Posts Tagged ‘television’

How the Sundance Doc ‘The Wolfpack’ Kickstarted a Media Frenzy

June 22, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

With the June 12 theatrical release of The Wolfpack —winner of this year's Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Documentary—the Angulo brothers have been thrust into the media spotlight, landing in Vogue, Vanity Fair and on the cover of The New York Times' Arts & Leisure section, and even collaborating with Vice Media on a short film. Being plunged into such a media frenzy could overwhelm anyone, but for the young men who spent much of their lives locked away from civilization in an apartment on New York's Lower East Side and who are just being exposed to media, advertising and everything else in the outside world, it seems to have been a surprisingly seamless transition. "How we're experiencing life right now is definitely [on the go]," 20-year-old Mukunda Angulo said in a phone interview from Los Angeles where the documentary just premiered. "That means, well, I'll give you an example: It's as if you're riding on an airport escalator and all these things are passing you by and we are grabbing every single thing." Mukunda and his brothers—Bhagavan, Narayana, Govinda, Krsna (who now goes by Glenn) and Jagadisa (who goes by Eddie)—have spent the last several years emerging from the isolation of their childhood home. Now fully immersed in society, the brothers are at last experiencing media, technology (they have iPhones and Samsung smartphones, while three of the brothers are on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and consumer products (brands they have a fondness for include Coca-Cola, Heinz ketchup and Kellogg's cereal; they also like '80s punk fashion and yearn to check out a drive-in movie theater). The Angulos' unusual upbringing was the focus of filmmaker Crystal Moselle's acclaimed documentary, which chronicled their lives over four years following Moselle's encounter with the family during one of their first public outings.

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To Promote Its New Scream Series, MTV is Killing Its Audience

June 19, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As MTV continues its huge promotional push on social media for the upcoming series Scream, the network has unveiled its latest method for hooking potential viewers—killing them. In the spirit of Scream, a series based on the hit horror-film franchise that debuts June 30, MTV has launched Choose Your Own Murder, an interactive online game that places users in the middle of their own horror movie scenario, which unfolds from their POV and asks them to select from various options a way to escape a killer that's pursuing them. As the game begins, the user is about to have sex with a half-naked woman when there's a noise outside the bedroom. The action pauses while the user has 10 seconds to choose between two options: "Go check it out" or "Ignore it." As in the Choose Your Own Adventure books, the story unfolds differently depending on the path users take. (Later options include "Run for door"/"Hide & call someone" and "Stay where you are"/"Go out window.") The end result, however, is always the same: users are murdered, and in a variety of different ways—sometimes right after their first selection.

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Sponsors Line Up for BET Awards, ‘the Biggest Entertainment Weekend in Black America’

June 17, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

A number of major brands—Coca-Cola, Cricket Wireless, Domino's, Macy's, McDonald's, Nissan, Samsung, State Farm, Verizon and the U.S. Army—are signed on for the 15th anniversary of the BET Awards and the weekend-long BET Experience, or what sales chief Louis Carr calls the "biggest entertainment weekend in black America." The three-day festival of music and comedy takes place June 25-28 at Club Nokia and the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and is capped by the awards, airing 8 p.m. ET June 28 on the cable network. "However you cut it, looking at numbers or the social media, there is no other weekend where African Americans engage with this type of scale," Carr says. "The sponsors continue to grow, and we're just super excited about next week. "The preeminent brand in black media," as Carr calls it, even has the country's two biggest wireless companies sponsoring different parts of the weekend. AT&T-owned Cricket Wireless will sponsor a new category called the FANdemonium Award along with the live After Party Post Show, while Verizon will sponsor a red carpet Periscope livestream. "They both live in the same neighborhood, and they've been able to function without any conflicts in the past," Carr says. And if you check out the live stream, you'll notice Nissan's new 2016 Maxima parked front and center. Domino's is sponsoring the countdown clock during the Red and Ready Pre-Show. "When you look at the BET Awards in our 15th year, and look at the success we've had over the years, it really makes advertisers very attractive," Carr said. Coke has been associated with the BET Awards since the beginning. This year the company is sponsoring a user-generated contest. The winner of the #BETInstaStar contest will be flown to Los Angeles to attend the show and present the Coca-Cola Viewers' Choice Award on-air. State Farm will once again sponsor the Humanitarian Award.

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‘Catastrophe’ Makes Its American Debut on Facebook, Not Amazon Prime

June 15, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

British comedy Catastrophe will make its American debut this evening on Facebook. While the first season will be available Friday on Amazon Prime, the 24-minute debut episode hits Facebook at 7 p.m. ET today and will be available for 48 hours. The "virtual screening party" is also expected to include engagement with the series' stars and writers, Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan. The episode will include the hashtag bug #CatastropheTV.

