Hyundai Will Air an 11-Minute Sci-Fi Short Film During the Ad Breaks of TNT’s Legends Premiere

August 4, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Serious commercials are hard to do well, but when you're doing content specifically for TNT's upcoming Sean Bean spy thriller, Legends , it's sort of mandatory. So Hyundai and TNT turned to New Form, the ad shop run by movie idea guys Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, to create an energetic three-part story that will air over a combined total of 11 minutes during the limited commercial slots of Wednesday's Legends pilot. TNT

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John Oliver Quotes the IAB in Blistering Takedown of Native Ads

August 4, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

John Oliver's half-hour comedy news show on HBO has one really amazing regular feature: rather than a lengthy interview or a musical guest, Oliver goes on a hilarious, impeccably researched 12-minutes-and-change rant about a particular hobby horse. Past victims have included FIFA, the U.S. prison system and net neutrality. This week, he lit into native advertising as deceptive and antithetical to the idea of journalism, and used an IAB report to do it. Oliver quotes this July 22 press release in his monologue, noting that the IAB found that of respondents exposed to native ads, “less than half … [recognized] … that the material was advertising.”

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WWE Will Cut 7% of Its Workforce

August 1, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

World Wrestling Entertainment will slash 7 percent of its workforce after reporting operating at a loss in the second quarter due to the costs of ramping up its online-subscription service. WWE reported a net loss of $14.5 million, compared to a net profit of $5.2 million last year. "The staff cuts, and other cost-cutting moves, would help boost operating income before depreciation and amortization by $30 million in 2015," WWE said, adding that the cuts would effect around 50-60 staffers across all business units. WWE launched their WWE Network in February, making WWE the first entertainment company with a cable presence to offer a stand-alone online subscription service . Yesterday, WWE reported 33,000 WWE Network subscribers since April for a total of 700,000 subscribers—still 300,000 short of its year-end goal of one million. According to The Wall Street Journal , the company "noted that 1.3 million to 1.4 million subscribers would put it past a break-even point offsetting difficulties in pay-per-view." To increase interest in the service, WWE will add new payment options (the service was originally only available as a six-month subscription), including a commitment-free $19.99 monthly plan. "For us the payment options are one way to continue learning, to see how people approach it," George Barrios, WWE's chief strategy and financial officer, told The Wall Street Journal. "The fact that we've gone from 0 to 700,000 paying subscribers, I feel really proud."

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WWE Will Cut 7% of Its Workforce

August 1, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

World Wrestling Entertainment will slash 7 percent of its workforce after reporting operating at a loss in the second quarter due to the costs of ramping up its online-subscription service. WWE reported a net loss of $14.5 million, compared to a net profit of $5.2 million last year. "The staff cuts, and other cost-cutting moves, would help boost operating income before depreciation and amortization by $30 million in 2015," WWE said, adding that the cuts would effect around 50-60 staffers across all business units. WWE launched their WWE Network in February, making WWE the first entertainment company with a cable presence to offer a stand-alone online subscription service . Yesterday, WWE reported 33,000 WWE Network subscribers since April for a total of 700,000 subscribers—still 300,000 short of its year-end goal of one million. According to The Wall Street Journal , the company "noted that 1.3 million to 1.4 million subscribers would put it past a break-even point offsetting difficulties in pay-per-view." To increase interest in the service, WWE will add new payment options (the service was originally only available as a six-month subscription), including a commitment-free $19.99 monthly plan. "For us the payment options are one way to continue learning, to see how people approach it," George Barrios, WWE's chief strategy and financial officer, told The Wall Street Journal. "The fact that we've gone from 0 to 700,000 paying subscribers, I feel really proud."

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NFL Spot on Sunday Is for the Fans

August 1, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Nearly half of American sports fans call pro or college football their favorite sport. For the second season in a row, the NFL will invite millions of fans to share stories of why they love the game, according to chief marketing officer Mark Waller. Waller, named the league’s first CMO in 2009, gave Adweek a preview of this season’s “Together We Make Football” campaign by the NFL and NBC that kicks off Sunday night. A new 30-second spot starring fans who won free trips to Super Bowl XLVIII last season will air during NBC’s broadcast of the Hall of Fame game. Among them: Lee Krost, a 75-year-old QB still “lighting up” his flag football league; and Heidi Gilbert, who was inspired to pull herself out of depression after learning of Tom Brady’s underdog journey from 6th round draft pick to Super Bowl MVP. Still in the wings are 30 new commercials/promos created by NFL Films that will run across NBC and NFL

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Holy Shark, Syfy Builds a Franchise Without Traditional Ads

July 31, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Turns out your best marketing tool is word-of-mouth, especially if the mouth in question is filled with rows and rows of gigantic, serrated teeth.

