For weeks or months, I had been seeing a certain ad on cable news networks. It begins with a typical home filling up with water, and has a voiceover talking about homeowners being misinformed about protecting their home. It's for the National Flood Insurance Program, administered by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Considering that the commercial has been on for some time, the opportunity for viewers to see it now -- so soon after Hurricane Sandy -- means something more.
Death and taxes are a certainty. But troubling hurricane-type weather? Less so -- unless you believe in massive global weather change. Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast has made a mess of thing, with television and political campaign changes.
If you thought only cable news channels offered a politically polarizing view of the world, you'd be wrong: Try some mainstream prime-time entertainment. Recent analysis from Bruce Goerlich, chief research officer of Rentrak, says the current crop of TV shows also offer strong liberal or conservative views. But few shows offer political leanings from both sides of the aisles.
The number of self published books is up almost 300%. Could user-generated television networks be far behind? User-generated video is an obvious video forerunner, which continues to grow. The big issue continues to be finding the right monetization, as not all big-time advertisers are interested. Growing premium digital video, as well as the continued structure of the $70 billion traditional TV business, continue to be a better opportunity .
A recent general theory is that second screens help the first screen. But perhaps not in the ways you think. Watching a TV show by traditional means (first screen), you might be lured to find that show's specific app or website on your smartphone or tablet for more information (second screen). All that will foster a deeper engagement -- but not completely.
Current political voter query: "What do you think of Sequestration?" Scratching-head voter answer: "Sorry. I don't own any horses."
AMC programming apparently doesn't suck that much anymore, according to Dish Network. Dish finally did a carriage deal with AMC Networks, as well as settling its long ongoing issue with HD-channel service Voom.
Joaquin Phoenix says the Oscars are somewhat beneath him. "I think it's bullshit," he told Interview magazine recently when asked about campaigning for "The Master." "I don't want to be a part of it. I don't believe in it. It's a carrot, but it's the worst-tasting carrot I've ever tasted in my whole life. I don't want this carrot. It's totally subjective. Pitting people against each other... It's the stupidest thing in the whole world." This kind of stuff has happened before. But getting on the Oscar marketing campaign train is part of the continued selling of a movie. And …
When Republican-minded political organizations wind up running positive commercials for a Democratic candidate, you can only wonder why other businesses like television don't do likewise about their competitors. In a race to fill the Maine U.S. senate seat of the retiring Olympia Snowe, a Republican-minded PAC called Maine Freedom recently bought advertising time on four Portland TV stations in support of Democratic state senate candidate Cynthia Dill.
Looking for TV commercials starring Lance Armstrong? There won't be any -- perhaps for a long time. Allegations of doping have seen to that. Marketers have gone running.