*Must be a current member for the 2013 calendar year.
OVERVIEW The Renaissance p. 6
Letter from the President
Letter from the Guest Editor
News & Events UPFRONT
Detecting TVâ€™s Best p. 8
Spot Watch IN FOCUS
Mighty Motion Capture p. 24
Minimizing Major Meltdowns p. 44
Future of TV
PR Crisis Management
Athletic Gold p. 54
A Band of One p. 22
ON THE COVER Design by Brokendoll brokendoll.com
PromaxBDA Staff PRESIDENT/CEO Jonathan Block-Verk GENERAL MANAGER Jill Lindeman CFO Randy Smith CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER Lucian Cojescu DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS Shawn M. Anderson EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Shanna Green DESIGNER Angelika Gartner EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Justin W. Sanders
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
Oscar Wilde wrote that when good Americans die, they go to Paris. PromaxBDA may not be dead – on the contrary, we’re more alive than we’ve ever been – but we must be doing something right, because we’re off to Paris for the PromaxBDA Europe Conference. I love Paris, and not just because of its romantic cobblestone streets, breezy cafes and beignets. I love that the European promotion, marketing and design industry will congregate here for this annual event. It’s vibrant and diverse and strong, and a joyous reminder of how PromaxBDA has grown to connect members from across the global landscape of television marketing. This issue of Brief reflects a new era at PromaxBDA. Where once our association revolved almost solely around our annual Conference stateside, we now have exciting, educational and inspirational events and educational opportunities happening year-round, planet-round. All this with our usual blend of news, profiles and highlights, adds up to a dazzling variety of topics and trends designed to enlighten and entertain any member, anywhere. It’s literally a whole new world at PromaxBDA.
EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Jennifer Konerman DIRECTOR, PARTNERSHIPS AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Jay Milla VP, EVENTS AND PRODUCTION Tripp Mahan MANAGER, EVENT LOGISTICS Kristen Yanow COORDINATOR, EVENTS & PRODUCTION Christina Woodward VP OF INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT AND DIVERSITY Katerina Zacharia INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT AND DIVERSITY PROGRAM MANAGER LaFern Cusack SENIOR PROGRAM COORDINATOR, INDUSTRY DEV. AND DIVERSITY Miracle McClain ASSOCIATION OUTREACH MANAGER Emily Little
We hope to see you out there.
MANAGER OF MEMBER SERVICES Anush Payaslyan
Jonathan Block-Verk President/CEO
DIGITAL MANAGER Alexis Hay CIRCULATION MANAGER Aurelio Farrell DIRECTOR OF AWARDS & COMPETITIONS Stacy La Cotera SENIOR AWARDS COORDINATOR Eileen Rasnake AWARDS COORDINATOR Jaiseth Caraan ACCOUNTANT Wolfgang Thiele SR. SYSTEMS ANALYST Stephen Reynolds EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO THE CEO Brian Lamberson COORDINATOR, EXECUTIVE OFFICES Anna Lyn Arboleda PromaxBDA is a global, non-profit association dedicated to being the leading resource for education, community, creative inspiration and career development for marketing, promotion and design professionals within the entertainment and information industry.
SPRING 2013 Volume 5, Issue 1 EXECUTIVE PUBLISHER Jonathan Block-Verk GENERAL MANAGER Jill Lindeman MANAGING EDITOR Shanna Green CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Paige Albiniak GUEST EDITOR Patti McTeague ART DIRECTOR Angelika Gartner ASSOCIATE EDITOR Justin W. Sanders ASSISTANT EDITOR Jennifer Konerman LETTER FROM THE GUEST EDITOR
As I sat down to write this, I was momentarily distracted by yet another unfolding debacle on Twitter – this time, a major brand’s account had been compromised by hackers – but it could have been a TV star going off the rails or a producer stating his dissatisfaction with his network. In this particular case, more than an hour had gone by, and the company had yet to regain control of its account. Today, these “incidents” are fairly common, and with the immediacy of social media, they grow quickly. When those incidents are associated with strong brands, a PR executive’s work day suddenly takes twists and turns. In the past year alone, we’ve seen reputations of the great and the good (and the just so-so) suffer in the clutches of a headline-grabbing misstep. Certainly, the speed of information exchange and the demand for an immediate response in 140 characters or less has changed how we are required to respond to often complex and irrational incidents. This issue of Brief embarks on the worthy task of deciphering “crisis management.” In “Disaster Averted!” contributor Kevin Ritchie looks at the increasing role of social media in both PR and PR crises, and talks to pros about what practices they should have in place when an actor suddenly takes his dissatisfaction to Twitter. On the flip side, PromaxBDA’s president and CEO, Jonathan Block-Verk, has an in-depth and rare one-on-one with someone who is most often right there in the thick of it, breaking news: Deadline editor and founder Nikki Finke. A crisis to us PR folks often is a juicy, dramatic story for everyone else, which is why those stories grab headlines. It may be cliché, but it remains true: “everything starts with content.” At Disney/ ABC Television Group, we know that it’s great content that drives all platforms, and all of our opportunities. The strategic element includes knowing who our audience is and what they want. For PR pros across the industry, the challenge – when we aren’t putting out the occasional fire — is to keep marketing that great content in order to create a strong connection with viewers. Like everyone else, Disney/ABC also is spending a lot of time experimenting and trying to figure out what the future holds as the TV business continues to evolve. Much of it is unfolding right in front of us: original (and worthwhile) TV series launched on Internet-only platforms, such as Netflix’s much-buzzed-about House of Cards in February; burgeoning YouTube channels; and exciting new technologies such as 3D sound and 8K HD TV. This issue of Brief takes a little time to consider what TV’s future holds, and comes away hopeful. I hope your time spent reading this issue helps you to challenge everything – especially conventional wisdom – and create something original that will resonate with viewers. Patti McTeague SVP, Kids Communication Disney Channels Worldwide & Disney/ABC Television Group
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kate Bacon, Emily Little, Kevin Ritchie, Michael Schneider, Charlie Smith, Daisy Whitney DIRECTOR, PARTNERSHIPS AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Jay Milla EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO THE CEO Brian Lamberson COORDINATOR, EXECUTIVE OFFICES Anna Lyn Arboleda EDITORIAL INTERNS Alexa Brown, Alex Vejars All letters sent to Brief or its editors are assumed intended for publication. Brief invites editorial comment, but accepts no responsibility for its loss or destruction, however it arises, while in its office or in transit. All material to be returned must be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Nothing may be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the publisher. US Postmaster: Send address changes to Brief, 1522-E Cloverfield Blvd. Santa Monica, CA, 90404-5567. Printed in the United States. Brief is a quarterly publication, plus special issues as a part of member outreach for non-profit organization PromaxBDA, which publishes this magazine. For a membership to PromaxBDA, please contact our main office in Santa Monica, Calif. email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Brief 1522-E Cloverfield Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90404-5567 (310) 788-7600 www.promaxbda.org
No time to mourn.
