• 'Mad Men' Gets Publicity It Couldn't Buy
    Don Draper's iconic free fall dominates a big chunk of New York's Grand Central Terminal. The image of the "Mad Men" character dropping uncontrollably -- symbolizing his unending conflicts -- covers expensive billboards AMC has purchased to promote the show's March 25 return. Yet, just a few blocks away, there's publicity the network couldn't buy, courtesy of Billy Parrott, a managing librarian at the New York Public Library's art and picture collection.
  • Bark Out Loud: Dogs Get Their Own Network
    Dogs can't fill out a Nielsen diary or light up a people meter, so data on what programming they enjoy would seem to be scant. Intuition might suggest this week's Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on USA would be a smash, while Animal Planet would be a favorite network, especially when "America's Cutest Dog" is on. But if a dog is really a person's best friend, shouldn't people push harder for information on what their pets enjoy.
  • High-Profile ESPN Ad In USA Today Is Yesterday's News
    It's been disorienting reading the USA Today sports section these last few weeks without ESPN's ad on the front page, where it had been since January 1, 2000. But, the 12-year arrangement, which also involved ABC Sports in the early years, wrapped at the end of last year. ESPN's decision to pull out is curious and surely dispiriting to USA Today, where circulation has been declining, but still averages about 1.8 million. The ad, which ran in the upper right corner, was relatively small, but with so many newspaper ads unnoticeable, this one was unavoidable.
  • Eastwood's Chrysler Spot Throws Jab At Cable News
    West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller had to be pleased with Clint Eastwood's Chrysler spot in Sunday's Super Bowl. As a Democrat, the clear pro-Obama message about auto bailouts was surely welcome, but there was a little-noticed shot at cable news that may have heartened him more. In late 2010 at a Senate hearing, he railed against Fox News and MSNBC for sowing division. And midway through the "Halftime in America" spot, there was an image of a man pointing angrily that resembled a railing "analyst" on one of the networks. It only lasted about a second. Yet, the message was …
  • After 30-Plus Years, Dickie V More Welcome Than Ever
    It's Dickie V here, baby. This is awesome with a capital A! MediaPost is a real PTPer - prime time publication -- and my buddies there want to acknowledge what a ride my career has been and how thankful they are ESPN hasn't given me the axe. So, as I get ready to call my 40th Duke-North Carolina game tonight, they're giving me the floor, baby. Yes, me! Just a bald Paesan with one eye from North Jersey. They realize I might not be calling games forever. And, with all the indistinguishable analysts filling game after game on ESPNU, they're …
  • Media Helps Ferrell Pull Off Viral Marketing Stunt
    The media is cynical and sneering. As vigilant watchdogs protecting the American public, its members know all corporations are engaged in mercenary activity, willing to trample the little guy to keep profits coming. They laugh at supercilious press releases and believe a "no comment" means someone is hiding the next Watergate. They cannot be played. They would never grease a stunt like the one Will Ferrell and Old Milwaukee pulled on Sunday. No way.
  • Monday Afternoon Quarterbacking Super Bowl Ads
    In his Super Bowl "Ferris Bueller" spoof, Matthew Broderick says "life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you'd miss it." Same goes for Super Bowl ad commentary. It still takes up newspaper inches and lots of TV time, but the bulk flies around on Twitter in near real-time. Patience remains a virtue, however, so here are some late-breaking tweets (which is probably an oxymoron).
  • Fans Protest NFL Blackout Rules With Buffalo Campaign
    To a degree, the NFL's blackout policy doesn't affect Buffalo Bills fan Matt Sabuda. Whether the game is on local TV or not, the Bills' season ticket holder is most likely in the stadium - no matter how cold -- rooting on the mostly hapless hometown team. Yet, he's taking a stand on principle this week, putting up the money for a TV campaign that backs efforts by the Sports Fan Coalition (SFC) to get the government to make a policy change that would affect the NFL's blackout rules. "I'm one of those sappy idealists, unfortunately," the real estate investor …
  • Tough To Believe Universal/Fandango Super Program Will Take Off
    At its core marketing has always been akin to throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what sticks. But, now with all these efforts to find gold in social media and would-be breakthrough apps, it seems as if there's a lot more tossing. The reasons aren't rocket science. Costs can be cheaper. And, if every 13-to-30 year-old has a smartphone glued to a palm, then it makes sense to try and take advantage of that. Yet, it's increasingly hard to believe some of these gambles - low cost or not - are actually working.
  • Look Past Headlines To Bottom Line When Gauging Upfront Market
    Some members of the media - not sure whom - rush each spring to attach a figure to the pricing ups or downs in the upfront market. "Soaring Market, CPMs Up 12%" might be the ad trade equivalent of "Seal & Heidi Split." Quick, easy, attention-grabbing. And, there's so much interest in the machinations of top buying and selling executives that the singular number -- +12%, down 5% -- might brand them winners or losers. While that singular figure - couched as average or approximate - can provide some indication of the health of the ad market, it's sort of …
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