Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Future of Media in 100 Words.

My friend / Draftfcb compatriot Andrew Eifler has been doing some thinking around the future of media, gathering short-form thoughts from media professionals with the aim to publish as a collaborative post on several forums. When he approached me about contributing to his project, The Future of Media in 100 Words, I was more than happy to throw some thoughts his way, for three main reasons:
  1. It seems to me that the media community is largely underrepresented in the social sphere. I'm not talking about "social media experts." I'm talking about media folks: spreadsheet-making, calculator-touting, hardcore-negotiating, rep-hobnobbing media planners. For whatever reason we don't seem to be a big blogging bunch, so it will be nice to hear from a few people in my line of work.
  2. Cross-publishing is fun. I did a cross-publishing project with Adam Kmiec (also the DFCB blog) a while back, and it was awesome. Cool to get perspective from commenters that don't normally read my pith. Collaboration! Sharing of ideas! America!
  3. 100 words = yes. Appreciate the effort to keep things concise. Good thinking.
Andrew kicked things off yesterday with his 100-word thesis, below. It's exactly 100 words, which is awesome. Count 'em.

Five years from now – Data will be King.

New complex tracking and data capture techniques will allow for all advertising, regardless of media channel, to be purchased based on audience demographics and lifestyle variables. Reach, Average Frequency, and GRPs will give way to much more precise metrics and – not without a touch of irony – the media industry will no longer find importance in the channel of media distribution, there will only be content and audience.

The kind of data-driven quantitative analysis that has revolutionized Wall Street over the past 10 years will soon make its way uptown to Madison Ave.

Here are my thoughts. Not to be outdone, this is, of course, exactly 100 words.

Five years from now, I’m hoping we’ll be of the mindset that providing relevant information to information-seekers yields greater returns than screaming our messages at the masses.

I’m sure we’ll still be buying SuperBowl spots and wallpapering Times Square with glittering, high-def awareness messaging. I hope we’ll also be continuing to use the internet to do more refined listening to consumers, to active information-seekers, and carefully and respectfully distributing relevant content as such. With major media channels becoming less passive, we need to proactively step away from old-timey objectives and instead provide interested consumers with the information they actually need.

I think we're kind of saying the same thing, which is interesting.

Andrew and I have a list of DFCBers that we'd like to contribute to the project, but if you're a media assistant / planner / supervisor / director / guru out there in the interwebs and would like to contribute your two cents, drop a line in the comments and we'll be happy to add you to the list. And, tune in to Andrew's blog and the DRAFTFCBlog for updates.

Happy reading!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Shack attack.

Radio Shack, I'm not 100% sure what you sell (radios?) or why you feel it makes sense for your brand to align with the Tour, but I capital-A Adore these spots. Can good writing and a celebrity spokesperson redeem a seemingly obsolete brand? Sometimes. I think chubby sidekick Alphonse is the hero in these spots, but Lance is pretty good, too.

"They're raising French babies and throwing soft cheeses, as is the custom here."

Dead. Tell me more about radios, and shacks. I'm listening.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Pancake heaven: King Arthur Gluten-Free Mix

I've had celiac disease for as long as I can remember. I haven't always eaten gluten-free. Per doctors' suggestions at lack of symptoms, I'm glad to have had fifteen or so (mostly) symptom-free years with which to experience some of the finer things in life: pizza, bagels, cupcakes, and craft beers, to name a few. I always knew it couldn't last. When I turned 21 and the symptoms came roaring back, I was left with an extremely unappealing choice to make: give up gluten forever, knowing exactly how delicious and chewy and satisfying and wonderful the food it inhabits is, or deal with being sick for the rest of my life.

I chose to go gluten-free. The point being, although I am very happy to be well, I know what a pancake is supposed to taste like. And I know it well enough to have a good solid craving.

Gluten is a protein that resides in wheat, barley, and rye. It's the honeycomb structure of gluten that helps build air pockets and gives bread and pasta its springy texture and form. Gluten-y goods are complex in structure; ergo, delicious. It follows that it tends to be somewhat difficult to find gluten-free products that aren't incredibly dense. A pancake, for example, should be almost crisp on the outside, light and fluffy inside; a hockey-puck pancake simply will not do. Much to my delight, in the years spent sampling gluten-y eats, the gluten substitution industry has really come quite a ways.

I came across this review of King Arthurs' Gluten-Free pancake mix in my reader in conjunction with a serious pancake craving early last week. Fate? I think so. I've tried several decent, even good gluten-free pancake mixes in the past three years, but nothing that really blew my socks off.

So I bought online.

My set-up.

Combination of different types of flours; rice, potato, and tapioca, with xanthan gum.

Started off kind of soupy... concerning.

But then started to thicken

until it coated the back of a wooden spoon; a standard batter consistency.

They held together nicely for the flip. Voila! Pancakes!

I made slightly larger pancakes than recommended, and the batch yielded 11 instead of 16. Plenty for two, plus leftovers.

These blew my socks off. They were rich and tasty, light, chewy and even fluffy. They also tugged at the socks of my somewhat picky gluten-eating compatriot, who so generously agreed to go gluten-free for the morning and pronounced them "delicious" and "just as good as real pancakes." Hooray!

It's taken a few years to stop seeing my gluten-intolerance as a prison sentence, and start viewing it as a way to be able to live and be healthy, while still enjoying simple pleasures like a pancake breakfast. Fancy things, too. We made gluten-free tiramisu the other night using gluten-free cake as a ladyfinger stand-in. Our friends agreed, it was delightful.

I've been looking for a new creative outlet, and think I may have found one in attempting to understand and improve upon gluten-free cooking. I'm hoping that doing my research and trying new things will open new doors in regards to cooking delicious gluten-free substitutes for myself and my friends and family. In the meantime, try King Arthurs. Delish!

I'm also going to be working on my photography skills. Clearly, they could use a bit of spit-shining as well.