Category Archives: Television

Letterman is just great

Watch this interview of David Letterman on the Carson Tonight Show from 22 years ago and a few things pop out:

  1. Dave basically predicts the Leno/O’Brien fiasco when he says no, he’s not mad, but he would be if NBC had given him The Tonight Show and then taken it away from him
  2. Letterman is just operating on a whole different level than anyone else. At least anyone else who’s not Johnny Carson. I remember something from a while ago which drew the distinction that whereas Leno may say funny things (your mileage may vary) Letterman just *thinks* funny.
  3. Look at how, while he is doing his thing, he clearly knows whose house he’s in. So while he’s funny and clearly having fun, he always is doing so while acknowledging the real power in the room.

The core problem with social TV

Wow do I wish I’d written this:

Okay, video startups, it’s time to get real: That social TV thing you’ve been trying for the last couple years? It’s not working.

The evidence is all around us: A few days ago, Yahoo announced that it was shutting down Intonow, the social TV service it had acquired three years ago. The announcement came on the heels of i.TV discontinuing the GetGlue service and brand which it acquired late last year in favor of its new tvtag app.

And just today, social TV company Viggle bought Dijit, better known for its NextGuide app. Dijit of course had acquired social TV pioneer Miso a year ago, just around the time when Viggle tried — and failed — to buy GetGlue.

Dizzy yet? I haven’t even mentioned Matcha, Tunerfish, Screentribe, Twelevision, Otherscreen, BeeTV, Numote or Philo yet — all startups that tried and failed to revolutionize TV by making it social. Some got acquired and eventually sidelined, others just fizzled and ran out of cash. Part of this is simply how the startup world works — for every success, there are a bunch of failures.

But there’s more to it: from the very beginning, standalone social TV apps were a solution in search of a problem.

via Let’s face it: social TV is dead — Tech News and Analysis.

Super Bowl ads will be hashtagged within an inch of their lives

I’m old enough to remember when like 10% or so of Super Bowl ads even had a URL, much less a freaking hashtag. And the URL strategy was – and is – much more sustainable than a hashtag, which isn’t necessarily unique, can be hijacked by anyone and has all sorts of other problems. But, as I’ve said many times, they’re only going to become more pervasive since most networks now support them. Which, ugh.

Per StarStar’s numbers, during last year’s big game, only 14 percent of the advertisers used a Facebook call-to-action, while 33 percent included a Twitter hashtag and 53 percent mentioned a branded online destination. It’s worth noting that Facebook did not have hashtags at this juncture a year ago and few brands were utilizing them on Instagram compared to now. So high-paying Fox advertisers such as Volkswagen might be more inclined to employ them on-screen since they are now relevant across three major platforms.

via Infographic: Will Super Bowl Advertisers Put Hashtags and Facebook URLs in Their Spots? | Adweek.

More on what movies will be promoted during the Super Bowl

The list isn’t huge – though a later update adds Noah to the list – since studios may be playing a longer game and looking at less expensive events later in the year. A stark change from seven or eight years ago, when it seemed a full quarter of Super Bowl ads were for movies.

Instead, all of the tentpoles without Super Bowl pushes will get promoted elsewhere — perhaps during the upcoming Winter Olympics, which will also attract a massive audience and cost slightly less for airtime. Or their studios will go straight to the Web with trailer launches, a move that will quickly get the ads shared to audiences via social media and prove more cost effective.

via Which Movies are In, Out of the Super Bowl | Variety.

Not sure what the point of calling the Super Bowl ads *is* anymore

I still follow Super Bowl advertising news with great interest, ever since Tom Biro and I helped redefine the publicity cycle around Super Bowl advertising.

Oh, you didn’t know we did that? We totally did.

In another sign of that strategy’s growing popularity, Google is adding for the first time a gallery of teaser video clips to the annual YouTube Ad Blitz channel devoted to Super Bowl commercials. The gallery, scheduled to go live early Friday morning, begins with preview videos from five advertisers planning to run commercials during Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2: Butterfinger, Doritos, Intuit, Squarespace and Pepsi, teasing its sponsorship of the halftime show.

