Reach & Frequency: RIP

Sarah FayShuttling back and forth between MIXX and OMMA during New York’s Advertising Week has been more hectic than rewarding (two simultaneous conferences in the same city is bad for the industry, guys, not to mention speakers, exhibitors and vendors).

While it’s impossible to catch everything, overall the discussions at both events has largely underwhelmed. Too many “it’s about the user” and “the consumer is in control” platitudes.

So it was refreshing to hear CEO of both Carat and Isobar US this morning with a more tangible take on the state of the industry. Reach and frequency are over, said Sarah. “I do not believe an agency can succeed by putting a good media plan together.” Rhetorically, she asked, “what is YouTube, creative or media?”

Bottom line, Carat is saying that the brands that will win are the ones whose consumers tell the best stories. Instead of mere B2C advertising, the new model, she argues, should be B2C + C2C (consumer-to-consumer) campaigns. As an example, she cites client Adidas’ MySpace page, engendering 21.5M brand encounters per month (page visits, downloadable media, etc.).

This following an audit of one year of adidas advertising from which it was determined yielded a total of 6 minutes of contact with the target consumer. “That didn’t make any of us feel happy.”

None of this is earth-shatteringly new, of course. What’s impressive are the data Carat is using to back up their claims.

Sarah closed her talk with an example of regression analysis. Paint a house, and like an advertising campaign, its value starts going down from Day One. C2C advertising is “more like planting a tree.”

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