Last Friday night, NBC aired the initial episode of The Book of Daniel, the show that unnecessarily had everyone's frocks in bunch last week because, God forbid, it mixed the topic of religion with a frothy dose of humor and human imperfection. Not dainty Starbucks-style froth but full-on, blender-busting froth in the form of a pill-popping priest, a gay son, a martini-swilling wife, a daughter who sells pot to support a manga cartoon hobby, another son who likes to have sex with a bishop's daughter, a priest who cheats on his wife, a relative who steals $3 million from the church, a mafia-connected priest who blackmails the pill-popping priest and a self-referential, wise-cracking Jesus who doles out less than traditional religious advice. Four NBC affiliates couldn't take the heat and pulled the show from their schedules.
Upon viewing the two hour premiere, we just don't know what all the fuss is about. The show was funny. Really funny. It took the very serious subject of religion, did away with the usual collection of unrealistically pious people and turned the whole thing on its head by dropping the kid gloves to portray people as they are in real life, full of flaws, faults and foibles.
Finishing out the year Goodby Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco and Francois Vogel of Paranoid have shared their final spot from the HP Digital Photography campaign - the one where frames of the commercial become photographs which are then handed to others. Goodby is calling this one "Cafe Society" but from the looks of it, we think they should have called it "Nightclub Society." Then again, we haven't seen the inside of a supposedly hip "cafe" since, well, ever so we have no idea what we're talking about. We still like the spot though.
Joining the New Year's Eve party in New York's Times Square and sponsoring NBC's New Year's Eve With Carson Daily, will be Chevrolet which will hang two 2007 Tahoe SUV's above the stage on which Mary J. Blige will perform. While we're all for Times Square branding blowouts, if we were Mary J. Blige we'd think twice before letting anyone hang two hunks of heavy steel above our heads. Aside from threatening the life of Blige, Chevrolet will also appear on ABC's sign and ball-drop screen as well as Reuters' Jumbotron. while also handing out all forms of Chevy-branded paraphernalia.
During the bathroom breaks and :30 coffee breaks we are allowed here at Adrants headquarters, we have finally finished Joe Jaffe's book Life After the 30-Second Spot. Actually, we finished it about two weeks ago but, again, we aren't allowed much time here to do anything serious what with all the stunt marketing and cleavage out there that had to be given our journalistic excellence. So, finally, we've found a few moments to hide from the Adrants Overlords to reflect on Jaffe's book and share our thoughts with you.
Following his trip the the recent iMediSummit, Underscore Marketing President Tom Hespos is voicing his frustration with the advertising industry's continued cling to the television nipple. Concerned that many new online video advertising opportunities will amount to "shovelware TV," Hespos reports many industry execs are pleased as punch with the status quo, happy to unnecessarily pay middlemen to serve their precious TV spots and offended at the notion online video should be any different than a :30 spot.
Bud Light, perhaps in a nod to what we can expect from them during the Super Bow, has launched Ted Ferguson: Under the Helmet, a website featuring a slice of life look at Ted Ferguson, Bud Light daredevil, an every-man's stunt man. You never know where these things are going to go but, well, this doesn't seem that interesting. That said, it is pretty comical watching the guy treat listening to his girlfriend as an excruciatingly difficult stunt to accomplish. Perhaps this is one of those campaigns that needs to be "given legs" upon which to "blossom."
Product Invasion, the folks behind Subservient Donald are, again, taking on product placement proliferation, this time with Survivor, and have created some spoof footage of Survivor's Jerry Manthey in which producer's urge her to shill for Home Depot, Scope, Dawn, and Pepsi. While it's a bit over the top, it still calls attention to the maddening and overly forced attempts by marketers and networks to shamelessly shill.
TBS is, again, broadcasting its Funniest Commercials of the Year show, hosted by Weeds' Kevin Nealon. Visitors to the site can view the spots and cast votes from ten choices then see the finalists on the broadcast December 28 at 9PM. On the list for consideration are Big Pong Broadband, CareerBuilder, Carlton Draught's Big Ad, Dodge Durango's Bathroom Stall, Dr. Pepper's Do Anything, Ikea's Home Delivery, MTel's cellphone shower babe, Nextel's office groove, Science World's conference room facial suckage and the Toyota Vios sea monster ad. Any of yours on the list? Tell us why you should win.
Catching up on this week's TV last night during a date with the DVR (no TiVo baggage here - just a straight forward, simple cable DVR) we realized a few things. Aside from the usual hits everyone watches such as Survivor, Lost, Grey's Anatomy and ER (well, it used to be a hit), there's a few shows that are getting some attention but deserve more. While racing, blissfully, through a few commercial-free hours of saved programming, we realized there's a few lesser known shows worth mentioning:
- UPN's Veronica Mars is a brilliant show. Each episode is a mini-mystery that Veronica, who's Dad is a private eye, solves all while wondering what she's doing in this really strange world they call highschool. In addition, each season contains an arching mystery that drops clues each episode. Smart strategy. Each episode can stand on its own while the viewer is rewarded with an in depth story if they stick with the series.
- FOX's Reunion, while not brilliant, has an amazingly intertwined plot which spans the live's of six people over 20 year from 1985 to 2005. Each episode represents a year. Because each episode jumps back and forth between present day and the episode's year, it can get a bit confusion following the plot. Perhaps that's one reason why its rating are in the toilet. This show's really a perfect candidate for DVD when you can sit down and watch big chunks of it at a time. Though FOX has done a good job with episode recaps for those who want to catch up.
- ABC's Invasion finally moved the plot along a bit this week with an episode that revealed a bit more behind the alien assimilation thing and the lead characters long involvement with it. It's the better of the several alien shows airing right now. The show has a blog which is nice but they do a terrible job of referring to it on the show misusing the terms blogs when they mean posts on a blog. Does anyone else think the actress playing the Sherrif's daughter, Alexis Dziena, is oddly attractive?
While UPN's Veronica Mars
and ABC's Invasion
will see future seasons it's likely, but unfortunate, Reunion
will be cancelled after this year.
Eluded to at a recent ad:tech conference in New York, Word of mouth research and planning firm BuzzMetrics has launched a syndicated service to measure television discussion on blogs, message boards and other social media. Called TV*BuzzMetrics, the ratings service will provide television executives and advertisers "ongoing qualitative insights that help explain key drivers of viewer engagement, and understand potential value of new programs." Making this all possible, BuzzMetrics is a business affiliate of VNU, owner of research brands ACNielsen and Nielsen Media Research.
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