There are two theories of the blend and chasm of current media/arts and the “Mad world” of advertising. One is that technology is rendering commercial interruption obsolete or to a smaller role as a walk on part in the midst of a dramatic scene in a movie, TV show or an honorable mention by a shock jock or newscast. The other is a return to a type of creative Renaissance where people read, listen and view integrated media campaigns that are as seamless as Superbowl commercials. In other words when media makes it difficult to take a trip to the fridge because the advertising is even better than the big game, or if you are parked and late for an appointment because you have to listen to a series of radio commercials, and you don’t turn the car off, you know that has to be a great ad! There was a time in Denver media that whether the ad was for “Round the Corner Hamburgers” or Grease Monkey, the copy, the acting, the music and the punch-line and twist grabbed the viewer or listener between the ears. As these two theories compete for integrated media space what will win out? The obliteration of the thirty or sixty second commercial or the irresistible, hit the spot commercial that can be listened to again and again?
Pandora and I-Heart
Denver advertising firms are concerned. While the seasonal market is asking for political advertisements that are like stray pit bulls, it is hard to ignore and control but after the initial payoff, the pain of the dog bite has caused irreversible damage to your reputation and have conditioned the listener, reader or viewer to avoid your alley! The latest competition is to avoid the car radio and to listen to your own programming on Pandora and I-Heart. What would happen if the local stations made it their cornerstone to hire in-house writers and production people to produce their own commercials for their advertisers that were better than the local agencies? Some stations do have their own in-house creative and production teams. Few have the where-with-all to give the station an edge in creative and production. The Denver market is a little better than average, as compared to a lower ranked media city, like neighboring Colorado Springs. KOAA has their own team, who seem to have a pale imitation of national ads, and even a worse scope on local creative. One ad that backfired was for a car dealership in Pueblo that bought Superbowl time, with a tag that you could shop online “in your underwear.” The ill-advised campaign was pulled when during the Superbowl the dealership aired the punchline ad with shoppers showing up to the dealership in their underwear.
Quantity versus quality makes Jack a turn off
A few years ago Clear Channel Stations including KOA vowed to run shorter radio ads. They were only selling thirty second spots. Lee Larsen who is a radio legend in Denver, recited “The Pledge of Allegiance” at the Clear Channel announcement that “shorter is better.” The reason, aside from him being a very Patriotic gentleman, was to illustrate that “The Pledge” is a complete thought and is at a deliberate pace thirty seconds.” In fact thirty seconds is about 90 words. In 90 words a writer can skillfully develop a character or two, present an argument, and a rebuttal.Trouble is with the Clear Channel campaign, “Less is more” the broadcasting giant strung together 10 minutes of commercials that were less compelling between song or talk sets. “less is more,” wound up to mean that the commercial inventory doubled, the revenue was more, and there were more bad commercials that were difficult to listen to.
One of the answers to this dilemma of what the future of advertising in media might look like begins with an experiment. Florida based community net radio is planning to expand his network to the inner city pf Denver. Maxwell is selling creative, production, and distribution services for $20 a day to Denver Businesses, Ministries, and Service companies that would fill in the commercial time, pay for a 24 hour website of Christian contemporary music mix with a local slant. That slant would primarily be to reach people in the inner city of Denver 24/7. It would include 5 sixty second commercials every half hour, a local newscast and interviews on the creative process by national artists, filmmakers and authors. The cornerstone to local broadcasting or web-casting according to Maxwell is great local ads that people will turn to because of humor, drama, and compelling story. The ads will be produced by a local company called Sweet-Spot and Community Radio Network. E-mail email@example.com to find out more.
Every Wednesday we examine Denver’s media and arts scene from social media to audio,video, events, and digital. Somebody has to do it. If you have something to say or something for us to examine in media and arts write firstname.lastname@example.org.