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December 7, 2010No Comments

on: tv+web convergence

Can google capitalize on Apple's failure?

Sony is the second company to bring Google’s Android-based “connected TV” solution to market with their TVs and set-top box available @Best Buy.  Here are a few observations:

  • It has the potential to make television content more democratic.
  • It opens a foundation for Web/TV convergence by blending Over-the-Air (OTA) shows with Over-the-Top (OTT) streaming content in a unified search function.
  • The streaming HD content is sharp – almost as good as the cable box.
  • The “leanback” U/X works particulary well and is easy to navigate.
  • The ultimate success of GoogleTV (and others) will be in the content partnerships they create. The ones they have “out of the box” just begin to hint at the potential of a true arsenal of content.
on: tv+web convergence via @jpenabickley

May 12, 2008No Comments

ON: Digital + All = Idea Amplification

Digital or Die – I think not!  Stop the madness! We all can contribute. 
Its not Digital v. TV .  It should be Digital + TV.  For those who have had success it simply is  Digital + TV.  The two converged and together they are more powerful than any medium on its own.  Just look at the 2008 Election.  They compliment and feed off each other.

I was born digital. So do not kill the messenger.
 
I ask you to listen to what I have learned through the ups and downs of having helped created the 1.0 economy where technology drove ideas and experiences, then lived through the bubble – you remember the time when we were all coding for food?  Having lived through that experience the test results were clear.

The brands that have won are the ones who have used a simple formula.

Picture_7

Many digital practitioners have taken such polarizing stances on the role of the website, search, the banner ad and the long tail.  In doing so they have alienated and confused brand teams as well as short changed their ability to make money.

Digital is a powerful medium.  Digital offers the ability to innovate across the globe at the speed of light.  When telling a compelling story it has the ability to cross cultures and deliver instant commerce, entertainment and education.

There is an effective way to combine them all to serve the brands you wish to sell.  There are best practices that TV can teach to the digital socialites and Vise Versa.

Idea_tactic

Start with an idea!  A website without an organizing idea is merely another fun toy. A TV ad without and idea is merely annoying.  It is about being where they want us, when they want us and how they want us.  Your Idea should answer why they want us.

Digital is not the best medium, it is not the only medium. It will continue to evolve like all other mediums.  What digital offers is the flexibility and global reach like no other medium.  All of that said, it is incredibly segmented and its continued proliferation will create smarter marketers out of consumers and the marketers who use the medium to its fullest potential.  It cannot reach its full marketing potential if we allow technology to drive the consumer experience instead of a simple idea fulfilling a desire. Applications should have a purpose - they just cannot be cool. 

Technology should facilitate the idea's amplification to the right audience. Digital is active not passive so an idea should be ubiquitous it should engage, enable and empower the consumer to own your brand.

ON: Digital + All = Idea Amplification via @jpenabickley

December 7, 2006No Comments

ON:Meeting Oprah’s Product-Placement Gatekeeper

Harriet Seitler Is Where Creative Meets Business at Harpo Productions

Picture_1_16
Why you need to know her
: A brand doesn't get on "The Oprah
Winfrey Show" unless it gets by Ms. Seitler first. Having started at
Harpo in creative services, Ms. Seitler is where creative meets
business at Oprah Winfrey's production company. She has helped build
Oprah.com and has been involved in some of the show's biggest
brand-placement efforts, including a giveaway of 276 fully loaded
Pontiac G6s in 2005. Along with Ellen Rakieten, Ms. Seitler, an 11-year
vet of Harpo Productions, is taking charge of Harpo's latest
initiative, the launch of a development group to aggressively pursue TV
shows and other programming beyond "Oprah," which just entered its 21st
syndicated season.

Credentials: Ms. Seitler served as VP-marketing and creative
services at ESPN for two years before joining Harpo. Earlier in her
career, she worked for 12 years at MTV, eventually climbing the ranks
to senior VP-marketing and promotions.

Describe how you work with brands. "We are not primarily in the
sales business. When we go out to work with sponsors, it's to
accomplish a creative end. We aren't just inviting all pitches. We have
built a number of really good relationships, and many of them were
built online first. Where there are opportunities and a brand wants to
do something exceptional, and we've already built a great relationship
with [the brand], we might bring [it] into the show for this wonderful
experience. Those are the people we work most closely with because
those are the relationships we have."

How big is your sales staff? "We have four sales people for Oprah.com and a small sales support team."

