NBC’s Robert Greenblatt Has No Regrets About His Surreal Upfront Duet with Dolly Parton

May 12, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt hates sitting through upfront events as much as you do. "I think those upfronts tend to be just mind-numbing for the audience. They go on too long, and we show clip after clip and they become routine and formulaic," Greenblatt said. So as NBC was preparing for last May's presentation at Radio City Music Hall, Greenblatt was eager to shake things up. "I thought, is there something that we can do that just feels different?" The result was surprising and surreal : partway through the proceedings, Greenblatt introduced Dolly Parton, who performed her song "Coat of Many Colors," which was the basis for the first of several movies NBC was going to make based on her life and music. Then, she asked Greenblatt to join her on "I Will Always Love You" —and he did. While the exec held his own on the piano ("He usually sings with me," Parton said), it didn't make the spectacle any less bizarre. "People thought, 'What is he thinking?'" said Greenblatt. Still, the duo received a standing ovation as Parton cracked to advertisers, "we're looking forward to many projects, so get that money out!" A year later, Greenblatt said he "can't articulate" what prompted him to make the movie deal with Parton. "It was just kind of a gut instinct, even though doing a holiday family movie with Dolly Parton probably sounded as silly as doing a live musical called Sound of Music," said Greenblatt. "It seemed like a good idea. I've known her for years, and I've done other things with her"—including producing the Broadway musical based on her film 9 to 5, which Parton wrote the music and lyrics for—"so I knew that there's a certain base level of belovedness for her." It was that same gut instinct that led to last year's upfront duet. "I wanted to do something at the upfront that was going to not only get attention, but be fun for us and for the audience," Greenblatt said. "And that was organic and seemed to be a good idea at the time, and it worked." It did, but it also became a running punch line through the rest of the week's upfronts. "Oh yeah, like Jimmy Kimmel calling me a fool, I think he said," recalled Greenblatt

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HealthiNation Tells Advertisers Its Viewers Aren’t Just Browsing, They’re Finishing Videos

May 11, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Though it's one of the smaller presenters during the Digital Content NewFronts, health video startup HealthiNation has a compelling case to make to advertisers: Its audience is watching for a reason. Unlike some of the bigger digital players that court broad audiences, viewers of HealthiNation videos are not there to browse. "They watch the content in its entirety, and they'll watch your advertising to get to the original content," said CEO Michael O'Donnell Tuesday evening during an intimate gathering at New York's Core club. "We're in a new age of health awareness," said O'Donnell. "People are getting more in touch with their health obstacles and learning how to deal with health and fitness." And it isn't just older people who have health concerns these days or are generally more interested in health-related topics. According to O'Donnell, roughly 200 million Americans—including baby boomers, millennials and Gen Xers—are "thinking about health and fitness on an everyday basis," and they're watching HealthiNation's content longer than that of most larger publishers, he said. Vp of sales Larry Kline said HealthiNation's viewability rate for preroll ads is 78 percent, well above the industry standard of 43 percent. That figure is roughly the same for completion rate. "On average, viewers are watching 76.3 percent of the videos that they start," said Kline. (HealthiNation averages 32 million monthly viewers.) He added that HealthiNation—which has three verticals: food, fitness and managing conditions—will relaunch this summer with a sleeker, more modern look

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Veep’s Matt Walsh on Real-Life Politics and Maintaining a ‘Pristine Fiction’ on the Show

May 10, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Age 51 Claim to fame Stars as press secretary Mike McLintock on HBO's Veep (Sundays, 10:30 p.m.) Base Los Angeles Twitter @mrmattwalsh Adweek: What's the first information you consume in the morning? Matt Walsh: First thing would probably be skimming emails and checking Twitter. Your Twitter bio says you were an early adopter. How'd you get started on there? My friend [comedian] Paul Scheer was a big Twitter guy back then, and he said, "You should do it." At the time, I was promoting a TV show called Players, which was short-lived, and he told me it was a smart move to communicate to your fans what you're up to. Do you use Twitter differently now versus when you joined in 2009? I do think I track news off of it more than I used to. I remember when Michael Jackson died, I pulled that off of Twitter before I saw it anywhere else. That's when I realized, "Oh wow, this is a real news ticker." I think I [tweet] less now. I just try to write something once in a while, almost like homework. Do you listen to any podcasts? You Must Remember This . That's a good one. I listen to Krista Tippett's On Being .

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One of the Hottest Co-Working Spaces Offers Startups a Sense of Community

May 10, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As the startup economy and telecommuting grows exponentially, co-working spaces are popping up in major cities across the world. One such space is Alley in New York. By designing offices that are inviting, detail-oriented and, most importantly, cool, Alley has created a spot for startups and freelancers where they feel like they belong to a wider community. With three locations around the city, Alley's flagship space is located in the Chelsea neighborhood. "The aesthetic of the space specifically came from the needs of the community," said Alley CEO Jason Saltzman. "In my opinion, you should not build something without understanding the people you're building it for." One of those needs is for phone rooms. Each room is themed and stylized for maximum comfort and privacy. "We wanted to build the best place possible so they can get closer to success," Saltzman added.

