Posts Tagged ‘television’

How Mad Men, by Looking Back, Changed the Future of Advertising

May 11, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

"On Stage 9, the wardrobes of the male cast members include white shirts, cuff links, tie clips and hats," Stuart Elliott wrote in his New York Times advertising column in 2006, about a then-unknown cast shooting a pilot. "The female cast members wear long skirts, slips, formidable-looking brassieres and nylon stockings." Elliott would go on to write many columns about the AMC network's Mad Men—which premiered on July 19, 2007 and which, with much fanfare, draws to a close with the series finale on May 17—and he found silver-haired ad executives to be polarized. "Half of the people I talk to from that era are very hard-core fans of the show and say that it is exactly what it was like then," Elliott, who retired from the Times in 2014 after 23 years, tells Adweek. "And half say the show was completely phony and drummed up for dramatic purposes." Whether the series got the era right or not, what cannot be denied is that it has had an immeasurable impact on this one. Here, some of the more significant ways Mad Men changed our world. It made advertising sexy In 2007, procurement departments increasingly were applying the same cost-cutting measures to ad agencies as they did to their copy paper and coffee vendors. Ad executives, priding themselves as trusted advisors, felt slighted—and it didn't help that viewers were gleefully TiVo-ing past their commercials. "The ad business," Elliott recalls, "was kind of in a funk." Enter Jon Hamm as Don Draper. Lantern jawed, crisply dressed and pomaded, he made this pronouncement in the first episode: "Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It's freedom from fear. It's a billboard on the side of the road that screams reassurance that whatever you are doing is OK." Music to the ad industry's ears. Bob Jeffrey, who served as worldwide CEO of JWT when the show premiered, notes that it helped provide the industry with a pipeline of aspiring talent

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USA’s Ad Campaign for Its Hacker Drama Mr. Robot Doesn’t Mince Words

May 1, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The marketing department at USA Network must have been worried people would think the lead character of its new hacker drama was pro-establishment—because the posters for the show, Mr. Robot, are anything but subtle. "F*ck Wall St.," "F*ck Social Media, "F*ck Society" and "F*ck the System" reads pretty much the only copy in four blustery ads that can't but evoke FCUK, except that the guy in the images, actor Rami Malek, is wearing the Mark Zuckerberg anti-fashion uniform of a hoodie (even though it turns out Facebook is now, apparently, officially The Man). USA deserves credit for not mincing words, and speaking truth to power, especially about the whole finance thing, given the sorry state of affairs—parent company NBCU's parent company Comcast has a market cap of only $149 billion. But at least in the trailer, there seems to be some grand Robin Hood caper brewing, toward the mass redistribution of wealth. (If the plebes can't have it in real life, they might as well get it in their fiction.) It was probably inevitable that someone would make a TV series about a good-looking, bad-boy hacker with a heart of gold, because everyone knows hacking is about being a revolutionary—not about old rich white men transferring their money to young white men who use it to fund fanciful whims that every once in a while turn out to be viable businesses. But in all seriousness, the show looks like it might actually have some potential—Christian Slater plays some lord of the digital underworld—so long as it doesn't include any mega virus monsters that infiltrate digital air conditioners to release a neuro gas.

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Step Aside Super Bowl: This is 2015’s Craziest Sports Weekend

May 1, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

This weekend, audiences will assemble in record-breaking numbers to cheer on an unprecedented assemblage of larger-than-life champions. And no, we're not talking about Avengers: Age of Ultron. After all, not even Iron Man, Hulk and Thor can match the combined sports powers that have converged for this weekend: a perfect storm for sports fans. There's the 2015 NFL Draft, which kicked off Thursday night and runs through Saturday on ESPN, ESPN 2 and NFL Network. Saturday brings the 141st Kentucky Derby (NBC and NBCSN). The rest of the weekend includes a Boston Red Sox/New York Yankees baseball matchup (MLB Network and ESPN), NBA first and second round playoff games (ESPN, TNT and ABC) NHL Stanley Cup second round playoff games (NBC and NBCSN) and World Golf Championships-Cadillac Match Play (NBC and Golf Channel). And overshadowing them all is one of the biggest sports events of all time : Saturday night's welterweight boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.

