What’s in your archive?

Anyone who has seen or heard the television or radio come-on (“What’s in your wallet?”) from Capital One financial corporation infers there is value in holding a Capitol One credit card in one’s wallet.

But have you thought of the wealth stashed away not only in your archive, but also in brand assets such as your staff and your building(s)?

Take a stroll down your Facebook newsfeed the day after Thanksgiving (known as “Black Friday” in the United States) to mine ideas for new audiences and new revenue streams – smack dab in the middle of content you already own.

Three sparkling examples found their way to me via Facebook on Nov. 27:

  • From “Lady Gaga Daily,” I was pushed this lovely offering: “Black Friday deal! Get this sweatshirt with all of Lady Gaga’s tattoos.” 

    And there it is, in all its glory, for a low-low US$24.99. “Runs large,” the product notes helpfully point out. 

    Is it a stretch to think that one of your columnists or restaurant reviewers or sports reporters has, if not the kind of following engendered by Mother Monster, than at least a loyal local audience?

    Does your sports writer have a certain look or style that would lend itself to a baseball cap with his or her face emblazoned on the bill, along with his or her signature phrase?

    Is your food writer rotund, and cool with that? Use his or her roundness to decorate an apron or a cooking jacket, along with the food section’s name, embroidered on its font.

  • From Esquire, I learned that I can subscribe to access its archives for an immersive cultural tour of any era in which I am interested. The Hearst-owned Esquire magazine launched its new subscription site in September of this year.

    It’s searchable and the database includes everything Esquire has published during the last 82 years (roughly 250,000 pages of content). It costs US$4.99 per month or US$45 per year to access Esquire Classic. Current magazine subs pay US$30 to get full yearly access. 

    I can see the appeal of binge searching Esquire, for sure. Think of the writers that have graced its pages over those eight decades. Think of the historical appeal of reading from Esquire’s esteemed staff the type of political writing that serves as a snapshot of any era.

    Now think of your own archives. Has your town been home to a notorious serial killer (like mine has)? Was it the last stop in the drug-trade chain from Central Mexico (as my last town was)? No doubt there are histories to mine that a worldwide audience would pay for.

  • Space, the Final Frontier … on your laptop, your tablet, or your mobile. Enthusiasts of the “Star Trek” TV series can now watch the entire run of the show – for a fee. CBS Broadcasting has hatched CBS All Access, where one can view prior series of current shows, classic shows ad-free, and a host of other viewing delights wherever he or she wants.

    Media companies with the smarts and bandwidth to create original video would be wise to include an access fee from day one. Because with media, there is no “final frontier” – as long as we in the business don’t limit our imaginations.