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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.
In an agreement between CBS and Capitol Records, a ring tone of Coldplay's "Talk," the second single from the double platinum album X&Y, will be embedded into the content of the CSI:NY episode to be broadcast Wednesday, November 30. In the episode, CSI: NY's Danny Messer is investigating a case when his cell phone rings to the tune of "Talk." We'll wait while you snicker at the real life likelihood of that.
Following the scene, CBS will run promotional messages during the act break in the episode telling viewers how they can purchase and download the ringtone.
Now here's something you don't see all the time. Well, at least not in public that is. There's plenty of it in private. Likely, without all that paint though. These ads for Humo magazine promise to give away Durex condoms in its next issue. Freakish as they are there's an even freakier TV spot for them as well. Obviously this is not an American campaign as we are far too prudish for this sort of thing. At least in our advertising.
Early this year, Cadillac launched a campaign which consisted of five second commercials and a contest where people could submit their own five second creation with the best one winning a Cadillac CTS-V. This week, America Online and FOX are taking the five second spot out of the realm of novelty and institutionalizing it with a buy on FOX's Prison Break. The five second ad will air as the last spot in a pod, a position negotiated buy AOL media agency, Initiative. AOL's Senior VP of Brand Marketing Richard Taylor hopes to negotiate deals with other networks to air the five second unit.
On November 21, Borders Perrin Norrander will unveil a new advertising campaign for the Oregon State Lottery, promoting the new holiday scratch-it ticket, Fruitcake Cash. Yes, Fruitcake cash. The campaign will consist of television, radio and online. The spots spoof those cheesy, late night music compilation infomercials by highlighting mockeries like "The Spirit of Fruitcake Volume Four," "The Holidays Ain't Nuttin' Without My Fruitcake," and the 80s ballad, "What's That Fruitcake Doin' Under My Tree." Before the hokiness gets too much to take, the announcer interrupts the infomercial suggesting, "for a fruitcake gift they'll really love, give fruitcake cash."
We're told the fruitcake parody songs, composed and produced by Asche & Spencer, were so well received by the client, BPN created a complete CD including full-length versions of the songs featured in the commercials. So there you have it. The first of what will, surely, be a long line of spoofy, holiday-themed ad campaigns.
We're about a week behind on this but, according to Google, it ain't news yet. So we're going to help make it news by telling you that the Writers Guild of America, West, some of whom work as reality TV writers, has launched Subservient Donald, part of Product Invasion and yet another take on the now famous Subservient Chicken. The Guild, which recently called for a code of conduct to govern product placement on television and require disclosure during credits, are behind Product Invasion which is an attack on the insanity of television product placement. Subservient Donald is a humorous take on the topic featuring a Donald Trump look-a-like who spouts product-laden snark in reaction to various commands. Let's see what kind of link-fest this thing cooks up.
Sling Media is promoting its Slingbox, a device that connects to cable, satellite and DVR devices and allows for watching TV on a remote, Internet-connected computer anywhere in the world or in the next room, with a humorous spot, created by Hub Strategy, set in a church. While watching a football game during a funeral, the comments made by the guy in the spot don't quite mix with the tone of the service until all the other church goers chime in thinking the guy is commenting on the deceased rather than the game he's watching on his laptop.
Commercial aside, this Slingbox is very, very cool. For $250 and no monthly fee, you can view and control your home TV from anywhere in the world.
Created in June, this Axe news-report-mocking video about a fictitious Alaskan town that used Axe deodorant to attract women because the town had none, has finally found a home beyond the bits and bytes of the viral highway. The video will be central to an interactive television campaign running on Comcast ITV's Cartoon Network Swim Block and will consist of a news banner that runs along the bottom of programming which, if clicked, leads to the video.
Furthering its embrace (experiment?) of releasing television content online, CBS will produce original content of its hit drama CSI Miami and will show it exclusively on CBS.com. Promising to reveal a major secret about team of CSIs, the scene has local news reporter Erika Sykes (Amy Laughlin) share a piece of information with Detective Ryan Wolfe (Jonathan Togo) that, we're told, will lead to an undercover investigation that will unfold on the show this season. Way to tease, CBS. The bonus scene will appear online immediately following the east coast broadcast of CSI Miami, Monday, November 21.
The bonus material featured on CBS.com will be sponsored by GM's Hummer, featured heavily in the series. CBS and Hummer will promote the combined broadcast/online storyline with spots on the network and ads on CBS.com.