SUNDAYS 10|9c /RedWidowABC
NEWS & EVENTS OVERVIEW
PROMAXBDA EUROPE CONFERENCE COMES TO PARIS
LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES CONVERGE AT 2013 CONFERENCE
On March 11-12, the European television marketing community will descend upon the Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel for this year’s PromaxBDA Europe Conference. With Renaissance as its theme, this year’s Europe Europe Advisory Council Conference promises two member Gabriel Galluccio inspiring days designed to kick-start innovation and propel the business of television forward at “a vital intersection of our region’s top creative thinkers, thought-leaders and luminaries,” said Markan Karajica, chairman of the managing board at ProSiebenSat.1 Digital and member of the Europe Advisory Council.
Adding to its usual array of sessions and networking opportunities, this summer’s PromaxBDA: The Conference will feature many learning opportunities for both students and professionals in media marketing.
The Europe Conference’s schedule features a packed lineup of outstanding speakers and sessions, covering a range of industry topics: Luc de Brabandère, author and specialist in creativity, strategy and senior advisory to BCG, presents “The Box: Eight Things You Need to Know About the Challenge of Creativity;” Tim Horwood, creative director for MTV Base Africa looks at the continent’s surge of creativity in “Africa’s Renaissance;” Tim Hughes, on-air marketing director for Discovery UK Creative, addresses happy partnerships in “Better Together: Why Marketers and Creatives Should Hug More;” and Charlie Mawer, executive creative director for Red Bee Media, provides “10 Ways to Develop Creative Talent.” It all begins with AOL digital prophet David Shing’s thought-provoking “Innovation Keynote: Participating in the Playground of the New Digital Reality” and concludes with the 2013 PromaxBDA Europe Awards ceremony, a fun, lively celebration honoring the finest work in television promotion, marketing and design for the European region. “I look forward to the Europe Conference every year as a chance to catch up with old friends from all across the industry, make new connections, and ultimately, come out recharged and reinvigorated,” Karajica said. “No European media marketing professional should miss it!” ■
The newly created PromaxBDA Scholars Program lets college juniors and seniors connect with top creative and marketing executives. Ten Scholars Program participants receive complimentary registration to PromaxBDA: The Conference 2013, admission to an entertainment marketing career development workshop, participation in a roundtable discussion with PromaxBDA board members, and many other outstanding benefits designed to further their career development. For college juniors and seniors working toward a career in event planning and management, the Conference Event Internship Program offers four select individuals the chance to train with PromaxBDA’s seasoned events production team in a hands-on learning environment. From May 28-June 21, interns will support the PromaxBDA events department with the design, implementation and management of Conference sessions, parties, receptions and other functions across areas of production including tech and audio/visual, logistics, sponsorship activation and registration. In the executive realm, This year’s Conference will also see the launch of the fifth cycle of the PromaxBDA Executive Mentorship Program, which connects highpotential managers and directors with VPs, SVPs and EVPs from various creative sectors with a year-long curriculum designed to enhance leadership skills, experience, insight, strategic intuition and creative perspective. Mentors work closely with mentees to develop the strategies necessary to rise up the executive ladder and “redefine what success really means, from both a professional and personal level,” said former mentee and Brother International director Marie Le. For more information on these and other PromaxBDA Industry Development programs, please contact Katerina Zacharia at email@example.com or visit promaxbda.org/industry-development. ■ —Justin W. Sanders
PROMOTION, MARKETING AND DESIGN AWARDS COMPETITIONS INTEGRATED This year’s announcement of the 2013 PromaxBDA Promotion, Marketing and Design Awards categories had special significance thanks to important developments in the submission process and guidelines, including the integration of the awards categories under just two comprehensive sub-lists: North America Promotion, Marketing and Design, and Global Excellence Promotion, Marketing and Design.
“Over the years, we have taken so many steps to integrate the two sides of our organization (Promax and BDA), with one conference, one board and, in 2011, we successfully combined two separate awards shows,” said Roger Hyde, SVP of creative services and brand integrity at DIRECTV
and PromaxBDA Awards Committee Chair. “Now, we have the chance to cross the finish line by integrating two awards competitions into one.” Additionally, categories under each sub-list were colorcoded this year, with blue indicating marketing/promotion categories and green indicating design categories. Similar marketing/promotion and design categories were grouped adjacent to each other, giving entrants the option of submitting an entry to be judged for its effectiveness in message merits or for its design and creative merits – or both. “The submission process should be a lot simpler, and hopefully clearer,” said Hyde.
