In an effort to build viewership for its entry into the already over-crowded mystery alien genre, CBS will offer three episodes of Threshhold online without ads. Each episode will be available at the completion of its Friday, 9PM airing.
"We think that the traditional network run will always be the primary broadcast, but this is an opportunity to recruit viewers that may not have experienced the show yet or (provide a chance) for those that missed an episode to get caught up," said Chris Ender, senior vp CBS Communications Group. While true for now but with the proliferation of downloadable shows, the model may, forever, change.
New Yorkers are having fun with currently running New York Rangers television campaign, called "Bobby Granger's Guide to the Rangers," in which a fan named Bobby Granger interacts with new York Ranger players to, among other things, explain this season's new rules.
One spot's got Ville Nieminen doing what he does best, swearing. One has Bobby trying to teach the non-New York players how to speak "new yawk" which doesn't go over too well with Canadian Dominic Moore. Another has Booby getting Russian language lessons from Jaromir Jager which gets him into trouble with Petr Prucha.
On Thursday, October 27 at 3PM, CBS.com will feature the "Ghost Whisperer Halloween Seance," hosted by medium James Van Praagh. Van Praagh, who is co-executive producer of the CBS television drama Ghost Whisperer, will perform readings for the general public via streaming video on CBS.com.
People will be able to call Van Praagh at 323-227-1000 and speak to him personally as he connects to the dead while others can simultaneously converse in a designated chat room. Hmm. Watching Jennifer Love Hewitt seems far more interesting than this.
Little Red Riding Hood is nowhere to be found in this spot for Halls but some dudes dressed up like pigs are worried a dude dressed like a wolf is going to huff and puff and blow their house down. It's a fairly amusing spot, especially since the guy playing the wolf looks like he can't stop cracking up while acting his part.
Mountain Dew has introduced a new energy drink, MDX, and will launch a BBDO created ad campaign called Be Nocturnal, consisting of two spots, "All Night Long" and "Sunglasses At Night," October 22 during the World Series to introduce the drink. Print and radio will accompany the television. Check it all out here.
Philips Electronics is paying CBS $2 million to be the sole sponsor of 60 Minutes this week. The show will kick off with a 90-second ad followed by two stories in the first half of the show. During the second half of the show will have two ad breaks. Total ad time will clock in at 6 1/2 minutes versus the usual 12 with affiliates dropping in a few local ads.. There will also be an opening sponsorship billboard.
Apple's announcement last week it will air episodes of ABC's Lost and Desperate Housewives, among others, over it's new video iPod has caused concern among network affiliates who feel "off TV" viewing will hurt rating and/or make ratings in accurate, let alone destroy their business model. All the hand wringing that will, no doubt, go on for the next year or two surrounding this issue could easily be skipped with the simple acknowledgment that every bit of broadcast programming will ultimately be available for download with or without advertising, viewable on an iPod, a similar device, a PC or ported to and viewed on a TV. Current appointment television viewing as we know it will disappear. Current rating systems will become irrelevant. And the buying of "TV advertising" simply won't be the same.
While it's been done before by USA Networks and others, this might be the most relevant dollar bill sticker promotion to date. To spread the rod about its new show Commander in Chief, ABC has affixed thousands of dollar bills with the image of Geena Davis, the star of the show who plays the President in the series. A less relevant dollar bill promotion highlights NBC's unscripted series Three Wishes.
As if consumers haven't rebelled enough about increased commercial and promotional proliferation on television, broadcasters are inserting the knife deeper and twisting it more aggressively. While ABC says the total number of minutes per hour of advertising hasn't change in three years, the network, which began the practice last season, this year has required show producers to slice episodes into six acts versus the traditional four increasing the number of breaks per hour and angering viewers in the process.
Seemingly oblivious to people's abhorance of advertising, ABC Ad Sales Chief Mike Shaw said, "We've had the exact same commercial load for three years in a row. People must "feel that way because they love the show so much, that they really notice it when the breaks are there." That's precious.
Everwood producer Greg Berlanti doesn't like the practice saying, "It makes you long for the day when everything comes out in boxed sets of DVDs so you can enjoy it." Given the rise in outraged, DVR-enabled consumers, that day may not be far off. The current television advertising model is a losing proposition. As broadcasters struggle to maintain ad revenue by shoving more ads through consumer's eyeballs, people, increasingly armed with methods of avoiding ads, will rebel, lowering ad viewership thereby causing broadcasters to foist even more insanity-based methods of forced ad viewership upon consumers until the entire broadcast television model implodes on itself and finally experiences the death it so dearly deserves.
While we're not quite what the draw is about watching television on a 2.5 inch screen in a world of 50 inch televisions, we can't complain about Walt Disney's deal with Apple to provide next-day downloads for $1.99 via iTunes to the new video iPod of ABC's popular series Lost and Desperate Housewives, among others. With dwindling television viewership and, hence, dwindling ad revenue for networks, providing mobile, commercial-free, pay-per-view programming makes a tremendous amount of sense for the nets. If this takes off, networks will run with glee to the bank. Marketers, with an ad medium pulled out from under their feet, may not be so happy.