How Do You Take Your Media?

Since this blog is now on Tallahassee.com, I've received a bunch of comments on the Death of a Medium post. Which totally surprised me. Some bloggers love their newspaper.

One commenter hinted that it was the experience of reading a newspaper that they loved. So my question to anyone reading is, "How do you take your media?"

Research points out that radio listening happens at home and in the car. TV viewing is mostly in the home (in fact, TV is also measured by households). The most Internet activity happens throughout the day; news is sought during the morning at work and informational searches typically occur at home in the evening (ex. house hunting sites). But what about magazine reading? Or newspapers?

Enter a major benefit of printed media: portability. You can take it with you. Where do I read my latest issue of Domino (best lifestyle mag ever)? On my back deck, in bed before I turn the lights out, in the car when I'm not driving, the beach, a plane trip...I can take it anywhere. If I lose my signal, no problem.

So there ya go. I'm standing up for printed, tangible, flammable media.

Photo via stock.xchng


It's Been a Long Week

I'll admit - I've been kind of out of it the past few days. This week has kicked my butt. Finals, proposals, deadlines and intense house cleaning in preparation for the parental units impending visit. But now...I'm sitting on my couch in my super clean house with a glass of Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling (look, they named it after me! And yes, that's why I bought it) watching Ugly Betty. I am so happy scripted television is back. And in just 15 minutes I get to watch Grey's Anatomy.

Seriously, it's the little things...


The Angola Prison Rodeo

Apparently I can't handle a blog by myself and have to solicit writers. Luckily, my good friend Vinny wrote this lovely account of the Angola Prison Rodeo that he recently attended. So here's a little recap straight from the source:

"Yesterday I fell in love with this country all over again.

I attended a slew of human rights violations called the Angola Prison Rodeo at the Louisiana State Penitentiary.

Care to hazard a guess at how a "prison rodeo" works? You got it: they throw a handful of inmates into a muddy rink and turn the bulls loose. Sure, there are rules and games and strategies, but it all pretty much amounts to good old-fashioned exploitation at the expense of our society's deviants.

For the record, I cannot believe that this sort of thing goes on anywhere, let alone in a first-world country. But now that I've attended, I'm glad it does. Kudos, Louisiana.

I'm going to walk you through some of the rodeo's horrifically inventive games in just a moment, but before I do so it's important that you get a feel for the event's ambiance.

After purchasing a ticket (very reasonable at $10, by the way), you walk through a couple of alarmingly casual security checkpoints and find yourself on the business side of the barbed wire. Inside, violent criminals peddle all manners of handicrafts, from furniture to art to leatherwork. The more trustworthy convicts, ambiguously identified by their official rodeo t-shirts, mingle with the crowd. We even spoke with a murderer who'd been in prison for over 40 years. I regret to say he wasn't a very talented painter. Meanwhile, the less scrupulous inmates are kept behind a fence lined with display tables, where they pitch their wares through chain links to passersby.

Because this is Louisiana, there are also dozens of food stands and beverage kiosks (no alcohol), where the criminally culinary boil crawfish, grill hot dogs, and bake meat pies. Delicious, if suspicious.

Okay, enough periphery... onto the rodeo itself. There were eight or ten games played; I'll highlight three.

Four inmate cowboys sit at a table in the middle of the rink, playing poker. They're told to stay seated. Then an angry bull comes careening out of its chute, toppling the table and sending prisoners hurtling through the air. The object of the game is to be the last man sitting.

WILD COW MILKING These aren't your regular cows. These are massive, angry, aggressive steers, and this was definitely the most violent game played. The prisoners work in teams of two: one holds a 15-ft rope fastened to a wild cow. While he tries (and fails) to control the beast, his partner attempts to milk it. Eight teams work at once, which means that eight steer are bucking and thrashing and charging the inmates as well as each other. Total pandemonium. Needless to say, nobody won this game. After being dragged, kicked, rammed and manhandled, several inmates were carried off the field by EMS.

The rodeo's grand finale. Angola officials tie a poker chip (a "chit") to the wildest Brahma bull present. The bull then charges into the rink, which is populated by ten or fifteen courageous prisoners tasked with removing the chit from the bull's horn. Some try flanking the animal, others try surprising it from behind. The bull effortlessly throws most of them over its shoulders, goring the unlucky ones in the process. In the end, it's a more direct approach that wins the day: one inmate manages to snatch the chit after leaping onto the bull's head. He's jettisoned into the air, but that's a small price to pay for the "glory" that is his victory.

