I was watching the telly the other night and it suddenly struck me that there are a huge number of telly programmes on-air right now we can use as an excellent source of dust.
For instance, The Hotel (a recent Channel 4 doc) couldn’t have been more useful in helping me reassess what holidays mean to a huge number of people in this country. While I’m busy fretting about having to organise a three-week trek through the Cambodian jungle, ending in a Bikram yoga retreat and communal massage session with some Tibetan monks, huge swathes of Brits are looking forward to a fortnight in resorts such as Torquay.
And rather than spending a couple of hundred quid on a hand-carved ivory snuff box bought from a man on the beach, they’re spending their hard-earned brass on simple pleasures – a nice plate of fish and chips and few beers of an evening. The way we plan to make better human connections with them has to be informed by a better understanding of how they enjoy themselves, right? BTW – I’ve been to Torquay on holiday several times, so this was a refresher, not something totally new.
So, why not check out the schedules and find some real stuff to watch. My immediate suggestions would be Confessions of a Nurse, Channel 4 on Tuesdays at 10pm and The Hotel on 4oD, One Born Every Minute etc.
If you work on a houswives, housewives with kids or f kids’ advertiser, check out Saturday mornings on any kids’ channel. You’ll see just how difficult it is for advertising to make any impact at all. The kids are bombarded with frenzied messages and the more anodyne adult spots look painfully out of context. It’s a mess.
And watch some daytime telly. It’s mind-bogglingly awful and brilliant in equal measure. Huge numbers of people who spend lots of money on our clients’ products watch it for hours in a stretch, so you need to know what it’s all about.