Commentary

Upfront Opinions of the Outfront

I attended the MediaPost Outfront conference for the first time this week. It was an honor to meet everyone and hear your comments and questions. The dialogue was wonderful, and I speak for my fellow bloggers when I say we are more than happy to extend the conversation beyond this week.

Because this was the Outfront conference, advertising was in the air. Very interesting topic, very likely to receive responses from just about everyone. I wanted to write down a few thoughts which have been brewing since Thursday.

- You guys have a REALLY hard job. No one watches TV for the ads; we watch TV for the content. Ads get in the way. There is something to be said for the fact that people still watch ads during the SuperBowl. If that creativity and anticipation was spread throughout the year people would be unlikely to change the channels. That's hard, though because someone mentioned that even creativity can plateau.

- I think I’m apathetic towards advertising. I don’t hate them; I don’t love them. Like I said, I watch television with my books open so I can study during commercials and it takes a pretty mind-blowing ad to draw my attention from my homework. I liked the ad “stunts” proposed by the Cable panel. Making a story out of the ads, having a “back-to-program” time clock, or having a comedian joke about products would ease us into the commercial breaks. But you walk a fine line with those stunts, because it is very likely that they might tick us off enough to flip channels more or turn off the program all together.

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- Quantitative measurements are helpful, but obviously do not illustrate my generation. I am one of the least tech savvy people I know. BUT, I can build a website, own an iPod, know where the free stuff is online, use 1500 minutes a month on my cell phone, and – literally – could not live without e-mail. My other three panelists are incredibly involved in the digital/tv/news/virtual world, but their interests are not too far away of our other peers. Many of the statistics I heard grossly underestimate our media consumption outside of the television realm.

- That being said, we are an accessible generation! I promise. We literally throw our profiles online for consumption, so it’s easy to find our interests. We spend extraordinary amounts of time in front of a computer (3.5 hours today, and it’s only 1:00) so online advertising will reach us. It just has to be interesting!

- Many of our daily activities involve “new media”, just like yours. The only difference is we do all of this in our free time, with our own investigations, and our own limited incomes. You guys do this as your job. There are actually a lot of parallels between you guys and us. I would guess the high tech, modern advertising you guys like we might like (save the mortgage payments and diaper jokes though).

- Bumper ads in front of my CNN coverage really upset me. Seriously.

- The Mr. Allaire from Brightcove was right in many respects, and I believe he really understands where “new media” content is going in the upcoming years. He was right when he said you must reach consumers where they are, and fragmentation is a good thing!

- One thing which wasn’t discussed, but I’m interested in is whether selling the DVD’s of seasons has hurt advertising in any way. Are there plans for advertising on that platform?

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