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Orange Is the New Black’s Latest Inmate Is a Character From a Virgin Ad Campaign

June 10, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Last year, Virgin Media in the U.K. introduced an ad character who's literally a night owl, staying up late to binge-watch show after show on Netflix. Now, that owl—who goes by the name Ally McNab—is one step closer to her anti-heroes on Orange Is the New Black. A new campaign from BBH London, pushing Netflix streaming on Virgin, actually sends Ally to Litchfield Penitentiary, where she becomes the latest orange-clad newbie inmate. And the show's famous characters even filmed scenes with their freaky new cellmate. (Not surprisingly, Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren takes a shine to her new feathered friend—either because they have a similar stare, or because Crazy Eyes befriends everyone.) The spot actually combines new and existing footage. It's an interesting bit of film, considering all the players involved. "It's a piece of content involving an entertainment property, a subscription streaming service and a broadband provider," says Jeremy Ettinghausen, innovation director at BBH and BBH Labs. "It stars characters from a TV show interacting with characters from an advertising campaign, in an advertising campaign for a TV show, a broadband provider and a subscription entertainment service. Is this a new content type? We don't know. Is it interesting? We think so, maybe simply because we can't put it in a box." The campaign is running online, on social media, in retail, and on video on demand.

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First to Tweet and Take Selfies? It Was This Horrid Family From a Century Ago

June 5, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Kim Kardashian may be the queen of selfies, with a bestselling book to prove it, but she's not the first over-sharing, narcissistic reality show star. That dubious title would go to the Bellacourts of the upcoming Comedy Central series Another Period. They're the debauched, filthy-rich members of a famous-for-being-famous clan that the cable channel is calling "the original ballers." The Rhode Island bluebloods never fail to make an entrance (think upskirts and crotch shots), and they're social media early adopters (credited with early, crude tweets and swipe lefts). They know a thing or two about virality, quite literally—they are 19th century celebrities, after all. A handful of promo spots, created in-house, launched this week. They mix the show's turn-of-the-century twisted Downton Abbey-esque setting with today's tropes. "We wondered what these hilariously terrible people of another time would do with modern technology," said Lu Chekowsky, the channel's svp of brand creative, "and wanted to play with all the ingredients of the show that make it great—the gilded age, the reality show excess and the hip-hop sensibility." The 10-episode series, from writer-producer-stars Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome, also features Michael Ian Black, Christina Hendricks, Paget Brewster and Jason Ritter. The show debuts June 23.

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Timothy Simons on How Veep’s Political Fiascos Mirror Real-Life Scandals

June 2, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Age 36 Claim to fame Stars as Jonah Ryan on HBO's Veep (Season 4 finale airs June 14 at 9:30 p.m.) Base Los Angeles Twitter @timothycsimons What's the first information you consume in the morning? I'm a night person, but because of being in the film business and having children, my schedule has shifted, and I'm always terrified that I'm going to oversleep. So the first thing I do, almost every single morning, is wake up and look at the clock while thinking, "There's no fucking way I'm not late for something." And then there are some mornings where—even though I really try not to—the first thing I do is check Twitter, which makes me feel like a garbage human being. Who do you follow on Twitter? I cast a wide net. I really enjoy following comedians. I like sort of esoteric and weird Twitter jokes. But I actually unfollow people if they make jokes about a celebrity's death within the first two minutes of that celebrity dying. After 24 hours, fine, but the idea of "this horrible thing just happened and I need to make social media hay out of it" really annoys me. So I've done a pretty good job of curating a Twitter feed that doesn't make me hate the world. What's your favorite app? The one that I am currently using, and which I am equally proud of and super embarrassed about, is the Topps' Star Wars: Card Trader app. I thought I'd do it for a few weeks, but it's stuck around a lot longer than I had expected. What TV shows do you watch? Togetherness was a huge one for me. I really loved that show; it was just so massively uncomfortable and funny and true

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Millennials Favor Facebook Over TV for Political News

June 1, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In Republican years and Democratic years, local television stations have always emerged as winners. The 2014 midterm election delivered an estimated $2.4 billion to local stations, as candidates and political action committees bought time for federal, state and local races. As stations gear up for a presidential election cycle—and the cash it will bring—a new report released Monday by the Pew Research Center suggests a sea change ahead, that could send much of that ad spending to social media. "When it comes to where younger Americans get news about politics and government, social media look to be the local TV of the millennial generation," said Amy Mitchell, director of journalism research at Pew. The report, Millennials and Political News , was based on an online survey of nearly 3,000 people. Millennials reported little interest in following their parents' habit of turning to local television for political coverage—and the advertising that traditionally fills commercial breaks in election years. Sixty percent of baby boomers trust local TV for political news, but the same percentage of millennials opt for Facebook. That shift presents challenges for campaigns and elected officials, as well as for advertisers and station groups. "We are only beginning to understand the complex interactions of personal choice, friend networks and algorithms in the social media space," said Mitchell. "As the research continues, these data suggest there are fundamental differences in the ways younger and older generations stay informed about political news."

