Season 3 Episode 3
June 6, 2023

Old-school vs. New-school

With so many recent changes in media, it’s important to remember that media does indeed change, but it doesn’t ever go away. Who is going to rule the new class of media, of brand development, of DTC? What is DTC today and how are we approaching it and what do we keep from the DTC heyday into its new evolution of growth? Listen now and join the discussion!

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This Episode Sponsored by:

Infinite Shelf - Wunderkind

With so many recent changes in media, it’s important to remember that media does indeed change, but it doesn’t ever go away. Who is going to rule the new class of media, of brand development, of DTC? What is DTC today and how are we approaching it and what do we keep from the DTC heyday into its new evolution of growth? Listen now and join the discussion!

Tirade Against the Funnel

  • {00:05:12} “There's a lot of user behavior that was adopted during COVID that was extremely digitally centric and digitally dominant, where the pendulum is swinging back a little bit. There are so many companies that you see out there that just hired wildly during COVID or scaled up, so I think there's a part of this that is a market contraction.” - Orchid
  • {00:13:13} “There's going to be an aging out of how old media is consumed and how we look at journalism and how we look at journalism now. But with our generation and the generation even younger, even more so, it's so incredibly factioned off. It's very niche.” - Ingrid
  • {00:17:09} “The fundamental way that marketers have been trained for decades is so broken now because there's just no way that you can get that level of awareness to then start to reduce down to the relevance of messages and audiences in order to make, finally, your way down to the conversion where you actually make money.” - Ingrid
  • {00:26:28} “Ingrid: If you're fundamentally changing your go-to-market strategy, you have to document and organize the spaghetti that you're throwing at the wall so that when things stick, you know what, why, and where, and then you can replicate.” - Ingrid
  • {00:28:17} “In order to make your media more efficient, you got to have better creative. If you have the right creative, the machine will make it more efficient.” - Orchid
  • {00:34:38} “The question is how much novelty does your brand need to chase? Or is it just by nature of being on the platform with an interesting enough piece of creative that doesn't challenge the wackadoo creative or creators head-on but doesn't distract from it either?” - Orchid

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Ingrid: [00:00:19] Hello and welcome to Infinite Shelf, the human-centric retail podcast. I am one of your hosts, Ingrid Milman Cordy.

Orchid: [00:00:28] And I'm Orchid Bertelsen. I know I'm supposed to just have one name like Madonna, but I don't.

Ingrid: [00:00:34] I know you. I feel like both of us can probably stand for having one name. That's a goal.

Orchid: [00:00:39] Yes.

Ingrid: [00:00:39] Ingrid is just Ingrid.

Orchid: [00:00:41] Exactly.

Ingrid: [00:00:41] And Orchid is Orchid. And then you put us together, and then you get this really gabby podcast. {laughter} And I'm here for all of it. All right, well, we are pumped because today we are going to be talking about everything to do with media. And you may have heard some changes have happened in media recently and we have thoughts, in case you were concerned that we wouldn't have any thoughts. We have lots of thoughts. And actually, there's a really interesting, I think, parallel to the DTC philosophy and conversation that's really sort of the architecture of this whole season, which is what is DTC today and how are we approaching it and what do we keep from the DTC heyday into its new evolution of growth? And it was so interesting because as I was consuming all of the updates, every minute of what is happening in the media landscape, I was kind of like, "Wow, this is so interesting." There's a lot of change happening and we are clearly at an inflection point. And so obviously, I don't know when you're listening to this, audience, but just in the past week, Tucker Carlson, no longer on Fox News. Don Lemon's no longer on Fox News...

Orchid: [00:02:03] CNN.

Ingrid: [00:02:04] Oh, sorry, on CNN. Thank you. Buzzfeed shut down its news division. Twitter is continuing its downward spiral into which layer of hell.

