When times are tough, reevaluation is the in thing to do and that is exactly what agencies are doing today. As outlined by David Ward in a MediaPost article, agencies are examining everything from targeting to branding to product placement to accountability.
A good read into the insight of today's advertising minds.
One of the biggest dot com advertisers, Amazon, has decided to drop televison from its media mix.
CBS MarketWatch Story (Audio)
New york Times Story
With Fox and other network's reality shows crushing NBC, the network will need to move quickly to find winning replacements for its aging series if it wants to stay alive in the ratings game.
"Developing a reality franchise that can replicate the cultural phenomenon of programs like American Idol, The Bachelor and Survivor is imperative for all the networks, but for NBC in particular," said John Rash, svp/director of broadcast negotiations for Campbell Mithun.
But is a reality show the long term solution or just the quick fix? There was an article today's New York Times that questions the future of the whole reality genre since, if we go to war and TV becomes 24/7 news, reality will really become reality. In other words, will "fake" reality shows become a bad taste in everyone's mouths when all we see are body bags coming home?
Reality programming is a popular fad right now. There will always be a niche for it but many networks are putting too many eggs in one basket right now in my opinion. But, hey, I just right a stupid weblog. The network execs and agency big wigs are the top honchos so they must know best, right?
Facing Up to the Fall
The success of 'American Idol' has put Fox in a comfortable ratings positions and is allowing it to charge $950,000 for a :30 in the season finale. And media buyers are willingly paying that price as well as $550,000 for the finale of 'Joe Millionaire'.
I say pay it while the audience is there. I also say the audience will be there about as long as the 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' audience was.
This, and other topics of importance where discussed at the iMedia Brand Summit in Coconut Point. The event, spoonsored by iMedia Connection, brings together luminaries in the online advertising space to discuss the state of the industry. There is a two part summary that will quickly bring you up to speed if you are interested. Part One. Part Two.
Last Week's airing of the Michael Jackson interview drew 27 million viewers giving ABC its first ratings win on a Thursday in eight years.
Seems we all wanted to know what the deal is with all his plastic surgery and funky parenting methods.
Opposite the special, 'ER' was the big loser with its lowest rating in the history of the show.
The adware king, Gator, has settled one of its many lawsuits with the parent companies of The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and the digital arms of Knight Ridder and Conde Nast.
The terms of the settlement were not disclosed but let's hope it included a big collective kick in the balls.
Gator, if you've been living under rock the past year, is the company that serves pop up advertising software when they install a separate product for filling out online forms and remembering passwords. Gator also comes hitched with free software from other companies, including games and file-sharing programs.
Gator has the ability to pop up ads over other publishers sites and in particular, their own ads. Publishers don't like to have their ads covered by other ads. Gator just doesn't play nice that way.
While some hate it, Gator is very popular with advertisers (500 to date) because of the targeting abilities it can offer allowing advertisers to reach well defined demographic targets.
Gator still faces similar lawsuits from United Parcel Service, which said unauthorized pop-ups have included ads for rival FedEx Corp., and from Six Continents Hotels, which operates Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza and complains that Gator directed visitors to deals from Marriott and other competitors.
Other lawsuits, including one filed Jan. 27 by MetroGuide.com travel service, have targeted Gator's advertisers, without naming the company as a defendant.
In an effort to keep and draw in more readers, Money magazine is expanding it's nuts and bolts financial coverage to include more lifestyle related items. with stocks in the toilet, the magazine hopes to create new topics of interest.
"Money is an essential magazine about you and your life," said Robert Safian, its managing editor since 1998. "We have to be nimble about things that our readers are spending their money on, such as real estate and consumer electronics."
HBO has offered a "network cleansed" version of its popular Sex in the City. HBO approached NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX. No firm deals yet.
Even with so much hype around the show, HBO is only in 30% of homes which leaves a large untapped audience for the show.
I wonder, though, how good this show can be in an edited version.