Deutsch: Hate Can Be Beautiful

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Boston -- Don’t be afraid to fail, believe that you’re entitled to win and make sure you hate the competition. Those were three key messages Deutsch Inc. chairman Donny Deutsch stressed Monday during his opening keynote here at the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing’s CTAM Summit.

Deutsch -- whose ad agency has created campaigns for companies ranging from DirecTV Inc. to Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. -- told the audience hate is a great motivator.

“If you’re an upstart sports network, you have to want to kill [ESPN] and their families,” Deutsch said. “We are a society of winning and losing, so step back at your business and say, ‘Who is our target? Who do we want to get?’ I think happy hatred is a great motivator for all organizations. Don’t be afraid to hate -- it’s a beautiful thing.”

Deutsch -- who is producing a series of primetime specials for CNBC called The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch -- also emphasized that networks need more than great shows to succeed.

“You cannot just be the sum of your programming,” he said. “Cable networks need to focus on developing a brand value system and ask themselves: What do we stand for?”

Deutsch praised Home Box Office’s branding strategy and told reporters after the session that ESPN, TBS, Turner Network Television and Spike TV have also developed strong brands.

When asked about the impact of digital-video recorders, Deutsch said the bad news is that DVR users skip 77% of commercials on average. But the most-watched commercials by DVR users are beer commercials and pharmaceutical ads, so if the ads are entertaining or contain important information, viewers might not skip them.

Obviously, failure isn’t always good. But Deutsch said that in order to succeed, failure has to be an option: “Anytime it’s great, there is obviously a possibility of failure.”

He also emphasized the importance of companies having a “naïve sense of entitlement,” noting that in order for companies to succeed, they must believe they are entitled to win. His mantra: “S__t, why not me?”

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