Orchid: [00:02:17] Twitter is a dumpster fire. And sometimes you're in the dumpster and sometimes you're looking at it from outside the dumpster. Maybe if you were lucky enough to get an invitation to Bluesky, which if you did, please also send me one. {laughter}

Ingrid: [00:02:30] Hit us up. Totally. Yeah.

Orchid: [00:02:34] And Vice, today filed for bankruptcy, right?

Ingrid: [00:02:39] Totally. Yeah. And not after having gobbled up a bunch of great media outlets like Refinery29 and all of that. So it's one of those things where we as not only people who have a podcast and are interested in these things as some form of media, but as consumers, we're not sitting there going, "Well, that whole TV and print and digital media idea, that was like a moment in time, right?" It sounds like that won't happen anymore, which is kind of just as silly sounding to me as when people are like, "Oh, DTC, that's not a thing anymore. Everyone's just going to go back to Walmart."

Orchid: [00:03:24] Do you think there are some advertising hipsters out there who are like, "Oh, I've been waiting the day to start filling out print insertions again?" Maybe.

Ingrid: [00:03:36] {laughter} There are definitely the dinosaurs who never actually transitioned into digital, who are like, "I was right all along." It's like they're having some form of strange, sad party for themselves. But I mean, in reality, I'm kind of excited about what's going to happen now. After all of these things kind of grow and grow so quickly and just sort of capture so much of people's attention and fundamentally, I think, change how we consume news and information and media and how we connect on it. And then you throw a little AI into the mix and what the heck is going to happen? What do you think is going to happen?

Orchid: [00:04:21] Yeah, I mean, I think the changes in the media landscape, there are so many different dynamics to it. I think one is the first phase was our transition to the 24/7 news cycle, right? So before cable news, you really only had your news on at like 6:00 or 8:00 in the morning. And so it just didn't consume as much of your life. It was kind of like, "Oh, I'm going to feel bad for probably an hour total a day when I'm watching the news." And then with the invention of cable news networks, this news cycle that continues to get... It's both dragged out and shortened. And then they just kind of everything is a little bit newsworthy. And so I wonder and I'm curious about your perspective on it, how much of this do you think is almost a COVID/post-COVID contraction? Because I think there's a lot of user behavior that was adopted during COVID that was extremely digitally centric and digitally dominant, where the pendulum is swinging back a little bit. So there are so many companies that you see out there that just hired wildly during COVID or scaled up, especially when it comes to technology companies and digital media companies. And so I think there's a part of this that is a market contraction.

Ingrid: [00:05:37] I think you're right. And to a certain extent, I think where my head goes a little bit, though, is at least in the digital media sphere. So taking cable news outside, even though I think you're 100% spot on with like the change in the news cycle has fundamentally changed the way that we all consume news. But in terms of digital media, so when we're talking about BuzzFeed and Vice and Refinery29 and all of those different places that sort of ruled the roost for so long, they all slowly got taken out by Facebook and Instagram. And so all of the publishers were getting advertising investments from the brands and the people that wanted to connect with their audiences. And then because of the massively low acquisition rates that they were seeing from social media, all of them started to sort of like cut, cut, cut, cut, cut. And then I think this was whatever's happening now with startups drying up and all of the venture money starting to get a little bit or considerably harder to acquire and just the liquidity of everything. Everyone, I think we said this in one of our previous episodes which is I love this quote, the Warren Buffett quote where he says, "When the tide goes in, you notice who's swimming naked." I think that those outlets have been death by a thousand cuts. And I think Facebook or whatever, Meta, Instagram, and now TikTok have sort of taken out so many of their ad revenues. But now it'll be really interesting because even Facebook, Instagram, TikTok to a certain extent, all of those CPAs and CPMs and all of those numbers are much higher than they were when they were first really herding into those digital media channels. So I'm very curious about what's going to... Something's going to have to give or a new crop of journalists and outlets is going to rise out of the ashes here. And I'm just so curious about what that's going to look like. What were the fundamental problems before that we should now be thinking about in the new media landscape?

