Positive News on the Media Front

Two separate articles in the past week have both pointed to some positive news from the media side of this business:

Radio Revenues Rebound in 2Q, Auto Ads Up – via MediaPost

TV ad sales looking solid for second half – via The Hollywood Reporter

Give the articles a read and decide for yourself.  Are they right? Wrong? Are you seeing things out there these days that support these theories?

From Our Friends at AdPulp – The Luke Sullivan Interview

David Burn over at AdPulp had a chance recently to interview Luke Sullivan, Copywriter, Author and Senior VP/Managing Group Creative Director at GSD&M in Austin, Texas.

The AdPulp Interview: Luke Sullivan

Take a few minutes and give it a read.  It’s as close as you’ll get around here to having a homework assignment.  Then, go back and read it again.  You’ll be glad you did.

Just What Is a Creative Director?

Phil Johnson, of PJA Advertising and Marketing, recently published a good piece on the Ad Age Small Agency DiaryWhat the Hell Is a Creative Director Supposed to Be?

An excerpt from Phil’s piece:

I’ve come to the conclusion that the job of creative director is bigger and more important than any one task. Rather than the person with the best ideas, or the person who is the best judge of good work, or the person who can best manage the creative process, a creative director needs to shape the creative brain of the entire agency and build a creative conscience. His influence extends well beyond the creative department. This conviction has made me question many of the traditional expectations for a creative leader.

Take the time to read the entire post on the Small Agency Diary.  It’s a good read for anyone involved in this business.  And, if you feel so inclined, leave him a comment over there as well.

There’s a New Year Coming, But its Going to Take Work

2009 is almost done crumbling to the ground, and that shiny new toy that is 2010 still looks good in the display case.  But before you go thinking that things are going to turn on a dime, take a few minutes to read the latest piece from Bart Cleveland on the Ad Age Small Agency Diary.  In it, he offers some good advice on How to Roll Strong Into 2010, such as:

Communicate. Not much good to talk about? You’re not looking hard enough. Even if it is how great everyone is being in the face of hardship, talk about it in your staff meetings, e-mails, etc.

Walk and talk. The economy can’t kill what makes your agency a great place to work; only you can. It has no effect on your imagination or your will to succeed; only you do. It can’t keep you from smiling, or patting someone on the back. Move around your office and talk to everyone at least once a day.

Take a few minutes and give it a read. You’ll be glad you did.

Why Yes, Lamar and Clear Channel are Giving Thanks

From Adweek: Digital Billboards Safe, Another Study Says

Tantala analyzed eight years of traffic accident data — more than 60,000 accident reports from the Ohio Department of Transportation — for the same seven digital billboards it examined in a 2007 study. In addition to the two Cleveland studies, a separate survey was released earlier this year for Rochester, Minn. The conclusion for all three studies was the same: Digital billboards are not linked to traffic accidents.

Another interesting tidbit from this article: Lamar’s 1,135 digital billboards, now representing about 10 percent of the company’s revenue, are leading the recovery at the company.

While digital boards represent 10 percent of their revenue, I’d be curious to find out what percentage of their total inventory (total of all boards) that number represents.  Anyone have any insight?

Chasing the Answer to an Identity Crisis

At some point in time, every agency has likely been faced with this question: What kind of agency are you?

Darryl Ohrt, founder of Plaid, takes a swing at answering that very question from a small agency’s point of view on the Ad Age Small Agency Diary.

From his piece:

When people ask about our agency, I often struggle with an industry categorization. I’d never use the term “traditional” to describe our operation, yet I don’t believe that “digital” is the best descriptor, either. For that matter, do traditional agencies even call themselves “traditional”? Probably not.

It’s a worthwhile read, and an interesting take on the question.  Take a few minutes to give it a look — I’m sure you’ll be able to relate to some, if not most of what he has to say.

There is No Average American Consumer

That’s the word from an Ad Age Whitepaper — 2010 America: What the 2010 Census Means for Marketing and Advertising.  From the article introducing the whitepaper:

“The concept of an ‘average American’ is gone, probably forever,” demographics expert Peter Francese writes in 2010 America, a new Ad Age white paper. “The average American has been replaced by a complex, multidimensional society that defies simplistic labeling.”

The message to marketers is clear: No single demographic, or even handful of demographics, neatly defines the nation. There is no such thing as “the American consumer.”

While you may have already seen this news (it was originally published on October 12th), if you haven’t, take a few minutes to give it a read.