Satellite Radio Could Become 'People's Medium'

Writing in MediaPost's Online Spin, Tom Hespos posits satellite radio, with its seemingly limitless bandwidth, could become the new Internet allowing anyone, through satellite company lease, to broadcast their own radio show. Internet publishing and recently, weblogs, have provided a global voice to individual inclined to shout loud enough. Satellite could do the same for wannabe radio personalities.

by Steve Hall    Oct-12-04    

Agency Places TV Buy to Win Beer Account

In what is believed to be a first, Toronto ad agency Vaughn Whelan & Partners, which does not have the Molson account, placed a commercial for Molson Canadian over the weekend. It was placed, along with other marketing efforts, to attract the attention of Molson Chairman Eric Molson, Molson CEO Dan O'Neill and Adolph Coors CEO Leo Kiely. Vaughn Whelan & Partners CEO Vaughn whelan employed the tactic in a bid to win the account away from incumbent Bensimon Byrne as part of an ongoing agency review.

The 60-second ad told the story of a Toronto bike courier who took on Revenue Canada and won after arguing his daily food bill should be deductible as fuel. In a nod to the usual beer ad, the spot concluded with the line "Respect," a patio shot with the triumphant courier, the obligatory buxom babe and the tagline "It's a Canadian Thing."

by Steve Hall    Oct-12-04    

Adrants Billboards: Trump's Atlantic City Failings

  • Writing in Ad Age, Al Ries claims Trump's failing Atlantic City casino's are due to flawed marketing strategy.
  • Experiential marketing defines itself with a manifesto.
  • Mobile service provider has selected Publicis Groupe's Conhill for its first $20 million Hispanic effort.
  • ABC's Desperate Housewives continued to enthrall with 20.3 million viewers tuning in Sunday night for a peek inside suburbia.
  • CBS's Two and a Half Men is keeping the comedy genre aloft and landing the series in the top ten.
  • More from the TV world: WB execs are telling advertisers, while they will go after the 25-34 year old crowd, the network will keep its focus on the tween/teen/college 12-24 female audience.
  • Verizon, again, tops Ad Age's half year measurements of ad spend. The company spent $730.8 million in the first half of 2004.
by Steve Hall    Oct-12-04    

Penis Size Sells Big Burger

Dismissing the minor detail that fast food kills, Carl's Jr. Restaurants (OK, so they're not exactly fast) is maximizing the obsession with penis size in a new campaign to promote its new double the killing power, double burger. With the voiceover "everyone in Washington is talking about how big they are," images of everyone from Bush to Kerry to Clinton to Rice are shown indicating their size (or desire for in Rice's case) making sure we know the Carl's Jr. burger is BIG.

Lest we forget other fine, though sexually unrelated spots this week in Ad Age's TV Spots of the Week, Visa has Brentson Buckner kissing is shoes, Zaxby's piles on the carbs with the much over used pencil in the ceiling tile analogy, iPod silhouettes, Ameritrade bores us with some guy's morning routine, American Legacy Foundation continues is realty series approach to quitting smoking, Oral-B, whose name, alongside images of women's grinning mouths, alludes to something other than whiter teeth and TGIFriday's gets the whole family to the restaurant.

by Steve Hall    Oct-12-04    

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AM New York Uses Link Popularity As News Source

A few days after the first Presidential debate, there were accusations from both sides claiming Bush and Jerry "cheated" during the debate.

There was talk of Bush being fed answers through an ear piece and Kerry using a cheat sheet. New York paper AM New York ran a front page story yesterday about the issue and cited Google searches, "Bush and bulge (in jacket" and Kerry and cheat sheet" yielding many searches as an indicator of the accusation's validity. Journalistically, there's a difference between many people saying something happened and many people searching to see if something actually did happen.

by Steve Hall    Oct-12-04    

Euro RSCG to Jetison Black Rocket

Black Rocket, once the high flying agency that created Yahoo's famous yodel, is now in the throes of an ugly dispute with parent company Euro RSCG. Founding partner Steve Stone, whose Euro contract has run out, wants to buy the firm and take back the Black Rocket but Euro wants to bury the name yet will consider selling the company back to Stone. Founding partner John Yost has just resigned citing the need to take a break. Agency business as usual.

And all along we thought Black Rocket was just some oblique product from failed Internet backbone provider Genuity. Never heard of it? Neither had we until sauntered into a tricked-out, dot com boardroom a few years back for an explanation while working on the account. Our eyes are still glazed over.

by Steve Hall    Oct-12-04    

Ford to Copy GM With On-Air Car Giveaway

Not to be left out of the fun, Ford is signing its own car giveaway deal with ABC's Extreme Makeover" Home Edition. While not as grand as Oprah's multi-hundred car gieaway, families in six upcoming episodes will receive a free vehicle. Perhaps ABC will also pay the tax and insurance as well rather then saddling winners with those costs as the Oprah giveaway did.

by Steve Hall    Oct-12-04    

Maven Networks Promotes Branded Video With Glowing Research

Maven Networks, Inc., developer of a platform that enables brand marketers to deliver full-screen, DVD-quality interactive video to the desktops of broadband consumers, today released survey results that indicated 71% of consumers would download a branded video channel to their desktop and that 76% would like the channel concept as a means of receiving specific information from companies of interest. OTX Research conducted the study.

Of consumers shown a demonstration of how the Maven-powered channels work, other findings were as follows:

  • 69% stated they would like it if a marketer they trusted delivered content through a desktop channel. More than three-quarters of 24-44 year-olds would like to receive information via a channel.
  • 68% of respondents believed that the Maven-powered channel experience is unique compared to other available online services. They cited ease of download, informative and interesting nature, and ease-of-use as standout features. In addition, they said that Maven offers a superior technology to currently-available media players.
  • 70% of respondents claimed that they would use the service at least once a week, with 25-34 year-olds being the most likely to use it that often.
  • When asked to indicate what word or phrase best described the Maven channel approach, the top five responses were: easy to download; informative; interesting; easy to use; and convenient.
Further supporting Maven's business model, consumers in the study also indicated concerns over receiving video content directly from marketers, specifically:
  • The video may use too much space on their hard drive.
  • The content might take too long to download.
  • Marketers might use the content as a way to collect personal information about the consumer.
Research is always welcome, if even to confirm the obvious as this study does. Video on the web has a promising future and companies like Maven who "channel-ize" online video are likely to succeed handsomely.

When ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and every other television entity finally give up the broadcast model and realize people want what they want when they want it, Maven and others who play in this space are certain to do well either on their own or through acquisition.

by Steve Hall    Oct-12-04