Orchid: [00:08:02] Yeah. So what I'm trying to do right now is build a timeline of events in my head. So when I started in advertising, specifically, back in 2013, maybe a little before that, 2012/2013, that was still a time where you bought 100% share of voice on the home page of I was part of a campaign where we bought 100% share of voice on and we built some kind of interactive banner because we're like, "Of course, people are going to be interacting for 30 seconds in a banner before they watch the video they came here to watch." And so I do think that was kind of where digital advertising on existing media platforms started, where you really wanted to drive traffic to your main dot com because that's how you got eyeballs and that's how you charged for it. Then I think it transitioned to yes, Facebook news... Facebook and other social platforms as means of news or media distribution... And I think that's also paired along with the rise of programmatic.

Ingrid: [00:09:15] Yeah.

Orchid: [00:09:16] And we have our experience with the chum bucket, right? Which is like literally my favorite term for when you've scrolled down the entire page and there are just some links at the bottom. And so I think the pendulum kind of swung from, okay, well, we're going to drive eyeballs to our dot com to oh, people are actually going to consume our news or our articles based on the social media platform that they are on.

Ingrid: [00:09:44] Because of the network effects.

Orchid: [00:09:45] Exactly. And then the acquisition costs went up. And then I remember, Facebook didn't end up supporting news or was kind of like suppressing a lot of the articles or at least the impressions or the reach that the articles we're getting. And then you fast forward to I don't know what we're going to call this period of time in Twitter's history, but then you've got the taking away of the blue checks. So historically those blue checks were only for actually identified legitimate journalists, news sources, and publications. So Vice, BuzzFeed, all those folks like they had a blue check. And now that Elon's completely taking those away and only monetizing them, you even saw NPR tweet out, I think about a week ago because this news cycle is so fast. It might have been two weeks ago or yesterday. Who really knows, that they're like, "Oh, we're actually not going to tweet here anymore because there's just no checks and balances of who's legitimate here."

Ingrid: [00:10:49] But also, didn't that also happen at the same time as when they were marked as like state-funded...

Orchid: [00:10:56] Yes, exactly. Because they're like, well, we're nonprofit and we get money from the government. But this isn't like the Chinese government. We're not a mouthpiece for the US government.

Ingrid: [00:11:52] We're at this inflection point where you have the people who still listen and consume news as though people like Walter Cronkite are delivering it and give it the same validity and believability as true journalists. And there are still truly, thankfully, real journalists out there. So this is not me saying that journalism doesn't exist. But I do think that the like ratio of good journalism and actual journalism and BS clickbait audience pandering, like Rupert Murdoch-sponsored news is unfortunately now more prevalent than ever. And I think you start seeing things like this when you start seeing like the actual Tucker Carlson text messages about how he really feels and all the information that we're getting and all of those things sort of like tear at the fabric of the people who want to consume news and want to believe in it. But I don't actually think that the generation that still listens to news the way that they did back in the 60s is noticing that or even a part of the news cycle that is revealing all of that. So I do think there's a component where there's going to be an aging out of how old media is consumed and how we look at journalism and how we look at journalism now. But with our generation and the generation even younger, even more so, it's so incredibly factioned off. It's very niche. Everything that you as an individual, Orchid, listen to, watch, understand, believe in, and all of that could be wildly, wildly different than what I listen to. Or maybe not so much what I listen to, but we're probably in the same media bubble if we're being honest, but someone else's bubble that's like around our age or older or something like that. And so I don't actually know what the answer is going to be or if there will be an answer ever again in the as largely scaled media as we have come across become accustomed to as consumers, but even more so that we've become accustomed to as people who buy media.

Orchid: [00:14:17] Yeah, I think there are a couple of things at play. One of them is just the proliferation of choice. So to your point about, hey, we went from a world where everybody knew and watched Walter Cronkite at a pre-scheduled time. Now you can get information and news from anywhere.

