Media X: 3 For The Road
It happens to all of us, doesn't it? Those weird days or weeks in which nothing goes right. You hit all the red lights. Get an adult pimple. The son loses his cell phone charger again, bends a fender (someone else's) on his way to the marijuana clinic (we love L.A.), and then asks you for gas money--all on Saturday. During the Lakers game.
Oh, the humanity.
A lucrative freelance project is killed. You neglect to turn off Mr. Coffee and melt your coffee pot. Get flamed by a fool. See the first paragraph you wrote in your column last week reborn as the first paragraph of someone else's story this week.
As always, I looked to media land for sanctuary. And found, as always, that it was even more dislocated than I was. But unlike me, in a good way.
Since the onset of April, the industry's most prominent evangelist and most courtly eminence found new missions. And this week, one of the most successful entertainment wolves among the media agency sheep found a place to put his pique. There was plenty of melodrama behind all three new postings, but they also herald positive movement for the business.
David Verklin is most likely going to help cable "get its set-top box act together," together by joining the unfortunately named Project Canoe, while Alec Gerster is taking on the job of marketing Navic Networks' bewilderingly named "digital targeting and optimized television advertising technologies."
It's encouraging that the industry's best salesman and one of its most-respected veterans are going to help hasten the advent of an Addressable Age in media services. These are far more constructive responses to your digital challenges than sucking up to the SWSX crowd. Social networks and Twitter are not now and never will be channels. They are the electronic equivalent of gossiping in the girl's room.
But addressability and finding new, better ways to measure effectiveness in a digital marketplace are media-industry consummations devoutly to be wished. So kudos to Verklin (who had worn out his welcome at Carat) and Gerster (the industry still badly needs this gentleman's intelligence and insight) for doing what they're doing.
And then there's Alan Cohen, the ex-TV network marketer and current hot property in media agency circles who dumped IPG for OMD, the lead agency brand of Omnicom Media Group (OMG, or colloquially, OMFG).
Sure, Cohen switched because he was miffed he didn't get the top job at Initiative. Still, this is a talented guy who probably could have strolled back to CBS or another network. Instead, he chose to stay at a media agency. That says plenty about how important the business has become--and more significantly, how creative it's become.
So despite the dislocations, all's well that ends well in media land, I guess. Which is more than I can say for the state of my sorry ass life.
Anybody want to buy a cat?