Agencies: What's Your Biggest Pet Peeve About Entry-Level Millennials?

Welcome to the Media Guy Mailbag, Vol. 1

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One lucky correspondent's prize.
One lucky correspondent's prize.

I recently encouraged readers to send in questions for this new Friday thing we're calling the Media Guy Mailbag -- a sort of AMA (ask me anything) on media and pop culture. Here's the first installment.

Reader James Richman is concerned about C7 -- paying for TV commercials based on ratings measured across seven days (vs. the usual C3 and its three-day window) -- as a new industry standard in the wake of the recent news about GroupM striking upfront agreements with networks to use C7. "If C3 does become C7," James wonders, "what will be next?" He helpfully offers suggestions for additional measurement standards, including C7 "plus 15 minutes for New York audiences" and C7 "plus 1-2 hours additional for doctors."

James, as a New Yorker, I'm deeply offended by your suggestion that I'm always running 15 minutes late. Mind you, if I am late, it's only because there was a "police investigation" on the 6 train and I was stuck in a subway tunnel forever. Honest!

That said, I'm dubious about C7. These days everyone's always talking about real-time this and real-time that, and yet we're giving viewers a whole damn week to get around to watching "Mountain Men" on their DVRs or on demand? As my colleague Jeanine Poggi pointed out recently, "For advertisers with a time-specific message, such as retailers promoting weekend sales or movie studios trying to pump up a new release's crucial opening weekend, ads seen after three days may be useless." For that reason alone, I don't think C7 is ever going to work across-the-board, and it's pretty clear that even new C7 champion GroupM is going to have to carve out plenty of exceptions. A standard that's constantly being picked at and carved out isn't a standard.

I'll note here that though I mentioned that I'd be giving away random swag to readers whose questions I selected, James added a P.S.: "No tote bags or coffee mugs, please!" Geez, James, what do you think this is, Burger King? I never said you could have it your way!

Oh, wait, Burger King has a new tagline, right? "Fine, Be That Way" or something like that? Fine, James, be that way. (If you change your mind, though, please let me know within 7 days.)

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Reader Tom Thai writes, "What are your thoughts on the Netflix available-all-at-once model vs. the traditional TV week-by-week model? Seems to me that 'House of Cards' Season 2 got little to no buzz this year. People who binge-watched were afraid to spoil it for their friends. People who didn't binge-watch didn't let their friends talk about it. Whereas something like 'True Detective' or 'Game of Thrones' has people talking and engaged very week, spanning 8 to 10 consecutive weeks."

First, I'll note that I know and like Tom Thai -- he used to be VP of marketing and communications at Bluefin Labs, which supplied social-TV data to Ad Age for years (now he's VP of marketing at Quantifind) -- so I feel a little weird giving him swag for sending me a question. Tom, next time you're in New York, how about I buy you a cup of coffee? Or do you want James' tote bag and mug?

But back to your question. In addition to the curtailed buzz issue you mentioned, I have to say that friends of mine who binge-watched "House of Cards" (I certainly didn't) ended up feeling like lab rats trapped in a sinister experiment. So you had part of your potential audience saying, "Why would I want to do that?" and the other part saying, "Why did I do that?"

I think the Netflix available-all-at-once model was an interesting, attention-getting idea, but it's doomed.

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Recent Syracuse graduate Leo Wong asks, "What do you believe is an agency's biggest pet peeve for an entry-level millennial who is just starting their career in media/advertising?"

Leo, that's easy: not considering the possibility that they might be annoying and therefore triggering pet peeves. To put that another way: lack of self-awareness. Which may or may not be a millennial problem per se -- anybody at any age can obviously be self-absorbed -- but arguably the relative freedom of the college lifestyle can cause certain bad habits to become, how shall I put this, highly ingrained (e.g., constantly checking your phone, even in meetings).

The key is to be highly observant -- of office culture, conventions, rhythms, etc.

That said, I'm not an agency, nor do I work at one, so I'm going to pass along your question to actual agency people.

Agency folks: Send me your pet peeves about entry-level millennials so I can quote them in a future column and thereby relay them to Leo!

Meanwhile, Leo, for being self-aware enough to ask the question in the first place, I'm sending you some rather awesome swag: the gas mask shown above, donated by Jeanine; it came to her as part of a promotional package for TNT's "The Last Ship."

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Want your question to be answered in a future edition of Media Guy Mailbag? Send me an email with "Media Guy Mailbag:" and a few words alluding to your question in the subject line, along with the question itself in the body of your email.

Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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