Ingrid: [00:14:37] And anyone.

Orchid: [00:14:37] And anyone. And then you add in the complexities of a personalized algorithm. So we were joking before hitting record about when we share what's on our for you pages, that's actually a pretty intimate piece of information and you really, truly get to know who's who.

Ingrid: [00:14:57] TikTok thinks I'm a black woman, which I'm so like in awe of, and just like trying to not... I don't want to fuck it up.

Orchid: [00:15:03] Yeah, don't do it. TikTok thinks that I not only have ADHD, but I'm also autistic. So that's really fun. Learning all kinds of things about myself along with my tarot readings. So I do think there's this interesting thing as if we make the turn into, you know, media consumers to media buyers. I think at the end of the day, what this is all about is the battle for attention. Even though news channels, news sources, media channels, social platforms, Mastodon's coming up in the world, you got Bluesky, you got all these things happening at once, the thing that does not change or does not expand with the number of channels or new businesses that come online is this idea of attention and your wallet. Your wallet doesn't expand. And so it really kind of narrows this consumer choice or really dictates that customer journey. And so if you're a business, how do you get in front of eyeballs?

Ingrid: [00:16:04] Right. And their whole... if you work with me and you're subjected to listening to this podcast in addition to being subjected to listening to me on conference calls, you know, that I'm on this tirade about how the funnel doesn't exist. And so I'm sorry. This is another moment where this happens...

Orchid: [00:16:23] You force your team to listen to this? I don't. I haven't yet.

Ingrid: [00:16:26] No. I don't. But once in a while, they'll be like, "I heard last week's episode," and I'm like, "Oh, no, I'm so sorry. Did you? That's horrible. You have to listen to me enough." No, I don't. But sometimes they tell me so. But ultimately, in my crusade to like, really just like kill every last mention of the marketing funnel, it is so fundamentally if you think about the top of the funnel and the awareness part, and you need to get as many eyeballs as possible before you narrow it down to the consideration phase. And like whoever, like at Harvard Business School or something like made that up you are my public enemy number one. But that fundamental way that marketers have been trained for decades is so broken now because there's just no way that you can get that level of awareness to then start to reduce down to the relevance of messages and audiences and things like that in order to make, finally, your way down to the conversion where you actually make money. And the awareness piece just becomes wildly inefficient, wildly expensive because it's inefficient, and also the message that you have to put out into the world in order to get that level of impressions and eyeballs becomes so watered down because if your whole thing is scalability and numbers and awareness, you can't alienate people. Whereas now the expectation, not just from millennials, but I think most people now is they want to buy products and connect with brands that they feel are made for them. And so that's this dichotomy between the old-school marketing mentality and the new-school one. And I think the media changes that are happening right now play so neatly into that hugely changing world.

Orchid: [00:18:32] Yeah. And I completely, I'll follow you on this tirade against the funnel. And so what I've kind of noticed is that there are two schools of thought in the, hey, let's eradicate the funnel camp. And so one of those lines of thinking is that digital has collapsed the funnel. And so what you had laid out as clean like, okay, there's awareness, then there's consideration, then there's purchase and then there's post purchase, that's not linear because you can jump in and out of that at any given second. If your creative is really great and your low education product, you can probably go from awareness to conversion in about like two minutes. A lot of brands on my Instagram will attest to that because I've seen something, I was like, "I need that right away." And I was like, "I've never heard this before." And then it shows up and you're like, "What brand is this? I have no idea." And so I think that's one camp is just like effectively the funnel is gone because it's collapsed. In this other camp, and this is what I've been talking about with my team is this idea of utilizing the loyalty loop. And I know McKinsey's very famous for introducing it. I don't know if Mr. McKinsey actually came up with it, but McKinsey Loyalty Loop. And so effectively it says there's going to be some kind of trigger. So like, let's say you're buying your kid's prescription glasses. I think the trigger is that your kid is diagnosed with having or given a prescription for glasses. And so that's the trigger. And then you create this initial consideration set. And that's kind of largely where awareness kind of jumps in. You're going to go with brands that you're aware of, and then you start to build into this active consideration set leading up to purchase, and then you have a whole post-purchase experience and then really looping around and building loyalty and advocacy back to the point of purchase. And so for me, I think that's a very clean way of thinking about every channel's role that you have in your arsenal because Facebook or "awareness" drivers of the past, their whole role is kind of passive interest. But if you're really interested in something, you're probably going to go directly to search because now you are looking to actually buy the thing to solve a problem. And so which camp do you sit in? Is it the collapse the funnel, or a totally different model?