The whole thing feels like an inbred, country-fried version of Spartacus. The winner of the final game even tosses his hard-earned chit up to the prison warden, who sits in a special box overlooking the whole violent spectacle alongside his wife and daughter.

What made the rodeo so thrilling? I suppose I could ramble on for pages about our species’ innate sadism or the perverse extent to which we’ve fetishized the act of punishment. But there are better reasons.

We tend to think of our violent criminals as less human – which is to say, more animal – than the rest of us. For this reason, we’ve rendered prisoners virtually indistinguishable from livestock. We herd them like cattle. We feed them slop. We confine them to cages. We tag, brand, groom, and catalogue them.

But at the Angola Rodeo, where we pit them against real, bona fide beasts, they assume a different role altogether. Foiled by their animal opponents, they are transformed into ambassadors of humanity, reflections of society, extensions of the crowd itself. The Angola Rodeo is a celebration of the divide between us and everything else. It’s a tribute to our uniqueness, and a poignant reminder that all men, independent of their crimes, share the same fundamental identity.

I could be wrong. I might even have it backwards. Perhaps it’s how similar our prisoners and livestock are that captivated the audience yesterday. But I’ll say this: in the deafening roar of the crowd during that last bout, amidst all of the applause, the cheer, the gasps, not a single spectator was rooting for the bull.

At least that’s what I keep telling myself."

-Vincent Maling

How could I not spread his tale of convict gore? Thanks to Vinny for his eloquent narrative. And for those of you seeking more, go here, here and here.


Death of a Medium

What a depressing thing to say. I keep hearing about media dying off and wondering, why do people keep saying this? Is this a news media scare tactic?

I'll admit, I have - on more than one occasion - asserted that newspapers are dying. TV is dying too. Radio is long gone. And advertising on those channels? We'd better start planning for the apocalypse. I've even been so brave as to hypothesize that "if technology exists to avoid it, it's obviously on its way out" (referring, of course to satellite radio and DVRs).

But all of the above is just talk. The thing that is happening right now is fragmentation. And growth. We have all these wonderful new media channels, but still 24 hours in one day. So of course something has to give. Maybe I'm not listening to the radio, but I'm downloading podcasts. Or I'm not watching the evening news, but I've got CNN on RSS. It's not a matter of life or death - just change. Change from mass appeal to segmented audiences.

Just a little food for thought.


REAL[ITY] CHECK - 4/18/2008

A lot of reality shows are coming to a close now that the scripted shows are back. What does that mean for us, the general viewing public? Crazy reality show finale antics! Here they are (and some premieres too!):

  • On the Rock of Love finale, Ambre pulls a Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct, thus clinching the heart of Bret Michaels. Ambre's rival, Daisy, says Ambre is 80 years old and 500 years old and looks like a dinosaur. If Ambre is 500, what does that make Bret? 1200?
  • On the Real Housewives of NYC, in a conversation with the other housewives, Alex makes mention of plugging a vibrator in. Seriously?
  • One of the Flavorettes on Flavor of Love surprises Flav in bed with chicken and waffles. Yes, that's right. Chicken and waffles.
  • On the Viva Hollywood premiere, one of the male contestants (I wasn't paying close enough attention to know which one) says that his first sexual experience was at age nine. I guess molestation counts as a sexual experience...
  • And on the Real World Hollywood premiere, we meet seven of the most dillusionally full of themselves people in the world. The house is huge, but they're going to need a lot more room to house all that ego.


Hans Rosling on TED

Came across this a while back and was reminded of it while reading some blogger love from Thought Gadgets.

This is amazing. Hans Rosling has developed this incredible software called Trendalyzer used to graphically display statistical trends. Although the software, bought by Google (surprise, surprise), will change how we present data, it's Rosling's endearing performance that properly displays the capabilities of the robust software. Make sure you watch the whole thing!

I'm excited - fingers crossed that Google makes this available to the public.

*Notice - BMW is a sponsor for TED. Genius.


Have We Met Before?

I'm posting today because I'm stoked that this blog is now being featured on Tallahassee.com, the website for Tallahassee's newspaper. So I wanted to write a little introduction and explain what I'm all about for anyone reading this via Tallahassee.com (my apologies for being redundant).

My name is Michelle and I'm the media director for Kidd Group, a local advertising agency. I oversee the media planning and buying for our agency's clients. This means that I am the one who decides which episode of American Idol to buy or what radio station to run advertisements on. It's a pretty cool gig.

