Last night, Sidney and I sat down in the living room to fold clothes. We turned on the TV at 7:20 p.m. and went to CBS. We tuned in just in time to catch the second and third segments of “60 Minutes.” I wish we would have started from the beginning because if the first segment was as interesting as the other two, it was a show for the ages.
The program profiled the digital director of President Donald Trump’s campaign team, Brad Parscale. Predictably, Lesley Stahl asked the hot button questions of whether the campaign colluded digitally with Russia or whether it tried to advertise toward racists, claims strongly denied by Parscale. However, what was most interesting and relevant about the interview was just how important Parscale’s work was toward helping Trump win the presidency.
For me, it was a testament to the power of social media advertising. It was also a really cool realization that Brad does pretty much what I do, just on a larger (okay, much larger) scale. He clearly explained that thanks to the advertising options made available by social media channels, the ability to reach audiences that are specific, yet coveted, is a new age reality. He elaborated that he pretty much learned on the job by experimenting and seeking help. Yes, even the digital advertising guru of President Trump’s campaign took advantage of Facebook’s ad development sessions.
I think Brad Parscale did a good job of enlightening the American people that social media advertising is an extremely powerful technique that yields results. It isn’t something that only a few people have access to or something that is “magic.” Rather, it is something we can all take advantage of while knowing exactly how our money is spent due to superior analytics. Like it or not, it is the new way of advertising and reaching people, a method that some (cough…cough…Hillary Clinton’s campaign team) might not embrace as much as they should. As someone who does this type of marketing each day at work, I am fascinated with the creation and execution of social media ads and I appreciated the insight that someone of Parscale’s stature brought to a national television audience.
The third segment of last night’s 60 Minutes episode was a feature on restaurateur Danny Meyer. The piece explored a couple different restaurant trends that Meyer started himself. The first such trend is the “fine-casual” format that is popular with the lunch crowd. Through his Shake Shack restaurant line, people stand in line for 45 minutes on most days to order a gourmet burger. Customers receive the sophisticated taste in an atmosphere that resembles more of a fast food joint than a 5-star restaurant.
Doesn’t appeal to me. When I eat lunch, I don’t want fine dining. As most of you know, I eat a peanut butter sandwich most days. Also, who wants to spend their lunch hour standing in a long line? I much rather eat my sandwich while surfing espn.com.
The second trend explored was Meyer’s crusade to end tipping. By raising prices in his restaurants by 25%, he can pay both his wait staff AND kitchen staff better wages. Because servers and cooks are earning much more through their base pay, the expectation to tip is eliminated.
I dislike this trend as well. I don’t want to see inflated prices on the menu. How depressing. I also prefer a wait staff that is motivated by an impending tip. What is the incentive to go above and beyond if the servers have nothing extra to work for?
Thank you to CBS for giving us some riveting television last night. With “Jeopardy” already our favorite program, nothing would make Sidney and I feel even more like a senior citizen couple than if we added 60 Minutes to our TV schedule as well. Don’t Blink.