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  • Frank Gussoni

A Real-Life Lesson of Traditional Media’s Effectiveness!

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

For the past decade it seems all we hear about is the virtues of digital media and the death of traditional media. Just to be clear, I completely disagree with that assessment. In my opinion a well-balanced campaign, based on your product and audience is the best way to go.

But I have many who believe if it’s not digital, it’s not viable! Boy what brainwashing can do, huh?

We have a client we buy a blended mix of mediums throughout the year for, based on their initiatives and business offerings. Some tend to skew more senior, while others skew younger. So, it’s truly a mixed bag and the medias match the goals. That’s how it should work!

Part of a campaign currently running includes OOH as well as other mediums, both traditional and digital.

A local radio station, the largest local morning show in the market started running a good-hearted prank in their market. Folks were to follow their direction, take a picture of their work and then send it to the morning show’s FB page. During that contest one of our clients fell victim to the prank!

Only one day after the contest began, one of our clients’ boards was comically defaced. They received a ton of calls letting them know their billboard had been tampered with. The clients took it very well and understood it was just a prank but still requested we have it removed. Within the next 24 hours, someone picked up the image and it went viral, where thousands of consumers were able to see it and the feedback was quite positive for our client taking it all in jest!

Prior to this event many of their staff hadn’t believed much in traditional media since it wasn’t trackable like digital media can be. However, we always explain that EVEN THOUGH TRADITIONAL MEDIA MAY NOT BE AS EASILY TRACED, IT DOESN’T MEAN IT’S NOT WORKING!

The following day I received an email from their SVP, who we work closely with, and he told me the internal and external buzz from the board proved that people really do look and react to OOH messaging. He further expressed how significant the radio following must be since the defacing happened so quickly after the contest began.

However, what really surprised him the most is the fact that traditional media then went viral and was the largest post they had in company history! This SVP is a very smart person and has always shown his confidence in our media selection process, as witnessed by his allowance for us to buy local linear cable and sports. So, he wasn’t completely taken off guard by this, however he was taken back by the magnitude of the experience.

Are these mediums right for everyone? Not necessarily, it really depends on the product and the demo, but what I think it definitely shows is that digital media and agencies take shots at traditional media constantly and it’s unfounded.

Like anything else, media needs to be as perfect a fit as the message itself. Having neither is a guaranteed disaster. Having one of two might get you a ripple but having both is a home run!

Think about it like this. Just because you don’t personally know which cow your steak came from, doesn’t mean it didn’t taste great!



President & Founder of A3 media.

We’re Type A. We transform media from an expense into a smart investment.

Frank’s Take provides uncommon sense media buying advice for regional and mid-market businesses.

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President & Founder of A3 media. We’re Type A. We transform media from an expense into a smart investment.

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