Brewer's Droop #280

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A FEW THINGS TO PONDER September 2020

There are some curious side effects to this lock down (the longest in the world I believe) which has been so mismanaged that ANC support must be plummeting. Surely? They certainly deserve it.

Apart from no booze or tobacco or travel and a nightly curfew there’s lethargy which I believe to be extremely serious and possibly even fatal. I’ll be interested to see the stats on suicides, divorces, domestic violence and all the other horrible things that accompany lock down. These increases may very well be higher than deaths from Covid-19.

We booked flights to the UK for my son’s wedding but, sadly, it looks almost certain those will have to be cancelled because I doubt there will be any international flights at all for the rest of this year.

I guess, like most of us, when it started we all smiled on got on with fixing things we’d been meaning to get around to and that sort of thing. Then, insidiously, a lot of people became increasingly lazy and despondent.

Whilst I was reading book after book, I decided to make note of trivia I either didn’t know about or was unsure of. It’s a list with no form or plot – just a list. But it’s rather long so I’ll leave it for another time.

During a search I found a note from a time when one of my sons was about 6 or 7 and I burst out laughing.

During a school lesson his class was asked to say something about their Fathers. So they began – mostly common things like “my Dad’s a dentist and pulls out teeth” and “my Dad’s top of the league in tennis”. You get the idea.

When it was my son’s turn he clearly didn’t know what to say that was interesting about me. So he thought for a while and then blurted out “my Dad’s got a big winkie!” I think Miss Smith (not her real name obviously) had to leave the classroom because she was giggling uncontrollably.

A few days later there was a parents meeting so along we went. Eventually we met up with Miss Smith and she said “ah, Mr. Brewer, I’ve heard quite a lot about you and have been looking forward to our meeting”. I confess I did blush a little but at least his marks went up.

Anyway, recently I’ve been thinking about the future of media. It doesn’t look good what with so many publications closing down and Fair Lady gasping for breath with just a few issues a year planned – retailing at R89.00 for example.

And then there’s a plethora of awful social media (most of which are lies I suspect) but it takes away that precious commodity of the consumer – time. In a nutshell, less time means less readership for the printed word.

Media planning is still very difficult and nothing like the past.

We used to interview about 35,000 people (cumulative) each year and were the envy of every other country. Each interview took about 90 minutes and we had so much data that highly informative reports could be produced – like preferential products, travel, family dynamics, car preferences etc.

Now we count “clicks”.

There’s something wrong somewhere and I’ve heard it discussed often that on “this or that” site you can get millions of “hits”. Well, what is a “click” and what is a “hit”? What else do you know about the clicker or the hitter?

It’s not about readership or details on the target market that’s for sure. Spurious claims about “reach” should be mostly ignored.

Most of the time when I’m using social media I’m infuriated by these “pop ups”. They’re often from unidentifiable sources, making stupid claims. It’s an insult to us all.

Adspend will drop (relatively) as a result and advertising effectiveness will do so too.

But the ad industry is extremely resilient so my guess is that there will be a new era for advertising. Some things, like social media exaggeration must end. In fact I suspect many of these dubious sources will just fade away and become a distant memory. Having said that, there are some sites which are brilliant – but not many, and even with them I confess to being a little sceptical.

Product placement has a good future as does out-of-home. Product endorsement will probably be attacked by the government and print media will soon retire from the scene.

So when this “pandemic” has passed it should be a very exciting and interesting world for adpeople and I’d like to be around long enough to see that.

Keep safe everyone and be cautious about what you read, watch and hear.

Summer’s coming and the virus is going! We’re all strong.

Kindest regards,

Chris (Please feel free to forward this link to anyone you think may be interested).

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Comments

  1. I take it your son’s in adertising now – being able to exaggerate like thst he should be.

    I am trying to be positive about events but it’s getting harder.

    See you soon.

    Reply
  2. Spot on, Chris. As always.

    Reply
  3. Shame , your son has obviously had to wear very strong specs all his life….enjoyed your positive spin on the future potential of Advertising. Keep well.

    Reply
  4. Looking forward to seeing your list …
    I have Tears for Fears songs playing in my head:

    All around me are familiar faces
    Worn out places, worn out faces
    Bright and early for their daily races
    Going nowhere, going nowhere

    And I find it kind of funny
    I find it kind of sad
    The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had
    I find it hard to tell you ’cause I find it hard to take
    When people run in circles it’s a very, very
    Mad world

    Reply
  5. You are right on the button Chris, and Habitat print is sadly closed after 47 years. But we have a new online platform that I would like all to check out: http://www.habitatmag.co.za.

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    • Sorry to hear that Colin.

      I’ll change your details on our database.

      Keep well and safe.

      Chris

      Reply
  6. Sad that so many publications have gone, seems like the end of an era. I guess along with that will come new ways of communication and many different forms of advertising.
    To add to the issue of lethargy and despondency, has anyone noticed how poor service levels in shops and restaurants has become ?
    Sharon and I recently flew to Jhb, well, we certainly found that to be a new experience. What a pleasure, flights on time, no queues, no husltle and bustle to board or exit the aircraft. Sad tho, to see the airports deserted , shops closed. It gave me a strange apolcolyptic feeling, almost as if I had somehow survived worldwide devastation.
    I think a new world is upon us.

    Reply

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