PERSPECTIVE: Media shops need to hone their talent for self-promotion

As anyone who sat through the papers by Dominic Proctor, Steve King or David Pattison at the Barcelona TV conference will appreciate, dynamic, passionate and inspiring presentations are not your average media chief exec’s forte. Indeed, thoughtful, logical and sensible eluded some of our chaps.

As anyone who sat through the papers by Dominic Proctor, Steve King

or David Pattison at the Barcelona TV conference will appreciate,

dynamic, passionate and inspiring presentations are not your average

media chief exec’s forte. Indeed, thoughtful, logical and sensible

eluded some of our chaps.



So expectations were hardly running high when I sat down at the AAR last

week to see what some leading media agencies had come up with by way of

a showreel. The AAR now has a media operation, headed by the thoroughly

decent Paul Philips, who now has a lot more friends, I bet.



To enable clients to get a feel for the media agencies on the AAR’s

books, agencies are invited to submit a showreel - and only five media

agencies have so far come up with the goods. First up was the Booth

Lockett Makin reel, resplendent with dodgy camera angles and a host of

media cliches from Paul Longhurst, while Nick Lockett’s eyebrows spent

all their time making friends with his hairline and the camerawork did

nothing for Charlie Makin’s chin. But it wasn’t bad. The agency came

across as a professional outfit with a real point of difference.



Next came MediaVest. OK, this one is a couple of years old, but its view

of media seemed more old-fashioned even than its chief executive’s

wardrobe.



Shot in black and white, this was pure testosterone-driven aggression.

Even Robert Ray, the joint managing director, managed to come across as

a bit of a Rottweiler. I sat cowering in my seat at such bully boy

brashness, though no doubt some clients will drool at the thought of

such tough guys being on their side. Time for an update, though, I

think.



New PHD’s was all you’d expect. Apart from the endemic cliches about

media explosion, it was chock-full of client testimonials and left me

thinking P, H and D are great guys to do business with. Slick and

thoughtful, they really do buy well too, you know.



Optimedia’s reel looked the most fun to make. It was refreshingly simple

- lots of different members of the team discussing the joys of working

at the agency, though Simon Mathews looked more sinister than ever. If

Optimedia didn’t come across as the most heavyweight of agencies, the

team made up for it with their energy and enthusiasm.



BJK&E’s video scored points for not trying to portray the agency as

something it isn’t. As a small, nippy outfit, it produced a short,

snappy reel.



I didn’t get much of a feel for the personalities, but they let the work

speak for itself.



But it’s going to be a long time before media agencies have the

self-confidence and the self-respect to promote themselves with the

verve of their creative counterparts. Yet this is a start, and an

important one if media companies are to embrace the stature their

discipline is increasingly affording them.



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