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NBCU Sales Chief Shares Her Strategy for Upfront Negotiations

June 1, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For the next several weeks, Linda Yaccarino will be one of the hardest working people in television. As chairman, advertising sales and client partnerships for NBCUniversal, she's overseeing upfront negotiations for a robust TV portfolio that includes two broadcast networks, 17 cable channels and more than 50 digital properties. "It's a world of difference from three years ago when we first had this crazy notion of bringing the company together as one portfolio," said Yaccarino, who joined the network in 2011 as president, cable entertainment and digital advertising sales (she previously oversaw sales for Turner Entertainment as evp and COO), adding NBC and Telemundo a year later. Before ramping up her upfront negotiations, Yaccarino talked about plans for next season, her company's big swings and of course, the d-word. Data was the buzzword of the upfronts, but is that continuing during sales meetings? All day long! It's the lead question I get asked from all our customers: "What are you up to, what are you doing, what's next?" Data and technology will change the advertising business in the next five years more than we've seen in the last 30 years. NBCUniversal has such scale, but is owned by a company like Comcast that has such technology and a direct relationship with consumers. When we bring all these things together, that will benefit our advertising clients, and that's what truly consumes most of my days. You rolled out ATP, your audience targeting platform, in January. How will you use it during the upfront? This is the latest in our suite of data products. We knew we wanted to refine the media plans that we have and reduce waste. It reduces waste for us because we get better at managing our inventory, and it reduces waste or enhances what the advertiser is getting based on their deliverables, whatever their RFP says, or their brand briefs. As I like to explain it, it's giving you last year's media plan, but in the nonfat version. C7 was all the rage during last year's upfronts. Are people still talking about that this year, or have priorities shifted? I don't think priorities have shifted, but clients have many different priorities. So while C7 is important to some people, and NBCUniversal is open for business for C7, our data conversations have taken us in a whole new direction. To supplement the current currency that exists, we talk about a bunch of different other deliverables based on the merged data sets.

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Why Networks Are Going for Broke This Summer

May 26, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For decades, the broadcast networks took the idea of summer vacation quite literally—programming reruns and other filler content from June through mid-September, much to the frustration of advertisers. Those days are finally over, as broadcasters follow the lead of cable and, more recently, Netflix, by packing their summer slates with big series presented in unique ways that help audiences more easily consume content and aid advertisers in reaching viewers. "Summer is a critical time period for so many advertisers: back-to-school, retail, summer movies," noted Darcy Bowe, vp, media director at Starcom. "You really want to get your message out there, but because the broadcasters weren't programming anything new, people were trained not to watch TV in the summer." NBC is the first broadcaster to pull a Netflix with the May 28 debut of limited series Aquarius, starring David Duchovny. Immediately after the network premiere, the entire 13-episode series will be available to stream at NBC's website, on its mobile app and via other VOD platforms. The network will continue to air new episodes each week, but audiences can choose to binge on the entire series at once. Meanwhile, CBS has partnered with Netflix for its big summer premiere, Zoo, which will stream on the service as soon as its CBS run has concluded. Cable is also trying a nonlinear approach to summer programming. USA comedy Playing House returns for Season 2 in August with a VOD windowing strategy. Each episode will be made available on VOD one week before it airs on the network, with creator/stars Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair partnering with advertisers to create customized content. "If you have Toyota or one of our other sponsors in there, you'll be able to create content that's about Playing House but also about the sponsor as well," said Chris McCumber, USA's president. Because these shows are airing outside the September-to-May TV season, broadcasters have the flexibility to experiment without affecting the traditional fall schedule. Robert Greenblatt, NBC Entertainment chairman, said his network was able to stream Aquarius in full (the ad load of the linear broadcast will mirror that of VOD) because production on the entire season had already wrapped—unlike with most broadcast production schedules, which are only a few weeks ahead of an episode's airdate. Thanks to CBS' deal with Netflix, Zoo (based on the James Patterson novel) will be profitable before the drama even debuts on June 30. That gives the network a safety net as it attempts to lure a different audience during the summer months. Like CBS summer series Under the Dome and Extant, "Zoo is a big, epic-looking and feeling show," said CBS Entertainment chair Nina Tassler. "And they're all highly serialized. We don't do that during the regular season, so summer allows us to recruit new viewers and bring them into fall." While USA routinely airs series during the summer, "we've always seen August as an opportunity because it feels like there's a little bit of a dead space there," said McCumber. "So we thought it would be a great space to put Playing House where it will get more attention … and on top of that create a new opportunity for advertisers to come in and sell it in a different way." Advertisers worry whether digital platforms will cannibalize viewership on terrestrial television

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