AA: So, basically, you're saying that the audience for Tide is really significantly different than the audience for Wisk is significantly different than the audience for All, for example?
Mr. Simm: Within any stable of products like that that one advertiser is marketing, each one of those products has distinction in terms of the geography where they're strong, the socio-economic group where they're strong.
The quality of the water, the size of the household -- there are significant and notable differences even within a category of detergents. And, to the extent that we can get robust data and measurement on that, fragmentation appeals to me even for the largest of those products in terms of cutting out the waste.
Ms. Pool: I see very little investment by the major package-goods people in local. Local investment in television is much higher than the national. However, it's not made up of people selling soap. It's made up of people at retail for the primary categories.
If you're looking at soap, yes, there are differences in socio-economic things and household size, but you find these lifestyle clusters replicating across the country. Maybe not in South Los Angeles or in downtown Detroit but within the television signal of those markets.
The only difference I've ever seen in detergent is dry versus liquid. There is a predilection South to North on that.
Mr. Jacobs: Our evidence is the opposite to that.
Mr. Simm: As is ours.
Getting back to fragmentation, to the extent that low ratings are in the marketplace and there's fragmentation, it provides smaller advertisers through low out-of-pocket costs, the opportunity to participate and compete in the marketplace.
Mr. Jacobs: There is actually one problem with that, Daryl, which is that fragmentation is by and large a good thing as long as you've got variety and you've got mix in that scope.
Mr. Simm: But if you don't have variety and mix, fragmentation doesn't survive.
Mr. Jacobs: Well, you just could have lots of absolutely terrible channels all appealing to different parts of the same psychographic or demographic. And other elements of the psychographic or demographic are not being reached at all.
Mr. Simm: I would challenge you that the marketplace just doesn't operate that way.
Mr. Jacobs: Well, if the money for programming, at the end of the day, was so spread around perhaps no one would be able to make anything that would appeal to certain demographics.
I think it's most unlikely, but there's always that danger.
AA: Doesn't fragmentation make it more difficult to launch a product?
Mr. Gotlieb: On a sustaining basis, a fragmented context is just fine, thank you. For a launch that is time-frame sensitive, you've got something of a different issue. But you could probably survive in a fragmented context anyway.
Ms. Pool: We're not going to be investing as heavily in TV. We'll have to use other means of connecting with the consumer.
Mr. Jacobs: Right.
Ms. Pool: I see the death of the mass media as a real big blow. Otherwise, why does everybody buy the Super Bowl and the Olympics and why did the price of football licensing go up so high? That stage for your products is still a very important thing.
Why we're all so concerned about optimizers [and] return on investment, is [because] we know we're losing the mass media and we have to change and take a look at tomorrow, and those are the tools that help us look to tomorrow.
AA: Daryl, do you think it's still important to have a mass medium to launch a product?
Mr. Simm: It depends on what the product objectives are and where it fits. If its objectives are very high in terms of share, [then] very high in terms of share today for a mass market product is not a gigantic number in terms of a share objective.
But, quantitatively, certainly you can launch a brand in a short period of time by purchasing a multiple number of suppliers, a multiple number of spots and reach the same level of impact that you can with a mass medium.
Ms. Pool: It'll probably end up costing you more.
Mr. Simm: I have no question about that in my mind. And what you don't have in the fragmented environment is the opportunity for as clear an association, if you put value on that.
Do you have a clear association with a night of the week? Are you associated with a program event? Those benefits go away, obviously, when fragmentation cuts much deeper than where it already is today.
Mr. Jacobs: The problem is that when you get to Jean's scenario of 100 channels each getting a rating of 1 or whatever it is, an optimizer will simply just look for the cheapest combination of those things and that may well be the wrong answer to your question.
The thing that's going to have to come into play at some point during all of this is that a rating is not a rating is not a rating. They're not all the same thing. They might all have the same name, but people watch things in different ways.
AA: You watch some kids watching TV today and they'll watch two or three shows at a time and they'll zap between commercials. What does this mean as marketers move forward to get the message out? Is TV going to become less significant?
Mr. Jacobs: You've got to realize that the days when people sat around the TV set with a light flickering in the corner and everyone was sitting together on the sofa are, unfortunately, gone, if ever they existed in the first place.
People use TV in different ways these days. There are different types of shows, different types of programs that appeal to people for different reasons at different times, and people watch TV differently depending on all sorts of different factors.
Even such obvious factors such as who they're with at any given moment or what else they're doing or even what the bloody weather's like. You know, there's so many different factors that influence the way in which people watch TV.
So the days of TV viewing being a sort of passive reception are past. The days of it being an active participation are with us. Therefore, you have to take account of that in the way in which you plan.
People do not watch MTV over here in the same way as they watch ITV. They do not watch CNN in the same way as they watch something else. I mean, people watch things in different ways and you have to understand that in order to get the best out of using those channels.
You've got to grab people's attention more -- almost ask for their permission to tell them something rather than the old technique, which was to shout at them until they finally gave up and went out and bought the product.
AA: But you see TV then being less as an ad medium as we move forward for your clients?
Mr. Jacobs: No, not in the slightest. In fact, if you look in Europe, the thing that's driven advertising expenditure, has been the growth of TV channels and the freeing up and the "delegislizing," or whatever the word is, of TV channels.
It's just a question of how you use television. You just have to use the medium differently because the consumer's using the medium differently. Therefore you as advertisers, to get the most out of it and to reach the right consumers in the most appropriate way, have to understand what people are doing with the set and you have to understand that a rating isn't a rating isn't a rating.
There's more to it than that and the more you can understand about how people use the thing and what they do with it, the better place you are to make the right planning decisions.
Mr. Gotlieb: Everything is consumed differently and you have to look at the relative value of one medium vis-a-vis another. The paradigm has shifted on all of the broad media types that we employ.
Having said that, the implication is that we are much more actively involved in our media selection.
Ms. Pool: Our hours spent with TV is growing, not declining. We're just a bunch of dumb Americans, I guess.
Mr. Jacobs: Well, it's growing over here as well.
Ms. Pool: Good, we're all dumb together.
Mr. Simm: What we're talking about here is really the other angle, though. We've talked about optimizing or about quantitatively in straight media measurement terms looking for the best value, the best quantitative value for the advertiser. What you're talking about in terms of channel skipping is really the effectiveness of each one of those spots.
In broad scale, I don't believe we have ongoing research in place in the U.S. that really provides good indications of what those values are program by program. That's going to be a significant piece of information in terms of the quality of schedules and the plans and buys that are placed in the future.
From a U.S. standpoint, I see optimization and quantitative use of this Nielsen data -- getting more Nielsen data -- as kind of the issue of the moment.
The issue just beyond that moment is indeed the effectiveness of those positions that we're taking and announcements that we're measuring, and from a U.S. standpoint, we're not there yet.
Mr. Gotlieb: And frankly, the quantitative side is the easy part.
We just had a discussion on detergents and we came to disagreement. That's the qualitative part. None of us would disagree on quantitative elements because that's what the numbers say. It's that simple. It's a matter of isolating the variables so that you can pinpoint the cause.
AA: In a price-driven environment, the qualitative issues seem to become less important. Can you quantify qualitative issues? Is there a way to start to quantify how different program and content environments impact the sales message?
Mr. Simm: Sure. It depends on your definition of quality. My definition of quality in that example would be the effectiveness of the advertising. Did it leave a positive impression on that consumer? Did they view it?
Certainly it would be very costly to do spot by spot, but you could get indications of that and build it into a buying model.
AA: What kind of pressure do optimizers put on magazines, for example, or print