What Are Media Planners And Buyers Going To Do?

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On a previous Blog posting, Give A Little Love To This Coke Ad, I made some indirect statements pointed to media buyers. I am wondering if people who work on the media side of advertising truly understand the deep consequences of what’s happening now?
I can’t say for sure that Coke, or its agency, posted this Grand Theft Auto-inspired commercial to YouTube. I can say that if the media buyers did not, then they’re stupid.
But who gets the last laugh?
Let’s say Coke’s agency did post the Grand Theft Auto-inspired commercial to YouTube. Now, they’re going back to the client to show the millions of downloads – which does not include the viral component or the many other video game and advertising sites that are now posting it – that cost them… zero dollars. Just some time to upload it, maybe spread the word a little and you’ve got millions of free impressions (and tons of publicity).
Where’s the motivation for Coke to run the spot on TV (which is where the real bucks are made for media buyers)? How can media buyers continue to make their commission if the real traction of these commercials are finding a home online, where it’s free to post and people will engage in it (if it’s awesome)?
This Coke ad is just another ad, in a long line of many, which proves how a 30-second spot with great creative can still work. The challenge is that the spot is working in a medium it was not created or intended for.
What are media buyers going to do if the best creative work is being spread for free and getting the recognition it deserves without a fixed air date or an end?
What service can media planners provide when a quick upload to YouTube will demonstrate (re: test) how much (or how little) the general public cares about an ad?
These are only a handful of immediate questions that I care to post. I guess I am looking to the media people of the world for some answers.


  1. Interesting questions Mitch and ones I’ve been contemplating a lot recently, yet I still don’t think TV as a medium is truly dead. As a channel, on it’s way to the grave, but not everyone is online yet. And outside of youth and early adopters, the majority of the audience (if you’re a mass brand) is not downloading video on YouTube.
    It’s not so easy to make the case as it’s Coke we’re talking about, a brand geared towards youth, but I don’t see Aflac or P&G moving all their dollars online (yet) – traditional still works when strategized well. And especially in conjunction with a killer non-traditional campaign.
    In terms of media commissions – the new YouTube brand channels may provide that answer…

  2. I agree, TV is not dead. I was just trying to reconcile (in my mind and, I guess, on this Blog) how these types of changes will affect media buyers.
    Imagine putting a video on YouTube and getting no reaction from the public, but the client or agency refuse to change it. A savvy Media Buyer now has the ammunition to take that discussion to the next level.
    Watching the uptake of the Coke commercial and the Tea Partay one, really gets me thinking about the opportunity that these new channels provide to media buyers… not the threat.

  3. Currently there are only a handful video sharing sites that allow you to quickly upload, tag and share your videos, for example Yahoo Jumpcut and Motiono are pretty instant.

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