Friday, 2 November 2007

Newsletter Issue 140, November 2007

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 140, November 2007
Hi guys,
Considering advertising? Then think about Sponsorship: the New Black.
If Your Office Could Talk, what would it say about you? Have a think about that and read on. 
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

Sponsorship: the New Black

In a recent AMA article, Kevin Clancy and Peter Krieg of Copernicus Marketing Consulting in the US said that there is evidence to suggest that many companies are moving away from using traditional media to promote their brand, and are relying more on sponsorship and events for PR. They quoted the following to support their view:
  • In 2005, a survey of Association of National Advertisers members showed 24% of marketing dollars going to event marketing
  • In 2006, a George P Johnson Company study which found, across industries, event marketing accounted for an average of 25% of the overall marketing budget
  • And for 2007, an IEG Sponsorship report shows North American companies plan to spend $14.9 billion on sponsorship; up more than 10% on 2006 & outpacing traditional media spend growth.
So why could companies apparently be having doubts about traditional forms of advertising?
  1. Jaded: People are very jaded about advertising. We are less credulous, harder to sell to, and much more savvy in penetrating the rhetoric. Whenever we can, we avoid hearing the message, and many of us are wondering why we pay for advertisers to sell to us (ie buying magazines full of advertising, buying clothing which advertises the company, watching ads on TV).
  2. Competition: The Arab Advisors Group reported that the 2005 TV Arab state advertising rates dropped significantly, with combined 30-second ad rates averaging at $3103 in 2004, down 30 percent to $2180 in 2005. They attribute this to increased competition from satellite channels.
  3. Restriction: UK's Office of Communications (Ofcom) have determined to restrict marketing of high fat, high sugar foods to all children under 16, which will have significant impacts on UK advertisers & marketers (see
  4. Technology 1: Hard drive recorders are allowing people to record programmes, then skip the ads completely. Users can start to watch the beginning of the programme ten minutes after the actual start, then skip over the ad breaks, and finish at the actual programmed end time.
  5. Technology 2: Internet TV and pay-per-view is relatively advertising-free (at this stage). You download your programme, watch it at leisure and pay for the privilege. This form of picking and choosing your entire viewing package is a whole new ballgame.
  6. Green 1: Many more people are now going for online news subscriptions rather than hardcopy newspapers to reduce impact on the environment, and this trend looks set to increase. Pay per click ads are decreasing in value and up-take as conversion statistics are not favourable, so many ads don't transfer online
  7. Green 2: Many more people are putting a 'No Circulars" or "Occupier Addressee Only" signs on their letterboxes in an effort to reduce paper waste.
  8. Cost 1: the cost of making a TV advert is similar to making a short film - and it still appears horrifyingly easy to miss the target market or make a bad ad.
  9. Cost 2: once you have made your ad, how widely should you show it? With the influx of satellite, there are are whole range of channels to chose, and each one will cost (although with more competition, ad placement cost will decrease, as per 1).
I suspect that traditional advertising channels have some adapting to do. Less direct forms of advertising such as sponsorship and events, product placement within shows, competitions and e-newsletters will become more mainstream marketing tools.
However, if you are going to advertise, remember that you need to review whether the campaign has reached the intended audience, been comprehended and been bought into. The checking of sponsorship and events spend efficacy needs to be just as thorough as for traditional media.
Sponsorship of people or events allows a company to align itself quite closely to a target market. I suspect that sponsorship and events will continue to provide companies with a clear way to get their messages across, and allows a more local consumer link in what is now a very global market.

If Your Office Could Talk...

If your office could talk, what would it say about you?
Is your desk on one side of your office forming a barrier between you and any conversations you might be having? Do you have a meeting space? Does your meeting space have chairs of equal size? Is your table round or square? Low or high? Are chairs at right angles to each other?
Layouts are likely to be viewed as a metaphor for the way the office owner does business. If you walk into an office and there was a meeting area with chairs of equal size set around a small table, you would probably think that that person would be informal and collaborative. If you walked into the office of someone who sat behind a formidable desk in a high chair while visitors were in low chairs, you would probably think they were authoritarian and a bit of a dinosaur.
We are very strongly influenced by symbols and what is done, rather than what is said, at work. It all comes down to culture. If an organisation is trying to create a real sense of team throughout the organisation, but they have lots of corporate-only privilege like cellphones, cars, parking, business class flights and so on, the team idea will not take. They might say 'team', but they do 'us and them', creating an divisive Orwellian culture of "'All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others". 
This difference between 'say' and 'do' is also an often seen, often repeated waste of change management implementation in organisations.
So. We unconsciously - or worse, consciously - communicate power and status by the furniture we select and in the way we organise our offices. While not all work spaces have enough room for a separate meeting area, you can come around your desk and sit next to your visitor when meeting, creating a sense of partnership and equality from the outset.
Make sure your office is aligned with your personal culture and the culture of your organisation. Needless to say, sitting side by side is not all a manager needs to do to create inclusive discussion, but it's a really good start.
Process Explorer

Like most of us, I notice that from time to time my PC seems to be using a shed-load of processing power, for no good reason. However, when you go into Task Manager and have a look at the processes you have running, most of them are just gobbledy-gook. You have no idea what anything really relates to or why it is running; or even if the particular item is supposed to be running flat out like that.
However, Microsoft have this neat little tool called Process Explorer. Once you install it, the software tells you what each process relates to, what product it is, who made it, how much juice it is consuming and what is related to it. You can sort all the columns in ascending or descending order, which is really useful.
Pass the cursor over the performance graphs in the tool bar to see what the CPU usage is. You can right click on whichever processes are using lots of CPU. You can right click on any of the threads, then select properties and observe what activity there is, or try killing processes to see what happens.
This is a great tool to track down if a CPU hog is something that you have intentionally installed, or something that has been slid in with installed software.

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you:
  • PIP, Picture in Picture. This is a video effect which places several complete images on the screen at the same time - or on TV, one channel PIP while watching another. Very simple!

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
Over the next few newsletters, we are going to look at all you can do with Alt and numbers. This time it's 0 and 1:
  • Excel "Select the folder list in the Open and Save As dialog boxes (in File menu); use within a dialog box; use arrow keys to select a folder in the list" Alt & 0 (Zero)
  • Outlook "View 10 days; works when using general keys for moving around in the day/week/month/view" Alt & 0 (Zero)
  • PowerPoint "Go to the previous folder (Back button )" Alt & 1
  • Access "Go to previous folder; use within the Open, File New Database and Export dialog boxes" Alt & 1
  • Excel "Go to the previous folder (also back arrow); use within the Open and Save as dialog boxes (in File Menu)" Alt & 1
  • Outlook "Go to previous folder (with the File Open or Insert File dialog boxes) or view 1 day in day/week/month/view" Alt & 1
  • Word "Go to the previous folder; use within the Open and Save as dialog boxes (in File Menu)" Alt & 1

Hot Linx
If you like a bit of a vocabulary challenge, then head over to to test your knowledge, and to donate rice to the UN for every word you get right
For a novel take on the current carbon footprint debate, check out Vanity Fair's "Asshole Footprint" at
If you want to work out your run or walk circuit, then this new Google Maps linked tool is for you. Check out
Paranoid? Maybe! Check out this website on global terrorist activity - from protesters chaining themselves to railings to suspicious wires and bombings at

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here

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