STATION SUMMIT RETURNS TO LAS VEGAS FOR ITS THIRD YEAR Taking place June 25-28 at Las Vegas’s Planet Hollywood, the third-annual Station Summit presents four jam-packed days where networks, station groups, syndicators and broadcasters meet to discuss the trends, issues and emerging business opportunities within the local television industry. PromaxBDA is thrilled to welcome Fox, including 17 of its owned and operated stations and 207 affiliates, to this year’s event, where it will join returning Summit partners ABC, CBS, The CW, NBC and Telemundo. “Fox has been an SAVE THE DATE: enthusiastic supporter and sponsor of the PromaxBDA Station Summit PromaxBDA Station June 25-28 Summit since its inception,” said Nick Belperio, SVP of marketing at Fox Broadcasting Company. “Fox believes fervently in the strength and impact of local television, and we’re eagerly looking forward to rolling out our new season marketing plans, as well as having some face time with our remarkable local marketing execs.” Summit attendees will be educated and inspired by outstanding speakers, sessions and networking opportunities. The busy lineup includes Affiliate Day, devoted to network affiliate marketing meetings; Studio Day, where GMs and local marketing, promotion and creative service executives meet with syndicated programming partners to strategize and position new and returning shows; and PromaxBDALocal, a day of presentations on creative innovations, technological developments and new revenue streams on the local horizon as well as a lunchtime presentation of the PromaxBDALocal Awards Show. Finally, the Summit will conclude with Station Group Day, where station groups coordinate and host marketing meetings with attending clients. For more information about the Station Summit and PromaxBDALocal Awards, and to register, visit promaxbda.org/local. For more information on Affiliate or Station Group Day, please contact your affiliate representative or station group. ■ —Alexa Brown
COMING IN SUMMER 2013 Marketing to a Hispanic Audience As the Hispanic population continues to boom in the US, Hispanic-centered networks like Univision and Telemundo are seeing a huge uptick in viewers, with Univision beating NBC in the February sweeps this year for the first time. Brief takes a look at how networks are catering to this fast-growing audience and marketing to everyone from the Spanish-only first-generation viewer all the way down to her English-speaking grandchildren. Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree We’re not saying who it is yet... but this year’s PromaxBDA’s Lifetime Achievement Award honoree is one you won’t want to miss. Be sure to check out the next issue, where we take a look at this mystery person’s involvement in the entertainment industry, and how he – or she, we’re not telling – established a dynamic personal brand.
PROMAXBDA DATES AND DEADLINES PROMAXBDA EUROPE CONFERENCE March 11-12, 2013 PROMAXBDA Paris EUROPE PROMO BOOT CAMP March 11-12, 2013 Paris
CLIENT/AGENCY SPEED DATING March 11, 2013 Paris PROMAXBDALOCAL AWARDS FINAL DEADLINE EMERGING MEDIA March 26, 2013 WORKSHOP April, 2013 New York
PROMAXBDA: THE CONFERENCE 2013 June 18-20, 2013 Los Angeles
PROMAXBDA CREATIVE EDUCATORS FORUM AT BEA/NAB April 7, 2013 Las Vegas
PROMO BOOT CAMP June 18-20, 2013 Los Angeles
Where past winners could receive two different awards statues depending on PromaxBDA Promowhat categories they tion, Marketing & Design Awards entered, this year’s honJune 20 orees will all receive the Muse statue at the awards ceremony on June 20, making it the singular standard for excellence throughout the broadcast promotions industry. “When we honor the best of the best, it shouldn’t make a difference what category your work was entered into,” explained Hyde. ■
SAVE THE DATE:
For more information, visit: promaxbda.org
—Justin W. Sanders
CLIENT/AGENCY SPEED DATING June 18, 2013 Los Angeles STATION SUMMIT June 25-28, 2013 Las Vegas
WATCH DOG UPFRONT
Elementary Network: CBS Date: February 3, 2013 Viewers: 20.8 Key to Success: Modernizing a classic
70th Annual Golden Globe Awards Network: NBC Date: January 13, 2013 Viewers: 19.6 Key to Success: Highlight catalysts for buzz
He’s more than 125 years old, but he’s having one of his best years yet. Resurfacing onscreen with a vengeance over the past few years, Sherlock Holmes has taken on many forms in many accents, but CBS’s iteration of the character in Elementary proves that audiences are still hungry for a new and different telling of his story.
Each year, awards shows’ lead-in campaigns seem longer and longer. And with more time on their hands (without results to show or current footage to use) teasers and oft-shared promos are left to focus on what’s different about this year’s telecast: the hosts. So when NBC announced last fall that their own network’s favorite comediennes Amy Poehler and Tina Fey were going to host the Golden Globes, they had the makings for digital marketing gold.
Last fall, the network launched an updated, modern twist on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation, working with the NYPD instead of Scotland Yard and with Lucy Liu as the first female Watson to boot. To start it all off, CBS wanted to make sure you knew this wasn’t your grandmother’s (or your greatgrandmother’s) Sherlock Holmes, and to do that, they went online. CBS partnered with data visualization company visual.ly to create an Elementary Facebook app that used Facebook Connect to analyze fans’ profiles then have Holmes report back some interesting tidbits about them. A mobile app was also released that used the phone’s camera to augment the show’s ads to reveal clues from the series. But even with the technology and modernity available, CBS has found that nothing works better for them than appealing to their loyal viewers. “Cable, print, outdoor and digital media were all important components of the campaign,” said Garen van de Beek, EVP and creative director at CBS Marketing Group, “but nothing can replace the mass impressions you get with an on-air campaign. On-air allows you to show the show.” ■
“Everybody knows the Golden Globes, and they anticipate and look forward to them,” said Sharon Allen, SVP of marketing strategy at NBC. “It’s about trying to capitalize on the things that are going to create buzz and excitement.” The past three years have seen the controversial Ricky Gervais as host, and before that, the show had gone host-less, so NBC was glad to have two of the most media-savvy women in TV and pushed their personalities and comedic talents to the forefront of the teaser campaign. In December, NBC released the show’s first promo, which quickly went viral, and followed it up with similar teasers to the same effect. The two hosts even popularized a Golden Globes drinking game. “We knew Amy and Tina would bring something special to the show, so we made them the centerpiece of our campaign," said Allen. NBC took over the night with help from NBC Universal’s other properties and affiliates, partnering with E! on the red carpet, featuring a pre-show hosted by the TODAY show, even utilizing NBC-owned stations for a pre-pre-show as the lead-in campaign seeped into the big day itself. ■
The Following Network: Fox Date: February 25, 2013 Viewers: 8.58 Key to Success: Pushing the broadcast envelope One of the first images viewers saw of Fox’s midseason hit, The Following, was of a promo featuring a woman, clad in nothing but ink, drawing an ice pick to her gut. Suffice it to say, it caused a bit of talk in the television community about what was coming next. Many felt the network was taking quite a risk with its violent crime drama, centered on a cult-head serial killer whose attacks are inspired by Edgar Allan Poe. How does a broadcaster take such a sinister subject (and its gritty violence) that’s traditionally been relegated to cable and turn it into a mainstream marketing campaign for the broad Fox primetime audience? It’s a fine line, but Fox figured out how to walk it. “There’s definitely an appetite out there for edgy shows that really push the limit,” said Laurel Bernard, EVP of marketing at Fox Broadcasting Company. “We feel like we’ve given that title over to cable, and we wanted to make sure that people realize that we can put a show on the air on Fox, on broadcast, that was just as intriguing and just as engaging.” After a mini campaign titled “We Are The Following,” an early-on Facebook effort last fall, Fox dove head first into marketing the show to its masses. According to Bernard, Fox “left no stone unturned on this campaign,” with everything from Comic-Con screenings and a premiere event with the New York Public Library to branded photo booths, street teams in body suits and radio promotions with the band, The Killers (because how could you pass that one up?). Taking advantage of its News Corp. synergy, Fox also ramped up its efforts in the weeks leading up to the premiere by spreading promos across a massive system of affiliates, cable nets and big network nights, ensuring that The Following could be seen by American Horror Story and NFL fans alike. In the end, viewers did not pass up their opportunity to see Kevin Bacon chase down a literary-themed murderer.