Topically, this blog is about just that; media buying and planning. But I also explore consumer behavior, media related and general news, and I attempt to spice it up with anecdotes from my own life. I'm excited to be on this site and welcome any and all comments. Thanks for reading!

Click here to read via Tallahassee.com.


Pedal to the Metal

Do you ever have those moments where you think, "I have to seriously kick it in gear or I'm screwed?!"

I had one of those moments in my marathon statistics class today as my professor was explaining when to run a Cramers V test to measure corrrelation. I realized that I will have to teach myself a semesters worth of graduate level statistics before the final next week. I also realized that not only do I have to learn stats, but I have to make a nearly perfect score to maintain my low B. In addition, I am pitching new business, finishing up a decent sized local buy, and am waiting for approval on a media plan that will likely come right in the middle of everything and right before all the deadlines. I sometimes think my clients have a sixth sense.

So I wanted to write in advance - you won't see too many posts in the next week. There's just too much going on. So see ya in a week. Hopefully, I'll still be able to move!

FSU Ad Team Wins State Again

Congratulations to the FSU ad team - they won Florida for the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) this weekend. H and our media buyer got to see the presentation and we're all very proud of the team. Almost makes me feel nostalgic for my late-night scrambles. I'm still a fan of Launch.

In other news, UF dropped their national championship trophy and broke it. haha


Believe it or Not, I Don't Like Twitter

Twitter is all a-buzz. Everything I read is all about Twitter. I have Twitter - tried it out a while back. And I don't like it. In fact, I think it's really silly and I'm fairly certain no one cares about my "tweets." Here's why I'm not a fan:

1. I have a cool job and that's usually what I am doing (media director for an ad agency - now that's an interesting cocktail party convo. No I don't do creative, so please don't tell me about your awesome idea for a Budweiser ad). However, the most time-consuming tasks involved in doing my job are not that cool. Creating orders, researching, writing media plans, in and of themselves, are not exciting. Do I enjoy doing those tasks? Yes. But how interesting is a tweet that says, "researching newspaper circulation in the southeast." I'm sure all are waiting with bated breath for my next update: "send credit applications to radio stations." Whoa!

2. None of my face to face friends are on Twitter. My online friends are mostly marketing/advertising/media/advertising types. And they blog, so I get to read a more comprehensive, meaty version of what they are up to.

3. No time. Too busy. Too busy to read tweets or produce my own. I tried, truly. After all, I have to be up to date with these things (being a media person). But I would be really 'good' for a few days and then slack. Who wants an old tweet? And when does a tweet become old? It seems like I could be updating constantly.

With that said, I don't mean to imply that I hate Twitter. In the list of things I have to do, it just seems very unimportant for me to contribute. But participating is interesting because some people actually do very cool things every day. It just feels very small and invasive - like I'm spying on an exhibitionist. Weirds me out. But I'm gonna try it again since I've been hearing about it so much. Be on the lookout for mundane updates at mmarts.

Kidd Crew Wins Double Header

Not only are we awesome in the office, but we are also awesome on the clay. Way to work it softball team. ABC News and McCall's Automotive didn't know what hit 'em (Unless it was a softball. Those things are tough to miss.)


REAL[ITY] CHECK - 4/11/2008

Screw reality shows... The Office is back!!!

But seriously, here's what happened this week:

  • Daisy, from the Rock of Love, proved how out of her life her ex-boyfriend is by having his sister show up to represent Daisy's family.
  • Tree got extra queeny at her objection speech on Flavor of Love.
  • Lots to talk about on The Real Housewives of New York City. Bethenny and Jill plan a dinner party and invite Alex saying, "It's a girls' party, it's a girls' night". Alex responds, "Could I bring Simon?". Simon is her gayer than gay husband. Ramona dancing is reminiscent of Elaine Benes from Seinfeld. Luann puts Bethenny in her place when Bethenny wrongly introduces Luann to Bethenny's boyfriend's driver as "Luann", not "Mrs. De Lesseps".
  • Rocky, from I Know My Kid's a Star, throws a tantrum in the confessional and says she's going to kill someone while gesturing wildly with a hanger in her hand. I don't think that's what is meant when they use the term "hanged".
  • Only a Matter of Time: before all of the scripted shows are back and these updates get shorter and shorter...


More Coverage...

It's official. When you get us ad kids doing PR, we get a lot of coverage. These are from Tallahassee's Business Chronicle. I'm glad I put effort into looking decent that night! hah


NBC, You Smart Network, You!

