TiVio, today, announced an upgrade for one million of its Series 2 users that will allow viewers to respond directly to long form ads which have been specially encoded to provide more information to the viewer upon request. To do so, TiVo will, with user permission, forward the users contact information to the advertiser. Oddly, the service appears to be put to use for the mailing of physical marketing materials where some form of on screen or online delivery would seem to be more logical and appropriate.
Pauly Shore, who, other than a recent appearance on HBO's Entourage, appeared to be dead, is launching a new show on TBS called Minding the Store and is promoting it by offering a dollar to the first 250,000 viewers who don't find the show funny. Of course, to get the dollar, the viewer has to send a self addressed, stamped envelope making two way postage $.74 rendering a net return of $.26 which only an idiot would bother doing. One the upside, this might be the best joke Shore has ever told and the Post Office certainly isn't complaining.
In a move that ackowledges the shift in news consumption from TV to the web, CBS News has announced plans for the launch of a 24-hour, broadband news network which will become the centerpiece of the network's news delivery platform. The new CBSNews.com site will include broadband video, a weblog, called "Public Eye," written by Vaughn Ververs and on-air reporters will produce online segments throughout the day.
We are so glad we work in the advertising industry which, gleefully, keeps us out almost all survey databases and out of Arbitron and Nielsen survey pools. Especially since Nielsen will now be interrupting Nielsen people meter users every 42 minutes, reminding them to register their viewing. Previously, interruptions would occur only when the channel was changed. Isn't advertising a wonderful thing?
Lee Iacocca, who uttered Chrysler's tagline, "If you can find a better car, buy it," in 61 commercials during his reign as turnaround CEO for the troubled car company, is returning as pitchman in a set of new commercials. The deal calls for Iacocca to appear, initially, in three spots with compensation in the form of a Chrysler donation to Iacocca's diabetes research foundation along with $1 for every Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep sold for the rest of the year.
Two recent studies of DVR usage point to potential advertiser benefits. an ESPN study found 85 percent of DVR households own just one DVR and 68 percent of DVR household viewing is done in front of the DVR-enabled television. Some believe this implies group and/or family viewing. MPG CEO Charlie Rutman commented to MediaPost on the study, saying, "I've felt for some time that in some respects, the DVR might actually encourage viewing, especially family viewing. When you think about it, the DVR becomes the media center of the household, and draws everyone to it."
Another study conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates found 55 percent of DVR users stop "on occasion" during fast forward to view a commercial. This leads some to believe all is not lost for the :30. The Magid study suggest agencies adopt alternative production techniques "with less cuts and stronger visual elements. Producers need to understand how each DVR system differs, such as how the fast-forward bar intrudes on the TV screen, and the impact it has on graphic placement."
New Haven television station WTHN (channel 8) has become the whipping boy of television station weather promotions in this spoof that calls attention to the insanity of Doppler-focused newscasts as if they've actually done something to improve forecasts. In typical, "First, there was this, then there was that, now there's...," a very convincing television promo announcer exclaims "now the most biggest name in weather forecasting just got more bigger. Introducing news channel eight's Supercali Fragilistic Expiali Doppler." You'll love the final statement referring to Mother Nature. Watch it here.
UPN's Bad Girl Ad Babe
Jenny McCarthy was the wise-ass MTV/Playboy chic of the nineties. Sadly, she hasn't been able to come up and an act two and her latest outing, the UPN advertising focused sitcom "The Bad Girl's Guide," according to the New York Times' Virginia Heffernan doesn't make the cut. Heffernan wrote, "There's no pleasure in reporting that it's another misfire, though typically good-natured. Tonight's episode is madcap but ultimately strident and not entertaining. As JJ, a boy-crazy advertising executive, Ms. McCarthy smiles wide, cavorts and cracks up with two friends, Holly (Marcelle Larice) and Sarah (Christina Moore), as she pushes deadlines, fantasizes about guys and gets high while working for a huffy boss...But the kooky dialogue, delivered in shrieks, falls flat. And JJ and her friends are far too pleased with themselves; they amplify the grating laugh track with so much deranged gaiety of their own that they seem to be crying for help."
Of course, we'll all like it because we can make fun at writers who can never seem to get advertising right in television shoes or in movies. Perhaps there's a drinking game in the making here. Take a swig everytime an account exec is portrayed as the one who actually makes the ad - one of the most common misnomers put forth in advertising themed shows.
In what we believe to be a losing battle against consumers who now, with PVR technology, have near complete control over whether they view ads or not, Chicago's OMD has announced it will soon test what it dubs "fast-forward commercials." Announced during a keynote yesterday at the Cablevision Advertising Bureau sales conference in Chicago, OMD Director of Strategic Marketing David DeSocio suggested DVRs should not be seen as threat but as a means to provide viewers with better advertising. DeSocio told the audience that while control given to consumers by DVRs, his agency's new technology would help advertisers "involve the consumer even when they are in avoidance mode." Correct me if I'm wrong but that's just about the nicest way I've ever heard anyone say, "force the consumer to view ads when they choose not to."
New York Times television critic Virginia Heffernan is on the scene this week live-blogging the upfronts. Tune in for her witty takes on Jeff Zucker. Imagine her rolling her eyes as Zucker's presentation pokes fun at last years flops, Hawaii, LAX and Father of the Pride. Read how she likens it to a parent slapping a kid. And wallow in the appearances of Tina Fey and Ming-Na, both pregnant, both promoting a new show called Inconceivable, in which a woman gets implanted with the wrong eggs. Wait. Pregnancy take nine months, right? How's that show going to get dragged out for five years?