Real Husbands of Hollywood, billed as “the fakest reality show on television,” began as a sketch for the 2011 BET Awards in which rappers and actors repeatedly threw drinks at host Kevin Hart. After its overwhelming fan response, BET revived the sketch for the 2012 Awards, which was also met with mega-success on social media. Now BET is building an empire off of this parody-turned-very-real series’ momentum (of more than 4 million viewers on premiere night). The series’ debut this January piggybacked on an energized social media campaign propelled by an all-star cast of top talent engaging their already active following. It only helped that the stars of the series are stars outside the series as well, each with dedicated fan bases and devotees – including Nick Cannon, R&B singer Robin Thicke, actor and all-around heartthrob Boris Kodjoe, and Hart himself. With that momentum behind it, BET created a hit show that has consistently leveraged the talent to engage the audience. “It’s a massively coordinated effort,” said Vicky Free, EVP and CMO at BET. “We have the hottest comedian in the country right now with Kevin Hart, and he has a huge social media footprint. So does Robin Thicke and Boris Kodjoe. So we’ve been sure to engage the talent.” Although they had a solid fan foundation with their cast, BET didn’t stop there. “The messaging was really letting the show sell itself,” Free said. “The innovation came more in our media strategy and planning. We leveraged social TV across a variety of social media outlets to build momentum, not only leading up to the premiere, but during the actual airing of the shows to keep that feedback going.” The network has also built unique social media tools of its own. On the show’s site, Twitter maps connected viewers around the country to keep conversations about the show lively and current, and GIFs kept the best moments fresh even after the current episode had ended. The show’s abundance of quotable lines aren’t bad social media fodder either. With an impressive cast of top musical and comedic talent, Real Husbands of Hollywood practically sells itself, but keeping up with its devoted fan base online certainly never hurts. ■
—Alexa Brown —Jennifer Konerman
The network was able to use the edginess of the show to its advantage, while simultaneously appealing to the mass audiences of crime procedural lovers. In response, Fox threw a loud “I told you so” at its doubters when the Kevin Bacon-led drama lured more than 10 million viewers for its premiere and beat out ratings for any midseason series premiere on a broadcast network. ■
Real Husbands of Hollywood Network: BET Date: February 19, 2013 Viewers: 2.05 Key to Success: Fake it ‘til you make it
MEASUREMENT OF SUCCESS
Tracking viewership across an ever-expanding landscape of platforms is becoming an increasingly dicey proposition, but some recent big moves by Nielsen show the measurement giant is up to the challenge. In February, Nielsen announced that this September, it will begin adding households that watch TV on certain broadband devices to its viewership sample, including game consoles, Internet-connected television sets and, eventually, tablets and smartphones. The company’s announcement is, in essence, a redefining of what constitutes TV viewership, and a major step forward for networks seeking metrics that reflect the new era of nontraditional means of watching. In addition to how we view, Nielsen is also pushing to measure how we talk about what we view. In a time when the water-cooler discussion about last night’s episode has moved online, the link between conversation and ratings has never been more important. To that end, Nielsen and its social media arm, NM Incite, acquired social TV analysis service SocialGuide near the end of 2012. The goal: to begin assigning objective numeric values and benchmarks to the social prowess of TV programs, and, ultimately, find “a way to show ROI with social activity,” said Andrew Somosi, CEO of NM Incite. Nielsen was drawn to SocialGuide, which tracks real-time conversations across more than 230 US TV channels and more than 30,000 programs, for several reasons, explained Somosi. They include SocialGuide’s focus on linear TV, using TV listings from Tribune Media Services to track social conversations on TV shows, as well as its even tighter focus on Twitter, where the vast majority of TV chatter is happening. “The goal is to correlate those social TV metrics to ratings and to then determine if social conversations drive TV ratings, consumer behavior and viewing habits,” Somosi said. “Does more chatter lead to higher ratings?” Already, the partnership is making progress. Nielsen struck a deal with Twitter in December to devise a Nielsen Twitter TV Rating that measures the reach of TV chatter on Twitter. It should be in use for the fall 2013 TV season. ■ —Daisy Whitney
BURNING UP THE CHARTS As other web series have struggled to pull in viewership that even approaches the level of broadcast television, an online spoof of the broadcast world’s favorite dating reality show has quietly become a bona fide hit – by any measure.
Last year's debut season of Yahoo!’s Bachelor spoof, Burning Love, netted 11 million viewers, putting it on par with “some of the most-watched scripted cable shows of all time,” according to Erin McPherson, VP and head of video programming and originals at Yahoo!. In return, the series, now in its second season, was renewed all the way through Season 3, netted an exclusive sponsor (media planning and buying agency PHD, whose clients include HBO, Foot Locker, Safeway and other global heavyweights) and has even found its way into the broadcast realm via the E! Network, where Season 1 began airing on February 25.
A KINECT-ION IS MADE
UNIVISION GOES IN-HOUSE
Knowing how many viewers are in a room when the TV is on sounds good in theory. Such information could reveal powerful insights for a TV network, operator or a brand. But, as a new patent from Microsoft is demonstrating, it could also aggravate those same viewers in a major way.
As the sheer number of marketing platforms has grown in recent years, both TV networks and advertisers have grappled with how to integrate, manage and market cohesively across the various venues. Media company Univision is aiming to tackle the challenge it in its own way – by integrating its internal advertising and media units to ensure its cross-channel, on-air promotions and branding messages are creatively consistent across 12 networks including Univision, UniMás and Galavisión, as well as local TV, radio and digital properties.
