Don’t Change The Channel (Or The Message)

I often like to take credit for Chelsea winning the Premier League title in 2004-2005.  It was the first year they used us to conduct their membership research and they won the League – a simple correlation.  However, more widely read, respected and credible sources, see Jose Mourinho as a more defining reason for their success.  Of the many things that can be credited to Mourinho’s role in securing the title was his ability to deflect attention away from players and onto himself, with his channel the post-match press conference.   Starting early by declaring himself the ‘Special One’ – he allowed the players to get on and do what they needed to do, with the scrutiny solely on himself.

A more recent example of finding a consistent message and the channel to deliver it would be President Trump.  From the 20th of January 2017 to 20th of January 2018, Trump has sent out 2,568 tweets – on average 7 per day. According to a recent USA Today summary, these tweets fall into 4 broad categories: 1) ‘Fake News’ Outlets, 2) ‘Fake News’ Topics, 3) Announcements and 4) Twitter Feuds.  In denouncing traditional media as a channel to trust, he has embedded his message in the Twitter channel which subsequently forces traditional media to acknowledge and recognise it.  While you might not agree with his message, it’s consistent, loud and constant.

This week, we saw the Super Bowl become its own channel and media experience.  As advertisers continue to look for ways to capture attention in the rise of competing entertainment options and the way in which we consume television, advertising within the Super Bowl has gone far beyond the 30 second spot during the game.  Trailers, leaks and snippets help build the excitement, social engagement dominates prior and during and an effective campaign has the ability to extend well past the final touchdown.   The Tourism Australia #DundeeMovie campaign appears to have found the ideal channel for their campaign.

Identifying that the last big spike in tourism from the U.S. to Australia coincided with the release of Crocodile Dundee, they created the Dundee campaign and hype by taking all by surprise, managed to win the social buzz before the official airing and by finding the right message, now have the content and message to sell their product – Australia.

The lessons for brands: it’s no longer about finding your voice, tone and language that will resonate with the people, it’s about the channel in which you speak to the people.  Look at where you will have the loudest voice, the most impact and what’s most suited to you.  Look to where your competition sits and find a better channel to deliver your message.  Don’t expect people to hear you the first time amongst the noise.  And if you want to win the Super Bowl, Ashes, AFL Grand Final, Olympics – you should get The Interpreters to do your research.


By Paul Dixon

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