Ingrid: [00:20:57] Well, I think that first of all, first and foremost, collapse the friggin funnel. Just full stop. Pause.

Orchid: [00:21:05] I love it. {laughter} I'm getting you a hat with that on there.

Ingrid: [00:21:07] Just collapse it. Yeah. No, a hat. Like bedsheets, shower curtain...

Orchid: [00:21:13] Embroidered pillow.

Ingrid: [00:21:14] Yeah. It's going to become my whole entire personality will be that. That quote. But really I think collapse it, but then even when it comes to the message and the creative. Because of this neat funnel that we agree doesn't exist, there was also this neat way of structuring your communications and your creative because at the top of the funnel it's all brand and you barely ever get into the dirty, yucky mess of what the product is or what the function is. It's all about the brand. And then as you go down, you do less branding and more product, but in reality that also doesn't fly, so let's collapse the funnel, but then we have to start thinking about what audience and where are we talking to that audience, where that messaging is going to work? Where are you going to hit that sort of center of the bull's eye with the right message at the right time and the right platform and all of that? And frankly, this is not a helpful answer. But the only answer that I can think of today is just a shit ton of creative, just a shit ton of creative, and all of the different variations of brand and mix of brand and product and only product. And then this message of claims or this message... All of those things in every single layer of whether it's a loop or a funnel or well, it's definitely not the funnel, we know that. But all of the places where you're trying to talk to your consumers, just throw all those messages at them, and then guess what? Let the little scary machine algorithms figure out what's hitting where and then you optimize from there. But I think when you talk to people who have been in marketing and advertising for decades and they're very excited to tell you how many decades they've been doing this for, when you tell them they need more than three pieces of creative, they fall on the floor. And I'm like, "The conversation starts and ends here."

Orchid: [00:23:27] You just articulated the difference, too, between brand advertising, where you have traditional creative agencies... I mean, I worked on campaigns where we had print ads, we had out-of-home, we had, you know, TV spots, and all that took a ton of time to develop and a ton of thinking. And there was no CTA in most of it. And then you're like, "Well, what's the goal here?" And people are like, "They are now aware." I was like, "How do you know? I have no idea." And then usually those brands are large enough where they've been around for 100 plus years. You're like, "Yeah, of course, they know." But the duality of that against performance marketing, performance creative, it's not all the way to direct response, right? Like not every piece of creative is going to be like 20% off buy now. Buy now. Buy immediately. But that's going to be a small percentage of what you have. But I think to your point especially, we'll use Meta as the example here, is that if you use broad-based targeting and let the machine do what the machine does, it does. I completely agree. You need to have just a massive amount of creative there. Now you need to have a pretty clear plan too in terms of like, "All right, this one is 80% emotional benefits, you know, 20% functional."

Ingrid: [00:24:40] That's where the rigor comes in.

Orchid: [00:24:41] Exactly. And so what I love is in certain categories it really matters to have social proof. So I love having ratings and reviews or UGC or just like having someone who's approachable, where you can look at them and customer can look at them and be like, "Oh, that person has the same challenges that I have. This is actually going to solve a problem." And I'll end there too, with there's this saying that I love that's "People will believe absolute strangers on the Internet over their friends and family and then definitely over brands." And so, you know, that is true I think for brands where there is some level of education and consideration. Now, if you're talking about commodity brands or commodity products, then it doesn't really matter as much because it's a 1 to 1. But yeah, totally, totally. On the ton of creative train.