That's a pretty small staff. How does that work? "The sales
people in place are well-rounded enough and can think creatively enough
in terms of the bigger opportunities. We hope to be small and smart and
have an impactful voice. The partner opportunities that have bubbled up
within the 'Oprah' show environment are fairly unique and pretty
special. We feel like the partners we work with are really special
people because they go with the flow and help us make our show better."

How do you want to be approached? "I think we have good
relationships with many of the brands that are out there that share our
values, and I think we would want to be approached on a values basis.
It's a question of shared philosophy and shared values and shared
creative vision."

What are some of the brand integrations you are most proud of?
"The high-school essay contest around the novel "Night," by Eli Wiesel,
sponsored by AT&T. We were going to go way above and beyond the
show budget by doing a field shoot at Auschwitz with Wiesel and flying
all 50 contest winners to the show to participate and give them a
scholarship. Each winner received a $10,000 scholarship, with $5,000
coming from AT&T and Oprah matching with $5,000. AT&T was very
generous in helping to support the program, and it was an elegant
execution. ... The feedback from [the marketer] is that among many of
their 26,000 employees, this was the most proud moment they had working
at AT&T."

Explain how Harpo works with brands across its multiple platforms, from the magazine to online to the show.
"We tend to work in an organic way with people. There are advertisers
and brands who value what Oprah is about. They will pursue
participating with the Oprah brand in lots of the different platforms.
Sooner or later, those roads come together where one enhances the
other. There aren't a series of templates. We approach each
relationship personally."

What are some of the challenges of working with marketers that want to be embedded into entertainment content?
"We're really straightforward about it, and the lucky thing for us is
that we are not primarily in the sales business. We are very much about
finding the right kind of fit with brands who share our vision and our
voice and are willing to take the leap of faith. The biggest challenge
is to find partners who trust themselves and trust us well enough to
close their eyes and jump. We don't tend to look at opportunities from
a media value point of view."

Is it hard for some brands to measure the impact of integration deals on the show? "We say our measure comes from intangibles. It is hard to quantify and to measure the value of what we do."

What are some of the best brand-integration deals you've worked on for the 'Oprah' show?
"We love our relationship with Dove and with Target. Target has done
everything from being an annual sponsor to working with us as partners
on the Oscars to helping us provide goods for our homes we built in
Houston. We work with them on many levels and we love working with
them. And with Dove, Oprah is very aligned with what they are doing. We
had the Dove girls on a few times, and we will do more with the new
campaign that is coming out."

Where do the integration ideas come from? "Almost 100% of the
ideas come from us. It's not to say we are not influenced by ideas. But
we are in the business of doing 'The Oprah Winfrey Show.' When there is
a need to go out in the marketplace and to have someone enhance the
show, we will. That's not to say we aren't open to ideas. It's just not
what our creative process is."

How has brand integration on the show changed since you came on board in 1995?
"I think we have a bigger view of it, doing it more carefully and with
greater creative scope and elegance rather than doing it on a
producer-by-producer one-off plug basis. Today there are fewer deals
but bigger partnerships that have more of an impact."

How do you think it will evolve over the next 10 years or so? "I
think that our hope is to have reached a level of finesse and
effectiveness and elegance so that it continues to have a premium value
and a premium impact. Our intention is not to grow this thing in terms
of volume but to continue to be able to partner with people in exciting
and elegant ways so they therefore work for our partners. To the degree
that multiple platforms continue to have an impact on media and
consumers, we have to have a presence in many different kinds of
platforms, and hopefully we will be able to create value for our
partners in many different kinds of platforms. We are primarily a TV
company, but the world is not just a television world."

Who has the final word on what makes it onto the show? "It's is
absolutely the senior creative team of the show -- and I work very
closely with the executive producers of the show, and ultimately it's
Oprah. Nothing of that scope is going to happen on the 'Oprah' show
unless she is comfortable."

How do you price the value of integration deals? "We have a
sense of what the marketplace is for being included in TV shows. We
think being included in any way on the 'Oprah' show has extraordinary
value. A lot of times we look at what are the needs of the show and
what are the premium values we can provide for an integration presence
for a product. We are not really in it as a profit center; we are in it
to fulfill a creative goal."

How do you define branded entertainment? "We do entertainment
and to the degree we can make it better and bigger by having a brand
participate, that's what's in it for us. It's entertainment first."

What's on your TiVo? "I watch the 'Oprah' show every night. I
love Jon Stewart, 'Grey's Anatomy,' and my daughter loves 'Project
Runway,' which we watch together all the time."

What's on your iPod? "Heavy jazz."

What do you do in your downtime? "I hang with family, my two children and husband."

