No more Media Chocolate for you!

When I was recently asked by The Media to participate in an open forum at GIBS Institute, to “Demystify Print Media Research”, the proposed title of my opening address was “To be more effective we need to change some of the questions in AMPS”!

To my mind that’s a little like saying … “In order to lose weight I need to change the kind of chocolates I’m eating”!

No Gordon! Stop with the chocolates! I know they taste nice and they make you feel great but the simple truth is they’re not good for you. Go find a piece of celery or an apple.

Have you ever wondered why chocolate tastes so good? Apparently Chocolate contains more than 300 known chemicals. Scientists have been working on isolating specific chemicals and chemical combinations which may explain some of the pleasurable effects of consuming chocolate. Caffeine is the most well known of these chemical ingredients. There’s Theo-bromine, a weak stimulant. Phenyl-ethylamine is also found in chocolate. It’s related to amphetamines, which are strong stimulants.

AMPS is a little like a piece of chocolate. Packed full of interesting facts and marketing stimulants. And every year, or in the case of TAMS, every day, we get more and more slabs of information about the market. So when we turn off the Telmar switch in our brains at the end of the day, we feel really good about ourselves and our information rich media plans.

However, it is really worth noting that while stimulants contribute to a temporary sense of well-being, there are other chemicals and other theories as to why chocolate makes us feel good. One of the most interesting findings comes from researchers at the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego, California. They believe that “chocolate contains pharmacologically active substances that have the same effect on the brain as marijuana”.  

This is my point. If you think changing a few questions is all that’s required to sustain AMPS’ world class status … and it is a world class product … then you must either be smoking something or eating too much media chocolate.

There has been a revolution in media. 20 years ago marketers believed that advertising worked and that all we in media needed to do, was measure the audience and put a price to it.  Now clients are asking us “does advertising work anymore?” and we are trying to fob them off by answering “I don’t know but here’s a million readers”.

We also need to recognise that the composition of the market has undergone a quantum shift. 20 years ago, if you went down Old Potchefstroom Road … now Chris Hani Road … you would have found a squadron of Ratels … now you can find Maponya Mall. You’ve been to Maponya Mall right? So here’s a piece of media celery for you to chew on! Would it surprise you to know that according to AMPS 2011BA there are only 2 LSM10 households in Soweto? RAMS 2011/4 tells me there are none.

Not one LSM10 household in the whole of Soweto? So who the hell is shopping at Maponya Mall?

That’s why I changed the topic to read … “to be more effective AMPS needs a total overhaul”. Because if you think there are no LSM10 households in Soweto then you must be eating chocolate!