Ingrid: [00:25:31] Ton of creative. Ton of creative. And yeah, I think you bring up so many good points there with relation to when I say you need a shit ton of creative what you do, I stand behind that, that doesn't mean that you're not putting a considerable amount of deliberate decision making into your communication strategy. You really do have to understand, because then ultimately, if you don't have that rigor behind how you're making those creative decisions and what you're putting forth, when you get the test results, you're never going to understand what it was that actually hit. And you're always going to be in this constant throw spaghetti at the wall and just see what sticks, which you probably do have to do for the first year of your testing of if you're rebranding, if you're launching a new brand, if you're testing a new audience, all of those things. If you're fundamentally changing your go-to-market strategy, it's going to be a little spaghetti on the wall. But at least you have to document and organize the spaghetti that you're throwing at the wall so that when things stick, you know what, why, and where, and then you can replicate. And that's where the efficiency and the optimization comes from. And that's, I think, the piece that it does seem like a whole ton of work at the upfront to do that, probably even more so than in the much simpler days of print and out-of-home and TV, simple in terms of like that's our media buy. This is how many impressions we're going to get. This is our share of voice, blah, blah, blah. It's much more complicated. But then you end up really cooking with fire once you understand which pieces of spaghetti have hit the wall. And you can start making cooking spaghetti at that same temperature.

Orchid: [00:27:19] Yeah, I think Rigatoni is probably the one that's going to stick the most. But no, I mean, I completely agree. So the theory, right, is that you're starting with a very broad swath of creative that you think is going to work right. And say like, all right, well, this one is too. Let's see. We have three different audiences. This one is this audience. This one actually has this claim forward. But over time, that volume of creative should actually become smaller because you actually have more learnings around what's going to work. Now you'll probably have to expand out again, right? To say like, "Okay, well we know this audience, we know these messages work." The machine will do what the machine does. But you always, in order to find new opportunities, you do have to introduce new creative and new angles at a fairly good clip. And so that's absolutely true. And I think part of it too, is that what people don't really talk about or I feel like a lot of conversations miss this, is that in order to make your media more efficient, you got to have better creative.

Ingrid: [00:28:22] Big time.

Orchid: [00:28:22] And that's what's going to make your media more efficient, right? It's not about like, "I'm going to have less than a $5 CPM." It's like, "Okay, well, that's just cheap CPMs." And it's like, okay, if you have the right creative, the machine will make it more efficient. And then to your point about having a good testing plan, I mean, there are so many times when people call something a/b testing, but it's actually not a/b testing. What they're actually talking about is multivariate testing. And they don't even have any like controls in it. And so how many times have you seen a deck that comes back and was like, "Well, B, performed better than A." And you're like, "Cool, cool, cool. What about B?" And they're like, "We have no idea."

Ingrid: [00:29:00] {laughter} Exactly. You got to document your spaghettis, you guys. Well, yeah, rigatoni. I think I'm pretty sure I like said this in a text message rant to one of our executives maybe even last week where it was like, "We have all of these brilliant minds, really brilliant minds, thinking about media strategy and media buying and all of that. But then when you go and you lose the great creative that is going to make all of those smart decisions come to life and actually connect in the ways that you've sort of designed, if you don't put the same level of rigor to your actual creative development, you're dead in the water. And I don't think this is specific to like where I work, but I think that CPG in general has a lot to improve upon as it relates to creative deliverables and creative excellence.

