Howard Stern to Host Prime Time ABC Interview Special

ABC could have itself a much needed ratings winner following a deal they have made with Howard Stern to host a prime time interview special this spring. The show is reported to be a one time special but others could follow if the first one is a success.

"You can bet Howard will shake up the format of the TV interview," a Stern associate said last night. "Don't be surprised that after his show gets huge ratings, Barbara Walters is suddenly asking her guests about their penis size."

by Steve Hall    Jan-22-04    

Survivor All-Star Finalists Revealed

Andy Dehnart of Reality Blurred sums up the story about how "Survivor" host Jeff Probst predicts the Internet will ruin "Survivor" because someone "in the know" will be too tempted to keep the secret. And how someone by the name of Bill Marson has done just that claiming to know who the final four and final two contestants are on "Survivor All-Stars." Read on if you want to spoil the surprise.

by Steve Hall    Jan-22-04    

Trump Gets Ass Kicked by 'American Idol'

After two very highly rated weeks, "The Apprentice" went up against "American Idol" and lost big time. "Idol" was watched by 29 million viewers while "The Apprentice" dropped from its previous 20 million down to just 12 million viewers. It's time for NBC to move the show again. Anywhere except against "American Idol."

UPDATE: And NBC has done the smart thing. "The Apprentice" has moved back to Thursdays.

by Steve Hall    Jan-22-04    

Scion Gets Chatty With Consumers

Scion is making effective use of the Internet by using live chat to attract the 18-24 year old audience. Also part of the campaign are microapplication ads that allows consumers to stencil designs over pictures of the Scion.

"Chat is a popular medium for the 18-to-24-year-old demographic, so we decided to try it out," said Scion Sales Manager Brian Bolain. "This generation grew up with computers. They use AOL Instant Messenger and cell phones. We decided it was time we responded to them in the way they are accustomed to."

The on-site chat is powered by LivePerson and Scion says it is getting hundreds of conversations a week. Prior to the chat, users are asked a few question, one of which is where they live. Interestingly, Scion found that many of the chatters reside in areas where Scion is not even available providing valuable information for dealer expansion plans.

by Steve Hall    Jan-22-04    

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Sports Club Ad Delivers Nut Cracking Butt

Ads are so much more fun in Europe. This ad for Leo's Sports Club puts all other butt-building health related ads to shame. The question remians, though, whether you'd really want to eat that nut once it's been given the Leo's Sports Club butt-nut-crackin' treatment. Via TTR2.

by Steve Hall    Jan-22-04    

The Printed Newspaper Gasps For Survival

Study after study show newspaper readership heading downward and the use of the Internet to find news rising rapidly.

"Each succeeding generation of under-30s seems less oriented toward newspapers. That's why pessimists foretell the long-term doom of newspapers, but we're not so quick to say that," said Pew Research Center Editor Carroll Doherty. "Newspapers are still a major source of news for many millions of Americans. So even if the trends are cloudy, newspapers have an enormous base of readers at a time when media fragmentation is considerable."

While the Internet rises as a means to retrieve news, it's still the old-school newspaper reporter walking the beat in search of the news that fills both the pages of the printed newspaper and the "pages" of news website.

"Printed newspapers are not going away in our lifetime," said David Card of New York-based Jupiter Research. "But I doubt that a lot of young people who grew up on TV and the Internet are going to retreat to the printed newspaper as they settle into middle age."

With the rise in Internet usage and the increasing prevalence of wireless access to news sources, my feeling is the printed newspaper is going to die quicker than many think.

by Steve Hall    Jan-22-04    

Bravo Casting for 'Straight Dates by Gay Mates'

Bravo is going full-on gay. After the success of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," the cable net is casting for a show that has gay guys giving single girls makeovers and then hooking them up with straight guys. The show, copied in the usual "TV has no original ideas" tradition, is mirrored after the U.K. show, "Straight Dates by Gay Mates." Gawker has commentary and you can apply here.

by Steve Hall    Jan-22-04    

Ecko Unlimited Launches Dreamnasium II Ad Campaign

In her MediaPost Out to Launch column this week, Amy Coor features a new print campaign by Ecko Unlimited called Dreamnasium II. The campaign for the clothier features Hugh Hefner, Fat Joe, DJ Mix Master Mike of the Beastie Boys, Talib Kweli, Dead Prez, and VJ Julissa.

Other new ad campaigns launched and covered in Amy's column include the PGA, AARP, the AFL, MoveOn, the National PTA and Jose Quervo.

by Steve Hall    Jan-22-04    

Consumers and Media Buyers Say Super Bowl Commercials Too Expensive

An InsightExpress survey of consumers and media buyers reports both groups think the cost of Super Bowl ads is not worth it. However, 83 percent of media buyers say publicity achieved surrounding the game is the number one reason for paying the high price.

by Steve Hall    Jan-22-04