Monday, June 12, 2006


Clear Channel, the media behemoth, is reportedly nosing around the idea of selling one-second commercials. The corporation calls them "blinks." We can think of other names to call them.

Ad Age reports:
Blinks could be used in a number of ways. Clear Channel's Creative Services Group crafted a demonstration spot using the McDonald's jingle, minus the "I'm lovin' it" language, and placed it between one hip-hop song and another. The group also created a Blink for BMW's Mini Cooper with a horn honking and man's voice saying "Mini," and placed it before miniaturized news reports. (Neither marketer has a deal with Clear Channel for Blinks.) Other audio mnemonics that could use Blinks are the Intel chime and the NBC bells.

Jim Gaither, director-broadcast at Richards Group, has been in conversation with Clear Channel about three-second spots. "It's not building a brand; it's refreshing a brand," he said, adding: "You can't use a one-second campaign for something that generally has not been advertised before."

You also need frequency, because if you just hear a sound and nothing else, the message is going to have to be driven into the consumer, Mr. Gaither said. It's also best suited to a marketer's core customer, because those are the people for whom the Blink will have the most impact, he said. Mr. Gaither said he doesn't think he has a marketer at the moment that perfectly fits the bill.

But would marketers want to be so brief? Andrew Goldstein, instructor of a broadcast-media-writing course at the Miami Ad School and a copywriter at Zimmerman Advertising, isn't convinced national advertisers would want a sound effect thrown into the programming. "You're not going to know it's connected to the brand, and it's going to lose its value," he said.
Expected ad rate for Blinks? A "200% to 300% increase on what one-thirtieth of a 30-second spot" costs.


Anonymous said...

Gawd ... don't tell Billy Long or Po' Kenny Meyers .... this is a way to have even more commercials ...

Anonymous said...

Clear Channel will still do their little trick of making new hires "come up with a budget for the year" and then fire them if they can't. Forget that you had the top ratings in your time slot for whole city.