The cellphone industry has a plea for the throngs descending on the nation’s capital for the presidential inauguration: go easy on the mobile communications. The largest cellphone carriers, fearful that a communicative citizenry will overwhelm their networks, have taken the unusual step of asking people to limit their phone calls and to delay sending photos. The carriers are also spending millions of dollars to temporarily and substantially upgrade their networks in Washington.
Everyone from users to entrepreneurs to advertisers loves the “mobile” category because those products are always with us, always on, and instantly accessible. But these opportunities are also design constraints: Mobile screens are small, driven by touch, and often connected to spotty networks.
McDonald’s UK has launched a new social media-integrated content portal that offers a different approach to sharing and listening to its consumers called 'What Makes McDonald's?'
In May, Google announced its interactive TV platform that brings a search box, internet browser and apps to TV viewing, though it has kept quiet on what we can expect from the device. Now, weeks before it ships, Google has launched a website to outline the new features and its media partnerships. Here's what you need to know about Google TV.
After mapping humans' intricate social networks, Nicholas Christakis and colleague James Fowler began investigating how this information could better our lives. Now, he reveals his hot-off-the-press findings: These networks can be used to detect epidemics earlier than ever, from the spread of innovative ideas to risky behaviors to viruses (like H1N1).
Rather than seek increased revenues and profits by expanding products and markets, companies should follow a seven-step strategy for achieving more with less.
In a new, technology-driven, hyper-connected world that rests on technology, data becomes the basis for new IP. Digital services become the new products. And products become the new marketing. Firms must re-think their very nature of their structure, physical and otherwise. This has huge implications for brands that are focusing their innovation spending toward developing economies.
A year ago, as television executives prepared for the 2009-10 season, they suffered double-digit percentage losses in advertising revenue because the economy weakened demand among marketers for commercial time. Now, as those executives get ready for the 2010-11 season, they are optimistic for a rebound in revenue, and higher rates, because demand has improved in recent months.
A year after the major television networks slashed advertising rates amid a dismal economy, advertisers are poised to boost spending on commercials for the coming TV season. Last-minute ads are fetching much bigger premiums than they were a year ago. Both buyers and sellers of commercial time say the yearly "upfront" market for commercials could see higher prices per viewer, and greater overall spending.
The latest retransmission fee rift between Walt Disney's WABC-TV and Cablevision, as well as Viacom yanking its popular "Daily Show" and "Colbert Report" from Hulu over ad revenue-sharing, strengthens the argument for a la carte content -- allowing consumers to pay for just what they want, when they want. The complex sphere of content economics is being fractured by continuous conflict and experimentation by bundling cable operators and other content aggregators at one end of the spectrum and iTunes and Netflix paid downloads on the other.
I'm going to go out on a limb and propose that product crises aren't communications crises. Suggesting otherwise is like giving the play-by-play announcer credit for a sports score, or holding a translator responsible for presenting an untenable negotiating position. Our selective vision makes us focus on how issues are communicated at risk of losing sight of the business reality it narrates. Bad news doesn't influence or have an impact on brands as much as reveal them for what they are. CMOs need to see someone else's misfortune as the opportunity to review and perhaps change how you see your function before the inevitable spotlight finds you.
The Association of National Advertisers' annual TV & Everything Video Forum is supposed to be a place where marketers gather to figure out where the business of TV advertising is going. That quest has yet to be completed. But this year, advertisers had no trouble showing us where TV has already gone. Speaker after speaker lined up example after example of shockingly intrusive pacts that placed -- nay, shoved -- commercial messages deep into programming.
Read Bud Caddell's latest addition to The Library of Agency-of-the-Future-Prognostications: Who says the future needs an advertising agency? Between the post and the 50-some comments it's one of the most clear, comprehensive, and thoughtful summations of the industry's evolution that I've come across. After I read it, one word was echoing in my brain: Networks. The difference between what everyone has been doing, and what everyone needs to do is networks. We no longer create messages and experiences for groups of individuals; rather we create integrated experiences across all media environments that are specifically designed to serve and empower networks of connected people.
Welcome to The Big Money Facebook 50, a ranking of the brands that are currently making the best use of Facebook. Various metrics—including fan numbers, page growth, frequency of updates, creativity as determined by a panel of judges, and fan engagement—were factored into each page’s score and ultimate rank on the list.
I wrote about Stern as a pioneer in my book. He rethought radio networks and built his own. He brought satellite radio to critical mass. But satellite radio was always a transitional technology, waiting for ubiquitous connectivity that would enable on-demand programming anywhere. Now our phones can give us radio and soon Stern will be ready for them; they will make him portable. There’s a larger trend at work here: Entertainers (radio, music, comedy, books, columnists, even filmmakers) will have direct relationships with their audiences. Like Stern, they won’t have to work for companies or go through them for distribution.
Sports fans love to talk about their teams, and more and more of that chatter is happening in social media. Naturally, the TV networks, purveyors of live events, are not about to be left out. ESPN today is launching Section 140, a service that will live on many of ESPN's platforms (mobile, PC, Gamecast) and let fans in different places join a central conversation about college football. President of Sales and Marketing Ed Erhardt calls the Windows Phone-sponsored initiative the company's "first real strong foray into virtual, social conversation around college football."
USA Networks goes from strength to strength. In March, the network had scored its 11th straight quarter as the nation's top-rated cable outlet—averaging 3.2 million viewers in prime time, the biggest audience ever in cable. (Johnnie Roberts, Newsweek, ref. below) Every parent company wants a child like this. Of all NBCU's properties, including the namesake broadcaster NBC and its Universal studio, USA has become the biggest earner, delivering roughly $1 billion in profits last year. This can't happen without someone smart and creative in charge. That someone is Bonnie Hammer. Hammer's success raises an urgent question: how in the dickens does she do it? TV is littered with failures. Hammer appears to be batting around .800. What's the secret?
Twitter's effectiveness as a marketing tool is still up for debate -- but don't tell that to Homer Simpson or Jay Leno. Along with dozens of other TV characters and personalities on a variety of networks, their shows are being actively promoted on the short-form chat network, part of a drive by the major broadcasters to generate awareness and buzz for their new fall schedules.
If you love to hate ads, you might enjoy two new books that train their sights on modern marketing. The first makes the case that advertising as we know it is about to be obliterated. The second suggests that we should all dance a gleeful polka on its grave.
Michael Jackson's memorial service drew a surprising number of eyes to TV sets July 7. Even more surprising was the number of people who watched the farewell on their phones--nearly 1 million.
Why were so many people in the technology world wrong about Hulu? It was an idea that seemed like a relic of the worst excesses of the dot-com era: a portal for content run by a joint venture of media companies. Could any venture have more going against it?
Television programs such as “The Simpsons” and “CSI” are for the first time commanding higher advertising rates at Web sites including Hulu.com and TV.com than on prime-time TV.
The traditional TV industry -- cable companies, networks and broadcasters -- is where the newspaper industry was about five years ago: in denial.
Too often we design experiences for groups of individuals, when we should be designing experiences for networks of connected individuals.