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NBC Will Launch 2004 Fall Season Early

Rather than start in the traditional late September time-frame, NBC will launch its 2004 Fall season immediately following the 2004 Summer Olympics.

"We are not going to let the calendar dictate when the season starts," said NBC Entertainment, News and Cable Group President Jeff Zucker. "We would be silly to wait three weeks after the Olympics, lose that promotional base and then start the season."

Yes, you would be silly.

by Steve Hall    Jan-15-04    




Streaker Adds 'Effect' to Newscast

In this video, an unsuspecting TV reporter is left stunned by what this streaker leaves behind. It's not exactly an ad but it would sure make a good educational video for reporters interested in knowing what to do in "windy" situations. Courtesy of Apechild.

by Steve Hall    Jan-14-04    




New York Times Gets 'Rage-O-Meter'

Aaron Bailey of 601am introduced the New York Times Rage-O-Meter whereby the Gray Lady will be rated based upon the country's hatred of the paper's behavior. Rankings go from an all positive of "Mushy NYT Love" to an all negative of "Moves and Becomes NJ Times." Today's rating is "Increase in NY Post Readers." Brilliant.

by Steve Hall    Jan-14-04    




Merrill Lynch Names Omnicom Top Pick

Merrill Lynch has named Omnicom one of its top investment picks and expects the holding company to trade at a 20 percent premium to the market and set a price objective of $100. Merrill Lynch expects U.S. advertising expenditures to grow 5.8 percent in 2004 with political and Olympic ad spending aiding that growth.

by Steve Hall    Jan-14-04    




PGA Launches 20 Million Ad Campaign

Ad Age reports on the $20 million ad campaign the PGA will launch in advance of its upcoming season. The campaign, from Omnicom Group's GSD&M includes four spots recently launched during NFL playoffs this past weekend:

In "Math," Mr. Els is a teacher conducting a math lesson at the blackboard of a local Boys & Girls Club. He asks his a group of children, "What does 4+4+3+4+5+2+4+3 equal?" Most of the kids are confused and counting on their fingers, but one bright young student raises her hand and proudly proclaims "3-under par!"

In "Hammer," Mr. Kelly is helping to build a house with Habitat for Humanity. As he prepares to hammer a nail, a worker raises his hands and says, "Quiet, please," as Kelly takes a full swing at the nail. Mr. Kelly gets a round of applause, and then hands off his hammer to his caddy.

In "Jesper's Clothes," Mr. Parnevik -- famous for his outrageous outfits -- goes to the Salvation Army to make a donation. He holds up a pair of pink pants and bright green-and-white shoes and says to the cashier, "These I wore when I won in Dallas. And when you go to Augusta, these shoes will rock." On his way out, he passes fellow tour pro Mr. Waldorf, who is seen secretly modeling Mr. Parnevik's fashions at the close of the spot.

Finally, in "Sandbox," which highlights the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America, Mr. Campbell is playing in a sandbox with a group of small children. He obliges when one of them asks to be pushed on the swings, but hesitates and turns back to the sandbox to rake the sand after they leave.


by Steve Hall    Jan-14-04    




AARP Uses Body Bags to Get Media Planners' Attention

Dude, I'm Not Dead Yet!

Frustrated by agency's disregard for the 50 plus demo, the AARP has launched a trade print campaign featuring healthy looking 50 year olds in body bags at crime scenes. The ads include the taglines "these days, doctors don't pronounce you dead - marketers do" and "to most marketers, consumers die the minute they turn 50." The campaign, called "Written Off," will include a direct mail component made up of sympathy cards with copy, "Sorry for your loss... and for missing out on over $400 billion worth of disposable income."

The campaign is an effort to get those who plan where advertising dollars are spent, mostly in their 20's and 30's, to realize they are missing half of the entire population by not marketing to older demos.

by Steve Hall    Jan-14-04    




Radio Promotion Uses Northeast Cold in AFC Football Promotion

WBCN radio in Boston is taking advantage of the sub-zero temperatures in the Northeast to launch a promotion for listeners to win tickets to the AFC Championship game which will determine whether the New England Patriots or the Indianapolis Colts make it to the Super Bowl. The station is offering one pair of tickets each to the man and the woman who can stand out in the cold the longest in their bathing suits. For the men, it's shorts. For the women, it's a bikini. The promo is running Friday from 3P to 7P. The dedication of the New England Patriots fan will likely lead to several people ending up in the hospital from frostbite for refusing to give up their chance to win these coveted tickets. If I remember, I'll update you all on the outcome when the event finishes.

by Steve Hall    Jan-14-04    




'Got Milk' Mustache Campaign May End

That "Got Milk" Mustache campaign may be near its end if a Pennsylvania farm couple has their way. Dairy farmers Joseph and Brenda Cochran are seeking a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ) after losing in lower courts) ruling that could end the requirement that farmers pay for the marketing effort. Similar "pay for marketing" requirements have recently been shot down including the $1-per-head of cattle to support the "Beef. It's What's For Dinner" campaign and the "The Other White Meat" campaign for the pork industry.

Perhaps a ruling against the requirement would be a good thing. There aren't many celebrities left to tap who haven't already worn the mustache.

by Steve Hall    Jan-13-04    




Paris Hilton For President

Just as she made green a popular color in her sex tape, Paris Hilton can make the red, white and blue just as popular in a big for the Presidency in 2004. Or, that's at least what the folks over at Swamp City think. Read their rationale. It's compelling. Stranger things have happened. OK, it will never happen but it would be fun, wouldn't it? Via Gawker.

by Steve Hall    Jan-13-04    




'Toned Down' Lad Magazine Launches in U.K.

In response to an odd little research finding that young men (boys) are embarressed by the explosion of near naked women in the current lot of lad magazines, a new, less sexy magazine called Sorted has been launched. Somehow, those research findings were lost when the near naked picture of Beyonce was planned for the cover of the premiere issue.

"I think lads' magazines have become quite one-dimensional. In focus groups teenagers said they didn't buy that kind of magazine because they were embarrassed to be seen reading them by their girlfriends or mothers," said Sorted Editor Martin Klipp.

Near naked Beyonce will, apparently, be far less embarressing.

by Steve Hall    Jan-13-04    




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