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This Week’s Must-Haves: an ’80s Arcade Favorite Goes High-Fashion

May 10, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

This week, the Adweek staff is highlighting a luxe backpack inspired by Pac-Man, a smart companion for potted plants and Canon's new selfie-ready photo printer. Take a look!

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Guide to Broadcast TV’s Renewals and Cancellations

May 10, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

With broadcast upfront week rapidly approaching, the five broadcast networks are putting the finishing touches on their fall schedules by making final decisions on which of their current shows will continue and which will end. There are less question marks than usual this week, as ABC, which used to wait until the last minute under former president Paul Lee to renew any of its series, picked up most of its shows two months ago, shortly after Channing Dungey stepped in as ABC Entertainment chief. Likewise, CBS, which also has a new network president this year, Glenn Geller, renewed several shows already, while The CW picked up 11 series in one fell swoop. Here's what we know now about the fate of the shows that aired during the September-to-May broadcast season. This list will be updated throughout the next two weeks as final verdicts are made ahead of the upfront presentations, so keep checking back for the most up-to-date information. While some canceled series will desperately search for new linear or digital homes—hoping to follow the lead of The Mindy Project, which jumped from Fox to Hulu this time last year—most of them will be gone for good. Official renewal/cancellation announcements appear below in all caps, followed by the date the decision was made, while breaking updates will be added in bold. For those shows whose future remains unclear, check out our best guess about its likely fate: ABC Freshman Series: Blood and Oil — Undecided, but its episode order was trimmed (this one is done) The Catch — Undecided (a toss up, but more likely to return, as ABC could give this another year to find itself, while keeping executive producer Shonda Rhimes happy) Dr. Ken — Undecided (expected to return) The Family — Undecided (unlikely to return) The Muppets — Undecided (its much-needed midseason reboot failed to reverse its ratings slide, so this is likely done) Of Kings and Prophets — CANCELED (March 17) Quantico — RENEWED (March 3) The Real O'Neals — Undecided (a toss-up) Wicked City — CANCELED (Nov. 13) Returning Series: American Crime — Undecided (one of Paul Lee's favorites, but now Lee is gone, it's less likely to return, despite its critical accolades) America's Funniest Home Videos — RENEWED (March 3) The Bachelor — RENEWED (March 3) Beyond the Tank — Undecided (very likely to return) Black-ish — RENEWED (March 3) Castle — Undecided (expected to return, possibly for a final season, though Stana Katic won't be along for the ride) Dancing with the Stars — RENEWED (March 3) Fresh Off the Boat — RENEWED (March 3) Galavant — Undecided (unlikely to return; its fate was sealed the day Paul Lee left) The Goldbergs — RENEWED (March 3) Grey's Anatomy — RENEWED (March 3) How to Get Away With Murder — RENEWED (March 3) Last Man Standing — Undecided (likely to return) Marvel's Agent Carter — Undecided (doesn't look good, especially if the new Agents of SHIELD spinoff, Marvel's Most Wanted, gets a series pickup) Marvel's Agents of SHIELD — RENEWED (March 3) The Middle — RENEWED (March 3) Modern Family — RENEWED (March 3) Nashville — Undecided (a tossup; while audience interest has cooled, it could beat the odds again and return, possibly for a final season) Once Upon a Time — RENEWED (March 3) Scandal — RENEWED (March 3) Shark Tank — RENEWED (March 3) CBS Freshman Series: Angel From Hell — CANCELED (Feb. 8) Code Black — Undecided (its prognosis isn't good) Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders — Undecided (could go either way) Life in Pieces — Undecided (seems a lock to return) Limitless — Undecided (very likely to return) Rush Hour — Undecided (unlikely to return) Supergirl — Undecided (likely to return, though its studio and CBS are looking to trim its budget; the show could ultimately jump to sister network The CW) Returning Series: The Amazing Race — RENEWED (March 25) The Big Bang Theory — RENEWED for three seasons (March 12, 2015) Blue Bloods — RENEWED (March 25) Criminal Minds — RENEWED (May 6) CSI: Cyber — Undecided (unlikely to return; looks like the end of the line for the CSI franchise, at least for now) Elementary — RENEWED (March 25) The Good Wife – CONCLUDED (Feb.

