Facing the proliferation of on screen guides, TV Guide, back in July announced it would revamp the magazine in a, some would say, pointless, effort to stay afloat. This week, the magazine launched its first redesigned issue which focuses more on features, stories and gossip than listings. TV Guide also announce a dramatic reduction in rate base from 9 million to 3.2 million and a cover price drop from $2.49 to $1.99. With Entertainment Weekly, TVgasm, TV Sqaud and countless other television news sources, who really needs TV Guide anymore? They should have just slapped JLH on the cover and called it good. We think people would snap that up quite quickly.
Joining the growing cadre of media and advertising weblogs, Business Week has launched Fine on Media written by Business Week's Jon Fine who pens the magazine's Media Centric column. With four posts so far, the blog feels, well, bloggy. Not that that's a bad thing, after all, it is a blog. There's an intro post, a post about New York Times Editor Bill Keller taking pot shots at bloggers at a recent conference, a post about how bad the Saturday Wall Street Journal is and a post about the Allstate campaign. We're sure the blog will be just Fine as it finds its legs.
With Kid Rock, Dennis Hopper, Matthew Fox, Jerry O'Connell, Michael Imperiole, Wayne Gretzky, Rick Pitino, Alex Trebek, and Sir Richard Branson; trainers Bob Baffert, Bobby Frankel, D. Wayne Lukas, and Todd Pletcher; and jockeys Jerry Bailey, Jorge Chavez, and retired Racing Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero Jr., the National Thoroughbred Racing Association has introduced a new $5 million ad campaign with the tagline,"Who do you like today?" Gee, we don't know but campaign creator Conover Tuttle Pace's Chip Tuttle clarified who the campaign was aimed at, saying, "This is really targeted to the core fan, the light fan, and the potentials." Well, gee, again. That sounds really focused.
Recovering from his astute targeting comment, Tuttle went on to explain the campaign, which has the celebrities, trainers, jockeys, and fans asking or answering the question, "Who do you like today?", saying, "I think everyone in this room would agree that we've just about exhausted the variations of brown horses running in a circle. We're out of clever ways to do that as television advertisers." Well, we'd definitely agree with you on that, Chip. Tuttle also says the campaign is intentionally not focused on the horses but on the people who play the horses.
U.K. Channel 4's IdeasFactory, along with viral email collector Bore Me, digital agency DS.Emotion and viral promoter Hot Cherry have announced "Germ," a viral email contest which seeks viral ideas that "get the whole world talking." Oddly, according to contest rules, only U.K. agencies, apparently, are able to get the world talking as U.K.-based agencies are the only agencies welcome to enter the contest. Though, it seems, the "general public" is allowed enter as well. However, it's not clear whether that refers to worldwide general public or U.K.-based general public.
Close-minded contest or not, the winning agency, in an even odder, oxymoronic move is promised by contest organizers to have it's work seen the world over via seeding by Bore Me. In a not so oxymoronic but clandestine promotional move, all of the companies hosting the contest have, surprise, a stake in viral advertising and, with the contest putting them into contact with top viral marketers, the hole thing is basically a new business endeavor for the organizers. Nifty.