Perhaps finally acknowledging the pointlessness of printed (or even online) TV listing, TV Guide has jumped full force into blog land with the launch of 65 weblogs. The blogs, written by magazine and web editorial staff, focus on individual television shows, movies, soaps and just about everything else that has to do with television. This should stir things up among the already hundreds of TV focused blogs already in existence but, as many bloggers know, it's not seen as competition but rather more fuel to fire the conversation.
We were going to ignore this one because it's just so stupid but we keep seeing everyone talking about that Philips patent that would make it possible for broadcasters to somehow disable the ability of people to skip through commercials. However, we just can't leave it alone and we left a comment over at AdFreak which we'll share with you here.
"It's bad enough now that some DVDs force you to endure move previews...and that DVD manufacturers go along with the ploy. I have mixed feeling about where this will go. After all, if this thing actually took hold, people, as they use to do, would just get up during the commercial break and go to the kitchen or to the bathroom. And, to boot, since research is getting better at knowing when people actually see a commercial versus knowing it was simply broadcast to an empty room, marketers will bail out on this before it goes anywhere."
What do you think?
UPDATE: In an Advertising Age article today, Philips has clarified its patent claiming it meant to offer choice, not force viewership of ads, "We developed a system where the viewer can choose, at the beginning of a movie, to either watch the movie without ads, or watch the movie with ads. It is up to the viewer to take this decision, and up to the broadcaster to offer the various services."
A recent Association of National Advertisers survey found 66 percent of advertisers involve themselves in some form of branded entertainment. Eighty percent use television as the channel through which to launch branded entertainment initiatives and 76 percent plan to include those initiative in their upfront dealings with broadcasters.
While marketers acknowledge impact on sales is of great importance and are measuring their efforts, 62 percent say it is not easy to do and 87 percent say existing measurement tools can't do the job. Sixty two percent say the money to fund branded entertainment initiatives comes from television budgets, up from 52 percent last year and more (35 percent) are funding initiatives incrementally, up from 18 percent last year. More than half (60 percent) do not rely on their agencies for branded entertainment and initiate projects themselves.
Shot atop a 54 story building in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil, Dieste Harmel & Partners has created a CGI-filled spot for Gatorade that has a football team doing its thing while the voiceover intones, "When you give everything to win, you give life to the field." And, indeed, life is given. View the spot here.
Just as Howard Beale screamed in the 1976 movie, Network, so too are network execs, today, screaming "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore" in reaction to the FCC's piling on the final straw that broke the camel's back. After the FCC levied $3 million in fines last month for various indiscretions including a sexually charged Without A Trace scene, ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX have banded together to sue the FCC claiming, "The FCC rulings underscore the inherent problem of government involvement in deciding what viewers should and shouldn't see on television." Broadcasters claim those concerned about television content have plenty of means at their disposal to block content they individually deem inappropriate and the government need not involve itself as it does.
In a last swan song, Group Health Incorporated, this week, launched its last ad campaign before merging with HIP. The campaign, created by Munn Rabot and directed by Rupert Wainwright (The Fog, Stigmata), celebrates GHI physicians, 600 of whom are listed by New York Magazine as the best the city has to offer. The three spots show the surgeons as regular people interacting with individuals who are there should they ever be needed. Hey, it's better than fake doctors in white lab coats. See the three spots here.
Following up his not so positive opinion of ABC's move to offer shows online for free, Todd Copelvitz (yes, you will be hearing a lot more from him) offers ABC five suggestions on how they could have, and still can, make the offering better and more inline with people's media consumption habits. For Copelvitz, as it is for us, it's about choice. Provide people choices. Todd says ABC should offer their programming in multiple formats. Not just ad-supported online of pay-per-download from iTunes but provide a full gamut of choices from pay to free, from TV to cell phone. Let the consumer choose to pay for ad-free TV or ad-supported TV. Let them choose the sponsors they want to hear from as Weatherbug does. Adding to that, make the commercial specific to the medium through which it is delivered. TV gets bog bold production. Cell phone gets smaller, more interactive version.
In reaction to ABC's announcement it would provide advertiser-supported free programming online without the ability to skip ads, Todd Copelvitz suggested ABC check out these things called DVRs and Slingbox which allows a person to access their DVR from anywhere in the world...and skip the ads. Now, Todd has a guest writer who likens the industry's missteps 100 years ago with the advent of radio to current missteps by broadcaster faced with the possibilities the Internet provides.
The writer wonder about ABC's mindset here writing, "...does anyone really believe that if you force me to sit through a commercial while watching one of these shows online that I'll really pay attention to it? Nope, I'll be checking my email, having an IM conversation and paying my bills online. Because that's how I use my broadband connection and any advertiser trying to get my attention has to understand that."
It seems everyone's over the whole Kate Moss cocaine addiction thing. After all, it's not surprising given how fickle we are as an industry and how we love our celebs. Kate Moss, hot off returning to Calvin Klein, has signed with Nikon to help promote the company's new Coolpix S6 camera line. Moss will appear in print, TV and cinema ads as well as a promotional website which teases visitors to come back May 8 when "all will be revealed" even though the promotional site progresses to the Nikon site that tells you about the camera. MWW worked on the project concept. McCann-Erikson created the spots.
Sounding oddly similar to Visa's new tagline "Life Takes Visa," Hill Holliday has just introduced a new tagline for Dunkin' Donuts: "America Runs On Dunkin'" Hmm. Well, we're not complaining. After all, there's isn't much more you need to get through life than a credit card and caffeine. There are eight spots in the campaign, most of which play like music videos and do the whole coffee as lifestyle thing. Our favorite, Pleather, rocks on about that annoying summer problem of legs sticking to leather/pleather car seats. The campaign also includes nine radio spots, print, in-store advertising, outdoor and online.
UPDATE: Hill Holliday lays out all the work and the thinking behind it on their new website/blog.