Microsoft’s newly patented technology, designed for the Kinect for Xbox and eerily titled Content Distribution Regulation by Viewing User, is already making waves based entirely on its potential. If manifested, it could be used for multiplayer gaming licensing, meaning the user would be charged based on the number of people playing. Such a technology could also let service providers potentially charge for pay-per-view programming, such as a movie, based on the number of viewers in the room. It could also spell trouble for Microsoft from viewers concerned about privacy issues. If implemented, the patent has the potential to be highly disruptive to the current economic models for TV. In theory, such a technology could enable a la carte-style pricing for virtually any kind of program. But that approach runs counter to what’s made Xbox successful, said Ashley Swartz, founder and CEO of Furious Minds, an advertising technology collective, who doesn’t expect the patent to gain marketplace traction. “Xbox made video gaming something other than a singular experience. They made it a shared experience, so when you talk about an entertainment experience that tracks against number of people, it goes against the DNA of Xbox,” said Swartz. The tech giant has said it is sensitive to those issues. “Microsoft regularly applies for and receives patents as part of its business practice; not all patents applied for or received will be incorporated into a Microsoft product,” an anonymous company spokesperson said via email. “It is also important to note that Microsoft has a strong track record of implementing some of the best privacy protection measures in the industry.” ■ —Daisy Whitney
Burning Love, and all of Yahoo!’s original content, also benefits from, according to McPherson, the company’s “data-driven insights and experience at programming the content to resonate with
For an example of how the new unit could be more effective, one need look no further than Univision’s telenovelas, for which marketers need to know when and where to incorporate social aspects into on-air promotions, and whether radio promos should vary depending on the station. Previously, the network might not have run a spot on an English-language station and only supplied one commercial to both a Spanish-bilingual and Spanish-dominant station. But the new centralized agency can create three spots, because all the groups responsible for them are working more closely together. Rodriguez said Univision expected to have about 65 people working in the internal agency, including current staff and new hires. Joni Fernandez, SVP of Univision Agency, will oversee the operation. ■ —Daisy Whitney
our users.” However, no matter how sophisticated its promotional techniques, the show’s most effective marketing method remains good old-fashioned word of mouth. Produced by Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Digital, Burning Love’s talent roster has included such comedy luminaries as Adam Scott, Paul Rudd and even Stiller himself – a team that has created a series adored by critics and viewers alike. As a result, “the show [has] managed to drive appointment viewing as fans [have come] back to Yahoo! every week to watch through to the last episode,” McPherson said, “which is something that has proven challenging for other web series.” ■ —Justin W. Sanders
Remarkably, Yahoo! has realized Burning Love’s startling crossover success without partnering with other digital video platforms such as Hulu or YouTube – E! aside, the only place one can currently catch the series is on Yahoo! Screen, the website’s in-house video player. “We use the power of Yahoo! and our own reach to market the show,” McPherson said. “The Yahoo! Network, comprised of the Yahoo! media sites including Yahoo! News, Sports, Entertainment, Shine/Lifestyles and Finance, allows us to reach audiences outside of just Yahoo! Screen. We can contextually place the video clips within stories about the various talent, stories about reality dating shows, etc.”
In addition to its cross-channel promotional duties, the new Univision Agency will be responsible for research and creative services for clients and internal divisions. The company counts about $500 million in inventory that it can use to promote its own programming, a level of scope that necessitated a centralized strategy, explained Jessica Rodriguez, EVP of program scheduling at Univision. “We have radio and local stations and networks that speak to different people, and in the past you only had to worry about promoting the Univision network and Univision shows, but we want to grow all our assets,” said Rodriguez. Instead of individual promo teams working on each specific brand, she explained, now they’re working together to share creative.
ITV Rebrand itv.com
Creative: ITV’s in-house creative agency UPFRONT
Campaign Led By: Phil Lind, Creative Director, ITV Creative; Claire Finn, Head of Operations, ITV Creative; Rufus Radcliffe, Group Marketing and Research Director, ITV Creative; Reemah Sakaan, Director of Marketing, ITV Target Audience: Domestic and international viewers across ITV's five channels Objective: Create a “brand environment” that reflects ITV's central position in popular culture, cement the relationship between ITV’s programming and network identity and drive greater brand clarity across channels, businesses and platforms.
Steps Taken: While ITV’s recent all-encompassing makeover stretched across every piece of property from its buildings to coffee mugs, the biggest challenge lay in presenting its five channels as unique entities that, cumulatively, would express the network’s brand family. The effect would “cement the relationship in viewers’ minds between the ITV content they love and the ITV brand that brings it to them,” said Phil Lind, creative director at ITV Creative. The network designed a unified, on-air architecture, allowing for cross-promotion and establishing a “universal frame” for its channels. “We wanted to ensure that promotional and presentation items could appear to join seamlessly together, or 'flow' as we came to describe it,” said Lind. With a frame-
work in place, ITV began communicating its new messaging to the viewer through a series of ground-breaking idents carefully designed to be “updateable and reactive to popular culture,” according to Lind. More than 200 idents will be featured throughout the year, many in reaction to current events. Each ident will feature ITV’s new logo, an appealing, looping design with a color scheme that changes with its background. “No two ident logos will ever be the same,” said Lind.
Univision Deportes, pressed play on its new TV Everywhere platform, UVideos, and announced its new partnership with ABC News for Univision’s first Englishlanguage channel in the form of a 24hour cable news network. As Univision evolves from a niche-focused company to a general-media giant, its colorful tulip needed its own transformation.
its strong positioning in the Hispanic community and the logo itself evolves as its audience does. Another goal with the new unified logo was to show how Univision, even with its many new expansions and advancements, remains strong and unified even after 50 years.
