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What is And What Should Never Be

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OOH …Here’s One Thing  


by Jim Johnsen,
Managing Director, Johnsen, Fretty & Company



What is And What Should Never Be

Man.  There is nothing like Zeppelin.  I mean when its right, its right.
And this song is so friggin’ right. 

Catch the wind, see us spin
Sail away leave today
Way up high in the sky, hey, whoa
But the wind won’t blow
You really shouldn’t go
It only goes to show
That you will be mine
By takin’ our time, ooh


So why this song Johnsen?  Because I got a chance to listen in on a Zoom talk this week between Media Village’s Jack Meyers and Terry Kawaja, Luma Partners CEO, on the state of M&A across the entire media and entertainment industry (with a bent towards digital media as that is where they shine).  If you are not familiar with Luma Partners, an interesting place to start is with the world famous Out-Of-Home lumascape.


Sometimes it feels good to crawl out from our little outdoor bubble and get a slightly more global perspective on where media is headed.  I won’t bore you with all the details, and you are certainly willing to grab the whole thing for yourself (when they make it available) here:


But one thing in this talk really wrapped me over the head.  The below line (BLT) advertising business, sometimes referred to as promotional, is now a $600B business (assuming I heard Terry right..although I am still calling a life line to fact check that figure as I thought it was closer to a $40B business)…and here’s the clincher…much of it is moving “above the line (ATL)” very quickly.  Again, Terry was talking as fast as any proficient New Yorker, so I may have misheard but I think he mentioned $100B in the last year alone.  

How could that be?  Here’s a quote from the talk that drove it home for me: “Instagram is the new end-cap”.  I’m sorry, Terry can you say that again?  An end-cap is shopping marketing parlance for the stuff they place on special 2x per year at the end of the aisle in the supermarket.  The fact that consumer product companies are now using Instagram the way they used to use end-caps is mind-blowing…at least to me.   

So is your brain going where mine is?  If we are a close cousin to digital, and if digital is migrating and hoovering the BLT like a great white, then why can’t we figure out how to bumper-hitch and catch a little slice?  With the ability to change copy on the dime, and with the gush of data we can now serve up that allows us to hyper-target, and with the ability to amplify digital…f’ing A, we should DEMAND a piece of the pie.

We need to wake up, stop thinking like the guy taking your lunch order at the deli and more like the most sophisticated digital shopper marketing companies in the world.  You awake yet?

Jim Johnsen



Securities transacted through StillPoint Capital Member firm FINRA/SiPC



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