Real Media Riffs - Thursday, Mar 20, 2003

Image Is Everything: I love image campaigns. Call them awareness campaigns, call them branding campaigns, I don’t care what you call them but when a brand decides it's going to spend a lot of money to re-establish itself, I think it works every time. And it’s a textbook usage of advertising. Right now, two major accounts are in play that will need a major image makeover: AOL and Tyco. Tyco needs to convince businesspeople that it’s an upstanding business and manufacturing powerhouse that got derailed by a financial scandal. Tough shot, that one. It can only work if Tyco executives continue to stay out of the “indicted” column in the financial press. AOL needs to reintroduce itself as something other than “You’ve Got Mail.” It needs to become something other than the Wal-Mart of the Internet. And after these two agencies are reimagined there will be some who say the money was wasted. In my opinion, image work is never wasted. It’s harder to quantify on the bottom line, but never wasted.



That Sound You Just Heard Was Edward R. Murrow Rolling In His Grave: Now that it's on, I’m just short of appalled at most of the war reporting on cable and network TV. Somebody forgot to tell most of the correspondents I’ve seen that their job is to report facts and observations about the conflict. So far I see a lot of pretty people who want to tell me about what has happened to their personal comfort levels. It’s much more attractive I guess to become the new Ashleigh Banfield or Arthur “Scud Stud” Kent than to actually report something of consequence.

Last Call: Having said that, Fred Francis on MSNBC seems to get something right every time I see him. He gets on the air with new information, a new perspective or word from a new source that hasn’t played on all 4,000 networks already.

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