Lessons Learned: “Keep everyone talking to each other all the time,” Lind said. “Don't lose your nerve even when the deadline zooms towards you.” ■ —Alexa Brown
Univision Rebrand univision.com | wolffolins.com interbrand.com
Creative: Wolff Olins, creative agency; Linda Ong, brand consultant; Interbrand, brand architect Campaign Led By: Randy Falco, President & CEO, Univision; Kevin Conroy, President, Interactive & Enterprise Development, Univision; Cesar Conde, President, Univision Networks; Luis Fernandez, President, Univision Studios; Ruth Gaviria, SVP, Corporate Marketing, Univision; Diana Terry-Azíos, VP, Corporate Marketing, Univision; Jorge Dominguez, VP, Art & Design, Univision Target Audience: Hispanic-American adults Objective: Unify the many moving parts to a 50-year-old brand and reflect the strength found in its community. BRIEF 12
Steps Taken: In the past year, Univision has unveiled a specialty sports channel,
“We wanted to make sure that we united and updated the icon,” said Ruth Gaviria, SVP of corporate marketing at Univision, “and when you look at our evolution, it’s really about bringing these four quadrants together, almost magnetized, and giving it the dimension and symbolizing unity and collaboration.” The logo, a vibrant tulip shape for Univision’s U, went 3D and fused together the tulip’s petals to give the look of a beating heart, coming alongside its firstever tagline: “The Hispanic Heartbeat of America.” Both are meant to evoke
“It was very important for us to dimensionalize the Hispanic community and dimensionalize the breadth of what Univision can give,” Gaviria said. “And we knew that what we needed to signal was an evolution, not a revolution.” Lessons Learned: “You need to really have a clear vision, a very good brief, partners that are emotionally connected to your brand and a vision as to what you need to accomplish,” Gaviria said. “And we had that in spades.” ■ —Jennifer Konerman
TH E TO U G H E S T TO U R N A M E N T I N S P O RTS.
LIVE THURSDAYS 10/9c
BEN “FUNKY” ASKREN
#BELLATORMMA © 2013 Everlast Worldwide, Inc.
© 2013 Network Enterprises, Inc., All Rights Reserved. Spike and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of Network Enterprises, Inc., A Viacom Company.
David Attenborough's Natural Curiosities
HBO Asia Festival Ident
UPFRONT redbeemedia.com strangebeast-nyc.com
David Attenborough has spent his life documenting the world around him – and the outrageous and bewildering species fascinate him the most. This narrator is an open book, his animals jumping off the page in vivid splashes of ink and kaleidoscopic visions of mammals, amphibians and narwhal. Check out these up-close zebras, giraffe-loving whales, swimming platypus and a bibliophile chameleon. You might just want to turn the page.
In honor of the Chinese New Year, let a koi fish lead you through gemstone-colored clouds in this 2D drawing spot for HBO Asia. For this ident, Mirari & Co. drew inspiration from traditional Chinese illustration and succeeded in bringing a modern but magical atmosphere to the celebration. So follow along as the koi weaves through the leaves, and don’t be afraid when you see a dragon boat carrying a temple, it’s just passing through.
Client: UKTV EDEN; Agency: Red Bee Media; Production Company: Strange Beast; Group Creative Director: Ruth Shabi; Creative Director: Joe Lee; Creative: Cassie Toone; Director: Adam Parry; EP: Sam O’Keefe; Producers: Sarah Caddy, Lottie Hope
Client: HBO Asia; Production Company: Mirari & Co.; Creative Director: Jimmy Yuan; Producer: Michelle Xie; VFX: Toufik Mekbel; Modeler: Chems Droich; Music: Zelig Sound
2 Broke Girls Spectacular
Get on the dance floor with this 2 Broke Girls Super Bowl debut, which mixes the glitz and glamour of a Super Bowl halftime show with the over-the-top rock ‘n’ roll of ‘80s music videos. CBS’s David LaChapelle-directed promo features the waitresses in rhinestone-covered aprons dancing on poles (you know, like your mama’s diner). So turn up the stereo and roll back a few decades with these two dancers as they bring the slow-mo stroll and wind-blown hair look back for primetime.
Client: CBS Television Network; Exec. CD: David LaChapelle; EVP & CD/CBS Marketing: Garen van de Beek; SVP/CBS On-Air Promotion: Lori Shefa; CD/CBS On-Air Promotion: Amanda Hanig; VP/CBS Special Projects: Chris Cranner; Sr. Producer-Editor/CBS On-Air Promotion: Eric Gilbert; Sr. CD/CBS On-Air Design+Animation: Jon Lee; CD/ CBS On-Air Design+Animation: Matt Hernandez; Lead Designer/CBS On-Air Design+Animation: Chris Kneller; Dir. of Production/CBS Special Projects: Terry De Wolfe
Have you ever wanted to peer into the minds behind hit show Mythbusters? So does this spot from Alkanoids for Discovery Italia’s Unchained Reaction, finding therein a nextlevel Rube Goldberg machine made of 21st-century tinker toys. With the help of a contraption reminiscent of the Mouse Trap game board, follow this sophisticated doodle drawing through to the launch of two cartoon rockets. Client: Discovery Italia; Design, 3D, Animation & Post Production: Alkanoids; Creative Director: In-House Discovery Italia; Creative Supervisor: Silvia Morganti; Graphic Designer: Chiara Cerutti; Producer: Ivano Scuderi; Original Sound Design: Carlos Zarattini —Jennifer Konerman
On the Record with Hollywood’s Most Feared Journalist Nikki Finke is not just one of the most influential media minds in Hollywood (she often appears on lists of the most influential people in the information age), she leads the most influential media outlet in Hollywood. Since she launched Deadline Hollywood in 2006, the website has earned a reputation for breaking exclusive news at lightning speed. With unprecedented sources at the highest levels of Big Media, its TOLDJA! scoops have been known to send stocks, stars, executives and publicists into dizzying spirals of crisis, concern and career management. Finke’s own reputation as an outspoken, truth-seeking, constantly innovating media pit bull has earned her extraordinary respect in and out of Hollywood. And while she has very publicly changed the way showbiz is covered by the trades, she herself remains very private, shying away from most appearances, interviews or coverage about herself. Jonathan Block-Verk caught up with the website founder, editor-in-chief and GM, and went on record to discuss the journalism revolution she started, how trade coverage has evolved and why Deadline Hollywood has emerged as the most important brand in Tinseltown.
I did not set out to create a brand different from everything else, I did it because I am different from everybody else, and I have my own way of doing things. I always have, I always will.
