Posts Tagged ‘online’

Visit Houston Uses VR to Help Bust the City’s ‘Tumbleweeds and Cattle’ Stereotypes

July 7, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Houston is the fourth largest city in the U.S., and one of the most diverse, yet it's still not a hugely popular tourist destination. "We still have to dispel beliefs that Houston is where the tumbleweeds and cattle are," said Mike Waterman, president of Visit Houston, the city's convention and visitors bureau. To do that, Visit Houston is launching a virtual reality experience that puts potential visitors at the center of the action. The experience, created with VR company YouVisit, will give viewers a 360-degree view of Houston's attractions such as the NASA Space Center, Minute Maid Park, the Houston Ballet and the city's museums and parks. It includes a tour guide avatar that offers brief explanations about each destination. "We're trying to provide new visitors with experiences that are memorable, and therefore marketable," Waterman said. "We sat down and thought about the 12 most interesting venues that would entice people to watch the content. The hope is that once people see the content, they'll be so excited that they'll book a ticket to Houston." People spend an average of 10 minutes watching YouVisit's VR pieces, which have also included experiences for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia and Alaska and Vietnam tourism. "In the online world, 10 minutes is an eternity," said Abi Mandelbaum, CEO of YouVisit. "For travel destinations, when you're able to put that perspective traveler in a VR set and give them a glimpse of what it would be like to be there, their desire to experience it in real life jumps dramatically." YouVisit also tracks viewer data, which will help Visit Houston inform its future marketing efforts based on how many people are watching, where they're located, and which destinations are grabbing their attention, Mandelbaum added. "It lets the data do the talking. You look at what they're spending their time on, and then continue to enhance the experience and marketing message to hone in on things they're interested in," he said. "That informs the messaging that the destination can use to continue to attract more visitors and drive better results." The VR experience should help Visit Houston reach its goal of 20 million visitors by 2018, an increase from 14.9 million in 2014 and 17.5 million in 2015, Waterman said. "When we go into a NASA buoyancy lab and capture astronauts training, or we film the Houston Ballet during the rehearsal, or the signing of the National Anthem at Minute Maid Park during an Astros game, that's content that people will want to watch. If we produce the right kind of content, people will want to consume it." Mandelbaum expects more tourism organizations to embrace virtual reality in their marketing efforts in the future. "It's an experience that you can't get from Trip Advisor or Yelp," he said. "When you can get a traveler to feel what it's like to actually be there, it changes the game and moves your destination to the top of the list because you've offered them something memorable."

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How Bill Simmons’ The Ringer Will Be More Than Just ‘Grantland 2.0′

June 6, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Typically, Bill Simmons writing about the impending free agency of an NBA superstar wouldn't garner any more attention than any other column in the popular sportswriter's arsenal. But last Friday, when Simmons wondered which team Kevin Durant will sign with this summer, it had the notoriety of being the ESPN-turned-HBO personality's first published column in more than a year. It was also his first column for The Ringer, his new site that many in the industry have already dubbed "Grantland 2.0." And you couldn't be faulted for thinking that. After all, besides Simmons, more than a dozen former Grantland staffers have followed him to his new venture, including editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey, executive editor Chris Ryan; deputy editor Mallory Rubin; and managing editor Juliet Litman. But Fennessey tells Adweek that The Ringer is more than just a sequel to Simmons' former ESPN-owned sports and pop culture site. For starters, The Ringer isn't part of a corporate behemoth like ESPN, but rather, it is part of The Bill Simmons Media Group, which is run by former NFL Network executive producer Eric Weinberger. "It's just a much different entity here," said Fennessey. "There's a little bit more of a spirit of experimentation." The Ringer will experiment with branching out from Grantland staples like sports and pop culture to other areas, but "the DNA will be similar," Simmons told Adweek in an email. Tech and politics will be a major focus for the site. Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for Pres. Barack Obama, is among the contributors. "There is a particular way of writing about these things that we felt was missing," said Fennessey, who described The Ringer's approach as curiosity and enthusiasm, mixed with a mild hint of skepticism. "A lot of tech reporting, while essential and important, is often very straightforward and product driven." The Ringer's tech articles have ranged from Snapchat overtaking Twitter as the social media platform du jour, to Kim Kardashian's booming emoji business. "We want to try to do more food and drink," says Fennessey, who hopes to launch new coverage areas in July, when the sports calendar is at its lightest, and before the Republican and Democratic conventions later that month

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Publisher Reach on Facebook Is Down 42%

June 3, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Publishers who have noticed their overall reach on Facebook has dramatically declined over the past few months can at least have peace of mind that they're not alone. According to an analysis by SocialFlow, publishers on Facebook have experienced a rapid decline in overall reach during the past few months. The social analytics company examined 3,000 Facebook pages, most of which are publishers who have a collective annual impression count of around 500 billion reaching 600 million unique users. And what it found might be a bit depressing to all the hard working journalists of the world: In May, publishers produced around 550,000 posts that went through SocialFlow's platform—up from 470,000 in April—but overall reach from January to May was down 42 percent per post. That's a "pretty notable drop," said SocialFlow CEO Jim Anderson. "We said, wait a minute, if the reach is staying flat but the posts are going up, the only possible conclusion there is that my reach per post is going down," he said in an interview.

