I grew up fascinated by Charles Kuralt. More to the point, I found Kuralt's natural intrigue in places and people to be the attractor. He would tour the country and allow you to identify with the Midwestern farmer just as easily as the Californian farmer. CBS Sunday Morning is where I most often caught his "On the Road" segments and to this day I try to remain loyal to the program amidst all of the other alternatives.
This is not a story about Kuralt, Americana, or Sunday mornings, however. It is about mass media which these days is having difficulty connecting on a relational level as Kuralt so effortlessly mastered. Social and digital media are much more in sync with creating, monitoring, and maintaining a customer relationship. Yet, we as a public continue to spend more of our discretionary hours in front of the television which is why advertisers still flock to the 30 second commercial.
During this week's Sunday Morning show, I saw my very (not the company's) first 30 second spot for Vistaprint, an online print source. The "wedding planner" advertisement itself was memorable, humorous, and loosely connected with the product mentioned at the end — business cards. Vistaprint was born with an online ethos which makes this decision seem particularly odd. The company is a master at ecommerce and online marketing and advertising. Search for various printed products and a Vistaprint ad will most likely be in the Google search results.
There are few true mass media channels left — TV, Radio, and Print. The merits and fragmentation could easily be argued for each, but all three have the ability to reach the largest set of eyeballs. The point for mass media, considering its relative high costs to social and digital channels, is that it better be spot on. In the case of the Vistaprint commercial, the advertisement was good enough but I think the distribution could have been rethought.
Would the commercial have had more impact as a forced view Hulu spot, with less costs and better demographic, or do you think the commercial hit its mark by airing on CBS Sunday Morning, for more costs targeted to an older demographic?
Takeaway: Consider not only the mass media's appeal but also its distribution.