Category Archives: media

Beyond Top Down Marketing?

Fred Wilson has an interesting post today where he asks whether we are about to move beyond Google, Facebook and Instagram in marketing new products and services.

He ends with this comment

… the Google/Facebook/Instagram well has not exactly “gone dry”. But it sure feels like steady-state to me now. It is a must-do but you can’t beat the competition there anymore because everyone is there.

So here we are. At the cusp of something new because we need it. Now we need to figure out what it is.

I think we have some clues.  Traditional marketing works by getting large numbers of people to adopt a common mindset about a product or service. Apple is cool. Walmart is a good deal. This type of thing. And while the web offers new channels to deliver this type of messaging, it is still the same type of messaging. Top down.

Producers and suppliers lead. We follow.

What about bottom up? What if folks can start leveraging their own lifestyles to gain followers, thus creating demand for products and services based on stuff that is not under the control of the supplier? And if they can, why not take a leadership role in telling suppliers what to make?

We see some of this now on YouTube and Instagram. I think we will  start to see new platforms that make it even easier for  bottom up marketing to gather steam.

Stay tuned!

Amazing Women: Rosa Lewis … and her doppleganger, Louisa Trotter

Rosa Lewis was a real person, and a rather incredible one at that. She was born in 1867 in London and rose from somewhat a somewhat humble background

After leaving school at 12 and becoming a general servant,she worked her way up through the hierarchy of domestic service eventually running the kitchens of the Duc d’Orleans at Sandhurst.

And she became rather famous for her cooking skills.

Image result for Rosa Lewis

There is more

It was through her cooking that Rosa was linked to Edward VII. He so adored her food that tactful society hostesses employed her when entertaining him for over 20 years, making her services the height of fashion.

She married and in 1902 purchased the Cavendish Hotel, a focal point for aristocratic dalliances and partying. Rosa became known as the Duchess of Jermyn Street.

Image result for historic Cavendish Hotel London

Ah, the Edwardian period!

With the outbreak of WW1, society entertaining came to an end and Rosa turned her attentions to welcoming impoverished military officers to the Cavendish. Her kind and tolerant nature never allowed them to pay and with her tactics of allowing rich guests to cover the costs of the poor, she managed to continue these charitable efforts until her death.

The Edwardian Period may have been over, but Louisa never left its values and routines behind. She remained for years and years, the grand lady of Jermyn Street.Indeed, the father of an American friend of mine told me his story of how he was lucky enough to have a short conversation with her. This painting of her might give you a hint why

Image result for Rosa Lewis Painting

Paradoxically, Rosa herself had a hand in the creation of the false identity. No innocent to the process of publicity, her idiosyncrasies, bad language, extrovert behavior, ‘Cockney sparrow’ approach were all a deliberate device of hers to invent a personality. They constituted a recipe that almost, but not quite, eclipsed the real Rosa.

In other words, Rosa was quite the character! She passed on in 1952, and her life story became a thing of legend.

The legend was picked up by able story tellers(including the renowned John Hawksworth) who fashioned it into a TV series called “The Duchess of Duke Street”. Rosa — not exactly the historical Rosa but loosely based on her l— became Louisa Trotter, played by Gemma Jones.  The show ran in the 1970’s became a hit in the US in the PBS Masterpiece Theater series.

What was so special about it? Like Upstairs Downstairs (another Hawksworth effort). each episode of the show captures a slightly different dimension of  the mood of the times in London at a period just before what we would call “modern”. And as in Upstairs Downstairs, the first World War proves to be a major pivot.

This nice video montage profiles the various escapades that Louisa Trotter finds herself in and I think capture some of the spirit of the thing. Enjoy!

The History of Dave Lebovitz (his blog that is)

Dave is one of the original food bloggers, and writes great posts on a regular basis about cooking, food, Paris, and other “stuff” that gets his attention. He has been at it for 20 years!

During that time he learned a lot and he gave a lot to us all FOR FREE!

Thanks Dave!

You may want to head over to Dave’s 20 anniversary post where he lays out how things developed over the years. A basic point — Dave does not blog for the money (neither do I). But he gets a lot out of blogging (so di )). And that is useful to think about.

There is something very fun to get into the routine of expressing yourself to the world. You might want to give it a go!

TikTok is Bullshit … and its Good Bullshit

In case you missed it — as I did — TikTok is the fourth most downloaded app of 2018. It is a social network — ho hum — and it does not pretend to be anything other than a distraction.

yet another one.

So why is it so popular. This article gives you a hint.

Or you can just read this on why folks get into it

… it had been designed to perform algorithmic pyrotechnics that were capable of making a half hour pass before I remembered to look away.

In other words, it is manipulative in the extreme.

The Secret’s Out! You Need More Cocktail Content!

This game has been played before. Food Network became the place to watch food related content 24/7. Ditto for ESPN and sports. How about a network that only offers content about cocktails?

Fred Minnick thinks this is a “game changer”.

He may be right. Or it may be that people want less to watch endless content about highball glasses than they want to watch endless content about the parties and events and excursions and travels where those cocktails play a role.

My guess is that Fred will end up providing both. It will give new meaning to the phrase “high life”.

Beware the Dreaded Gut Doctor!

Digital advertising does not work very well. The reason is simple. People don’ click on banner ads very frequently.

The cure?

The Gut Doctor!

The Gut Doctor is an example of a type of message that appears like an ad on a web page that makes an outlandish pitch. Like “The Gut Doctor says Throw Out this Veg!”

What veg? You need to click on the ad to find out. And of course, you never do find out. All  the Gut Doctor is trying to do is to get you to click.

Check out this Vox article to see how this works. In my view, this is a symptom of what has gone wrong with digital media.

New Media Stories: Bon Appetit

A long time, ago, the food magazine Bon Appetit was a brash alternative to Gourmet. Gourmet was all about food porn, with amazing photos of dishes that were far too  complex to prepare. That did not matter. Gourmet was aspirational You subscribed because you wanted to live that way, not because you actually could live that way.

This cover from Gourmet gives you a hint of what wen on inside

Image result for Gourmet Magazine

Times have changed. The old Gourmet mag may or may no still be around, but that no longer matters. Lifestyle aspirations are not what they were. Now people aspire to actually do stuff in the kitchen – not just dream about having stuff that comes out of one. Why? Because videos of chefs in kitchen show how this stuff is done.

That used to be the media idea that Julia Child monopolized. But now, there are lots and lots of people trying to occupy that space. Bon  Appetit is trying to do this as well. And I think they are doing a pretty good job of it.

Their editor in chief, Adam Rapapor, talks about how BA has changed from magazine to media channel. And I think he makes some good points.  One of the BA channels is is ideo from the “test kitchen”. Molly makes mushroom carbonara in this example. Enjoy!

Go for it!