Monday, January 07, 2008

THE WORD REVOLUTION & THE BOYS CLUB VS. THE REBELS

THE WORD REVOLUTION & THE BOYS CLUB VS. THE REBELS

Uh oh, we are entering “Awards Show” season. Celebrating everything wrong with entertainment. The whole “the red carpet” thing…the tux clad crowd trying to out fashion each other…and having been to some of these: The small talk and bullshit. “Hey there’s Artie Fufkin! ---Hey Artie, you rock...love ya...long time no see big guy (hug)”…then five minutes later “Fufkin—what a jerk…” Yeah—can make good TV ratings and sell more ‘product’, but I wish they’d just go away. They are SO goofy. The Grammy’s and Oscars are grandfathered in and done well—in fact we are doing quite a bit with the Grammy’s and it gets great traction. They have a historical thing going---that’s fine…but most of the others are made-for-TV ultra junk.

Ever watch LINK TV? That is one weird channel. I think it’s about bringing cultures together. To me, it’s all about bringing another boring unrealistic channel to my TV set.

OK—so much for my bad attitude about TV, I can always tune in TV Land to watch their great promos, or watch International news shows for the interesting production, or Fox News for the cute girls.

The big opportunity for media in 08 is de-laming it while simultaneously growing the audience. Do-able. I’ve seen study after study, as well as instinctually feel that America doesn’t actually LIKE much what they’re seeing hearing or reading…but they do it anyways. Sorta like a lot of food---It may taste pretty average but ya gotta eat. Going a step further, it’s unfashionable in the trade and un-businesslike to admit any of this. Maybe as in radio, the innovators have mostly cashed out…or maybe most of today’s breed of media titan is so self absorbed with the boys club they’re in that they just don’t care. Probably a little of each infused with this burning desire to stay clearly within the profitable (a good thing) but the ultimately limiting zone of safe (a bad thing). The old boy’s club thing holds innovation back. Same guys…same style…same M.O....the same elitist disattachment...the same kiss ass political gaming. I think part of Barack Obama’s appeal is that he ain’t in that club. Look at any tired, faltering but once, maybe even still prosperous business or institution and you’ll see The BOYS CLUB running the show. The “club” is bad...it’s on its last legs. The new club will rule...you can see it coming...in fact, it’s there if you look at whose winning.

It’s going to take some rebels to change all of this…and there’s too much opportunity to keep the rebels down…young and old...as there’s SO much to rebel against, with new ideas. The rebels are out there, winning and going to win. The myth is that the rebels are the “new” generation. Nope. I’d put old guys like Jobs and Murdoch right in there with “new” rebel thinkers. It’s all about weather one is sitting back in “the boys club” or thinking like a rebel. And there’s a tendency to think that the Boys club are old guys…not necessarily, as they are recruiting young guys for the club too. It’s all about a state of mind and a will to “fight” the average.


It IS nice to see some shows TV blending interesting with theater. The Off Road Trucking and Kitchen Nightmares kind of shows…and the Top Chef type competitions.
Most of these concepts originated in Europe and Japan….then they come to the USA and get slickened. I hope we get a bit more innovative. Japan did it—they’d steal our ideas and make them better…now they create often better products. Time to CREATE better products, and our traditional #1 export ENTERTAINMENT is a good place to start.

I’ll never forget when I was in Australia and a noted programmer asked “Why is it that all American radio stations give away prizes to the ‘9th caller’? It is some sort of regulation? I replied “Sheep”.


New Years Resolutions: The only new Years resolutions that work are the ones you start in August.

Candidate theme song artists:

OBAMA U2

CLINTON CELINE DION

EDWARDS MELLENCAMP

GUILIANI RASCAL FLATTS

HUCKABEE SKYNYRD

ROMNEY ELVIS

At least in Iowa, looks like Classic Rock is what sells.