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Hulu Lands Exclusive Streaming Rights to Seinfeld Just in Time for NewFronts

April 29, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For the last six months, Hulu has taken one big swing after another as it tries to close the gap with Netflix and Amazon. At Wednesday's NewFronts presentation, the streaming service revealed the perfect cherry atop its growing pile of huge deals: landing exclusive streaming rights to all nine seasons of Seinfeld. In a multiyear deal worth as much as $180 million , Hulu will begin streaming all 180 episodes of Jerry Seinfeld's iconic comedy "about nothing" in June. While Sony's ad-supported Crackle has long streamed a selection of Seinfeld episodes, this will be the first time the entire series will be available for streaming. And unlike the trimmed, syndicated versions, Hulu will stream the full-length episodes that originally aired on NBC. "This is a pretty mind-blowing moment," said Jerry Seinfeld, who closed Hulu's presentation at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom with the big announcement. "You could have put the DVD in, but I guess nobody really wanted to do that. They want to do this!" He added of streaming services like Hulu, "I know from having kids, it's the only way they're going to watch it." The Seinfeld coup eclipses Hulu's three-year deal with South Park last July to stream all 18 seasons of that show, which was worth a reported $80 million. Seinfeld's Hulu debut this June is likely to revive interest in the series—Mulva! The Contest! Sponge-worthy! Festivus! Soup Nazi!—much like when Netflix started streaming Friends in its entirety in January. But the Seinfeld acquisition was only one of several big announcements Hulu made at its NewFronts presentation, where CEO Mike Hopkins vowed that "2015 is the year that Hulu will break out." It's already well on its way: Hulu Plus subscribers jumped 50 percent in one year, from 6 million to almost 9 million. And in the first quarter of 2015, streams were up 77 percent—700 million hours of premium content—with each Hulu viewer watching an average of 30 percent more content this year than last

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AOL Unveils Massive Slate of New Programming and Partnership With NBCU

April 29, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For those who thought AOL might be shifting away from big content plays and heading into pure ad tech, the media company proved this week it still has plenty in store for digitally savvy audiences. Announcing a licensing distribution deal with NBCUniversal and a hefty slate of original and co-produced programming, the media company reiterated its commitment to creating original content at its Digital Content NewFront at New York's 4 World Trade Center Tuesday evening. "There was a perception that we were overinvested in (ad tech) compared to other places," AOL chief marketing officer Allie Kline said ahead of the event. "I don't think that's been the case. Huffington Post is still the largest investment and acquisition we've made. We have 20-plus O&O brands, 2,000 premium content publishers we maintain relationships with, and about 26 shows we're releasing." To drive that point home, AOL president Bob Lord and NBCU ad sales and client partnerships chairman Linda Yaccarino announced a new partnership on stage, which will also extend into co-produced content. AOL On will get the rights to stream NBCU content from its broadcast networks, cable channels and digital networks on mobile, desktop and 16 over-the-top platforms. (Yes, this means clips and segments from Keeping Up With the Kardashians and Watch What Happens are headed to AOL.) The move to add NBCU content demonstrated AOL's Content 365 strategy, which AOL head of video Dermot McCormack explained as the company's tactic to make content of all shapes and sizes. AOL said its AOL On streaming video platform averages 1 billion multi-platform video views a month and houses more than one million premium AOL original and partner videos

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Scandal’s Guillermo Diaz Is Obsessed With Horror Movies, and Lena Dunham

April 28, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Age 40 Claim to fame Stars as Huck on ABC's Scandal (season finale airs May 7) Base Los Angeles Twitter @guillermodiazyo What's the first information you consume in the morning? I hit Instagram and Twitter as soon as I wake up. And then I check my texts and emails. It's funny that I check social media before I check my email. Were you into social media before you started doing it for Scandal? Not at all. Kerry Washington is the one who's behind all of us being on social media , so I have to give her props. Who do you follow on Instagram? I follow Madonna, I follow Norman Reedus [from The Walking Dead] and, of course, I follow [Scandal co-stars] Kerry Washington and Katie Lowes. I also follow a bunch of horror people that post a lot of Halloween stuff and really cool art. So you're a big horror movie fan? Absolutely

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ESPN Sues Verizon Over FiOS’ New Custom TV bundle

