One of my favorite pieces of marketing jargon from my past career in advertising is Working Media. This contrasts, of course, with Non-Working Media.
The difference is cut/dry – Working media is something that consumers will see and may influence a purchase. Non-working Media is a line item for creative brainstorming, ideation, story-boards — everything that goes into making the ads.
As a media guy, we worked hard deciding how to get the target market to see the creative. Technically, all of our exhaustive media modelling and planning was Non-Working Media as well, so not just a jab at creative agencies in those line items.
The Working Media tab of a total marketing budget would be the ad placements: the TV time, the magazine pages, the banner ads. Experiential or Outdoor types of items would be wayyyyyy down in a teeny tiny corner of a spreadsheet – costing perhaps 0.5-percent of the total program fee to the client.
But those marquee events can sometimes have an outsized impact a few years later.
Take the 2009 GTbyCitroen — the Gran Turismo concept car that was playable in the game and then made into a real-life model for exhibitions at auto shows, Goodwood, etc.
After all the fanfare subsided, the Citreon Italia team decided to hit the market. This machine could be a sales promo tool! A real-life Buzz-maker.
We will drape a barge in white Citroen banners, and motor around the canals of Venice for a few hours.
This is Working Media, long after the total budget sheets in Excel have been PDF’d and everyone is on to the next project.
But somewhere, the ideas that created this vision GTbyCitroen — should never be red-flagged as Non-Working Media.