Big Fish….Little Pond…The Truth

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By: Barry Jacobs, Vice President, Short Form Direct Response, Mercury Media Santa Monica

In the last two months, two prospective clients have told me that they would rather be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a large pond.  The “small pond” media company has used the same phrase with both the clients. As part of the “large pond” company, I take a huge exception to the comment.

First of all, at Mercury we grow clients.  Our goal is not simply to buy the media; we take the time and energy to optimize every facet of the clients marketing endeavors. Let me draw an example that really dispels the concept. If you buy a tropical fish and place it in a large tank, something wonderful occurs. The fish grows and flourishes as it has space to grow and the opportunity to live a long life. If you take the same fish and place it in a small bowl, the fish stays the same size and does not live as long.

This is really the crux of the difference. At Mercury, we give every client the opportunity to flourish. We have individual teams dedicated to the health and welfare of every client. Each client is treated as if they were in a small bowl, but given the size and resources, they can grow and prosper.

So, the next time someone says to you “Wouldn’t you rather be a big fish in a small pond?”  Say “No, I would rather be able to grow my business to become a much larger fish in a very big pond!”

Barry Jacobs is Vice President of our West Coast short form direct response television business. Jacobs has been a leader within the direct response industry and prior to Mercury Media worked with leading agencies including Initiative Media’s, his own agency Camelot Media, and later partnered with E&M. Jacobs’ past clients have included direct response leaders such as Jenny Craig, Bosley Medical and Bally’s Fitness. He also served as an instructor of advertising at The University of California Los Angeles’ Anderson School of Business.

Contact him at  


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