One Generation’s Halo Effect Is Another’s … Or Disrupt Yourself Before Some 18 Year Old Does it For You

It’s Day 3 of “Monaco Media Forum — The-Delayed-But-Not-Too-Delayed Reaction.”  It’s a generation thing. And one day my generation will have to yield too.

I was struck in Monaco when adman-oligarch Maurice Lévy of Publicis Groupe said he has yet to find a new digital media that gives his clients the “halo” effect of being associated with media like the New York Times or Wall Street Journal.

Another generation's halo effect. Photo credit Jeremy Burgin.
Another generation's halo effect. Photo credit Jeremy Burgin.

t was unclear to me whether he was referring to a halo he achieves by getting his clients covered in these pubs (Publicis owns PR firms) or buying his clients ad space in them. Either way…

Consider this homegrown research (it’s a busy day today.. so no time to go searching out refs to actual research that validates this.. but it exists): My kids (7 and 11) give young, disruptive media brands a very different “halo profile” (should I TM that?) than older people do. They don’t give more credence to Disney than they do to YouTube. They’d actually rather go to dinner with a YouTube star than a Disney Channel star. Certain YouTube stars mean more to them than Miley Cyrus. And I’m deliberately not putting “stars” in quotes… YouTube stars are stars.

YouTube is an example of a disruptive media in the true Christensenian sense (“typically cheaper, simpler-to-use versions of existing products that target low-end or entirely new customers”).

And some companies that provide halo effect today are too blinded by it to see the disruptive halos of tomorrow.

And those darn disruptive companies — as they begin to feel their power, they start to move in. In fact, just last week, YouTube put a lot of effort into “hollywoodizing” (you could say “halo-izing”) itself and it’s stars… check out this page for an archive of their YouTube Live event.

Their branding is interesting. In a smart bit of positioning they put stars like Fred and Akon on equal footing. They’re borrowing from Akon for Fred. And they’re borrowing from Fred for Akon. And they’re borrowing from both for themselves. Feel the glow.

A screen grab from YouTube Live. Akon and Fred are giving equal billing.

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