ON:Meeting Oprah’s Product-Placement Gatekeeper via @jpenabickley

December 7, 2006No Comments

ON:Meeting Oprah’s Product-Placement Gatekeeper

Harriet Seitler Is Where Creative Meets Business at Harpo Productions

Picture_1_16
Why you need to know her
: A brand doesn't get on "The Oprah
Winfrey Show" unless it gets by Ms. Seitler first. Having started at
Harpo in creative services, Ms. Seitler is where creative meets
business at Oprah Winfrey's production company. She has helped build
Oprah.com and has been involved in some of the show's biggest
brand-placement efforts, including a giveaway of 276 fully loaded
Pontiac G6s in 2005. Along with Ellen Rakieten, Ms. Seitler, an 11-year
vet of Harpo Productions, is taking charge of Harpo's latest
initiative, the launch of a development group to aggressively pursue TV
shows and other programming beyond "Oprah," which just entered its 21st
syndicated season.

Credentials: Ms. Seitler served as VP-marketing and creative
services at ESPN for two years before joining Harpo. Earlier in her
career, she worked for 12 years at MTV, eventually climbing the ranks
to senior VP-marketing and promotions.

Describe how you work with brands. "We are not primarily in the
sales business. When we go out to work with sponsors, it's to
accomplish a creative end. We aren't just inviting all pitches. We have
built a number of really good relationships, and many of them were
built online first. Where there are opportunities and a brand wants to
do something exceptional, and we've already built a great relationship
with [the brand], we might bring [it] into the show for this wonderful
experience. Those are the people we work most closely with because
those are the relationships we have."

How big is your sales staff? "We have four sales people for Oprah.com and a small sales support team."

That's a pretty small staff. How does that work? "The sales
people in place are well-rounded enough and can think creatively enough
in terms of the bigger opportunities. We hope to be small and smart and
have an impactful voice. The partner opportunities that have bubbled up
within the 'Oprah' show environment are fairly unique and pretty
special. We feel like the partners we work with are really special
people because they go with the flow and help us make our show better."

How do you want to be approached? "I think we have good
relationships with many of the brands that are out there that share our
values, and I think we would want to be approached on a values basis.
It's a question of shared philosophy and shared values and shared
creative vision."

What are some of the brand integrations you are most proud of?
"The high-school essay contest around the novel "Night," by Eli Wiesel,
sponsored by AT&T. We were going to go way above and beyond the
show budget by doing a field shoot at Auschwitz with Wiesel and flying
all 50 contest winners to the show to participate and give them a
scholarship. Each winner received a $10,000 scholarship, with $5,000
coming from AT&T and Oprah matching with $5,000. AT&T was very
generous in helping to support the program, and it was an elegant
execution. ... The feedback from [the marketer] is that among many of
their 26,000 employees, this was the most proud moment they had working
at AT&T."

Explain how Harpo works with brands across its multiple platforms, from the magazine to online to the show.
"We tend to work in an organic way with people. There are advertisers
and brands who value what Oprah is about. They will pursue
participating with the Oprah brand in lots of the different platforms.
Sooner or later, those roads come together where one enhances the
other. There aren't a series of templates. We approach each
relationship personally."

What are some of the challenges of working with marketers that want to be embedded into entertainment content?
"We're really straightforward about it, and the lucky thing for us is
that we are not primarily in the sales business. We are very much about
finding the right kind of fit with brands who share our vision and our
voice and are willing to take the leap of faith. The biggest challenge
is to find partners who trust themselves and trust us well enough to
close their eyes and jump. We don't tend to look at opportunities from
a media value point of view."

Is it hard for some brands to measure the impact of integration deals on the show? "We say our measure comes from intangibles. It is hard to quantify and to measure the value of what we do."

What are some of the best brand-integration deals you've worked on for the 'Oprah' show?
"We love our relationship with Dove and with Target. Target has done
everything from being an annual sponsor to working with us as partners
on the Oscars to helping us provide goods for our homes we built in
Houston. We work with them on many levels and we love working with
them. And with Dove, Oprah is very aligned with what they are doing. We
had the Dove girls on a few times, and we will do more with the new
campaign that is coming out."

Where do the integration ideas come from? "Almost 100% of the
ideas come from us. It's not to say we are not influenced by ideas. But
we are in the business of doing 'The Oprah Winfrey Show.' When there is
a need to go out in the marketplace and to have someone enhance the
show, we will. That's not to say we aren't open to ideas. It's just not
what our creative process is."