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Jenny Slate’s Bedtime Routine Includes a Little Weed

July 30, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Who Jenny Slate Age 32 Accomplishments Star of Obvious Child (in theaters now); co-star of FX series Married (Thursdays at 10 p.m.); guest star on Kroll Show , Parks and Recreation, House of Lies and Bob’s Burgers Base Los Angeles What’s the first information you consume in the morning? Oftentimes I grab my phone by my bed and read my email, but sometimes I’ll go into the kitchen and I turn on KPCC in L.A. and listen to NPR’s Morning Edition. What are your go-to social media platforms? Twitter . I have an Instagram account, but I don’t use it that often. My Facebook is defunct; I haven’t used it in years. Who do you follow on Twitter? Gabe Liedman, Max Silvestri, Dean Fleischer-Camp (my husband), Chelsea Peretti, Noah Garfinkel and then, you know, like, Cher. How do you get your news? I get my news from NPR. I have it on in the car all day. We don’t have cable TV because I’m in a constant argument with my husband over whether we should have it. I want it, and he doesn’t

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The Chairman of the FCC Is Annoyed With Time Warner Cable

July 29, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Maybe it was the widespread feeling that Tom Wheeler is too close to the industry he regulates . Maybe it was pressure from Congress. Maybe it was John Oliver calling him a dingo . Whatever the reason, Wheeler is now telling Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus personally that "your actions appear to have created the inability of consumers in the Los Angeles area to watch televised games of the Los Angeles Dodgers." In a business where finger-pointing is considered the sport of kings, that's a pretty harsh blow from an industry regulator—it's not often that an external agency directly apportions blame, but wrangling over costs or no, Wheeler is making an example of TWC in its dispute with the SportsNet LA, the network owned by Dodgers (disclosure: Guggenheim Partners, Adweek's parent company, acquired the Dodgers in 2012). Wheeler has demanded that Marcus supply the FCC all material pertaining to the SportsNetLA contract. Wheeler made it clear that he has a handle on the situation, too: "I understand that TWC's contract with SportsNet LA provides TWC with exclusive rights to the affiliate sales for SportsNet LA," Wheeler writes in a letter to Marcus.

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The Chairman of the FCC Is Annoyed With Time Warner Cable

July 29, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Maybe it was the widespread feeling that Tom Wheeler is too close to the industry he regulates . Maybe it was pressure from Congress. Maybe it was John Oliver calling him a dingo . Whatever the reason, Wheeler is now telling Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus personally that "your actions appear to have created the inability of consumers in the Los Angeles area to watch televised games of the Los Angeles Dodgers." In a business where finger-pointing is considered the sport of kings, that's a pretty harsh blow from an industry regulator—it's not often that an external agency directly apportions blame, but wrangling over costs or no, Wheeler is making an example of TWC in its dispute with the SportsNet LA, the network owned by Dodgers (disclosure: Guggenheim Partners, Adweek's parent company, acquired the Dodgers in 2012). Wheeler has demanded that Marcus supply the FCC all material pertaining to the SportsNetLA contract. Wheeler made it clear that he has a handle on the situation, too: "I understand that TWC's contract with SportsNet LA provides TWC with exclusive rights to the affiliate sales for SportsNet LA," Wheeler writes in a letter to Marcus. "I further understand from press reports that, in its carriage negotiations with other [ multichannel video programming distributors ], TWC has demanded that SportsNet LA be carried on the basic service tier at rates of $4-$5 per subscriber. Other MVPDs in the network's footprint reportedly have refused to agree to these terms, claiming that the price is too high and objecting to terms that could require all subscribers to pay for access to the network." That stalemate has indeed shut 70 percent of the L.A

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Dunkin’s Shark Week Donut Is Not for Use as a Flotation Device

July 28, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Dunkin' Donuts has partnered with Discovery Channel's beloved Shark Week of aquatic predator-related programming to bring you the above confection, the Shark Bite donut, a yeast donut iced with a red-and-white pattern causing it to resemble a life preserver. The partnership extends to the Dunkin' logo on the Shark Week page, too—it's mostly the same, except it's had a bite taken out of it, and the slogan at the bottom reads, "Shark Week runs on Dunkin'" (rather than "America runs on Dunkin'"). The donut is going out to select stores around the country, says Harold Morgenstern, svp of national ad sales for Discovery. "Very rarely does Dunkin' Donuts change its logo," he pointed out. The deal is part of a larger Discovery partnership for the restaurant: "They'll be in all of our higher-rated premiere shows across the network," said Morgenstern. "For Shark Week, [Dunkin' is] new. They've been on and off the network for quite some time." Morgenstern says the partnership will also include a billboard in Times Square and ways for fans to interact. "We're going to have 'Take a Bite, Take a Pic,' encouraging fans to take a bite and take a picture of it [for social media]. During Shark After Dark, we'll show some of those and have some prizing involved." Accordingly, we felt like we should offer some suggestions for future donut/show integrations. Nude Donut (Naked & Afraid)

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