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Jack Myers On the Road

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This year’s ARF Re:Think conference showed the industry how far research has come in impacting the overall media business model. In the days of spots and dots and proxy demographic targets, research played more of a report card role asking the eternal question: How well did we do within our limited universe of influence? But now, thanks to digital video across devices, big data, technological advances such as machine learning and qual/quant hybrid measurements such as neuroscience, we find that the business advancements of programmatic, cross platform and advanced TV require a strong, visionary research department role.

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Speaking directly to the professional world from which I come -- media and advertising, and especially television -- I can now see how much of “the problem” we’ve been. It was nearly forty-years ago when James Brown first sang "It's a man's, man's world." Since then, we've heard the phrase repeated thousands of times and believed it to be true. We can no longer confidently or convincingly make that claim, nor should we even want to! When Homer Simpson is the most iconic TV dad of the past 20 years, and when men are portrayed as misogynists or bumbling idiots in advertising, we have a cultural standard that needs to change -- and change now. Achieving a new standard and definition of masculinity in business, politics, sports, education, relationships and parenting requires that we first address how men are portrayed in these roles in media. This is the first pillar for building a new supporting foundation to help us adapt to society’s new rules, maintain our own psychological well-being, manage our egos and psyches, and strengthen our self-esteem and sexual self-confidence.

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