TV Guide's Jeff Gemmill is concerned about where MTV is headed:
Still, there's a more immediate concern. When considering Newlyweds, Do Us Part, The Osbournes and upcoming reality shows centered on Hilary Duff and 7th Heaven star Ashlee Simpson (Jessica's little sister), MTV's slow metamorphosis into a Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous channel for Generations Y and Z is just about complete. (For further evidence, see Cribs.) In essence, what was arguably once the Rolling Stone of the airwaves is in danger of becoming the US Weekly of TV.
Three stories today paint a stark picture of the changing media landscape. First, Business Week points out that networks are losing viewers and are reacting by breaking with the typical no-new-shows-during-the-Summer approach. Second, the Wall Street Journal and MediaPost have stories addressing the fall in magazine ad pages and suggesting publishers better kick butt to get back on track. And third, the ever well spoken Jim Meskauskus writes in iMediaConnection that beverages could see big returns with online advertising.
As an example of why certain copy points are usually left out of some ads, here's one classified car ad that would probobly sell better if the copy were just a bit less honest:
Brand new Blue paint(2003)w/Blue Leather. Power everything, Sunroof, A/C ice cold. Interior and exterior in great condition. Engine runs perfectly and recently serviced. Air suspension perfect! Car was used in adult film 'Highway Gangbang - In Da Butt'. May require some light interior cleaning. Car must be moved ASAP.
An Adrants reader asked me if I had seen the new MSN online ad campaign which shows people of different demographic types and how the new MSN can serve each of those individual's needs. The ads ask you to click through and find out more about the person and the service. In particular, the reader asked me if I had seen the "Meet Amanda" version of the ad campaign. I said no but after looking at it, I realize I had. She's definitely all-American cute. The reader, who wishes to remain anonymous wrote:
"It seems like MSN's trying to turn banner ads into boner ads. The downside: clicking the ad doesn't let you get to know Amanda any more intimately. (And let's not get into the fact that she's probably all of 15. Girls wearing pants that low are asking for it.) "
Why yes, and with her brace-face, she certainly isn't more than 15 or 16 which, of course, is the point. The point being to get to know her and MSN better, not bone her. But I can see alternative viewpoints on that one. While this may be a "boner ad," it, like the other versions, are presenting varied demographic backgrounds to appeal to the widest possible audience. Though, with a median age of 39.9, MSN might want to consider giving this ad heavier rotation to bring in younger users. On second though, perhaps not. After having converted Chat from free to pay, what's a 15 year old to do on MSN anymore?
The Publishers Information Bureau has just released its annual ad page counts for 2003 and they are down again for the third year in a row. Pages were down one percent but revenues did climb 6.3 percent. Profit is another story.
Zenith Media Senior Vice President, Director of Print Media Steve Greenberger says magazines have to start selling themselves again. "They've been whining a lot, when what they need to do is get out there and aggressively show what it is about magazines that consumers like. There's no sense that magazine advertising is a must-have."