edition 64 december 4, 2006
talking top quality or what?

     The old saying goes “you only get what you pay for”, but are you paying for what you really need or what you are told you need. Discussions about the quality required often get bogged down in subjectivity and opinion, with the advertiser footing the bill. In this edition of P3 e-news we look at defining the quality expectation and managing those expectations with your providers to deliver greater cost effectiveness.   In this P3 e-news… when price does not equal quality p3tv services cover all bases said something stupid recently? new year, new top 10

when does price of production not equal quality?

When you pay top dollar, you expect the highest quality. In television production, the delivery of quality is a subjective and often nebulous concept and one that is often used to drive up the cost of production with negligible improvement in value.

defining quality In many discussions about production quality, the production house will justify costs with the comment “Doesn’t your client demand the very best”. This retort usually ends the conversation as the implication is that every production needs to be the highest quality. For the production house the measure of quality is not the effectiveness of the execution in achieving the marketing objectives, it is achieving the highest possible production values, which means using the latest technology, embracing the latest techniques, allowing time to experiment, being able to cover multiple shoot options as insurance if one of these “new” techniques fail and having the latest equipment. What they are really saying is “Doesn’t your client demand the very latest and therefore most expensive”. The answer to this should not automatically be yes, because each of these is adding cost, but is it adding value?

a culture of spending There seems to be a culture within the TV production industry of using (and using the client’s money to pay for) the latest equipment and/or technology whether it’s required or not. The people that benefit from this culture of “the latest” are the equipment hire facility who hire out the top of the line stuff, the production house who get to mark up the top of the line stuff and the technicians who get to use the top of the line stuff. So there is a strong lobby to maintain this culture.

the knowledge to know better Some agencies are often complicit in this culture as often agency personnel don’t fully understand some of the technical aspects of production and post-production – whether there is actually any “value add”.

When confronted with the question “Doesn’t your client expect the very best” they have to nod in agreement, and are often coerced into using high-end hardware to keep the director and production comany happy, and is in many cases, over and above their client’s expectations and needs.

The expansion of this culture relies on the client’s and sometimes the agency’s ignorance and production pre-ambles full of esoteric jargon and unfathomable technical terms. So how do you discourage this culture?  By having someone “on-side” that:

1. understands the technical aspects of production

2. understands the jargon and who is not intimidated by the technical gobbledygook

3. asks the right questions at the right time on the client’s (and by default the agency’s) behalf.

For more information on how P3TV can help you control your television production costs click here, or email clive@p3.com.au or contact Clive Duncan on 03 9682 6800 or 02 9279 4997.

p3tv services cover all bases

P3TV offer a wide variety of services to help advertisers control television production budgets. The most popular include:

1. 48 hour Assessment Reports – get a full blown written assessment of every cost centre, and the questions and issues to discuss with your agency.

2. Bid Authentication Service – find out at tender stage which quote can do the job, and which is fraut with danger.

3. Online Benchmarking Service – your agency enters the quote and you receive a single page report on which cost centres are above, below or right on industry benchmark.

Check out www.p3tv.com.au for even more services.

said something stupid recently  

You’re not alone. We have been asked thousands of strange questions over the years, like the Project Manager who asked “Is it possible to change the lead talent in post production?”. A media colleague of ours was once asked in all seriousness, “How long is a 60 second television commerical?”Now you can check out stupid questions from all over the world at a site called ‘Adverbatims’. Check it out at the P3 Blog by clicking here.
new year, new top 10  
  Our latest range of Top 10 lists has been printed and will be mailed out in coming months. We have worked closely with Mushroom Music to bring you important insights into how to make music work better in your marketing. “Top 10 ways to get greater value from music in your marketing” – due Jan 07.  To make sure we have your mailing address, email updates to georgia@p3.com.au  

P3 – helping people achieve commercial purpose through creative process

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