Special Report: Media Planning Challenge: What happens after the revolution?: Consumers will order products directly

Strategy invited media planners to take a trip into the future where the revolutionary technologies of today have become just another part of the mix.For the past three years, we have invited media planners to develop extensive and detailed media plans...

Strategy invited media planners to take a trip into the future where the revolutionary technologies of today have become just another part of the mix.

For the past three years, we have invited media planners to develop extensive and detailed media plans for invented niche market products and services as a means of demonstrating creative media thinking.

Pizzazz Pizza, Executive Airlines and a value-added service for travellers called Body Guard were the subjects of our challenges in years past.

In a fresh twist on an established theme, this year we asked our media planner participants to picture what the media world will look like in the year 2005.

The objective was to give media people an opportunity to synthesize – and put into concrete form – a lot of the speculating they have already been doing about the fast-approaching new media universe.

We deliberately tried to keep the brief as simple as possible.

We asked them to look into the future – 10 years from now – and imagine what communications vehicles they might use to market a mass market, everyday product.

The product we selected was a tube of toothpaste.

We chose toothpaste because it is a product that will surely be needed even 10 years from now, and because it represents one of those classic mass market products that has depended on mass media to establish an identity and to differentiate itself in people’s minds.

It has also been a captive of traditional retail distribution outlets.

Here was the starting point from which we asked everyone to begin:

Imagine it is the year 2005.

You are the top planning executive responsible for a media/communications program for a toothcare product (known as toothpaste back in 1995).

It is mid-March and your client is beginning to budget for the coming fiscal year.

The client is not expecting to make any hard and fast decisions yet.

You have simply been asked to present an executive summary – a quick sketch, basically – of the communications tools, new and traditional, you are considering using for the coming year with respect to the toothcare product.

Tell us how you imagine this product will be getting its message to consumers 10 years from now.

You have about 750 words.

The report includes submissions from David Cairns and Company, Genesis Media, Initiative Media, Leo Burnett, McKim Media Group, Media Buying Services and Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising.

The report continues to page 35.

Bruce Baumann is vice president and director of media services at Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising in Toronto.

y 2005, distribution of many consumer goods will be starting a sea change: interactive media’s possibilities will empower consumers to not only select what programming they want to see, but to order product directly from many multinational, diversified companies at significant loyalty-based discounts.

Wholesalers will provide direct sales and distribution services for multiple vendors, bypassing the retailer completely, by allowing consumers to digitally order what they need from the wholesaler, for delivery at a prearranged time.

These changes will allow manufacturers to regain some of the power they lost to retailers in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.

There are three elements to the media strategy.

Database-driven plan

Data collection has improved dramatically.

For this reason, we begin all planning with a thorough analysis of purchase habits broken down geographically by postal sortation areas. We then cross-reference wholesaler/distributor/retailer data with direct sales and loyalty program member data.

There are several key elements to the database plan, including:

- Online Family Health Guide sponsorship on ProdigyIV, Canada Online, BellRogers Multimedia and Microsoft Windows 04.

- Direct selling on the World Wide Web (www) site with minimum $50 order (members only.)

- Split-signal television advertising. High usage zones receive loyalty copy on sponsored programming; low usage zones receive benefit/branding professional endorsement copy and trial-building coupon program.

- First position sponsorship of dentifrice screen on the two wholesaler/distributor online ordering systems.

- Telephone system advertising in low usage zones.

Mass reach support

This tier of support is in place to provide the necessary basic, traditional, brand-building efforts that, despite the newfound marvels of communication and distribution, are necessary to maintain positioning and brand image.

A mix of daily and weekly fixed-position programming is in place, along with specials focusing on three target groups – families, seniors and youth.

Magazine advertising, both conventional and digital (cd and online) round out the mass reach plan, with split copy on online versions based on high/low usage indices.

There are several key broadcast elements to the plan.

- Coproduced/sponsored programming – 14 programs on nine services.

- BellRogers shopping channel Family Medical Guide.

- Big Events: Star Trek TNG VIII premiere sponsorship (all family); MuchMusic Turns 20 awards show (youth tier); Superbowl XXXIX (men/all family); Talk to the Doc interactive sponsorship on tv and www (families and seniors).

Place-based support

Combined, grocery and drugstore purchases represent 52% of national sales, the remainder coming from direct sales.

Place-based support includes:

- Instore radio at grocery stores, with ad copy tailored to high/low sales zones.

- Interactive kiosk advertising/ couponing at drug outlets.

- Dental office detailing and online dentists’ support program.

- Waiting room Dental Care Guide video sponsorship.

Summary

The combined elements of this plan serve to:

- Reinforce brand positioning against the key target segments through mass reach programming.

- Provide tailored copy to address micro-level (geographic) brand preferences.

- Support key sales channels with online and place-based media visibility.

- Promote aggressive trial support in regions where sales index is below potential.

- Stimulate involvement in a reward program for loyal consumers.