I’m not so sure about these “theme songs”. More cheapening I think. More utilization of the “pop culture” card. Probably more effective if only ONE candidate discovered it, but when they ALL have their theme songs, it further takes this escapade into cheese territory. Something a High School student council candidate might try. Wonder what would happen if one candidate said “This is all about the business of running the Country, not some song…”?

There’s a word revolution….First Offices- Here’s my in/out list for office lingo:

OUT : IN

PING: Call

BAKE IN: Add to

YOU THE MAN: Nice Job

GANGBUSTERS: Did Great

HOME RUN: Did REALLY Great

METRICS: Numbers

OFF LINE: Shut up and we’ll talk about it later

OWN: If it screws up it’s your fault

DOWNLOAD: Here’s what happened

PRE MEETING: Let’s make sure we are all saying the same thing

DIVERSITY: Different stuff

ACTION ITEM: Something you gotta do

IDEATE: Come up with stuff

ASSUMPTION: Guess

I did a presentation for the University of Richmond Business students awhile back called "Secrets from the Creative Side" that dealt with filling them in on what those guys are thinking. Three of them came up to me and said they were enlightened because I talked like a civilian.

A word revolution needs to happen beyond the office. On radio, TV and in print, there’s a kind of media speak that speaks to everyone but the user. In radio: We need to evolve from "Radio Speak" to "Street Speak"....a little history:

In the 50's, Radio was the transmitter of pop language. Borrowed from the beatniks, the truly influential DJs like Alan Freed peppered their raps with "Man, Cool, Dig It, and even Daddy-O"......They talked street.

In the 60's, cool stations borrowed from the urban streets. "Boss Radio, Rip Off, and Hippie" didn't come from a focus group or some suburban wordsmith.

In the 70's, ”Far Out, Oh Wow, bogus, decent and bad ass" we're right out of the late 60s underground.

THEN---In the 80s and 90s, most radio stations evolved from "Street Talk" to "Radio Speak"......The Most, The Best, Home of, The New, etc...
It was part of the data revolution that just went too far! It helped create a very sterile sound. I was at focus groups where we'd actually "test" street terms. You can imagine how that went. Not well. What tested well was "The Best, The Most, Home of, The New etc..." --of course those focus groups were 30 years ago, and those terms are STILL everywhere.

This all fueled a setback for talkin' the streets not the marketing report.

We're all about sound, not detergent. THE LINES GOT BLURRED AS STATIONS MARKETED THEMSELVES AS CONSUMER PRODUCTS RATHER THAN ENTERTAINMENT VEHICLES.....

Make it up. Seriously. Radio has the power to make up...fabricate words. Say them and they will come. In fact, I doubt if a well scrubbed teenybopper in 1965 knew that when she was saying "Wow! That new Tommy James record is Boss" she was technically saying "Wow! That new Tommy James Record is good heroin” (Boss was a drug term originally from the 30s). Anyways, what I'm saying is, MEDIA IS POWERFUL. You say it...and if it “sounds” right, they'll use it.

RECLAIM COOL NEW LANGUAGE FROM THE COMPUTER PEOPLE. ---Hey, they don't own cool culture! But those guys are brilliant at coming up with cool names: Spamming, Hacking, I.M. Cool words that stick.

Of course, the Hip Hop Culture OWNS word invention

Words rule.

2 Comments:

At 4:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve Kingston is revolutionizing FM repetition.

"Dani California" three times a day for months after already being beaten to death close to 2000 spins since Kingston's circus came to town.

same thing with "Snow." I just don't get why the channel is so lopsided when you have many RHCP songs either resting, or scrubbed.

Ethel is the most uninpsired channel on XM--period.

 
At 3:52 PM, Anonymous johnny red said...

Lee -- your truth-telling is sooth-saying -- funny how similar rocking out is to truthing-out --

question -- from the inside, what do the boys say about the deadening drift? -- is it like a Ponzi scheme -- they just care about getting their's and selling out to the next fool before the edifice crashes like the subprime racket has exposed?

and so can i work for you when you rightly kick their arse?

 

Post a Comment

<< Home