NBC announced about a week ago that they will be offering up new programming year-round as opposed to just during the fall. Cable networks currently do this (psych, come back to me!) and I think it's a good idea.

Why do networks only show new programming in the fall (and a few in Jan)? Well, one of my teachers mentioned the theory that people's television viewing vary by the weather. It's cold, therefore people stay inside and watch TV? Well, I live in Florida and stay inside quite a bit during the summer. Hello, 104 degrees!

Or is this a classic chicken before the egg? I don't watch TV during the summer because I'm not inside to watch it...or...I watch no TV during the summer because nothing is on?

Ok, someone find the answer! 'Cause I can't! I've been searching for about 30 min now and nothing. No support for this weather theory at all. Maybe my search terms are off. I'll keep looking, but I think NBC is on to something. If good shows are on during the summer, they will have an audience.

Oh James Roday, I miss you so.


REAL[ITY] CHECK - 4/4/2008

I know I didn't post last week, and I really have no good excuse, except that I'm lazy and I've been busy working on my pudge. Besides that, there wasn't a whole lot going on in reality TV last week. The one thing I feel is worth mentioning from last week was:

  • The week before last on Flavor of Love, Flav kept Shy around on the condition that she go to the dentist for her kickin' breath. Shy dutifully went to the dentist and found out that she needed extensive dental work and that she would have dentures by the time she was 40 if she continued with her current habits. What was her response to this? Did she schedule a deep cleaning? Ask Flav for the money to get all of this fixed? No. She made a necklace out of mint lifesavers.
So here's this week:

  • On Rock of Love, Bret found out this week that, in addition to currently living with her ex-boyfriend in a one bedroom apartment and having an abortion after getting pregnant by him, that Daisy used to hang out with Bret's bandmate from Poison, C. C. Deville. As if this isn't enough, she goes into hysterics at the elimination ceremony. He should just get back with Heather and be done with it.
  • The Hills is back. Yawn.
  • Holly won Make Me a Supermodel. She should use her $100,000 prize to buy a voice people can understand.
  • Step It Up and Dance premiered this week with Elizabeth Berkley (!!!) hosting. Christian from Project Runway has some stiff competition in the fierce department from James, one of the contenders for Best Step It Up and Dancer (?).
  • Only a Matter of Time: This week on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, the sisters have an enlightening conversation with their 10 year old half sister about becoming a woman. Sister Kim is nowhere to be found. It's only a matter of time before another sex tape "leaks" to the media to regain her place in the "I'm Famous For No Reason" spotlight.


Pulled out my trusty media planning text from college to look up a question and managed to learn something new! So I had never heard of a fun media planning strategy called,"roadblocking."

It's pretty simple. When it comes to reach, you can only increase it so much. After achieving a 70% reach, it's gonna be tough to add more b/c there's diminishing returns. You'll start to reach the same people over and over...and that's where you start to increase frequency rather than reach.

So what's a media planner to do? You roadblock! Pick a time slot and day. Let's say 8pm on Monday. Then you simply buy ALL the programs during that hour. Now you've created a roadblock. You've bought 4 or 5 shows (obviously not including cable) and more than likely, you're getting higher reach b/c not all those people could possibly be watching all those shows. So there ya go! Pretty cool, huh?


No Chill in the Air When Miller Chill Ads Run

Advertising Age named Starcom it's Media Agency of the Year. Apparently they've won all kinds of new biz (Samsung, Pet Smart, United Airlines, etc.) and have managed to hold on to some biggies like Kelloggs, Nintendo, Appleby's and Miller Chill.

So this is why they are media agency of the year (imho). They did a buy for Miller Chill on Weather.com and arranged for the ad to show only when the temperature was over 80 degrees. No joke. I mean, how freaking smart is that?

Oh wise Starcom media people, I pay homage. Very cool. Read the story here.


New Balance Loves/Hates Running

I'm so happy that they have caught on to the love/hate relationship that so many runners have with their sport of choice. I've been running (in some capacity) since I was 16 years old and can definitely say that these ads speak to me. It's not the overachieving I-love-sports-because-I'm-such-a-bad-ass Nike type commercials. The message is much more personal and realistic. Plus, New Balance shoes are awesome.

Oh, and the print ads are quite yummy. One says, "you plan a day in the country, take the road less traveled, and find yourselves an unbeaten path. And then beat the crap out of it." Nice!

Media buy: PHD NY

**Personal story alert**
So you know I'm not a total poser, I finally ran my first 10K this weekend. And here's a super hot photo to prove it. Go ahead boys, eat your heart out!