How do you see music fitting into advertising going forward and not getting played out?

I never want to predict the relationship between music and advertising. I think there’s natural occurrences where the artist’s art form or the artist physically themselves can play a role in making a brand popular. As long as they have those shared values where the consumer believes that that product is something that, “I’m a fan of that artist, and I believe that product is for me.”

I think when those two things come together, like Lady GaGa and Mac, then I think you have something that’s special. And unless you have something that’s special, I know I’m not going to be a part of it. But where I see it going is more money being spent, more brands trying to be cool, and more artists accepting money for that stuff.

But we know, in whatever business it is, the cream rises to the top. So you go through the ebb and flow of everything, and then ultimately you end with the truth.

You see a lot of the tech brands engaging with artists because they feel like the artist’s content is a main driver of those technology platforms. So they like to do business with them, they like to engage in those relationships more than others. Depending on what the product is, you see a deeper and richer engagement with artists and music.

Nowadays, you can advertise on the web and on social networking platforms like Twitter. How has that changed the way you put together campaigns?

 

The fact that advertising has now shifted to the Web and shifted to Twitter and Facebook, helps me, because you gotta remember the name of my company is Translation. The reason why I came up with that name is because I wanted to take big brands and make sure that I could translate the consumers’ messages to those brands and those brands’ messages to consumers in a very transparent way. I translate the message.

 

The fact that advertising has now shifted to the Web and shifted to Twitter and Facebook, helps me, because you gotta remember the name of my company is Translation. The reason why I came up with that name is because I wanted to take big brands and make sure that I could translate the consumers’ messages to those brands and those brands’ messages to consumers in a very transparent way. I translate the message.

The closer the brands get to the consumer, the more advantageous it is for me. All I want to do is market the truth. Why should you use this product? What is the product’s benefits for you? Let the brand know which consumer group they should be marketing their products to.

The fact that digital media now allows that breaks down a lot of walls. You get a chance to get closer to your group. It works in my favor because all I ever wanted to do was get to the truth.

Television and big advertising agencies, that filters the truth. A lot of times—this is something they notoriously do—there’s so many other things they’re involved in that are beneficial to them, selling products happens to be the last thing on the list.

I’ve always wanted to be in the business of moving product, that’s how I always wanted to be judged—as an agency. Will we be able to affect product sales or not?

Bigger agencies seem to have trouble adjusting to the new environment because it’s not just this big TV budget anymore...

Yeah. Well, TV still works. People still watch television. People watch television on set-top boxes or flat screens, they watch TV on computers, they watch TV on smartphones and tablet PCs. It’s not like television content is going anywhere—television, they make great content.

The issue is the big advertising agencies—and I’m not saying all of them—but they notoriously would not allow themselves to think outside of television in order to get to the core consumer.

As the consumer groups started to break up and they started to say, “You can’t target me for this program necessarily,” all of a sudden, what was on television did not necessarily reflect the consumer group that you thought you were watching.

Back in the days when it was ABC, CBS, and NBC, and later Fox—it was easy! You put enough messages on those four channels, and you pretty much got who you wanted to speak to. You wanted to speak to kids? Buy Saturday morning on NBC and you get kids watching cartoons.

Now, with the eruption of cable and digital media in the last 20 years you now have much more fragmented audiences so you have to be very specific on who you’re speaking to and why. You’ve gotta know how to message that consumer group via the medium and what message to put through that medium to the consumer. It adds another level of complexity for a big agency, who was used to just buying bulk and getting people through mass communications.

Is there any ad campaign that you saw and you were like, “Man, I wish I had come up with that”?

 

With the eruption of cable and digital media in the last 20 years you now have much more fragmented audiences so you have to be very specific on who you’re speaking to and why. You’ve gotta know how to message that consumer group via the medium and what message to put through that medium to the consumer.

 

There’s a Best Buy campaign that just came out that speaks about how technology is changing as soon as you bought the last thing. I thought that was funny because that’s a consumer truth. I think that was great.

Believe it or not, there’s some direct commercials that I think are funny, like Cialis and drug [ads that they air] at night. You ever see the Cialis one where it’s like, “Look at Jack, Jack’s acting different today”?

They have those, those are more of the formatted ones that stick to the script. Like, “At any given time, your wife might want to get down, so be ready.” Those are pretty cool but the real funny is the one that’s like, “Look at Jack, Jack has a different attitude today!”

It’s not even about taking the Cialis when your wife is ready. He hit the Cialis and his confidence his swag is crazy because he knows that at any given moment [his wife might be ready], it doesn’t even matter. So he’s hitting the golf ball crazy, he’s just doing everything. He’s outperforming his whole life because he’s just ready.

I watch direct TV because you learn a lot from direct TV. I’m not talking about DirecTV, the cable thing. Direct TV is an advertising term, it’s a commercial that has an immediate call to action like, “Call 1-800-da-da-da” or, “Go to whatever-whatever.com.” They measure those results quickly.

There’s an art form to saying ‘1-800-blah-blah-blah,’ showing an image, and getting people to respond to it quickly. Those guys are on the bottom level of consumer engagement because they buy this time at night and they want you to instantly dial that number and react. And if that phone number does not work and you don’t react, those spots don’t work.

They’re on the front line of engagement because if they don’t turn a consumer immediately, they find out in minutes. I like to watch those guys and that art form because I think that the art of selling that they have to do, they have less room for error. And I like watching how they do their craft, the good ones.

PAGE 5 of 7