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A friend of mine, Bill Reynolds, who is a big-time media guy, once laid out this conundrum that media guys face. The big wins often come from cutting edge ideas—using media in a way that has never been done before, using things as media that nobody ever thought of as media before, stuff like that. But the long-term win for media comes from nailing the numbers and delivering the best cost per....

Lately, we’ve been working on some edgy media tactics that have to do with email and text messages. It’s gotten me thinking about all the stuff I saw developed as cutting edge media in my day.

Fantastic finishes. Remember those. It was a 2-minute feature at the two-minute warning of NFL games. Partnership between ALCOA and NFL films. The first minute was an NFL films set-up. Then there was a 30 second ALCOA spot. And then the conclusion to the NFL short. It was invented by John Friend Waldron (my first Creative Director) and Ira Bass (the head of media for my first agency).

Checkerboards and consecutives. This was a magazine tactic that worked like Bermashave (which was a pretty cool thing in itself). Each ad played off the previous ads, for a single cumulative message.

Public restroom stalls. I always liked this one. Of course, it was better for editorial than advertising. So technically, it was a PR medium.

Island on the stock page. Back in the day, before the web, daily papers ran an entire page of stock market results. My pal, Bill Reynolds (so I’m told), came up with the idea of buying an island in the middle of that page. The stock market content guaranteed a level of interest and a demographic profile. The fact that it was an island in the middle of this gray pretty much guaranteed that we owned the page. This was for Carolina First Bank.

The other day, we went to a ball game and sat in our friend’s corporate box (we can’t afford a corporate box, so it’s good to have friends). I looked down on the crowd and saw what I think is an opportunity. Bald heads as logo placement space! For TV, you could just paint the bald heads green-screen green, and sell the space by the inning (CG a different logo every inning—seventh inning stretch is a 15% premium). Could be huge.

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