Profile: Jeff Tyrrell

Feb 19, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Title: Director, national broadcast, at TBWA/OMD, New York.
Recent interesting deal: “Since I have only been in this position for five months, not much yet for my current clients. We are working on some innovative ideas to get product involved in nontraditional ways. I do find that negotiations which go beyond just on-air media are interesting. We had one client recently that got involved with NASCAR and resulted in a presence both on air and at the racetrack. The opportunities for this client and others to build their business with on-site product demonstrations, sampling, hospitality and much more, as well as through on-air commercials, are increasingly important.”
The next big thing: “The current big thing we are already working toward is negotiating across the multiple platforms that many of the media vendors offer. Utilizing television in conjunction with print, radio, Internet or other venues creates many challenges. One issue slowing the process is that we want to use our leverage across the multiple venues to generate greater efficiency for our clients, and the suppliers, not surprisingly, are attempting to generate premiums. I think the next big thing will involve personal video recorders. I think the price point of the PVR has to drop even lower, and if it does, sales should rapidly increase. We need to understand how to harness this technology so that the advertiser can deliver messages to targeted consumers without circumventing the programming source. Without commercial advertising underwriting the costs associated with program development, everything to the viewer becomes part of some pay-per-use tier. I do not believe the average consumer wants that in their television future.”
Is there anything you wish you had bought less of? “Yes, a lot of our upfront activity. Just kidding. I still believe there are many good reasons for participating in the upfront. However, I do think it is important in the current environment to remember that we need to protect our clients’ interests. That means making sure that our upfront advertisers are benefiting from the current soft marketplace at least to the same extent that scatter advertisers are. It could take the form of program upgrades, moving units to better days within the week to correspond to that particular client’s business, over-delivering vs. guidelines, etc.”
Is there anything you wish you had bought more of? “Yes, the real quality programs on television, whether they be network or cable-programs that are well-written and intelligent and provide a good environment to showcase our clients’ products. These shows are defined differently depending on our clients’ needs; it could be `Law & Order’ for one client or `Gilmore Girls’ for another. I understand that in the current environment, it is more cost-efficient to develop reality shows. But I believe there are enough advertisers seeking a hard-to-reach, upscale audience that it is important to try to continue to bring some quality offerings to the air and not always program to the lowest common denominator. The audience will find good programming, even if it takes some time to do so.”
If you weren’t in media buying: “Something to do with a stick and a puck, or a golf ball. Maybe scoring a game-winning goal for the [New Jersey] Devils in the upcoming Stanley Cup. I’m just a few inches too short, too light, too old and never had enough talent, but that is what dreams and the 35-plus leagues are for.”