Wednesday, May 30, 2007

All Up In Your TV Shows

Tomorrow night, USA is going to premiere The Starter Wife, a mini-series starring Debra Messing. Most people are expecting the usual marketing hoopla- microsites like nobody's business, maybe a few pre-roll ads here and there, and of course some product placement. Maybe our dear friend Grace (I can still call her that, right?) will drink a Coke, maybe go run in her Nike shoes, and take her Land Rover to pick up the kids.

Toto, we're not in standard product placement anymore...

For this particular show, Pond's identified an opportunity to align themselves with the overall message of the series. They are going to run vignettes about "starting over," which will feature their age-defying skincare products. reports that in exchange for financing, Pond's was allowed to put its marketing agents in the room with The Starter Wife's writers during the scripting process. During the show, characters use the products, and there are even related lines of dialogue.

This marketing approach obviously raises many different issues and questions:

1) This could potentially provide an avenue for offline/online agencies to start discussions earlier about a fully integrated sponsorship, but who should be the primary owner?
2) How will opportunities be priced?
3) Whose job is it to present these to advertisers? Should agencies become more pro-active in seeking out new shows before they have begun development?
4) How can success be measured?

As mentions, advertising will inevitably seep its way into the most unexpected areas. The lines between editorial and advertising will also become increasingly blurred.

Where will TV shows start and advertising begin?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

When Blogs Grow Up

The redesign of Technorati, once a blog search engine, marks the transformation from a niche market into something much more mainstream. CEO Dave Sifry, in his interview with Wired mentions that people can now get a full "360 degree context" of the web, which includes (but is certainly not limited to) video, user-generated content, podcasts and games.

Improved functionality includes better and easier tagging and a more streamlined (and colorful!) interface. The general layout remains simple to use, and feels somewhat like a cross between YouTube and

This new approach speaks to the fact that consumers are increasingly influenced by information provided by their peers. While CNET used to pride itself on "expert editors reviews," they are increasingly emphasizing user reviews. Which begs the question- as advertisers continue to promote products and services, whose voice will have the most authority online? Will there eventually be a shift back to "experts" or is the collective power of the common person going to stick around for a while?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

If Razzies Ruled the World

There is no greater bonding experience than shifting through boxes of bargain DVDs with someone at Amoeba. The thrill of flipping through discounted (and often forgotten) movie titles is not just an interest or hobby...but a skill. With practice, you too can skip past the half-decent ones and pull out gems like While You Were Sleeping in no time at all.

For those of you who lack this special skill, there is now The Slow Roll. A site dedicated to analyzing everything from Glitter to...well, what's worse than that? I guess that's up to the Slow Roll boys to decide. They've taken bad movies and turned it into an art form...freeing up precious spots on your Netflix queue.

Their current feature is:

Enjoy! (Shout out to Eric for creating an awesome site!)

Monday, May 7, 2007

Friday, May 4, 2007

RBOTW (Random Banner of the Week)

Welcome to my first RBOTW entry, where I uncover the web's most random and unexpected banners. Our first entry is Fiji Water, with a placement on GenArt's Pulse website, an extension of which features fashion/art/film/music events in cities like SF/NY/LA.

I can't recall ever seeing a banner promoting water specifically, especially when there is a sea of soft drink/sport drink advertising out there. By choosing to run on GenArt, they are obviously going after the influencers- people that would get their friends to drink Fiji Water just because they have it (that, and the square bottle is pretty rad).