Fellow voice over talent Roy Bunales introduced me to something on his Facebook page that I thought was very interesting. It was a video that I guess has been around for over a year and has had close to 2 million views. The video is below, it’s four minutes long and I’d like you to STOP reading now watch it and then return back here for a second for a brief discussion below the video.
Let me ask you honestly…did you see that ending coming? I didn’t see it coming but on Roy’s feed, their was no title. If you were watching on TV, you wouldn’t have seen that coming either.
What a story.
Were you bothered by the length? I wasn’t at all, I was engaged, yet its payoff very much made it a commercial.
What a story.
And that’s the message for you today: story.
We went through a time and place where if an image was on a screen for a half second, that was too long. Then it couldn’t be just one image, it had to be multiple images.
Now we are an audience in throes of on-going sensory overload. We tune out advertising more than we tune in.
How, then, do you make an actual impression in the viewer or listener’s mind: story.
Share a story (not tell).
Offer a message (not promote).
Develop a relationship (don’t talk down).
Create a community (not build an audience).
It will resonate with the viewer and they will bond with the message, the product or service. I will not soon forget this brand…nor will you I think.
Not all stories are great but a great story will fill an enormous void. When was the last time your advertising or marketing shared a story? Funny or dramatic?
What’s your reaction to this? Am I being unrealistic? Or did this message find you more deeply engaged than most advertising?
P.S. So a bit after I published this, I came across the following video that I think illustrates my point even more…by helping shift the way consumers might think about a company…German engineering made “fun”.
If your business in any way involves advertising, marketing or social media, this is worth a look.
Whether or not you agree or disagree with the plight of media portrayed in this clip, I was very impressed with the time, effort and talent put forth.
Just to save you a bit of time, after you hear the chorus once, you can zip past it cause its the same lyrics and graphics each time.
I’d tell you to enjoy it but some folks who are living this right now may not completely enjoy this as it may cut a bit close to home.
I am my father’s son in many ways I guess but one example is that I like to read newspapers as he did. We always got two newspapers in our house – the morning paper (the Courier Express) and the afternoon paper (the Buffalo Evening News). Around 1982-83, the Courier folded and Buffalo became a one newspaper townâ€¦seemingly before that became the national norm.
I’m a morning paper guy. When I travel (usually in the morning), I bring four newspapers with me on the plane to catch up on the days news and to get different perspectives.
You’d have to have been on a deserted island for the past few years not to know the terrible plight newspapers have been in (and this was before the economy tanked). Circulation is down (thank you internet) so ad sales are down and all major newspapers are scrambling to keep from folding. Some majors, like the Seattle Post Intelligencer couldn’t hold out â€“ it has since gone all on-line.
Two newspaper stories caught my eye recently. One made me sad and the other confirmed my suspicions.
If you had worked in radio at all for the past 30 years, you’ve likely read Radio and Records. Well as of June 5, 2009, Radio and Records newspaper is dead, kaput, straight-lined. I had not read the paper in years as I couldn’t justify the subscription rate versus other business expenses. That didn’t mean it wasn’t a great paper. It was terrific.
But think about how big media chains are simply doling out play lists to their stations, homogenizing all their on air content seemingly ignoring true localization, trying to cut costs (mostly people) while their ad sales plummet and you can see why all that radio static doesn’t bode well for a newspaper dedicated to covering this sadly sinking medium. It’s just another stake in the heart of radio that depresses me. I’m probably being too nostalgic.
When publications have to start selling assets to make ends meet as The New York Times has done you know the newspaper industry’s problems are pretty severe. When it comes to New York City newspapers, I’ve always been a New York Post guy. The New York Times always came across as kinda “holier-than-thou” and I don’t trust people or institutions like that. And if you’re “the newspaper of record” as people and the Times itself sees the publication, you cannot be seen to have an angle on a story or an ax to grind.
So when I read this first-hand account by Michael Arrington of Tech Crunch about an interview he did recently with the New York Times and how the story ultimately came out, I just was not surprised. “All the news that’s fit to print” implies that the New York Times knows what’s best. Based on the Arrington incident and numerous other journalistic blunders by the New York Times, the publication is only the newspaper of THEIR record, how they want to news to appear and that’s not professional journalism.
Does the Radio and Records or New York Times issues bug you too or is it just me?