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In the Earbud Era, Sonic Branding Is Marketing’s Biggest Missed Opportunity

May 10, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Can you remember the last time you closed your eyes to hear a sound clearly? To ingest the soothing comfort of a babbling brook, to absorb the effortless harmony of a choir, to listen to another human's heartbeat? Two things stand out: The memory of the moment is visceral, and it evokes strong emotions—exactly the kinds of reactions that advertisers strive to elicit in building brand strategies. However, we live in a world where consumers are bombarded by a constant stream of visual stimuli and where marketers spend massive resources on visual identity to influence consumer beliefs and behaviors. In a time where consumers have a shorter attention span than a goldfish, marketers must embrace the the power of sonic branding to capture attention. Audio has always been one of the most powerful ways to tell stories, and thanks to technology and the ubiquity of mobile devices, capturing attention with audio has never been more important. Punching through the barrage of visual clutter with clean, memorable sound isn't the only reason advertisers should revisit their branding playbooks. After all, neuroscience has long supported the powerful imprint audio signals leave on the human brain—whether delivered in a foreground tone or a subliminal manner. That's why broadcast radio remains a $17 billion-plus business in the 2010s. But audio has come a long way in the past decade and is smarter and more innovative than ever

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How Kiehl’s No-Frills Creme de Corps Became the Go-to Lotion for Stars Like Oprah

May 9, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Every brand hopes for a free plug on TV—"earned media," as the trade calls it—but endorsements don't get much better than they did on Oct. 25, 2012. On a Good Morning America segment called "Deals and Steals," a special guest cast her approving glance at a 12-ounce jar of skin cream, pronouncing it "an ash killer" and, simply, "fantastic." The guest: Oprah . And the product: Kiehl's Creme de Corps skin lotion. Photo: Nick Ferrari Even in the $460 billion world of cosmetics where youth potions and miracle creams are a dime a dozen, Creme de Corps is an unlikely hit. While competing lotions are lightweight, Creme de Corps goes on like cake frosting. Its plain-Jane packaging seems better suited to a generic brand of shampoo. Advertising support? There isn't any. Yet Creme de Corps has been a best-seller for four decades now. An average of 1.5 containers of the stuff sells somewhere in the world every minute. "If there's something you can do to make a tried-and-true formula better, you should," said Kiehl's president Chris Salgardo. "But if it's that good, you don't have to." And where is this fabled formula from? Well, Kiehl's actually isn't sure about that. What is known is that Creme de Corps appeared sometime in the early 1970s, during the tenure of Aaron Morse—whose father had bought the business from pharmacist John Kiehl , who himself had taken over the old Brunswick Apothecary, in business since 1851.

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CP+B Veterans Launch New Miami-Based Agency Markham & Stein

May 9, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Despite talk of the end of the advertising agency business model, former CP+B executives Jeff Steinhour and Markham Cronin think small to mid-sized creative shops can thrive as long as they focus on producing great creative above all else. The duo, who have more than 50 years of advertising experience between them, felt so strongly about the viability of this narrative that they launched their own full-service agency in Miami in the form of Markham & Stein. "This thing has been a long time coming," said Cronin, who officially opens the new shop with his partner today. After leaving CP+B and leading creative at other agencies, he opened his own operation Markham Unlimited in 2005. But Cronin tells Adweek, "I was spending 20 percent of my time doing the valuable part of my job for clients and the other 80 percent actually running the agency. So when the opportunity came to talk to Jeff about maybe doing this, there was no question it was something we should try and do together." Markham and Steinhour spent 10 years together at CP+B on the creative and accounts sides of the business, respectively.

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Ad of the Day: Campaign for Mike’s Harder Isn’t Very Subtle About the Racy Brand Name

May 9, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Don't go soft—get some balls. When the product name is Mike's Harder and the target is millennial men, it's impossible not to bust out the dick jokes. Why fight it? It's the low-hanging fruit, so to speak, and the brand and its new agency are going there, unequivocally. Mike's Hard Lemonade brand Mike's Harder—some call it an "alcopop," but technically it's a "premium malt beverage"—rolls out a brazen bunch of sight gags in three digital ads launching today. They involve having characters pitch a tent (literally), sit on a pool noodle, knead lifeless bread dough and wrestle a garden hose. Get it? No, really—get it? It's the first work from Los Angeles indie agency Battery, whose chief creative officer Philip Khosid said subtlety can be overrated. "The client wants to own it," Khosid said. "So we came up with something to engage the young male audience and be irreverent but still be clever about it with a play on words." Client marketing execs have spent the past few years differentiating Harder, a convenience-store staple, from the core brand, the already quirky Mike's Hard Lemonade. They've collaborated with graffiti artists and fans to design collectible cans and tied in with Fox's R-rated blockbuster Deadpool, said Harder's creative director Kevin Brady. Sales for the brand—which is 8 percent alcohol, packaged in 16-ounce and 23.5-ounce sizes and dubbed by Serious Eats as "a tasty, sleazy way to get a $3 buzz"—are up 13 percent year over year, he said. The new campaign will run through the summer or longer. "It's funny and bold," Brady said, "and it made us laugh out loud." He thinks it has, well, staying power.

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