TV Squad sums up some of the recent non-traditional marketing promotions the networks have engaged in to insure their new shows are seen. NBC is promoting Three Wishes with street teams that perform random acts of kindness by buying stuff for people with dollar bills affixed with promotional stickers. The WB is giving Supernatural a boost with coffee sleeves that project project images on the walls and ceiling. And FOX is promoting Reunion (good show, by the way) with a sweepstakes with a reunion vacation as the prize.
In a hilarious use of Asian characters - pointed out by Tian, one of the contestants, J.D., on CBS' Rockstar INXS wore a shirt that, when viewed normally, appeared to say something in an Asian language but, when viewed sideways, clearly reads "Go Fuck Your Self." Censors did not catch the trick and images of the contestant are all over the Rockstar INXS website (as we figured, CBS has removed the images) and, presumably, were broadcast as well. Screenshots of the website are captured here and here for posterity's sake.
Perhaps introducing a new category of marketing, Nashville television station WSMV landed its news chopper on a Brentwood High School soccer field as a football game was being played on an adjacent field and handed out footballs with the station's logo affixed to them. One can only hope, for the sake of the football players and male fans, the cheerleader's skirts were deliciously blown up in the chopper's wind.
FOX has acquired IGN Network for $650 million. IGN will be placed within the FOX Interactive Media segment of the company and will bolster the company's growth into the Internet medium.
Adverblog points to a French promotion for the debut of Desperate Housewives in France. Called HusbandsForSale, the site lets women buy and sell a husband online choosing them by region, age and an odd metric, perfection level. It's all in French so we'll have to take Adverblog's word it's well done.
Sure to make each episode as laborious as Trump's The Apprentice, Buick, Delta, Song, Random House, Westin Hotels and others have signed with Mark Burnett to be part of the new Apprentice: Martha Stewart. While the blatant intrusiveness of these full episode sponsorship may grate on the nerves, they bring in millions. The aggravation may be offset by Martha herself who, we venture to say, will be far more interesting than Trump.
Sullivan Higdon & Sink VP Creative Director and one half of the American Copywriter podcast team John January has weighed in on the recent Project Wannamaker study by The PreTesting Company which found creative effectiveness burns out after two to three weeks on the air.
In response to a blog post by Business Week's David Kiley which, in part, predicted a trend towards increasing offshore commercial production, January wrote, "Outsourcing production to India? Come on, kids. We can figure this out. Can't we? All it takes is open minds. Open-minded creatives, open-minded producers, open-minded production partners. So simple in pixels. So not simple in real life. But we'd better get our collective heads around this."
Kiley also mentions one agency is exploring how MTV produces so many high quality promotions and videos at low cost and how media shops, with their number crunching efficiencies are about to take on the bloated world of advertising production. Forget weblogs. That shift, if it sees light of day, is something to seriously ponder.
Here's a fun promotion by NightAgency for the upcoming, Diddy-hosted Video Music Awards airing Sunday, August 28:
"Diddy and Adrants invite you to the biggest party ever. The dress code must be respected! You must wear your finest gear. You must get your hair done! So, Adrants readers, please do not invite the rest of your friends like AdAge & Adweek, this invite is for you only. You have been selected. It's an honor to be part of history in the making. This will go down as the greatest party of all time! So please respect and adhere to all above said rules."
Part of the promotional website allows yo to create a customized invite, indicating who you'd like to invite as well as who not to invite, to send to your friends. All in good fun.
Perhaps forcing Nielsen to more quickly move its plans to measure commercial rather than programming, The PreTesting Company has is currently conducting a 2,500 Omaha home test of its MediaCheck Project Wannamaker (nice reference to the 50/50 statement), which measures ad viewership rather than program viewership, found most people tire of a campaign's commercials after just two weeks indicating overexposure and poor creative hurt TV campaigns the most. The study also found that DVR-equipped homes did not skip commercials any more than non-DVR (by changing channel, etc.) homes.
The company has plans to roll out a national, 50,000 home study and is is talks with cable operators to incorporate the measurement technology in set top boxes. Hello? Nielsen? Hello?
In an attempt to stem sliding rating, the Emmy Awards organizers have signed a deal with United Airlines to show a 20 minute commercial on flight beginning September 1 to promote the September 18 broadcast. Last year's broadcast was viewed by 13.8 million, down from 17.9 million the previous year. Perhaps it's not the award show itself but rather most everything on TV sucks.