In the midst of this activity, Michael Fuchs, then chief executive of HBO, said in 1989 in reference to a competing comedy channel from Viacom: “If we announced we were planning a cable fur network, the next day they would announce a cable fur network.”
And that might be a good addition -- as well as being warm, cozy, and perhaps cute. A bad cable network would be one totally devoted to all-advertising -- disrupted by 30 seconds of real content.
We are still not there with the latter. But with digital fractionalization of content continuing to climb, we now have ever-longer advertising content.
Tech company Qualcomm recently released a 30-minute film called “Lifeline” starring Olivia Munn, LeeHom Wang, and Joan Chen — a thriller with an elaborate plot that’s also an online ad for the company, produced by Ogilvy & Mather. The New York Timessays the film has attracted 20 million views, with 80% coming from China.
We have heard plenty of talk about native advertising and content marketing. While much might be overt promotion, other stuff might be more subtle. The question is how subtle -- or maybe how manipulative?
No matter. Marketing executives continue to say the same thing: It’s about getting people to watch something that good.
Still, all this doesn’t sound that much different from a standard GEICO or Old Spice TV commercial that you like, taking only 15 or 30 seconds out of your busy day. Maybe something you’d like to share.
If TV Watch had to choose, we prefer fur. But maybe not the Mink Stole Network.