How has brand integration on the show changed since you came on board in 1995?
"I think we have a bigger view of it, doing it more carefully and with
greater creative scope and elegance rather than doing it on a
producer-by-producer one-off plug basis. Today there are fewer deals
but bigger partnerships that have more of an impact."

How do you think it will evolve over the next 10 years or so? "I
think that our hope is to have reached a level of finesse and
effectiveness and elegance so that it continues to have a premium value
and a premium impact. Our intention is not to grow this thing in terms
of volume but to continue to be able to partner with people in exciting
and elegant ways so they therefore work for our partners. To the degree
that multiple platforms continue to have an impact on media and
consumers, we have to have a presence in many different kinds of
platforms, and hopefully we will be able to create value for our
partners in many different kinds of platforms. We are primarily a TV
company, but the world is not just a television world."

Who has the final word on what makes it onto the show? "It's is
absolutely the senior creative team of the show -- and I work very
closely with the executive producers of the show, and ultimately it's
Oprah. Nothing of that scope is going to happen on the 'Oprah' show
unless she is comfortable."

How do you price the value of integration deals? "We have a
sense of what the marketplace is for being included in TV shows. We
think being included in any way on the 'Oprah' show has extraordinary
value. A lot of times we look at what are the needs of the show and
what are the premium values we can provide for an integration presence
for a product. We are not really in it as a profit center; we are in it
to fulfill a creative goal."

How do you define branded entertainment? "We do entertainment
and to the degree we can make it better and bigger by having a brand
participate, that's what's in it for us. It's entertainment first."

What's on your TiVo? "I watch the 'Oprah' show every night. I
love Jon Stewart, 'Grey's Anatomy,' and my daughter loves 'Project
Runway,' which we watch together all the time."

What's on your iPod? "Heavy jazz."

What do you do in your downtime? "I hang with family, my two children and husband."

ON:Meeting Oprah’s Product-Placement Gatekeeper via @jpenabickley

November 20, 2006No Comments

ON: Online Video & The 30 Sec. Spot

Cbs_news_video

By now we all understand that the web is not TV, but that doesn't
stop us from wanting to watch TV on the web. Given the success of CBS's
new innertube video service, it's interesting to see how differently
they treat CBS News when it comes to online viewing.

In order to view each individual news clip, ranging in length from 1
to 4 minutes, one must sit through a non-bypassable standard TV-length
30-second video ad. When watching the same clip twice, the ad plays
again. In order to watch the first four clips on the site today, a for
a total length of 8 minutes, one would have to sit through 2 minutes of
commercials, or 25% of the total viewing time.

The video viewer is already sponsored by Merck, and contains a
banner ad which promotes the same product shown in the pre-roll video
ad. I wonder if all this is really necessary, or if it's just a way to
sell more advertising at the expense of the viewing experience.

ON: Online Video & The 30 Sec. Spot via @jpenabickley

September 28, 20069 Comments

ON: Under 25 Eyes on Viral Video

TV watching, moviegoing and music listening all took a backseat to the
internet for Americans under 25 this year. So it's no surprise the
viral video has made such a strong impact on the ad industry in recent
months. 
Leo Burnett Worldwide, Contagious magazine and Campfire
Media hosted "Wildfire: Ideas That Spread and Sell," a veritable film
festival for the emerging genre at Tribeca Cinemas yesterday, featuring
clips and stats about key moments in viral history from 2006.

Adweek060101

YouTube's 'magic number'
For a traditional ad campaign, generating millions of dollars in retail
sales of the product is the No. 1 goal. For a viral campaign, 1 million
YouTube views is the "magic number," said Paul Kemp-Robertson,
editorial director at Contagious.
Smirnoff's "Tea Partay" spot, for example, garnered 1.3 million YouTube
views in its first two months. The clip was a dead-on spoof of hip-hop
videos, featuring an all-rapping, sweater-and-polo-clad cast of
Martha's Vineyard WASPs.

It is out-of-the-box, irreverent approaches to marketing that are
catching on with consumers and generating the most of what drives
today's ad campaigns: word-of-mouth. "The beauty is if you understand
the audience, you're guaranteed to see them responding," Mr.
Kemp-Robertson said. "People enjoy content when it's speaking to them."

Success with the under-25 set
Recent examples from ABC
Family's "Schooled" promo, McDonald's sundial billboard in Chicago and
Australia's Lynx Jet campaign for Unilever's Jet body spray were all
huge successes aimed at the under-25 set. Adidas' recent series of
"Adicolor" shorts has also generated internet interest, including
director Roman Coppola's animated "Red."

ON: Under 25 Eyes on Viral Video via @jpenabickley

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