advertising, planning

Begun, the Media Owner Science Wars have

BrainI’ve noticed a recent escalation in the battle for share of media planners’ minds, by media owners.  it marks what is probably the third age of the media planner (MP) / media owner (MO) relationship.

the first was informational – MO gets the MP what they need to know and all was a bit one way.  phase two became a great deal more collaborative – with MOs generating ideas and concepts relevant and unique to the media channels they represented.  NB this subject was recently picked up by the IPA Strategy Group in a debate centered around whose best to come up with media ideas? – MPs or MOs.  both – silly – is of course the correct answer, we are – or should be – a generation of collaborators.

but recently a new front has opened.  it was marked by two different presentations from two different MOs.  the first – from Carlton Screen presented findings by work research which demonstrated the extent to which single vs multi tasking affects our ability to take in and recall information.

Abbeysingle01_4the above image shows a drawing produced when someone who had been shown a series of ads in the cinema was asked to draw all they could remember.  the ad was for Abbey National. source

essentially it produced behavioral evidence for the assertion that "attention plus emotive experience equals higher level of recall", but it was grounded in psychology and neuroscience in order to do so.

you can see full details of the research here.


the second intellectual volley came from Metro newspaper, who last week invited MPs to attend not only a presentation on engagement, but a presentation by none other than Johnny Ball, who talked us through the four rules of engagement.  this wasn’t just a media owner presentation – it was a full blown television production.  let battle commence.

for more on Johnny and Metro click here.

what both of these projects represent is an escalation in the arms race that MOs use to grab share of mind – and hence share of schedule – with MPs.  the challenge for MOs is that as buying is increasingly commoditized, the conversations with MPs are increasingly based on what the media channel can strategically – and scientifically – bring to a schedule.

did we learn anything we didn’t know intuitively from these experiences.  I suspect not.  did we leave feeling better about the extent to which Carlton and Metro understand whats going on in planners’ worlds.  I suspect yes.  mission accomplished… let battle continues.