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What Lies Ahead for Gawker Now that a Tech Billionaire Is Bankrolling Lawsuits Against It?

May 26, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

If you thought the Gawker saga would slow down as we creep closer to Memorial Day weekend, you thought wrong. Following a dizzying 24 hours that ended with Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel admitting outright that he's been bankrolling multiple lawsuits against the media company, the discussion now turns to Gawker CEO Nick Denton and his ability to withstand all of these costly lawsuits. Though Gawker was dealt another loss on Wednesday when a Florida judge upheld the jury's decision to award Hulk Hogan some $140 million over Gawker's publishing of a sex tape in 2012, the company plans to appeal. Despite Gawker's insistence that it will get the verdict overturned—the judge in the case is the most overturned judge in Pinellas County over the past four years—the company is still incurring a hefty legal price tag for a process that could take months. And for Thiel, who is going after Gawker over some not-so-nice stories written about him, bleeding the company dry could be just as important as Hogan's right to privacy. "Gawker could be in a very perilous financial situation," Ryan Skinner, a senior analyst at Forrester, told Adweek. "They need to explore different ways of trying to secure the business going forward." And that's exactly what Gawker has been doing. A pair of reports from the New York Post and Wall Street Journal set off alarms when the outlets revealed that Denton has been quietly soliciting bids for a potential sale of the company, in the event that he either has to pay the $140 million or the mountain of legal fees becomes too much.

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Put Away the Selfie Stick and Live Like a Local, Urges Airbnb’s New Campaign

April 19, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Travelers today, especially those using Airbnb to find lodging around the world, don't want to navigate throngs of other tourists for a glimpse of Times Square or Fisherman's Wharf. According to data from Airbnb, 86 percent of its users pick the platform because they want to live more like a local. That insight of living rather than visiting inspired the brand's latest and largest marketing campaign, "Live There." "Don't go to Paris. Don't tour Paris, and please don't do Paris," the ad's narrator advises over footage of selfie sticks and packed tour boats. Instead, the ad advises, "Live in Paris." The work, from agency TBWAChiatDay is aimed at younger travelers, or at least those young in spirit. It's focused not just on the millennial generation, but also on those who want to eat at local restaurants, meet local artists and avoid tourist traps. According to Airbnb, 52 percent of these younger-minded U.S. travelers find crowds at major tourist attractions to be more stressful than doing a tax return, while 47 percent don't like to be labeled as tourists when they go to a new place. With that in mind, Airbnb CMO Jonathan Mildenhall said he wanted the brand's latest work to push back against the modern tourism industry and capture the idea that people shouldn't simply go to a new place, they should live there, even if only for one night

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PopSugar Will Now Create Health and Fitness Content for TV

March 3, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

You may not have heard of the TV network Z Living. It's an Indian-owned health and fitness channel that, while available in 169 countries around the world, has yet to make a meaningful dent stateside. You've probably heard of PopSugar, one of the strongest brands among millennial women, with some 44 million monthly uniques according to comScore. Z Living is in need of programming. And that's where PopSugar comes in. The two have inked a wide-ranging production deal. "I think the brands are really well aligned," said Rafe Oller, Z Living's general manager, who approached PopSugar Studios president David Grant when looking for ways to work together. "We've got a certain audience and a high level of engagement," Grant said. PopSugar will create TV versions of their online series, including Class FitSugar. They'lll also develop a prime time series exclusively for Z Living. All of the shows will be branded 'PopSugar on Z Living.' Fitness has become a major growth area for PopSugar which, in January, saw month over month growth of 36 percent, making it the top vertical for the multichannel network.

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How CBS Has Spent the Past Year Trying to Get You to Watch Super Bowl 50

