Branding Expert on Seth Meyers’ New ‘Late Night’ Gig

NBC announced on Sunday that Saturday Night Live head writer Seth Meyers will be taking over the “Late Night” job when Jimmy Fallon moves to “Tonight.”

Continue Reading Below

Cliff Courtney, chief marketing officer at Zimmerman Advertising, says in addition to Meyers’ intelligent humor and comedy chops, the comedian has made some smart marketing moves recently that likely helped him cement the role.

“He was a guest host on ‘Live with Kelly,’ and he was so winning with Kelly there were rumors he might be doing that show,” says Courtney. “He was also the emcee at the White House Press Correspondents’ Dinner, so he’s clearly proven himself.”

Courtney says showing he was capable in these different settings, likely made it an easy choice to give the job to Meyers. That said, he does have a few tips for Meyers -- as well as companies about to take their business to the next level:

No. 1: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

“If it’s working, the best advice is to keep doing exactly what you’ve been doing,” says Courtney. He points to SNL creator Lorne Michaels’ role in launching the careers of SNL alums Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and Meyers seems to be heeding this advice already: NBC announced Michaels will also executive produce Meyers’ “Late Night.”

No. 2: Be patient, and pay your dues.

“In this fast-twitch, can’t-wait world, patience can be the greatest virtue in career propulsion,” says Courtney. This is true both for Meyers, who has spent 12 years at SNL, and for companies, who might be tempted to grow too quickly to correctly scale.

“There’s no need to burn bridges, so be patient and honor the people who have gotten you started,” says Courtney.

No. 3: Don’t worry about reinventing the wheel.

When taking over a job that another person or company has been filling, there’s the natural temptation to want to make your own name. Courtney says there’s no reason to dismiss a format that’s been working, though there aren’t absolutes and some people may find even greater success by pursuing a new format.

No. 4: Understand the purpose behind social media.

When growing a brand, social media can be one of the most important tools available. And while Fallon has made himself stand out by producing viral Youtube clips (Michelle Obama’s “mom dancing” and John Krasinski’s recent lip-syncing battle come to mind), Courtney says it’s important to understand the “why” behind social media and online channels.

“Social media as a marketing platform becomes a huge opportunity,” he says.” “But you want to get eyeballs on TV – not just onto Youtube. So the smartest thing is to use Youtube and social platforms as a teaser for what’s on TV,” he says.

What do you think?

Click the button below to comment on this article.