PERSPECTIVE: Ingenuity aboard the Oriana proves media’s creativity

Never again let it be said that media folk are over-paid animals whose idea of hard work is a week-long jolly in the Moroccan desert courtesy of Discovery Channel (hope you’re enjoying it, guys). If ever proof were needed that this is an industry that knows how to work its gonads off, last week’s Marketing Forum on the Oriana did the job.

Never again let it be said that media folk are over-paid animals

whose idea of hard work is a week-long jolly in the Moroccan desert

courtesy of Discovery Channel (hope you’re enjoying it, guys). If ever

proof were needed that this is an industry that knows how to work its

gonads off, last week’s Marketing Forum on the Oriana did the job.



Fifteen-hour days, then six hours on duty in the bar, had clearly taken

their toll by the time 1,000 bloodshot-eyed delegates rolled on to

Southampton dock on Saturday morning.



For those of you blissfully unfamiliar with the Marketing Forum, let me

explain. Described by some as a great new-business opportunity and by

others as hell on water, the Marketing Forum throws together about 500

clients, with roughly the same number of exhibitors drawn from agencies,

media companies, research specialists and marketing services companies.

The whole cargo then sails round the English Channel for a couple of

days of hard work, hard schmoozing and hard drinking.



But, oh, how so many exhibitors got it so wrong. No wonder one poor

client fell asleep at the breakfast table. First there were those who

tried to cram facts about the number of employees/size of

departments/old case studies/nature of office kitchen sink into a

25-minute ’what we can do for you’ chat. Then there were the exhibitors

who greeted their dinner guests with a pile of brochures and a

non-too-subtle pitch over the hors d’oeuvres (count the discarded

brochures when the lights went up in the bar at 3am).



Glad to say, however, that media specialists have done themselves

proud.



Most eschewed the formal presentation (’We just want clients to go away

thinking we’re nice guys who have something interesting to say,’ one

said) and, of the clients I spoke to, there seemed to be a new interest

in, and enthusiasm for, what media companies could add to their

businesses.



Two great examples stood out for me. First was the ingenious

mini-brochure that Manning Gottlieb Media handed out. The size of a

business card, it contained a number of small cards with facts about MGM

and the media industry - a really clever, neat and subtle way of making

a host of points.



Top marks, too, to Optimedia for one of the brightest ideas and one that

was hard to ignore. The agency had booked ad spots on Sky News - one of

only a handful of TV channels available on board - promoting Optimedia

as an innovative media specialist. Spots were booked in the hours before

breakfast and dinner and were guaranteed to cut through the heaviest

hangover.



Media marketing is clearly moving on from the days of volume and price

(important though such issues remain) and with creative ideas like

these, the media agencies on board were more than giving the creative

agencies a run for their money.



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