“What used to be a one-day event, with some postgame water-cooler chat, is now an eight- to 13-week experience,” said Lucas Watson, vice president for brand solutions at Google.

As a result, “major advertisers are trying to win the conversation” before the game, he said, as well as during and after.

via Super Bowl Ads Get Their Own Pregame Show (and It’s an Early One) –

Anheuser-Busch not buying much at the Super Bowl

I still follow AB’s Super Bowl efforts with great interest, ever since Tom Biro and I helped redefine the publicity cycle around Super Bowl advertising on AB’s behalf.

Oh, you didn’t know we did that? We totally did.

Three new Bud Light ads will air during the Super Bowl on Feb. 2 and introduce the tagline, “The perfect beer for whatever happens,” according to A-B. The commercials are among five that the brewer will unveil during the big game; the other two are for Budweiser. All told, A-B purchased three and a half minutes of time on the game.

via Anheuser-Busch InBev Discusses Super Bowl Ad Plans | Adweek.

NBC is ahead of the game on the 2015 Super Bowl

I’ve never really been one of those “It’s not even Halloween, why do stores have Christmas decorations out!” kind of people. But I feel something familiar to that when I read NBC is already selling ads for the 2015 Super Bowl:

The Peacock has sold a “double digit” number of ad berths for Super Bowl XLVIX, said Seth Winter, exec veep of sales and sales marketing for both NBC Sports Group and NBCUniversal News Group, told Variety in a brief interview Tuesday.  He declined to specify what percentage of ad inventory was sold or the price NBC was seeking.

via NBC Begins Selling Ads for 2015 Super Bowl | Variety.

My voice is my passport…verify me for watching TV online


The requirement to sign in to watch also extends to, where ABC up until now made its shows available for free to everyone. Going forward, next-day access is restricted to either Hulu Plus subscribers or subscribers who authenticate through their cable provider. Both Hulu and will continue to make episodes available to everyone, including people who don’t pay for cable, eight days after the initial air date.

via Bad news for cord cutters: ABC starts restricting access to full TV show episodes — Tech News and Analysis.

On the one hand, this is good for networks since they get to continue creating artificial demand for their over-the-air/cable broadcasts.

On the other hand this is good for outlets like Hulu who can likely charge more for ads because they can provide more audience data.

Nowhere in this equation is how this is good for viewers. Because it’s really not.

Few movies to be advertised during the Super Bowl

Huh…I wonder who the few who are participating are and who the notable absences are going to be?

However, Hollywood, which often uses the Super Bowl to promote upcoming blockbusters, will have a diminished presence, according to Neil Mulcahy, executive vice president of sales for Fox Sports Media Group.

via Fox sells out Super Bowl ad inventory; Hollywood presence diminished –

Update: Looks like the list is pretty short, as expected. This report just names Paramount (Transformers: Age of Extinction) and Sony (Amazing Spider-Man 2) as the studios ponying up just shy of $4M for a 30-second spot. There may be some others who jump into the late market but wow, that’s not a lot of studios for what has traditionally been a movie-heavy advertising event.

Then again 2014 *is* looking like a light year movie-wise. Not that there aren’t plenty of big releases, but it’s nothing when you look ahead to what’s coming in 2015, when I would imagine the Super Bowl advertising market will be flooded with studios vying for space.


Binge viewing a threat to TV ad revenue

I give it a year until we more formally have something akin to the web’s “native advertising” on TV because of this:

According to David Berkowitz, chief marketing officer at MRY, the binge factor of Netflix in particular is currently a major threat to the largest chunk of media spending. The more consumers that watch Netflix, especially for extended chunks of time, the less those consumers will be exposed to ads.

via Netflix’s Binge Viewing Behavior Poses Threat to Marketers | ClickZ.