Thoughts about media in Canada

TV is a pokemon

Hello fellow readers, long time no see, sorry about that.

3 weeks ago, I’ve had the chance to go to the Infopresse’s Future of TV day. To those who don’t know, Infopresse is basically the PQ’s communication and marketing hub. My colleague from MPG, Thierry Gamelin, was also present. We’ve compared notes and I’m trying to write something that covers both points of view. Here it is.

“TV is dead” – Rick Seifeddine, Senior VP, Brand, Bell Canada


Oh boy… can I imagine my fellow offline colleagues jumping and screaming…

Seriously… TV is obviously not dead, is not going to die anytime soon, but I like something from that statement, so I’ll rephrase it my way.

“The concept of “TV” is no longer valid and should be replaced by the concept of “Screens”” – Me, Some Digital Guy, Media Contacts Canada

Look at it this way. If your TV allows you to browse the web, includes a Twitter and Facebook feed, if you download the show you’ve missed last week, watch it on your “TV”, then you have to commute, so you pause it, get in the bus, and continue watching the show on your iPad right where you left it 5 minutes ago, why oh why are you still calling your TV a TV?

It’s. a. SCREEN.

Now it’s a SCREEN with its pros (Weekly/Daily “Rendez-vous”, high reach, creates discussions around the water cooler at work) and cons (touchscreen not yet available, adserving not yet available, spill), which makes it very different from other screens, but it is a SCREEN.

Now here’s the cool thing. TV is evolving. TV is a Pokemon, I tell you! Smart TV…


It is not yet mainstream, (insert hipster joke here) but you have to be blind not to see that the Twitter/FB feed is marginal today but will be the norm in less than 5 years. (Maybe your glasses are too big…)

And there is more to it: Voice/Movement recognition, why would you need a remote control to eat batteries and get lost in the couch? Doggie’s chew toy? Makes sense…

And if you really like the feel of a controller in your hand… just use your Smartphone to switch channels (ok ok most TVs are not yet infrared equipped, but you can buy the add on, manufacturers can embed it or they’ll create SCREENS that don’t need infrared signal to trigger)

Soon, the TV will be ad Served, just like web. You will be watching The Big Bang Theory and so will I. Same Bat time, Same Bat Channel. I’ll get chainsaw ads, because that’s how I roll. You’ll be seeing the new Twilight trailer (admit it, you’re into Twilight big time)

Soon, when you see Penny’s short shorts, you’ll be dying to buy them; you’ll point the shorts with your finger and say “More info”. Abracadabra, split screen, you see where to buy the shorts, you put them in your shopping cart. Later that day, on your laptop, you’ll get a reminder that you still have an outstanding item in your cart and will be offered to receive an e-coupon in your phone if you post the shorts picture on Google+

And don’t think I’ll get these dreaded tampon ads because my girlfriend watches TV more and my SCREEN’s profile will be associated with her… NOOOoooooooo…. And yes there will be an in between phase where we will log in… but at some point, the TV will face recognize me and my passion for chainsaws (and for Penny’s shorts) and BOOM… Husqvarna’s ad! (Wink wink to my old client. Come to the dark side, we got cookies)

Soon, you’ll be playing Angry Birds on your Phablet (some hybrid thing in between a tablet and a phone… go figure) while HOUSE MD plays on the SCREEN (because you have a short attention span), and the ad on SCREEN will be about the Angry Birds Movie and the ad on your Phablet will be about the next show on that station you are “watching”.

Obviously… obviously… this is not going to happen overnight. But, the technology is there or almost. Some advertisers are there or almost (willingness to experiment wise) and the working labor in the industry is here or almost. The digital world is filled with Nintendo kids. We’re comfortable with technology, with digital; we want to see it happening everywhere. Digital savvy clients are becoming more senior, they have their word to say, they want to change things.

This is now… with us, Nintendo kids. In 5 years, in 10 years, we’ll be old farts and the next generation will push us. The multi-screen, multi-device generation: Comfortable & Connected, everywhere.

Now if you miss the boat and aren’t willing to try, to experiment with digital today, what do you think will happen when your kids start working at your company? Do not miss the boat…

On a similar yet different note, there was a recurrent theme that was discussed by 3 presenters, to different levels: The engagement level of SCREENS. If you are watching TV, you are “leaning back”, you want to be entertained, you want something light. When you play videogames or watch a horror movie,  sports, passion (TWILIGHT!!!), you “lean forward”, you are engaged, you are into heavy stuff, sirious bizness! When you are on your iPad, you are showing the world what you do; you watch a show with your kids and stuff. When you are on your phone, it is private, don’t dare look over my shoulder!

Which brings me to the MSN presentation that was discussing the Brand Personas and the Media Personas. I invite you to Bing the terms (I’d say G*****, but it was a MSN presentation after all).

How often, as a media person, have you developed the perfect media plan? Man, it rocked! And then you connect with creative people. Oh boy!

Their idea rocks too!


It is virtually impossible to match the buy to the idea unless you redo the whole frickin thing.

“Uh oh!” – Dustin Hoffman, Rainman, 1988


Now… I think everyone should do this exercise. I’ll try and see what comes out of it.

Sit with creative people and your client. Get them to discuss about the Brand Persona. Is it the Rebel, the Hero, the Lover, The Jester, The Magician?

The brand is the lover you say? Then why not keeping it in mind when you build the strategy, maybe some media, like mobile, should be the center point of the strat?

I’m honestly very eager to try this exercise with 2-3 plans and see if, in the end, we have to redo the plan 53 times or not…

Keep you posted.

One comment

  1. Pingback: “The Rain Man Methodology” aka the stupidity of many case studies | Thoughts about media in Canada

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