[Photo by Matt McGee]
The May Day bank holiday has been and gone and the annual three-day migration from urban sprawls to rural retreats – or vice versa – and back again, via the frankly appalling motorway network and the full-to-bursting B-roads, is behind us.
As the temperature rises and cherry blossom appears, there seems to be some serious pruning going on in the media orchard. Dead wood is being cut away – voluntarily or otherwise – which should mean plenty of room for new crops of creativity to burst forth.
New Ideas, New Formats
There’s a definite and very noticeable shift – at least by the producers and publishers I’ve been meeting with recently – in the way that the industry is approaching new ideas and formats.
Whilst ‘top-down’ briefs for content that might define a channel’s schedule or consumer brands’ marketing messages still exist, any new, innovative and more abstract ideas are being welcomed into the marketplace; ideas that can then be moulded or refined to best suit a / the client and deliver the maximum return possible in terms of reach and available budget.
One cracking example of how this works in practice is the recent FrankMusik / BlackBerry Live & Lost collaboration, in partnership with MySpace, with a slot for a round-up show on Channel 4.
The concept was worked up independently in-house by Pulse Films and then proactively ‘sold’ into the other media and brand partners, resulting in the online audience following FrankMusik’s roadtrip from the far reaches of Scotland to his ‘homecoming’ gig and single launch in Camden, plenty of endorsement for the brand and a terrestrial broadcast for this emerging muso and his label. Winners all round.
TV Business Changing
Admittedly, speculative pitching forms a large part of all indies’ bread and butter business, but the emphasis is shifting away from specifically tailored responses to briefs from broadcasters and brands and more towards reverse-engineering creative randomness, which has increasing audience appeal.
This ‘Sniper Vs Scattergun’ [© pending] approach is very good news for Not From Concentrate and you Not From Concentrators [need to come up with a more snappy name for our users/contributors – suggestions welcome] as it fits perfectly with our ‘bottom-up’ ambition to first harvest great ideas from far and wide, refine them and then position the best with the most relevant commercial partner or platform.