April 27, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

ESPN isn't wasting any time in challenging Verizon's new, slimmer cable bundles as part of its FiOS service. The sports network behemoth filed suit Monday in New York Supreme Court, alleging breach of contract and seeking damages related to FiOS' new Custom TV package, while claiming it seeks to stop Verizon from "unfairly depriving" it of "the benefits of its bargain." "ESPN is at the forefront of embracing innovative ways to deliver high-quality content and value to consumers on multiple platforms, but that must be done in compliance with our agreements," ESPN said in a statement. "We simply ask that Verizon abide by the terms of our contracts." Verizon, however, isn't backing down. "Consumers have spoken loud and clear that they want choice, and the industry should be focused on giving consumers what they want," Verizon spokesman Alberto Canal said. "We are well within our rights under our agreements to offer our customers these choices." Verizon has maintained that argument since announcing its Custom TV bundles on April 17. Starting at $55 per month, Custom TV allows customers to pay for a basic channel package of more than 35 networks, including CNN, AMC, HGTV and QVC. Bundles of other channels, comprised of at least 10 channels each, are offered in seven themed tiers: Lifestyle (including Lifetime, TLC, Bravo), Entertainment (TBS, FX, USA), Pop Culture (Comedy Central, E!, MTV), Sports (ESPN, ESPN2), Kids (Nickelodeon, Disney), News & Info (Fox News, MSNBC) and Sports Plus (ESPN News, NFL Network, MLB Network). Customers can choose two channel packs for no additional costs; other packs will be $10 each. ESPN immediately objected to Verizon's packages, claiming it "would not be authorized by our existing agreements. Among other issues, our contracts clearly provide that neither ESPN nor ESPN2 may be distributed in a separate sports package." Verizon said that its new configurations are in line with its existing contracts with ESPN and other networks. With both companies firmly entrenched, ESPN's lawsuit appears to be the first salvo fired in what will be a bloody battle for slimmer cable packages as pay TV providers fight to keep consumers from cutting the cord.

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Why Showtime’s Happyish Defiled the Keebler Elves

April 27, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For close to five decades, the Keebler Elves have been a genial, wholesome presence in Keebler advertising as they sang the praises of the brand's cookies and crackers. But Sunday's premiere of the new Showtime comedy Happyish quickly changed the Elves' slogan from "Uncommonly Good" to "uncommonly disturbing." In a hallucination by the show's disillusioned ad exec Thom Payne (Steve Coogan), the animated Ernie Keebler, stunned to be fired as Keebler's pitchman after 46 years, drops f-bombs and starts shooting his fellow elves, including Fast Eddie, before turning the gun on himself. Then a stunned Ma Keebler proceeds to disrobe and have sex with Payne.The now-defiled Keebler Elves are just the first of several beloved advertising icons that Happyish skewers during its 10-episode debut season. Created by author Shalom Auslander, who begrudgingly worked in advertising for more than two decades to supplement his writing career, the show routinely takes aim at the business that Auslander loves to hate. "I ended up having this fantastic deal that I got fired from," Auslander said. "I was working for McCann Erickson, living in Woodstock [, N.Y.] and coming in once a month, and sending in ideas and not really caring what happened to them.

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Check Out These Photos From the 2015 FX Upfront

April 24, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Call it bowling for ad dollars. FX held its 2015 upfront event at Lucky Strike Lanes in New York Wednesday night. For the sixth year in a row the 21st Century Fox network corralled its talent for a night of bowling with assorted ad buyers and media. In fact, other than a few words thanking people for attending, executives let the chatter and alcohol flow. Instead of learning about upcoming series, attendees got to experience life just like the stars of the shows they watch: Cuba Gooding Jr. wrangles the last plate from the buffet just like the rest of us. Louis C.K.

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BET Announces 7 New Shows and Looks Beyond TV for Growth

April 24, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Singer Tyrese was dubbed the "Mayor" of the BET upfront presentation Thursday night at New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center. His constituents included Brandy, Kelly Rowland, Mack Wilds, Whoopi Goldberg and Queen Latifah. The night was full of surprises, including veteran rapper MC Lyte's elaborate "freestyle" about the Viacom network's ratings success, and boxers Andre Ward and Paul Smith came on stage to promote BET's first boxing event—part of a Roc Nation sponsorship; and a performer dubbed "Nelson Nielsen" interrupted the presentation to explain how he's the only black man in America with a Nielsen box. "We are the trendsetters; we are the influencers," said BET president of ad sales media Louis Carr. "We believe that black consumers experience our content—our sites, everything that we do—in a much different way than they do any other media company because of the relationship that they have with us." The network that delivers more African-American viewers than any other is adding seven new programs: Chasing Destiny: Kelly Rowland searches for the next Destiny's Child. About the Business: A docu-series following a group of friends in urban Hollywood. Criminals at Work: A docu-crime series about crimes committed in the workplace. Zoe Moon: Brandy plays a single mother in this sitcom. The Label: A docu-series about the rise and fall of classic record labels. DeSean Jackson: Home team: A series about the women who run the NFL star's life. Punk'd: A reboot of the prank show tailored for a BET audience. "We've got a slate of programing coming up that's going to engage our audience," BET president of programming Stephen G

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