Sudoku and Crossword puzzles – why media planning is more than a math problem

Sudoku is an exercise in trial and error and like all such exercises is vulnerable to a computing solution. Simply write a program that allows for all the variables and constraints and let it run. Simple, so simple in fact that people can do it in their heads. 

A crossword puzzle is more complicated, so complicated in fact that people can do it their heads. The difference is that any computing solution to a crossword is limited by the fact that the grid has to be filled with words that fit AND that answer the clues. Inherent in this is that filling the grid is not enough.

Search is Sudoku. View, click, action – it’s a math problem. Display media online, and in print and  on television is a different matter, a crossword puzzle if you like. As soon as the goal is anything other than inducing a purchase in 30 days or less it may still be possible to fill the grid but much harder to interpret all the clues that identify which components contributed to the desired action and when.

Is it possible that this has been the gating factor to Google NOT dominating the media landscape as they have dominated search? Could be. 


Filed under The world we work in

3 responses to “Sudoku and Crossword puzzles – why media planning is more than a math problem

  1. Of course you’re correct in that implanting a brand/purchase preference that will last more than a millisecond is much harder than popping up some possibly relevant result to a search. I’ve always believed that what advertising does best, vs. promotion and point of purchase, is to infiltrate a person’s thought processes so to establish an ongoing inclination toward a brand or product, brand equity, exactly what a simple search result cannot and will not ever accomplish.

  2. robnorman

    Thanks Gene. On the mark as ever.

  3. I know your topic is actually about media planning!

    However, making false statements in the prelude to your article and at the conclusion of your article tends to throw the whole article in a state of confusion as to it’s accuracy when your starting and ending statements are not accurate at all!

    Sudoku is a LOGIC problem, doesn’t require any math. Numbers just make it easier to work than using pictures or letters is all.

    You can solve anything through trial and error, but that does not mean that is HOW you are supposed to do something the right way.

    Search is not as easy as it sounds!
    Googles been at it for years and although one of the best, is still quite lacking in it’s primary abilities.


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