The 89th Academy Awards will soon be upon us and if the final of the trifecta of awards shows follows the path of the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards, politics will be present in this year's ceremony. Although the 2016 Oscars did reach an eight-year low in terms of viewership, the award show still remains the second-most watched TV event, so the question for brands looking to reach the estimated 34+ million viewers will be how can they engage in this current dialogue, if at all, without losing authenticity?
Over the past weekend, I was back in my hometown for some family events. I stayed a night with my folks. As I was pulling into the driveway, I couldn't help recall a Comcast commercial that was airing during the holidays. The spot, "Hooking up Grandma's House" is a funny and heartwarming vignette about a grandchild that tweets about entering the "gates of hell," a/k/a her grandparents' home, where there are no wi-fi and no premium channels.
I think people will be looking beyond the dresses this year and will be more interested in the words spoken on stage and trending hashtags in social media.
Mashable called it a "stunt." "Adweek" said it was a "neat party gimmick." And the "Washington Post" deemed it a "nifty innovation." I'm talking about the new Tostitos chip bag that can detect alcohol on a person's breath when you blow into it, announced to much fanfare last week. Tostitos is also offering 25,000 $10 discounts off Uber rides on Super Bowl Sunday, helping to ensure that football fans get home safely after celebrating the big game.
Unsuspecting Angelinos awoke New Year's Day to find their iconic "Hollywood" sign altered to read "Hollyweed." Amidst the coverage, an astute few noted the exact same stunt had been pulled on Jan. 1, 1976. In Hollywood these days, it seems, even the pranks are reboots.
There are no fewer than 1,500 posts circulating online around the best marketing campaigns to create to capture your share of the Super Bowl frenzy that is now upon us. This is NOT one of those posts.
I just returned from CES and it is abundantly clear that audio is well on its way to becoming center stage for marketers. Music and podcasts are cornerstones to smartphone usage, for some users, it is up to 80% of their weekly activity, and if last week's showing in Vegas is any indication, audio will be a key delivery vehicle in our homes, cars, stores, and other places people move through throughout the day.
I vividly remember the scene in Star Trek IV, The Voyage Home, when Scotty sits down at the computer and says in his thick Scottish accent "Computer, Computer," gets no response and then tries speaking into the mouse, again with no success. He finally resorts to using the keyboard and remarks how quaint it is to use the keyboard. While I laughed at the scene, I knew that one day in my lifetime we would be giving verbal instructions to computers and other devices.
Every year we try to anticipate what new ideas will have cultural impact that entertainment brands and brands in all categories can leverage. We believe that brands and their agency partners must "Move at the Speed of Culture," with speed driving the urgency to act today.
Happy New Year, everyone! If it's the beginning of January, it must be time to make my New Year's business resolutions. This year, I wanted some expert advice in creating a list that would make my agency and my work more meaningful and effective for my clients.