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Posts tagged ‘TV’

Come on, Vogue!

My general opinion about TV isn’t the least bit complimentary. I find most programmes too mind-numbing to watch for more than a few minutes. I’m all for unwinding, but I like to relax without feeling as though my braincells are being terminated in the process.

If I didn’t have a TV I wouldn’t feel starved of culture or entertainment. About ten years ago, the telly I had at the time suddenly died on me and a replacement didn’t materialise until I’d lived through at least 12 months of abstinence (and I hadn’t been exactly itching for a new idiot box even then – my new portable was a leaving present from my colleagues at the magazine I’d been a staff writer at!)

Then, every once and a while, something gets aired which I actually want and plan to watch. This week was one of those rare experiences, when ‘The September Issue’ was screened on Channel 4.

I’d first seen this intelligent documentary, following the ‘ice maiden’ of American magazines, Anna Wintour and her team at US Vogue, craft the biggest ever issue of this fashion bible in their history (September 2007 issue) at Doc/Fest– an internationally-renown festival for those working in the film-making industry, last November.

I appreciated the lightest of touches director R J Cutler made with this entertaining and engaging film. Of course, he’d had have to done something seriously wrong for me not to be interested in the subject. The inner workings of the publishing industry – especially in the case of a magazine brand which holds such vice-like grip over the high fashion industry it reflects – still gets the ink in my pen flowing, even though I’ve worked in this media sector for 13 years.

But, during the director Q&A session, held after the Doc/Fest screening I attended, someone asked Cutler: ‘Did you ever wonder why Anna Wintour agreed to make the film? Was it a way for her to get publicity for Vogue?’ Hearing this, I half laughed, half knashed my teeth.

As if brand Vogue needs publicity! Many would say high fashion needs Vogue, not the other way round. Butler recognised the power of the Vogue brand and intended to peel away part of the enigma of the woman who’s the driving force behind this uber-name.

To this end I think he succeeded – and I was impressed at Wintour’s clever – whether deliberate or not – harnessing of silence. The power of the pause; it’s something I’ve used during interviews with tight-lipped or shy subjects

Sometimes though, it pays to stay silent. Which brings me to an update about the short film I feature in, unveiled this week(and mentioned in my previous post). ‘Heartbeat’ features little dialogue, but has oodles of style.

After all, words are one thing. But sometimes, it’s better to simply put your best foot forward – and strike your best pose.

Check out the film below(I appear in the last two scenes). Happy viewing!

Surviving the advertising jungle is simples!

There’s no physical obstacles to stop us all giving TV adverts the big brush off. Maybe you’re the kind of person who opts for the classic ‘I’ll just nip off to make some tea,’ trick. Or do you reach for your remote with Olympic-speed, flicking channel after channel until those jaunty singing bankers or odd felt people are no more(well at least for the next fifteen minutes)?

And now, there’s another anti-armchair selling weapon. On-demand TV has arrived in a bright HD-ready dawn, to save us all from the good, bad and downright ugly little slices of screen sell that we can readily skip…

Well, guess what? When it comes to the new darling of the advertising world, it seems the Great British public don’t want to run a mile. On the contrary, they can’t get enough of one particular meerkat with an exotic accent.

Everyone knows advertising revenue – except online which seems to bucking the trend – has been struggling long before the latest drop. So I was as surprised as the next animal-loving media-savvy commentator to read how Aleksander Orlov – the furry public face of price comparison website, – has thrown an almighty curve ball into the ring and shaken up the marketing world by becoming a money-spinning sensation.

Someone somewhere hit on a magic formula but few seem to fully understand how the wizards who crafted this ad have worked such wonders. Buying into the brand is one thing, but Orlov’s appeal has extended far beyond the company he’s representing. I’m all for sharing interests on social networking sites but really don’t twig why hundreds of thousands of people are avidly following Orlov on Facebook and Twitter!

Maybe this is another flash in the pan(remember Flat Eric?) but guesstimating your business model is proving to be popular. In these uncertain times, I can think of at least three micro-economies off the top of my head who continually seem to be obsessing over what’s going to be the ‘next big thing’ – the motor industry(more rumblings over the electric car this week), the press/media(will future consumers pay for either print or online content?) and book publishing(latest projections about the e-reading market seem upbeat).

One thing’s for sure, if advertising’s a jungle, right now it’s the meerkat who’s got the lion’s share of the market.

Read all about the Orlov effect:

Here’s a couple of other topical items which interested me over the last seven days.

Sheffield’s female steel army of WW2 are finally officially honoured:

Debate surrounding the white working class:

Have a great channel-hopping week!