• The Police Back Together For Grammys; Few Arrests Expected
    Television can be a confusing place for brands -- especially popular name brands. Take a headline today in The Hollywood Reporter: "Webber to be judge that 'Grease' wants." Can that be? Chris Webber, veteran power forward now with the Detroit Pistons, now wants to moonlight in analyzing the singing and dancing feet of prospective Broadway talent for NBC's reality show "Grease: You're The One That I Want"? No, not at all. That's another entertainment brand name -- Andrew Lloyd Webber of "Evita," "Cats" and "Phantom of the Opera" fame.
  • Taking Apart TV Viewing, Second By Second
    What did you do during the last five seconds? The same thing as the second before -- but maybe not the one before that. No matter. Marketers want to track you down in second-by-second increments. It first starts with your TV habits.Some people think second-by-second data is overkill -- that for the money there won't be a lot gained. What will be found? Maybe a lot of unsettled viewers who can't really control the fast-forward button as much as marketers imagine.
  • TV's Future Upfronts: No Jokes, No Shrimp -- Just Less Money
    Can media agencies make upfront deals without first schmoozing with singing TV executives, caramelized little pizzas, and jokes from Jimmy Kimmel? An American Association of Advertising Agencies' TV committee is looking to have the networks scale back their big May presentations. This makes them seem like party poopers.
  • Networks Still Looking For Renewal, Reality, Reasonably Priced Programs
    Stop the financial presses: ABC just renewed money-making show "America's Funniest Home Videos" for what will be its 18th season. It's a show that started just a few weeks after "The Simpsons" -- all back at the time when there was no UPN, WB, CW, iTunes, reality TV, and mobisodes.
  • 'Studio 60' And 'Illiterate' Programming
    Networks will now need to hire "vice presidents of illiterate programming" to make their staffs complete. That's what Jordan McDeere, president of entertainment for NBS on "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," called her recent hire -- a woman who is actually vice president of alternative programming.
  • Super Bowl Vs. The Oscars: For TV Ratings, It Doesn't Matter Who's Playing
    Who has the better match-up in big upcoming TV events? The Bears versus the Colts -- or Scorsese versus Eastwood? The only one that hasn't won either the Super Bowl or an Oscar is Martin Scorsese. But where's the real drama?
  • HDTV Marketing: Blurry And Missing Images
    hen it comes to high-def TV sets, consumer marketing doesn't go far enough. It sells the car but forgets to tell consumers they need gas. According to research by CTAM, 34% of owners who weren't HD subscribers weren't aware they needed to subscribe to a programming service when they purchased their HDTV sets. But that's not nearly the real problem: CTAM's study further revealed that most HD owners aren't even aware they're missing out on those better images.
  • Carmakers' Concerns Drive Away Deals
    ven in the age of brand entertainment optimism, product placed in TV shows and movies can still be a slow-moving, under-the- speed-limit problem for some marketers. For Fox's new adventurous mid-season show, "Drive," about a group of people who entered an illegal race to win big money, producers cast a number of not-recent models: a 2000 Toyota minivan, a 1998 Ford Taurus, a 1971 Dodge Challenger, a 1983 Pontiac Firebird, an LR3 Land Rover, and others. But when Fox contacted car manufacturers to possibly be included in some bigger marketing deals, there were no takers.
  • Cable A La Carte: Just Pieces Of A High-Priced Meal For Advertisers
    FCC Chairman Kevin Martin says à la carte selling of cable networks is just what advertisers need to better target their viewers. Martin may have a point in today's fragmented media world. But there are other financial considerations....
  • Should Broadcast Networks Follow Cable's Rerun Model?
    TV's got a new name for cable networks whose strategy is to rerun original programming throughout the week--call them "Auto-TiVo." At least that's what Ted Harbert, president/CEO of Comcast Entertainment Group. called the cable networks he oversees. He said that it was silly of the networks to keep filling 22 hours a season with expensive programming. Better do what cable networks do, and run and rerun programming again and again throughout the week.
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