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.
We aren't normally a fan of iconic brands drastically changing their image, logo, tagline and overall marketing but we've taken a quick look at the new Absolut campaign from TBWA/Chiat/Day New York and we like it. We really like it. Gone is the bottle, mostly, and gone is the print heavy focus. TV has been added to the mix showing iconic imagery such as an image of Steve McQueen with the tagline, "The Absolute Man," an image of the Statue of Liberty with the tagline, "The Absolute Welcome" and an image of the moon rover with the tagline, 'The Absolute Road Trip." Clearly, the over crowded, hipsteresque vodka landscape has required a different tact for Absolut to set itself apart. This just might work.
Our friends over at Japander bring us so much glee, delivering us our favorite American movie stars and celebrities in ads they'd never be caught dead doing in America. In this ad 24 star Kiefer Sutherland runs through a train full of plaid-skirted Japanese school girls 24-style shouting "yes, yes, no, let me through" until he finally gets his Calorie Mate.
We simply must agree with our friends over at Copyranter who loved T-Mobile's speed-talking, whatever-spewing, stereotype-enforcing, bubble-brained, chic-squeaking cheerleader in a commercial promoting the company's ability to keep up with teens who like to ponder the topics like boycotting tuna, matching swimsuits and getting one's head stuck in a sunroof. We've watched it five times and still can't stop laughing. Make sure you catch that last "whatever."
The agency behind this masterpiece are Publicis, the production company was Epoch Films and the director was Stacy Wall.
NBC is leveraging its Monday night show Las Vegas to help promote the network's Olympic coverage. A two and a half minute mini-movie will appear in tonight's episode as well as appear on 10,000 movie screens. Chevy's in on the deal two and will feature several of its vehicles in tonight's episode and in the movie which follows fans of Olympic medalists from Vegas to Torino. The mini-movie morphs from a real storyline in the episode.
It appears to be one of the most integrated promotions/product placement in recent memory and, as is always the case with these things, it'll either bomb or succeed seamlessly. I guess we'll be watching Las Vegas tonight.