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This Year's Television Programming Screw Ups

Robert Bianco lists in USA Today the top ten network television blunders for the year. Among the "winners" are Fox's attempt to make porn wholesome with "skin," NBC's transition of "West Wing" to a soap opera, ABC's very dumb "Tarzan" and NBC's running of Law and Order into the ground.

by Steve Hall    Dec-16-03    

Agency Perception of Consumer's Media Preferences Out of Whack

According to a new study by MediaPost and InsightExpress, Madison Avenue does not have a firm grasp of consumer's media preferences and perceptions. Agency types, clinging to a dying model, believe network TV is the consumer's favorite when, in reality, it's cable TV. Radio ranked as favorite with 13.6 percent of consumers while agency personnel felt 2.6 percent of consumers would feel that way. Consumers also ranked the Internet as an important medium while agency types did not.

Tellingly, 43.8 percent of agency personnel said TV is best at exposing consumers to advertising while just 29.5 percent of consumers think that way. Madison Avenue is in need of a reality adjustment. The old media models are dying while consumers are on to the next thing.

by Steve Hall    Dec-16-03    

Burger King Fights McDonald's 'I'm Lovin It' With New 'Heavy Meat' Campaign

McDonald's just launched a new campaign with the tagline, "I'm Lovin It." The goal of the campaign, which began overseas and is now running in the American market, is to rekindle the flagging desire of consumers � particularly children, teenagers and younger adults � to visit McDonald's restaurants and order mainstay menu items. Not to be outdone, Burger King is trying to stimulate some desire of it's own with a little "bravertising" campaign designed to make sure consumers know Burger King is the place to go when they want a nice heavy piece of meat. (J)

by Steve Hall    Dec-15-03    

Saddam Delivers Death Knell to Newspapers

Poynter Online's Steve Outing comments on how Saddam's capture early Sunday morning is another death knell for the printed newspaper and how publishers need to begin thinking of themselves as news "companies" rather than "papers". As Sunday editions were delivered Sunday morning, most of the world had already heard of Saddam's capture from the Internet and broadcast television.

Even as publishers were embarrassed by irrelevant front page stories Sunday morning, their own news organizations had the story on their websites giving further credence to the notion that publishers must forget the antiquated, physical paper form of generating news and concentrate on delivering news using the fastest possible format.

by Steve Hall    Dec-15-03    

PVR's to Become Primary Television Advertising Platform

Personal Video Recorders, the functionality TiVo, Replay, and some cable companies use to record programming, are predicted to be in use by three million people by year end and by 10 million by end of 2005. Currently, advertisers have a love/hate relationship with the technology and hate is winning out over love. Advertisers are loathe to cede viewing control to consumers who, using the technology, may opt to skip all commercials. Smarter marketers realize the PVR will allow for ad campaigns that are customizable to niche target audiences and will provide campaign effectiveness measurement never before available on television.

Viewing scenarios will expand to include multiple options for the consumer when presented with a commercial such as these using a movie ad as the example:

  • Skip the ad ("I have no interest in this movie; remember and don't show me this ad again")
  • What do the critics say? ("Tell me what my favorite three critics think of this")
  • I want to watch this movie now. ("This looks great! Where is it playing and when? Buy me tickets.")
  • Remind me later ("This looks like a good movie, but I'll catch it on DVD; add it to my NetFlix list")

Avtrex, a company with methods to improve PVR technology to the benefit of marketers, consumers and programmers, has an informative report on how PVR's will dramatically alter the television viewing landscape. Yes, they sent it to Adrants and yes, they want readers of Adrants who are exploring the potential of PVR advertising to read it and perhaps consider their technology. If you are at all interested in the future of television advertising, it's worth the read.

by Steve Hall    Dec-15-03    

PETA Sticks Head Up Ass

PETA has a new anti-meat ad depicting a naked man with his head stuck up his ass with the headline, "Hey, Here�s a Heads-Up: The Average Meat Eater Has a Mess of Undigested Fat in Their Colon" The ad copy goes on to state PETA's anti-meat position and how it claims meat contributes to colon cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and strokes while promoting a vegetarian diet as a better alternative.

