Remember Max Headroom?

The 1980s TV show is about a technology-driven future in which a few network executives wield all the power. It’s mind control via TV, 24/7. What they want rules. What they want you to know is pretty much all you know.

When the show came out, cable networks were in their infancy. ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox were television royalty. They had captive audiences, and the ad dollars followed.

It all seems so passé.

Viewers are all over the place, often at the same time.

Today’s media market is increasingly fragmented. Cable networks are creating original programs and siphoning off viewers—and ad revenue. Consumers are increasingly DVRing shows, streaming video, and waiting for Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Netflix—and skipping the ads altogether.

Sure traditional ads and product placements might be great if you sell candy or computers. Even then, however, it’s risky to put all your marketing dollars in one bucket.

You have to think beyond TV–and beyond advertising too.

I’m moderating a panel at the Art of Political Campaigning Conference on “Rethinking Your TV Ad Buy.” The focus of the June 16 session is voters and how to get their attention. Because unless you live in a Max Headroom universe you probably just tune out the cacophony of campaign pitches and special interest ads that bombard our TV screens every election cycle.

The panel is going to look at the challenges of and opportunities for reaching voters in our fragmented media landscape. Some of the topics I hope we’ll tackle include:

  • Mapping voters’ decision-making process
  • Opportunities for micro-targeting of voters
  • Implications of second screen viewing
  • Creating integrated media campaigns
  • Aligning on-air and online

It’s a big topic and it should be a lively conversation.

Interested in the June 16-17 conference? The kind folks at Campaigns & Elections have offered me a special discount to share with you. Just enter AOPCSPEAKER  in the “have a promotional code” box.

Photo by angeloangelo (Flickr).