Urbi et Orbi et Media Consiliumque

December 2017
Direct Media

Written by: Martin Koprek, Media Director, Direct Media Zagreb

  • Working in a media agency isn’t exactly exciting, and is often exhausting.
  • As we incessantly perform the same tasks, each day resembles the last.

The world of agencies, and that of media agencies in particular, is full of similar negative connotations. When I talk to my colleagues, they are either extatic or embittered with their work, depending on the day.  And since we’re in the time of holidays, aromatic hot wine, pine tree decorating and snowflakes, I have decided to write an affirmative manifesto to the town, the world, and media planners alike.

If you are a media planner in an agency that provides integrated communication services, such as Direct Media, you can be happy with your work every day. Because media planning is exciting and fun if you make it that way.

I believe that this is the way it frequently happens:

You arrive to work and are met with a brief for a new campaign. The client is advertising their chocolate, which is the very best of all chocolates. The target market is all those people who love chocolate, but you must find a way to include the part of the market that does not consume it as much. Because you never know when you might like a piece of chocolate. The budget is 80.000 €, and the campaign is to last 5 weeks with a break after the third week. They want 80 % of the budget spent on tv advertising, a few print ads and radio sponsorships, and for the remainder – the greatest digital campaign ever. Realistically, this is already the third brief from the same client this year. So, you open the last set of plans, change the dates and a few coefficients if necessary and save as “New campaign.” Then you send it to the client. In 2 hours at most,  you receive a few questions which you answer easily (the same questions were asked about the same campaign in the same period last year). In two days you receive approval for the campaign plan. Now you just type, book, check and factor the post-buy of the campaign. Then you tell everyone how your job is boring, exhausting and awful because all your clients are uninventive and always run the same campaigns.

It’s no wonder you are bitter towards your job. Maybe media planning is not for you.


The same situation can play out entirely differently if you so wish:

You arrive to work and are met with a brief for a new campaign.The client is advertising their chocolate, which is the very best of all chocolates. You notice that the rest of the brief is the same as in previous campaigns and that totally throws you off. You stress out because you know exactly how each second of your work on this campaign will look for the next 3 months. And then you start all over again. From all that stress you need to get some air, so you go outside where you come up with a great idea. You return to your computer and start exploring  BrandPuls and TGI. You search for insights that you can introduce to your client as arguments for a completely different campaign than the one they asked for. You find them. You have arguments for narrowing the target market, shortening the campaign duration and increasing the digital campaign budget. You reduce the tv advertising budget, but you find a way within the budget to reach those whom you would never reach through the digital campaign. On an effective frequency, that goes without saying. Now that you have freed yourself from the inadequate brief, you come up with some super creative media ideas. There is no reason not to present them as the on top options to the client. You put it all together in a presentation that is visually pleasing and easily understood. Then you send your proposal to the client. Together with the copy and paste plan they originally requested. Because you should always respond to a client’s request, and it only takes an additional half hour of work. The client’s response now takes a whole day to arrive. They thank you for the media plan they received and apologize  for the delay in replying to you.  They needed the additional time to go over your alternative proposal.

The client  had sent it to a colleague who works on a different brand. In the end,  theysent it to the Marketing director and asked for his opinion. They all agreed that your proposal was something they had not previously considered, and they had many additional questions. They thought it would be best to have a meeting. The meeting went great. You exchanged ideas and came up with a solution. They accepted 50% of your new ideas, so you revise your proposal. The newly revised proposal is accepted, and the campaign is ordered. While walking around town, you tell your friends how the best chocolate is advertised on that exact digital citylight because you planned it that way. You can hardly wait for the campaign to complete so you can review the post-buy. You do it more for yourself than for the client. To prove that you were right and that your theses were correct. Of course you were right! Because you are a very good media planner! Most likely because you love your work. Two months after the campaign, the client calls. They received the sales results. They  can’t share the exact growth numbers, but they exceeded expectations. Two weeks later you arrive at work and open an email with the subject “New campaign for the best chocolate.” This time there is no brief, just an invitation to a meeting. The client is requesting that you meet to put together the brief according to the new information you have. You can hardly wait for the meeting and the new campaign and you are telling everyone how your job is exciting, fun and wonderful because your clients are very inventive, and they never run the same campaigns but rather conduct market research to adapt to the habits of their customers.


It’s no wonder you are happy with the job you do. Happy New 2018 to you!

To all of you that made it to the end of this text I am gifting several holiday TV cards. During the holidays we all like to see at least one Christmas movie, so it is nice to remember one of these hit movies from the past. Through a review of viewership data, I found the per minute average most viewed movies over the four holidays (Christmas eve, Christmas, New Years and Boxing day) since 2003. The most viewed movies are being seen less and less due to the greater number of TV channels and digital platform movie watching options, so the overall winner is “What Women want”, which was seen by 1,616,605 citizens of Croatia on the 1st of January 2004. Last year the most watched movie was “The Ten Commandments” (461,124).

I wish you all smurftastic holidays this year!