February 3, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

When George Schweitzer was researching CBS's coverage of the very first Super Bowl as part of his preparation for the network's Super Bowl 50 marketing campaign, he made note of a Washington Post article from January 1967. "It said in the TV column, 'CBS is pulling out all the stops and promoting this game all over, using their celebrities,'" said Schweitzer. "And I was imagining, what were 'the stops' in 1967?" Whatever they were, they don't come close to the exhaustive, yearlong marketing effort Schweitzer, the president of CBS Marketing Group, and his team have concocted as they try to attract as many viewers as possible for Sunday's Super Bowl telecast. "We were there for the first one in 1967," he said of Super Bowl I, which was jointly televised by CBS and NBC. "Since then, it has really transformed into a national day of celebration." And CBS is hoping the game's 50th year will yield its biggest celebration yet. "This one is very special," said Schweitzer, who is working on his sixth Super Bowl for CBS. "The Super Bowl is the singular biggest event in our culture, in our business, in the mainstream, in everything. It has so many moving parts beyond the game. What we've learned over the years is how to activate all those other moving parts, because it attracts, obviously, people who don't watch a football game all year long." Because of that, CBS didn't waste any time in starting to promote Super Bowl 50. The network rolled out its very first promo last Feb. 2, just one night after NBC aired last year's Super Bowl (which drew 114.4 million viewers), and debuted the network's manta for the coming year: "We were there for the first. We'll be there for the 50th." Adweek responsive video player used on /video. "That was what I would call a 'plant the flag' kind of spot," said Schweitzer. "Once the other one was over, we established CBS immediately as the home of the 50th." Taking his cue from the traditional 50th anniversary color, Schweitzer created a campaign that seemed to bathed in gold. "We've embraced it in a big way," he said, "because we think it helps achieve what we want, which is to turn this into more than the event itself, and make it look like it's very coordinated and cohesive on CBS. And that went from not just the network, but our local stations, our O&O [owned-and-operated] stations, our affiliate stations, our 120 radio stations, all of our online and streaming services. Anything that isn't nailed down around here is part of our gold celebration." For the Super Bowl 50 campaign, the network shot around 40 of CBS's prime-time, news and sports celebrities in various football scenarios and traveled to a smelting plant in California, where it photographed molten gold getting poured into a mold, using that footage for promotion. The gold motif extended to CBS's fall campaign, so= even when the network wasn't specifically promoting the Super Bowl, it retained those promos' key elements. On Dec.

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Vice Launches Its First Female-Focused Channel

August 3, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Vice is still not ready to announce its much-rumored linear channel , but the media company unveiled its 11th digital channel today. Broadly is the first Vice channel designed for women. With Broadly, the company that's mostly been seen as a place for edgy, male-driven content will now battle with the likes Jezebel, Hairpin, and Bustle. Jezebel alum Tracie Egan Morrissey will lead the site as editor in chief and director of content. "New media has been a game-changer for feminism—its appeal is palpable," said Morrissey in a statement. "We can no longer be told that it's not relevant or that we're just imagining things. And so now is the time to elevate the coverage of women's interests by telling the stories that matter to us through in-depth, original reporting and documentary video." Launching in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, Broadly will touch on topics from a female perspective including politics, culture, sex, and fashion

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Ad of the Day: Cable Companies Are Playground Bullies in Hilarious Ads for Sling TV

July 24, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Everyone knows cable companies can be total bullies, but pointing it out can still make for some pretty funny ads. SlingTV, the small-bundle Internet TV offering from Dish, is out with its first national ad campaign—from agency Camp + King and Prettybird directors Tim & Eric—casting "Old TV" as a bunch of mean-spirited kids extorting adults with playground tactics like wet willies. There's even a bratty service rep character that—given the slew of horror stories about, say, Comcast —doesn't really have to stretch the truth to evoke a striking sense of tragicomedy. She has a smug, hovering Bill Lumbergh wannabe of a supervisor—also pretty credible, and in a sense, a kind of nice, sympathetic nod to a certain class of worker bee. Maybe she's not really awful, she's just playing along to keep her job. The 60-second centerpiece is the most effective, though the 30-second spinoffs include some eyebrow-raising moments, like when a cable bully tries to "milk" money out of a defiant prospect (the deviants among you can probably guess how). There's also a question of whether the casting flirts with a sort of body shaming, reinforcing stereotypes by front-loading larger body types for the bullies. But it makes sure to feature skinny jerks, too. Regardless, while SlingTV doesn't require contracts, it does require a broadband connection, in case you were worried you wouldn't get to deal with a telecom company at all. CREDITS Client: SlingTV Agency: Camp + King Chief Creative Office/Partner: Roger Camp Chief Executive Officer/Partner: Jamie King Creative Director/Art Director: Rikesh Lal Creative Director/Copywriter: Jesse Dillow Creative Director/Copywriter: Paul Sincoff Art Director: Chris Nash Director of Content Production: David Verhoef Producer: DP Odishoo Brand Director: Dana Rabb Brand Manager: Nicole Nowak Director of Strategy: Shannon Williams Brand Strategist: Jose Higuera Production: Prettybird Director: Tim & Eric Executive Producer: Ali Brown Post Production/Editorial: No6 Editor: Kyle Brown Executive Producer: Crissy DeSimone Producer: Kendra Desai Post Production/Finishing: Misfit Online Artist: Steven McEuen Executive Producer: Jim Vaughan Assistant: Stu Barnes Music/Composer: SOUTH Mix: One Union Recording Engineers: Joaby Deal and Andy Greenberg

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SoftBank Puts Video Site DramaFever up for Sale Again, say Reports

July 20, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

DramaFever, the online vide site known for its Korean dramas, is up for sale a year after it was acquired by SoftBank, according to reports.

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