Chris Moerdyk

Up yours ANN7 - Viva, old farts! Viva!

2013-09-02 09:50

Chris Moerdyk 

I am not ashamed to admit that I am an old fart. I'm proud of it, actually.

And beyond any shadow of doubt if ANN7 had employed a few old farts their catastrophic launch would have been transformed into something professional and would certainly not have caused the South African viewing public to fall off their chairs laughing.

Having said that however, the sheer majesty of ANN7's cock-up did certainly get the attention of a heck of a lot more people than if the old farts had been allowed to do it properly.

But, I remain convinced that a liberal dose of old farts would have ensured that the network would have been a lot more sustainable.

The reason, I believe, is that mass media relies on advertising to survive. And there are still a lot of old farts running the companies that advertise. It does not pay to annoy them.

On top of which, ANN7's strategy seems quite obviously to appeal to the youth of our nation. That's why they have young, often incoherent presenters and put up advertising billboards slinging off at old farts.

A bit strange that because when you look at the consumer environment in this country the silver surfer brigade - those are the people ANN7 calls old farts - might only represent six percent of the population but they are responsible for more than 20 percent of consumer expenditure.

The next point of course is that it is the old fart who actually spends most of the time watching TV.

Young people between the ages of say 16 and 29, don't actually watch TV. They watch DVDs, YouTube and anything else that comes up on a smartphone or iPad screen. They don't read newspapers either. Nor do they listen to the radio except for music stations.

Research shows that one of the reasons why the mass media is losing ground is because none are capable of enticing young people back into the fold.

If you don't believe me, ask the young people in your family.

But, ANN7 is right about one thing. The youth of this country are extremely important.

Not only because of the money they spend on big brand items but mostly because more than two thirds of the population of this country is under the age of 30.

And what only Julius Malema and the ANC seem to understand is that the vast majority of voters in this country are under the age of 30.

If you wonder just who will decide which party will govern after next April - it is almost exclusively the young voter. Old farts will have practically no say at all.

So, one has to ask why on earth ANN7 is so self-destructively obsessed with attracting young people even at the expense of their now tarnished professional reputation and cavalier attitude towards old farts?

Could it possibly have anything to do with the upcoming elections? Hmm, now there's a thought.

- Follow Chris on Twitter.

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