Is Product Placement the Savior or the Scourge of Entertainment?

August 15, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As movies, TV and video become increasingly flexible, on-demand forms of entertainment, most types of advertising have struggled to keep pace. The big exception? Product placement. When your branding appears right alongside the characters and action of popular content, it's almost certain to stay there forever, making product integration one of today's hottest marketing topics. That's why we dedicated this week's #adweekchat to the issue of product placement. When does it work? When does it derail a story for the sake of a plug? More than 340 marketers and movie buffs joined the conversation, so check out a selected transcript below to see the questions and some of our favorite answers. Viewing on mobile?

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Doctor Who on World Tour With New Star Peter Capaldi

August 11, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

British science fiction show Doctor Who is celebrating its 51th anniversary, 34th season, and the arrival of a new doctor with a seven-city world tour spanning five continents. The tour kicked off last week in Cardiff, Wales, the show’s home since its 2005 revival and London before making a stop in Seoul, South Korea on the weekend, and arrives in Sydney, Australia on Tuesday before continuing on to New York (Aug. 14), Mexico City (Aug. 16) and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Aug. 18). Peter Capaldi, the new doctor and the 12th incarnation of the Tardis-travelling hero, on-screen companion Jenna Coleman and lead writer/executive producer Steven Moffat are taking part in the world tour, attending fan events and talking up the series to press. The tour also features an advance screening of the first episode of the new Doctor Who series, as well as a question-and-answer session with fans. The new Doctor Who series is scheduled to premiere in the U.K. on Aug. 23 and will be available at 8 p.m. ET on the same day on BBC America.

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All of San Francisco Hates NFL Red Zone Advertising

August 11, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Here's an agreement between The Northern California Toyota Dealers Association and the San Francisco 49ers that seems to have caught viewers’ attention in all the wrong ways: During the team’s first 2014 preseason game on CBS affiliate KPIX last Thursday, computer-generated ads for the car dealers covered the red zone . The graphics appeared when the offense for either the 49ers or their opponents, the Baltimore Ravens, started a down inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. The messages remained onscreen during actual game play. So far it's only on local ads, but locals do not care for it. Other teams have also begun experimenting with red-zone advertising—much to the displeasure of the NFL’s target demo. Deadspin called the campaigns “horrifying,” and SB Nation used bold text and all caps when titling one of these

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Where Have All the Upfront Dollars Gone?

August 11, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It's obvious by now that something has gone wrong in the television advertising world— upfront dollar volume fell by 6.1 percent to $18.125 billion, including a 4.7 percent hit for cable, which dipped for the first time in four years to $9.675 billion. So, where are those dollars going? More than one source has suggested that we're finally seeing the advent of digital advertising: With so much inventory on the market, it just makes sense that some TV dollars are shifting to digital video, where it's easy to buy cheaply and in bulk for an ad to run next week. But even digital video sellers caution against making such a blanket assertion. Jason Krebs, head of sales at Maker Studios, has seen a "noticiable uptick" in marketer spending but isn't entirely sure where the dollars are coming from. "You can never tell where the money is coming from specifically unless the client verbally tells you, 'I have taken this money from my TV spend,'" and of course, nobody says that out loud," Krebs said. Krebs suggested that the shift may not be from a TV budget to a digital budget, but rather toward an overall video spend that includes everything on the market, given that many of the ads are the same on TV as online. "Advertisers say, 'Now we have a general video budget and we address it across screens where we see fit,'" Krebs said. "More and more people are video planners and buyers and from what we see that’s healthy, because as a Disney company we have many different platforms and work across all of them." Scatter prices may not go up What's interesting about the overall spending shift is that it seems to be away not necessarily from TV advertising in general but from upfront buying specifically. The implied threat to buyers who bow out of the upfront bazaar is that scatter prices will be higher once hits are established. During the upfront, buyers purchase inventory on new broadcast shows mostly on the strength of their gut feelings and their faith in the network to promote new material. But if everyone holds back cash from the ufpront at once—as appears to have happened this time around—there's not nearly as much scarcity when time comes to move the inventory in the fall. And with a dismal hit rate among broadcast networks and a rapid turnaround for new, high-end analytics on both television and digital platforms, the opportunity to place your ad dollars where you can know beyond a gut check that you're reaching customers—well, that may be worth taking that step back from the upfront market.

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Bon Appétit Joins Reality Foodie Fray With New Bravo Show

August 11, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For the first time in its 58-year history, Cond

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The 10 Strangest TV Promo Items We’ve Ever Received

August 8, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Television series fight an uphill battle to get noticed. There's not just too much content on television for even the best team of TV writers to watch it all, there's too much good content. So when premiere dates approach, networks send out gimmicky press kits with all kinds of crazy stuff in them—bound books of photos, preview episodes, t-shirts, beach towels, branded water bottles—in order to get a reporter's attention. This stuff gets mostly piles up on desks or populates our giveaway table but, in the interest of full disclosure, it should be noted that I have a whole collection of novelty flash drives. Sometimes, though, the promo items are so over-the-top weird (or fun, or both) that they really do manage to catch the eye. Although of course we try not to let stunt marketing affect coverage, we also cover marketing, and after a few years of seeing this stuff pass through the mailroom, we figured it deserved a post of its own, if only to show off how much work goes into a side of the entertainment business that consumers almost never see. Here are the 10 of the strangest TV industry press kits we've seen.

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MTV Brings Back House of Style as Multiplatform Native Ad

August 8, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Fans of MTV's House of Style can catch up on the latest fashion trends thanks to a Unilever -sponsored relaunch of the series online and on-air. "We're looking at it as a way to marry franchises with partners, taking advantage of the editorial clout that House of Style has and the timelessness that House of Style has," Rachel Baumgarten, svp of integrated marketing for Viacom Velocity Music Group, explained. The eight-episode Web series, which is hosted by rapper Iggy Azalea and special correspondent singer Rita Ora this season, kicked off on Thursday on MTV.com. The classic show will also have a presence in this year's Video Music Awards through special House of Style commentary segments mixed in throughout the Aug. 24 broadcast. A 30-minute TV special on the best looks from the VMAs will follow on Aug. 26. Azalea and Ora will also be performing at this year's music awards. Interspersed throughout this season will be product integrations for Unilever's Caress, Degree Women and TRESemm

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Missing Mad Men? Here’s Christina Hendricks Trying to Work in a Modern Office

August 7, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The final half of the seventh and final season of Mad Men won't premiere until next spring (although filming has wrapped—and according to Elizabeth Moss, there was a lot of crying going on as the cast shot the finale). For now, Mad Men fans have to snack on whatever measly morsels they can get—like Jon Hamm goofing around on Fallon, or Christina Hendricks trying to navigate a modern office in the Funny or Die video below. And good old Joan, she's still the sharpest person in the room even when she can't find the phone.

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The Deal Is Off Between Fox and Time Warner

August 5, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

That was abrupt: 21st Century Fox today withdrew its long-discussed bid to acquire a controlling interest in Time Warner Entertainment, a megamerger that would have made the resulting entity so big even noted takeover artist John Malone said the deal

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See How Slow Your Internet Connection Is by State

August 5, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Alas, Alaska. Also Arkansas. It's a terrible time to be living in the deep South or outside the Lower 48 if you're a web developer. At least that's what Tom Heppard over at BroadView Networks is demonstrating with this handy map. With this picture (click to see a bigger version), you can see exactly what's going on in your state. You can also take a look at a text ranking, best to worst, here .

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