' sake.

Sportswear. Fishfingers. Anusol. They must have purpose. And that purpose must win industry awards and be spoken about with earnestness, at conferences, where other marketers mask over the black holes in their own hearts by pretending this anti-fungal soap bar, or this multi-plug adapter has genuine meaning beyond the balance sheet.


There is not a single prediction about the future for media and advertising that does not foresee Amazon coming along to 'disrupt' things.

Indeed, there have been no less than 12 other industries that have already felt the pain of this disruption since Amazon first IPO'd in 1997 - from healthcare to meal prep, or TV-streaming to cloud computing.

And its ruthless business strategy has worked wonders for the online behemoth: Amazon's stock has skyrocketed more than 42,000% in 20 years. Although we think even Mediatel's stock could achieve similarly impressive heights if we didn't have to pay tax.

But no-one really cares about that. Not when they can get those new Kandoos-for-Grown-ups ordered in bulk and drone delivered within three minutes of purchase. Life is just too easy when Amazon is taking care of it.

So keep on clogging the oceans with those 'flushable wipes' that keep your bottom smelling fresh all day long. Then, with confidence and perfume in your stride, look forward to a future in which the best you can ever hope for is to be shrink wrapped, scanned, placed on a conveyor belt and sent to the Soylent Prime department, after which you'll be pulped before being drone delivered to the last bastion of civilization: a multibillion dollar bunker in New Zealand that five Silicon Valley nerds will use to repopulate the planet chanting "We fulfilled! We Fulfilled! We fulfilled our mission to be earth's most customer centric company!"


Arise, titan. Arise from your sweat-stained comfy chair and claim your new throne as King of Call of Duty. Then sheath your trusty controller, leave your kingdom basement, wade through the Ocean of Monster Energy Drinks Bottles and challenge other heroes in the land beyond the Wild Bean Cafe.

Waiting there for you will be marketers - already lobbying to have e-sports included in the 2028 Olympics* - so they can deploy their legions of algorithms into the games battles you wage, thereby branding the marauding armies of this new tech kingdom.

So rise, Sir Domino's, claim your rightful throne as the epitome of human athletic achievement for our dying world.

*this is, sadly, not even hyperbole.

Dear real industry boss,

We love the wearable slogan – very powerful statement. We love the hashtags too – they’re really helping to promote the message and generate debate. But please, to really help us reach gender parity across the sector, stop assuming that the women in our meetings are PAs to the men.


Everyone cringing with disbelief

Nice to e-meet you!

You too! Now please, electronically, fuck off.

Facebook - worth saving?

Is it time for Facebook to rebrand that strong (algorithmically chosen?) blue to a pale, sickly yellow? Something to match the colour of its CEO's unblinking, increasingly confused eyes, perhaps?

It's hard to know where to begin in listing the woes that have made Facebook this toxic. Do you start with the destruction of democratic society, or the fact it happily ripped off advertisers with false metrics? Or that its own creators think it makes users 'vacant and empty', or just the scale of misinformation that feeds into our fears and biases?

Yet despite these issues, we need Facebook. If the social media platform was to do a Myspace and fade into online obscurity, how would we know how mediocre Paul and Helen's wedding really was?

You see, Facebook is the centrepiece of normal people's lives. What else could champion cul-de-sac averageness at such scale?

There isn't a platform in Real Life that can 'like' or applaud the abject futility of such an existence.

You and the work crew wearing Christmas jumpers. Pretending the Eiffel Tower is really small. "Checking in" to places. A Segway tour.

For that reason alone, and despite the costs to civilization, we must keep Facebook forever. With its pointless 'likes', it is the pat on the back we all need when what we see in the mirror is the reality of humdrum failure with a crap haircut.

Facebook is a monument for average humans; a place to receive praise for middle-of-the-road normality and two-star ordinariness.

So please click Like. Please.

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