Orchid: [00:30:03] Yeah, I agree with that. And so it's funny coming from me as the COO of a performance marketing agency where we do a lot of media buying, but media buying is not that interesting. Like you're spending money, right? Because that money just really needs to amplify whatever the creative is. And so it doesn't matter if you have the best media allocation, if the creative isn't good. If the creative doesn't educate the person on the product and make them excited about it and make them buy it. And then I think to your point, it's a very old school way of thinking about your marketing dollars is working and non-working dollars.

Ingrid: [00:30:43] What's the new school way?

Orchid: [00:30:44] I don't really know. I just feel like people don't talk about it anymore. But there are some old principles that I've seen brought forward, although I don't think it's the same rigor as before. So it used to be that either you would do, from what I saw in my experience, 80% of your marketing budget would be working dollars, right? And so that would just be any kind of media spend, whereas 20% was non working. So 20% of that non-working is really about agency fees, but also production. A lot of the actual creation of the content or the asset that you would be putting media behind. And now I don't think there's that rigor. But there's always been this funny thing that people wanted to free up as much money as possible towards the media spend. And so I think with the introduction of AI, with offshoring, with outsourcing or of like just really great iPhones and this creator class is that people have this thinking, and I've heard this from execs and founders and CEOs from across the board, they have this perception that anybody with an iPhone and $2 can make a really good piece of creative. Where do you think that comes from?

Ingrid: [00:31:55] It's a really good question because I think that it was sort of this evolution or de-evolution of commercials and things were starting to just feel incredibly same, same, same cookie cutter. There were a few ads that stuck out. And most of those, you know, were the ones that you'd see at the Super Bowl or in really, really big glossy, advertising. But in reality, it all just started getting really, really tired. And so the answer to that started coming through in social media where it became influencer culture. And even influencer culture was incredibly polished and had these very specific curated aesthetics. And now TikTok came in, which was like, "Uh uh, we are going to be super grimy and sleazy and no one cares." And it's just like, "I'm going to talk to you because I think you think like me." And that authenticity ended up sort of crushing the really posh and put-together advertising that we got used to. And so I do think it's probably a bit of a pendulum and we've swung all the way into the low production quality, high niche market and it may end up swinging back. But I think it's kind of this interesting piece with like what new media is going to do too.

Orchid: [00:33:23] Yeah. I think a lot of it is about... When we talk about breaking through the feed. And I mean absolutely right on. When we think about the world of Super Bowl spots or big expensive creative agencies, a lot of what those teams were really happy about or excited about were like 60 second anthem spots.

Ingrid: [00:33:44] They're still making 30 second anthem spots.

Orchid: [00:33:47] It's wild. I do not have the attention span for 30 seconds. That's a lifetime.

Ingrid: [00:33:52] Just tell me what you really like.

Orchid: [00:33:52] Exactly. Exactly. And so TikTok's ruined Netflix or any kind of streaming for me. But like, to your point about TikTok, I do think there is this idea of just breaking through the noise. So whenever you have a sea of sameness, like if you have a product, you have a business, whatever it is, you're trying to break through the noise. And so I think a lot of brands get rewarded for doing just really wackadoo things that just feel so different but interesting, and they give you that little dopamine hit. And so the top brands that come to mind are like the Duolingo owl on TikTok. Wackadoo. Love it. There was that filter of the Yass ified version of Shrek Dancing in the skyline. Wackadoo. Love it. And so like, there is this idea of people just chasing novelty. And then the question of how much of that novelty does your brand need to chase? Or is it just by nature of being on the platform with an interesting enough piece of creative that doesn't challenge the wackadoo creative or creators head-on but doesn't distract from it either? Doesn't feel so out of place.

Ingrid: [00:35:01] I think that there's always a place for wackadoo and things that just kind of stick out. And I love those examples. I think that an example that is not wackadoo, but that is such a beautiful representation of modern advertising by a CPG company, by the way, was do you remember the Ocean Spray guy on the skateboard listening to Fleetwood Mac?

Orchid: [00:35:27] Yes.