When you launched Deadline, did you ever imagine that you would literally change the way Hollywood is covered? God no. I was writing a weekly print column, and I wanted to be able to break news in a way that did not take five hours to get it online. I wanted more editorial control. So I started Deadline Hollywood Daily, as it was called then, as a 24/7 version of my weekly print column. And for some reason – and I wish I could say I was brilliant, but I was not – it occurred to me to own the URL. That decision gave me something to sell, which I did in 2009 and instantly became rich. From the beginning, I started what I considered to be a news website, not a blog. And I wanted to cover news differently than the trades. More honestly. More immediately. So Deadline Hollywood evolved.
CREATIVE BRIEF IN FOCUS
Success is not about imitating your competitors and it is not about beating your competitors. Success is doing it your way – and that is what I did. I have always done it my way and part of what we do at Deadline is that I teach my staff how to do it “the Deadline way.” But also to preserve their own uniqueness as well.
“Success is not about imitating your competitors and it is not about beating your competitors. Success is doing it your way.”
You clearly have a point of view that is part of the Deadline brand, but how important is objectivity? My readers tell us constantly that they want us to express our opinions and give our analysis and make our commentary on Deadline Hollywood. But the hardest thing for me when I started to add staff in Los Angeles and in New York and in Europe was to learn to let them have their own point of views. A day does not go by that I do not have an opinion on a story one of my staff has posted. Now, everybody on staff knows they can disagree with me and I can disagree with them. I do not try to tell my staff how to think. When I started hiring, I said to them, “I do not expect you to work the hours I work, and I do not expect you to have the point of view that I have.” But I also have the ability to weigh in with a separate post and say “You know what? This is bullshit.” But this is your shop – it is Nikki Finke’s Deadline. No, it is not. I never wanted Deadline Hollywood to be Nikki Finke’s anything. If I’d wanted it to revolve around me then I would have called it Nikki Finke. I did not. I called it Deadline Hollywood from day one. I have never wanted the website to make a cult of my personality. Frankly, I do not know why anybody gives a shit what the hell I am saying on it. I am most comfortable when I’m not the center of attention in the mainstream but instead in the corner causing trouble. I often wish people would just ignore me and my personality and simply read the website. There is a certain expectation and voice that you bring to it, an innovative style. You redefined journalism in this industry… I did that only because the old trades were so bad. They were doing such a poor job of covering Hollywood and reporting about it honestly. They still do. They are so wrong about so much. Even now they still report box office as if every opening movie is a hit. Ridiculous. And they try to steal Deadline Hollywood’s news scoops. It’s just revolting. But I do not waste time thinking about the other media. None of my staff do. We do our work, we define our brand, and we ignore the competition, except to have the satisfaction of knowing that we always beat them. The way that people now report entertainment news in this industry is different because of the things that you have done. I remember how surprised I was when I first started the website and all these publicists and studios began
holding urgent meetings to discuss, “What are we going to do about Nikki Finke and Deadline Hollywood?” I could not understand it. I didn’t think I was redefining entertainment journalism. No, to me it was just journalism. The same reporting principles should apply to Hollywood as when I was covering New York or Moscow or London or Washington. How do you define the Deadline brand, and what are some of its key characteristics? I consider us the only true trade. Right now, The Hollywood Reporter is a celebrity sheet, Variety is a hasbeen. No one even reads The Crap (aka The Wrap). And the LA Times and The New York Times ceded Hollywood coverage to us a while ago. We are giving everybody minute-by-minute trade news, and trade intel, and trade everything with a laser-like focus. We are very proud to be a trade. When people started calling Deadline a trade, it surprised me. But then I embraced it. What does the Deadline brand represent to the industry? Deadline Hollywood stands for accuracy, immediacy and innovation. “We innovate, others imitate,” is one of our slogans. The town really relies on us to get it first and to get it right. They trust Deadline Hollywood, and we give them only the news they need and use – not the celebrity scandals or the party pictures or the other extraneous stuff they truly don’t care about. You are fairly anonymous; nobody knows who you are... Oh puh-leeze. Nobody needs to know who I am. I am not a household name, I am not somebody that anybody wants to care about. I’m just a very private person. I lead my life the way I want to lead my life. I gave up doing television interviews years ago because I don’t have the time. I mean – hair and makeup? Are you fucking kidding me? As I said before, I do not want people to focus on me. I don’t understand why anyone would. There is nothing interesting about me, I am the world’s most boring person. I doubt it, Nikki. I am. Completely. ■
LOVE HIM...” — TV GUIDE
...AND VIEWERS LOVE HIM TOO. IN ITS PREMIERE SWEEP STEVE HARVEY: Improves Time Periods
Grows 1st to 4th Quarter Hour
WOMEN 25-54 RATINGS
WOMEN 25-54 RATINGS
Builds on its Lead-In
WOMEN 25-54 RATINGS
WOMEN 25-54 RATINGS
Source: NSI WRAP Sweeps+, November 2012 Steve Harvey vs. November 2011 Time Periods, Live+7 Ratings for Lead-In, Year-Ago and Lead-out. Lead-in is quarter hour. Lead-out is PA. NSS Galaxy Explorer, November 2012, Live+ SD Ratings for Grows through the hour (1st quarter hour vs. 4th quarter hour). All percent changes based on X.XX Ratings. Subject to qualifi cations upon request.
THE HIT LIST From Streaming to Social, the Companies to Put on Your Radar By Emily Little
As part of its quarterly Emerging Media Workshop (EMW) series, PromaxBDA spotlights three new companies driving innovation in media marketing. This issue, we take a look at breakout companies Roku, Machinima and Viddy.
