A New Path

Twitter may have struck gold.

If you haven’t heard, the social media site was chosen by the NFL to stream Thursday Night Football (TNF). Users will be able to stream games from Twitter’s platform. The icing on the cake is that you don’t have to own a Twitter handle to watch (but who doesn’t have one of those?) Only ten games will be available thought Twitter but it’s still a victory.

By having live games streamed Twitter has blazed a path to take social media to the next level. Twitter can now earn even more revenue and the NFL can get their product out to a vastly bigger crowd. If there’s one thing we know about the NFL it’s that they’re always looking to expand its audience.  

Twitter has been hot on Facebook’s heels throughout the years and this might be the final step into overtaking the social media crown.

Why is this so important?

Social media sites now know they can expand their platform beyond their current audience. More people will tune in through Twitter than by watching it the old fashioned way. People will now have the option to watch the game from literally anywhere. The versatility alone makes this valuable.

If they’re smart they’ll add extra features that would only be available for those who have handles. Twitter’s value will skyrocket and set the trend for other sites like Periscope.

If this goes well we should seeing other sites line up to stream content from other leagues. People spend a lot of time on their phone, finding a way to reach them there is the right way to expand the social media experience.

As always, thanks for reading.  

Breaking Through.

What A Time To Be Alive.

We live in an age where the answer to frivolous arguments can be settled with a device that can fit into your pocket. An age where sickness can be diagnosed and cured faster than ever before. An age where cars can literally drive themselves. An age where people are living longer, healthier lives.

All of these advancements around us and the ad industry still can’t find a way to solve two of its biggest problems.

Creating a path for the next generation and diversity.

Now this isn’t some, “whoa is me. It’s so hard being a millennial,” piece. It’s just an observation that I’ve seen many times throughout my short, yet long, travels.

If you’ve followed this blog then you know that its main purpose is to give me platform to talk about advertising. The goal when I started this two years ago (it just hit me how fast time flies) was to show agencies that though I don’t have the experience that doesn’t make me incompetent and talentless.

During my Odyssey-like journey in the job market, specifically advertising, I’ve noticed that agencies have this habit of only opening jobs that require someone with some sort of previous experience. Most of you have seen these postings. “We’re looking for someone with 1,500 years of experience, two left feet, a cartwheel expert, and can juggle apples while singing Yankee Doodle.” I’m speaking in hyperbole but the postings might as well read the same thing.

Agencies suffer from a disease and there’s no cure on the horizon. I believe it’s called perfect candidate syndrome. They create this long list of requirements and if a candidate doesn’t match every single one then they’re not considered for the gig. The irony of this is that there’s no such thing as a perfect candidate.

I’ve seen jobs stay open on agency sites for months because of this. The frustrating piece of this puzzle is that people who have 5-7 years of experience already have a job…..and aren’t looking.

Why can’t agencies figure that out?

If they’re really serious about filling jobs that require experience then why not look in their office? There’s bound to be someone there who at least has potential to fill the position. The benefits of hiring from within is that employees are empowered to take control of their career paths. If they want to move up then they’ll work to get there. If they see someone else work hard and receive a promotion then they will follow suit. Another benefit is that it opens lower level jobs for, you guessed it, the person who doesn’t have the experience for higher positions. A pipeline like that is efficient and can almost eliminate those, criminal, unpaid internships (see my rant on that here.)  

The second part of this problem is the lack of diversity throughout the industry. Now I know some of you will start to tune this out or come in hard with your, “why does everything have to be about race?” view and that’s fine. I’m not a gambling man but if that’s your stance then I’m willing to bet that you’re the one who’s benefiting from this “boys club” atmosphere. This isn’t an issue that only hinders minorities; women feel the effect of this too. I can’t tell you how disheartening it is to go to an agency’s site and not see anyone that even remotely looks at me.

Does that stop me from applying? Absolutely not, it’s just disheartening.

How does the industry solve this problem? I don’t have an answer but the person who does is going to get a nice Christmas bonus.

As always, thanks for reading.

Crack the Code 

Apple is in a war.

The FBI wants the tech giant to write a code that will unlock the phone of the San Bernardino shooter. Apple has objected saying that making that code creates a backdoor to their iOs system, leaving the opportunity for hackers to infiltrate iPhones everywhere.

This isn’t going to be about if Apple is wrong or right and the ethics behind the story. We’ve already talked about how Apple is re-writing consumer behavior. The next chapter of this book is about trust.

No matter what the outcome maybe Apple has already won in the PR category. By standing up the FBI and refusing to create a code that has the potential to harm customers; Apple has drawn a line in the sand in defense of their clients.

Nothing creates loyalty like someone standing up for you. Apple is indirectly building their brand in a way that a lot of companies can’t, and wouldn’t do.

If Android runs into a similar situation (I hope not) and creates a code that has the potential to put their customers in a vulnerable state then Apple will look even better. Brand equity is so important in the era of social media. We’ve seen companies that don’t have it and crumble once a scandal hits. If the people don’t trust your brand then it’s only a matter of time before you’re exposed.

Apple will fight this until the bitter  end, and their customers are glad to see that.

As always, thanks for reading.

Fast Forward  

I think we spend a good portion of our day trying to avoid advertisements. Whether it’s trying to fast forward through a commercial or waiting for those 5 agonizing seconds to pass before you can watch something on Youtube, consumers are tired of being force feed products and services that we don’t have any interest in.

Let’s be honest, they’re annoying.

The goal of advertising, as with most things in life, is to make money. Sponsors give money to a platform and in return that platform gives a shoutout to that sponsor. That’s how it works. We, as consumers, just have to deal with it.

There are some platforms that are a little behind on that trend. Well, they just haven’t figured out how to force us to consume what they’re selling.

I’m a big podcast guy. I listen to them in the morning while shaving, at work to pass the time, or whenever I don’t feel like watching TV. The great thing about podcast is that there’s something for everyone.  

I’ve noticed, especially on the ESPN platform, that advertisements have found their way into the podcast. Unlike radio, the ads are separate from the actual podcast. What I mean is that, during a podcast, the commentator will say, “and now we’re going to have a 15 second break.” That’s music to my ears. As a consumer it’s great to know when an ad is coming. It makes it a lot easier to fast forward and get back to the content. I’m surprised that sponsors haven’t picked up on that and changed the format. If you listen to ESPN radio then you know that the radio host will read sponsor ads in the middle of a topic to make sure the consumer can’t turn the dial. If sponsors want to get the best value for their dollar then they might want to start having their ads read instead of having a commercial play.

But I’m not complaining.

As always, thanks for reading.

Bonus: Here are some of my favorite podcasts. (A lot of sports, fyi)

The Dan LeBetard Show 

His & Hers

The Right Time with Bomani Jones 

Afterbuzz The Walking Dead 

The Bill Simmons Podcast