Perhaps it was all fire and brimstone or perhaps it really was the truth but Commercial Alert Executive Director Gary Ruskin Minced no words when he told ad execs at an Association of National Advertisers luncheon yesterday that "most Americans really despise what you do." He also told the audience what we all have known for a long time; we are not loved by people. Poll after poll ranks us right up there with car dealers in terms of trust. Citing yet another study, Ruskin said, "your industry is not yet as unpopular as the tobacco industry." It's not inconceivable that, with the increasing amount of ad-avoidance control people gain, that will happen quite soon.
He had no kind words to say about product placement or buzz marketing either and that's not surprising. The walls between advertising and content have long since disappeared because of media fragmentation which gave people more choice to avoid advertising and because of ad-avoidance platforms like pay-per-view, DVRs, bit torrent, file-sharing and the iPod. It's no surprise that marketers are grasping at straws to regain the control it once had over consumer eyeballs when a three network buy would reach every person in the country.
Pepsi's Mountain Dew and Plum TV are getting together during the Winter X Games in Aspen January 26-30 to promote Mountain Dew MDX. During the games, Mountain Dew will sponsor nightly shuttles outfitted with cameras to capture nocturnal reveler's escapades to be broadcast on Plum TV in Aspen, Vail and on the Mountain Dew MDX Be Noctural site. Also, a party hosted by Mountain Dew MDX will be held at the Sun Deck on Ajax Mountain where antics will also be captured for Plum TV broadcast.
Stay tuned for videos from the event. We'll post them as we receive them.
Those radical exaggerators over at PETA are up to their old sensationalism again with the launch of Milk Gone Wild, a spoof on the Girls Gone Wild series which uses titillation and human udders to call attention to the apparent health hazards of drinking milk. While we have a decidedly different viewpoint than PETA does on the whole milk thing owing to our attachment, through marriage, to the realities versus fiction of dairy farming, PETA has, again, done what it does best; use sex and controversy to bring attention to its causes. With all the anti-everything campaigns PETA produces, it would be intriguing to watch a video of PETA employees deciding what to choose from the organization's cafeteria menu: lettuce, lettuce or lettuce topped with lettuce.
In the minds of television execs, it seems the little 'ol Internet still gets the shaft from the corner office as indicated by UPN and The WB neglecting to secure a viable URL for their new network, The CW. As Lost Remote points out, TheCW.com is not available nor is any other remotely close URL other than theonlinethecw.biz which we're sure they're not going to like. Looks like TheCW is going to be out a pretty penny buying domains from squatters, settle on a domain name that makes no sense or rename the company.
This morning UPN and WB decided to throw in the towel as competitors and, in September, join forces to become a bit more substantial together than the also-rans they were separately. The new network will be called CW. MediaLife reports, "UPN president Dawn Ostroff will head entertainment for the CW, and WB chief operating officer John Maatta will become the CW's COO." The new network will be owned by CBS and Warner Brother together. Ah, that's where the CW came from.
Today, Commercial Alert launched StopDrugAds.org, a site devoted to ending direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising in the United States. Commercial Alert says the purpose of the website is to educate the public about the dangers of prescription drug advertising, and to recruit Americans to voice their opposition to the ads.
When we wrote last summer about the test launch of The PreTesting Company's MediaCheck, a passive, digital television commercial viewership measurement service, we knew a new world of television viewership was upon us. Following a test launch in 2,500 Omaha homes, MediaCheck plans to have its measurement service in 35,000 homes in up to seven cities. The company is also in talks with cable operators to embed the system within set top boxes. Bye, bye archaic program ratings measurement systems. Bye, bye Nielsen. Hello commercial viewership metrics that will allow buyers to properly price television buys.
Responding to Strawberry Frog's Scott Goodson who said metrics such as MediaCheck could "rob commercials of edgy creative," AdJab's Chris Thilk took the words right out of our mouths writing, "You're [Goodson] the problem. Advertising is about selling, not entertaining. If you want to entertain go to Hollywood."
In a sad indication of how off-base and over complicated advertising can be at times, we find this image of a drawing labeled, "A first rough drawing to explain a TV script that wasn't crystal clear." OK, OK. So some people need extra visual representation of an idea to completely understand it but if we were that forgiving all the time, we'd have nothing to write about here now would we? Obviously, it's a slow news day here.
MPH thinks Toyota's plans to run a "hybrid" English/Spanish commercial for its Camry Hybrid during the Super Bowl is less than smart writing, "They better have one heck of a commercial because the concept sounds like a dud. Just sell cars, don't try to preach. Especially during the Super Bowl." Well, as we all know, the binoculars will be on hand to scrutinize every marketers' offering during the game so we'll all know soon enough if Toyota's hybrid/hybrid wittiness bombs or soars.
Making sure to ward off criticism by calling it an experiment, CBS will launch an advertising-sponsored week-long "micro-series" titled The Courier on Tuesday, January, 24 in the first act break of CSI: MIAMI after 9:00 PM EST/PST. The serialized short film, sponsored by Pontiac and broadcast about the same time each night in seven short episodes, will premiere as a 60-second installment with subsequent editions running for 40-seconds.