Ingrid: [00:35:28] That was such a beautiful moment because it had this perfect embodiment of here's how you're going to feel when you're drinking this beverage. And it's shown in this very just clear way. And you know what marketer doesn't love that? And then it just like it was so beautiful and it was utilizing new media in this way. And again, we have hundreds and thousands of brands who are salivating to get on maybe not necessarily TikTok, just because TikTok can come and go. And it's just TikTok is the current thing that we're all talking about today, but the platform that has the eyeballs that they all want, but all of their institutional ways of decision making and the rules that they've created in these playbooks of how the product needs to be held and how to see and say the brand and all of these rules that they just like are their religion. At the end of the day, it sort of completely stops them. They get into their own way of being able to take advantage of the new media landscape. And I think we just have to... My goal here and even at work is getting people to at least be aware of when they're making decisions that are based on these probably relevant at one point, but not as relevant today, ways of going to market and talking about brands and using media. And I think coming full circle to the beginning of the conversation of okay, media is going to change. It's not going away, shit's going to go down and things are going to burn down and new things are going to be built. And that's just like the whole cycle. Same thing with DTC. And I think the same thing here with like your go-to-market strategy and your creative and your media. It just all is in this really fascinating place right now where it kind of is all imploding on itself. And there are new principles and new ways of thinking that the brands and the people and the leaders that are seeing this and seeing the forest through the trees and then also applying previous knowledge and previous principles and applying them to the new world... That's who is going to rule the new class of media, of brand development, of DTC, all of those things.

Orchid: [00:37:54] And I think a couple of things stand out to me. I think one of them is just acknowledging the new power dynamic. Because what you're kind of sketching out, too, is that the power dynamic used to be that the brand just was push messaging. They just told people what their brand was. And I think that the Ocean Spray example, their consumers actually kind of shaped the messaging, but they had the speed and the agility to hop on that trend because trends are so short-lived. And so there's this acknowledging the new power dynamic, which is that you can work with your audience in order to make your brand more meaningful or multidimensional. And then I think the other aspect is really about speed and agility. People's attention spans are short. And so if you want to hop on a cultural moment that is happening, and I think a lot of people just hope that it's their brand that's the next, but being able to do that quickly in a way that is meaningful and isn't, you know, completely bucking against the brand voice, I think was really where they found a success.

Ingrid: [00:39:02] Ditto. I think I have nothing to add to that. I loved having this conversation today. Anything that you wanted to share before we let our audience go until the next episode?

Orchid: [00:39:15] I think there are a couple of things that we'll have to put on our to-do list, which is to share what's on our for you pages and talk about the algorithms and what's breaking through because I feel like that'll be the true trust exercise for us.

Ingrid: [00:39:30] It's our trust fall.

Orchid: [00:39:32] {laughter} It's our trust fall. We would just... Oh, we could both pull up TikTok at the same time and then just play the first video that comes on.

Ingrid: [00:39:42] Okay. Stay tuned to the next episode because that is what we are going to kick off with. Because I mean, who doesn't want to know what is on Orchid's for you page? Because I do now.

Orchid: [00:39:51] But I think the last thing is we're talking about change, and so at the end of the day, I have encountered two types of people when it comes to change. Those who embrace it and those who fight it. And one of those people wins. Only one of them. And so this is really about I think it's a great conversation around like, hey, change, what is that like very trite saying? "Change has never been this fast and will never be this slow ever again." And so I think it is like really fascinating to say, "All right, what are the principles that remain the same? What has changed? And then what do we do in order to embrace this change, in order to get ahead of it?"

Ingrid: [00:40:34] Totally. So beautifully said. I love that. All right. Well, let's wrap it up. Thank you all so much for letting us take you on this journey of media and marketing and all of the different things that you've touched on. This has probably been more just like a therapy session for me. So thank you, guys.

Orchid: [00:40:54] Always. Me too.

Ingrid: [00:40:57] {laughter} And we'll see you next time.

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