Last December, I was elected to the board of directors of Media Communications Association â€“ International (MCA-I). MCA-I members are over 700 media communication professionals around the world who provide the vital connection between the creative methods and technology. This describes me and about 70% of my client base.
I joined the association in August after having spoken about the group with Connie Terwilliger â€“ a friend, a wonderful professional voice talent and herself a past-president of MCA-I.
There are 25 chapters across the country with another 150 members like me who are (as I call it) unchapterized. As far as I know I AM the Buffalo chapter.
That’s right. I serve on an international board of directors of an association to which the only meetings I have attended have been virtual (except now I’ve personally been to a leaders meeting in New Orleans). Why would I do such a thing?
Well yes I am crazy but that has nothing to do with this! 😉
The business of media in which I have been a professional (read: paid) practitioner since 1982 is a virtual business. Certainly in-person meetings take place often but fully 80% – 90% of my customers I’ve never met. If one is going to run a global business like mine (which “sounds” a lot more impressive than it is) you quickly have to come to grips with that business reality.
So belonging to an association in which my interaction is either phone or web-based is not at all problematic. And all the other benefits of belonging to a professional association (save for the in-person meetings) still applyâ€¦.and that INCLUDES programming, education, cost-saving programs and networking (think Facebook and Linked-In as to one way that might work). And if your city HAS a chapter in it, all the better for you!
As I am also the MCA-I Membership chair, I am not above offering this infomercial for YOU to join MCA-I tooâ€¦especially since I’ve created a membership recruitment drive now through April 30, 2009 and if you list my name on your on-line membership application as the referring member, I would enjoy the bragging rights! I can’t win any of the prizes as I oversee the promotion.
And very seriously, if you have any questions about membership, please call me at +01 716 572 1800 and I will be glad to speak with you about it – no matter where in the world you are…though remember I am only uni-lingual.
I feel bad for writers covering the business of radio these days and I’m really not kidding.
Given the fact that the radio business has been tanking for sometime now (ad sales are down everywhere) combined with the other fact that radio is coming in a tight second to newspapers in the race for “worst hurt by the economic crap-down” (meltdown doesn’t seem quite descriptive enough for me), these poor writers have been posting stories that read more like obits.
Check out the various “People On the Move” or “In Brief” sections of major industry pubs and there’s one word you see over and over: exits.
Oh you see other words too: “leaves”, “departs” “let go”, “shown the door”, “resigns”. I only wish I was kidding.
That’s gotta suck. Usually people who write for industry trades have at least a passing interest in their prime directive but my experience has been that people who write for radio trades like All Access.com, FMQB, Radio and Records and the like – really have the radio bug that infects so many of us.
They have a passion for radio. Many people do.
Today the Buffalo News, itself prey to budget cuts and bloodletting, wrote a front page story about the recent disc jockey carnage that local owners Entercom, Citadel and Regent Communications have laid waste to in the past 12 months. Combine low ad revenues with corporations (notice I didn’t say broadcastersâ€¦there’s a difference) who spent reserves unwisely and the top radio station expense lines are the first to go: salaries and benefits.
As is the national trend, these local stations all replaced the departed with either syndicated fare or weirdly extended shifts. One station here has at present two on-air personalities working from 5:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Is there voice tracking involved? I would have to think so.
Unlike some of the tirades I’ve seen on message boards like Radio-info.com, I’m not pointing fingers or trying to stomp up and down at the injustice of it all (easier for me as I’ve not lost my jobâ€¦had I, I too might stomp a bit). It IS a business and it must be managed that way.
But for lack of a better term â€“ broadcasting is a public trust and these companies and their local managers (in every market) owe their communities local content and information. It is what makes this communication tool valuable and special. Syndication and voice tracking does not serve that public trust. But I also wonder if the public really cares.
You may accuse me here of romanticizing the business of radio a bit and you may have cause. I do love what radio is and could be. Maybe its usefulness is coming to a close or maybe it’s simply evolving into something different that no one yet can predict.
But the constant loss â€“ sales, market share, audience, talented staff (valued co-workers) and maybe even prestige hurts everyone who cares about radio. That includes a lot of us but the numbers seem to indicate it’s not the majority of U.S.
I’d love to hear what your thoughts/stories are on all this is…maybe its just me.