The ads appear as "stall ads" in the men's bathrooms of restaurants around St. Louis dubbed one of the top ten most obese cities in the country. Ads will next appear in and around Atlanta.

by Steve Hall    Dec-15-03    

Liquor Advertisers Party With Cable, Completely Miss Target

Perhaps liquor companies haven't heard that television viewership is declining as they are still bathing in the excitement of seeing themselves on TV. And their agencies seem to be in the same tub.

"Print does a fairly good job for the liquor industry," he added, "but it's great to be able to flex your TV muscles, if you will, and deliver your message in 15 seconds," said Ellis Verdi, president at DeVito/Verdi in New York, which is creating the Grey Goose spots, for Sidney Frank Importing running on Bravo and Golf Channel

Flex your muscles? Now that's a compelling and strategic reason for advertising in a medium that has shown dramatic declines in viewership recently, especially in liquor marketer's primary demographic. Sure, cable delivers some effective niche targeting but smart marketers know the muscle flexing is now occurring on the Internet and with the use of viral marketing.

by Steve Hall    Dec-15-03    

Shopping Magazine Model to Be Copied...Over and Over and Over

Because there are no new ideas and the money runs frantically in the direction of the latest fad, shopping magazines seem to be launching with the same frequency as a horny highschooler's self gratification activity. As soon as Ad Age named Conde Naste's "Lucky" magazine of the year, publishers have gushed forth variations on the original theme. Fairchild has "Vitals" targeted to men, Conde Naste has added "Cargo" also targeted to men and now Hearst is launching Shop Etc. for the older shopping demo. We anxiously await Dennis Publishing's "Body Floss," developed for women in search of the perfect bikini.

by Steve Hall    Dec-15-03    

Paris Hilton Gets the Blues Treatment With Song 'Paris Hilton Blues'

She's got money, a modeling career, a porn career and a reality series. Now she has her own song. Songwriter Big Wassabi sings the blues for Paris Hilton in his new song "Paris Hilton Blues." Listen here. Full lyrics here:


(words and music, copyright 2003/Gene Hamilton)
Produced by Big Wassabi, courtesy of LBI Productions

Little girl is living the American dream
Just sipping and tipping through the party scene
Well the world is your oyster and your oyster's hot
You got movie star looks and you're model lean

So girl don't be embarrassed
You're a billionairess
I wish I was in Paris too

If things they get too tricky
You better call your sister Nicky

Like a swan on a pond, you don't need no thong
Just wait till the paparazzi's gone
You're just a girl on a mission, something needs itching
You've got a condition called money and position

So girl don't be embarrassed
You're a billionairess
I wish I was in Paris too

Say your mama and your daddy might not believe
There ain't no such thing as bad publicity
I said your mama and your daddy might not believe
Just give a call to Tommy Lee

Girl don't be embarrassed
You're a billionairess
I wish I was in Paris too

If things they get too tricky
You better call your sister Nicky

So little girl
Don't you be embarrassed
All I can say is
I wish I was in Paris

See you in the media
Book tickets on Expedia
The Simple Life you're building
Makes me want to sleep inside a Hilton

Hope this makes you laugh
Cause you're a superstar at last

by Steve Hall    Dec-14-03    

New York Times' New Ombudsman Sadly Out of Touch

The Kicker's Elizabeth Spiers, back from a week of jury duty hell, gives Daniel Okrent, the new ombudsman for the New York Times, a warm Kicker-like welcome. Commenting on Okrent's assumption that everyone still reads the newspaper for news and commentary "critically erroneous," Spiers wonders why Okrent doesn't know that everyone now gets their news from Geraldo Rivera and The Daily Show. Or, I ask, maybe this thing called the Internet?

Okrent says he's been reading the newspaper for 37 years. Perhaps, with all the changes in media over the last 37 years, it might be more appropriate to have someone in the position of ombudsman that might actually have a closer connection to today's generation and their media consumptions habits.

OK, I admit, I liked New England Monthly when he was editor.

by Steve Hall    Dec-12-03    

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