Roku began as a simple, yet ingenious, product: a set-top Internet-streaming box for Netflix. Rather than wait to receive and return DVDs by mail, Netflix subscribers could instantly watch movies right on their TVs. The company has since built on its initial success with Netflix and its streaming service now includes instant access to more than 700 channels of content, including Hulu Plus, HBO GO, FOX NOW, VEVO, Spotify and recently added TWC TV. Roku was founded by Anthony Wood, inventor of the DVR, so it makes sense that his newest technology is dedicated to making TV-watching more convenient. Thanks to streaming devices like Roku and its competitors, Apple TV and Google’s Nexus Q, Internet-delivered content is becoming the primary source of entertainment for more and more people – it’s immediate, it’s convenient and it grants access to limitless
Original digital content is a white-hot commodity in the entertainment industry, with new niche, hyper-targeted digital channels popping up on YouTube faster than Starbucks near your office. But only one has distinguished itself as YouTube’s No. 1 all-time entertainment channel: Machinima. With its focus on creating original entertainment for gamers, it has found the secret formula for attracting the elusive male, 18-34 demographic. Its carefully curated menu of action, comedy, sports, gameplay and video game trailers got more than 2.6 billion views last December alone, thanks in part to being featured on major digital platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, iOS and Android (and coming soon to Xbox). Machinima, a self-described “loose hybrid of ‘machine’ and ‘cinema’,” has parlayed its popularity with this valuable audience into strategic partnerships with game developers and studios. It created the series Mortal Kombat: Legacy with Warner Bros. to promote its game franchise and worked with Microsoft on the liveaction series, Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, promoting the release of the game. Network partners include AMC and its Walking Dead original web series, and Syfy’s Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome, a prequel digital series which will air on Syfy this year. It seems Machinima knows the fastest way to young male gamers’ hearts, and to advertisers’ too. ■ BRIEF 20
hours of broadcast programming as well as original digital content. And for some users, it’s so cost-efficient that they’re cancelling their cable subscriptions in favor of Roku. Users pay one time for the set-top box and for any content channel subscriptions (Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video), so it’s no wonder some people are choosing this a la carte content option rather than the traditional cable packages. To set itself apart from its competitors in this growing market, Roku launched a $10 million, tongue-in-cheek marketing campaign called “Keep Streaming America.” Colorful billboards urge people to stay home and watch more TV with slogans like “Become the indoorsy type” and “Books. They make great movies.” But the most attention-grabbing billboard was the one that launched the campaign the morning after Election Day: “Cheer up, Mitt! More time to watch TV.” (Agency Division of Labor created a version for each candidate in advance to cover both outcomes.) ■
What would you get if you combined the brevity and immediacy of Twitter, the artistic features of Instagram and added the creativity of video? You’d get Viddy, a social media platform designed exclusively for video creation and sharing. Launched in 2011, Viddy already has more than 40 million users and has skyrocketed in popularity, thanks in part to its strategic partnerships with celebrities like Linkin Park and T-Pain, and bolstered especially by its most famous user, Justin Bieber, who joined the site last May. Like Instagram, Viddy offers a user-friendly suite of filters, music, FX and graphics, all just a tap away on your smartphone. You can layer them onto existing videos or new videos taken with Viddy’s advanced video effects features, which work with your phone’s built-in camera. And like Twitter, there’s a length limit to content: 15 seconds. That may not sound like much, but in today’s short attention span culture, that’s about all that the social media universe has time for. And it’s proven to be plenty of time for brands to connect with their fans. Early adopters of Viddy include General Electric, Southwest Airlines, Diane von Furstenberg and Lifetime’s Project Runway. The partnerships offer fans behind-the-scenes footage, exclusive access to talent, sneak peeks at upcoming episodes and products and Viddy-centric sweepstakes. In a visual medium like ours, Viddy may be the perfect platform to reach and engage viewers, 15 seconds at a time. ■
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BRIEF ENCOUNTERS IN FOCUS
Menno Fokma Leads the Way
By Jennifer Konerman
Left to right: Heineken’s Media Wall, stage visuals for Konings & Keune, opening titles for FITC Amsterdam 2012, artwork for the 2011 Playgrounds International Digital Arts Festival and kites featured in the identity package for MTV’s Activate.
The Netherlands-based Menno Fokma Studio may have a smaller team than the average design company, but its founder, owner, director and sole employee, Fokma himself, has proven over a series of innovative, lushly beautiful mood films, title sequences and other projects, that quality does indeed beat out quantity. As a teenager, Fokma became interested in skateboarding videos, which grew into an interest in the oft-connected world of music videos. He took these passions and his considerable artistic talent to Dutch creative studio Onesize, where he interned briefly before getting hired on as a staffer. He also started working on his first freelance gigs, realizing quickly that working extra hours and weekends to bring his creative visions to life while juggling a full-time job was an artistically and physically exhausting enterprise. So Fokma split from Onesize and set out on his own.
and music video directors like Chris Cunningham, Jonathan Glazer and The Daniels, as his inspiration, Fokma’s work is dominated by rich illustrations with a surrealist touch, like 2012’s Heineken Media Wall featuring vibrant colors complete with sparks and bubbles. The results “invite the viewer to consider how everything is connected and break with conventional linear ways,” Fokma said.
“I didn’t want to work for a boss,” Fokma said. “And I [had] a lot of ideas that I wanted to work on. When you have to do it on your own, you must push yourself, and that isn’t happening when you’re safely inside a full-time job. It’s not evolving.”
Fokma’s work focuses on storytelling over aesthetics, sidestepping instant gratification to indulge in the progression of his own personal style grounded in surrealism and escapism. His process reached its apex on a project for Amsterdam’s 2011 Playgrounds International Digital Arts Festival, where his trippy images featuring shimmering jellyfish-like beings morphed from poster stills to animations, to a full-on live-action collaboration with director Kevin Megens in which a mad alien scientist fiddled funkily with a bizarrely wondrous machine. The clip’s soundtrack, which alternated between driving techno and ethereal synth, also showcased the inspiration Fokma derives from music and “the emotional impact that only melodies can have,” he said. “Anger, love, happiness, melancholy can all be expressed.”
Just three years later, with clients including Heineken and MTV World Design Studio under his belt, Fokma has made a name for himself by pushing creative boundaries, exploring new ways of visualization and using motion graphics as a gateway to strong storytelling. With film directors such as David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick,
The summer after setting up his own studio, Fokma created a showreel that he credits to getting him many clients over just a few years. Only one month after he posted it, MTV World Design Studio contacted him to create a design package for a new pilot, Activate, based on the intro he created especially for the reel.
Menno Fokma Web: mennofokmastudio.com Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands Founded: 2010
“When you have to do it on your own, you must push yourself, and that isn’t happening when you’re safely inside a full-time job.”
Developing his vision further, he utilized kite-like images to symbolize the show’s subject of young people sharing their experiences to help others grow. Applying more brightness than past projects, his style and skills evolved through the creation of a brief bumper, logo design and lower thirds for the show, built on the foundation of interweaving streamers floating into the sky. In 2012, Fokma added “Studio” to his name in an attempt to give his company more credibility and power in the design field. In communications with potential clients, he began to refer to himself as “we” instead of “I,” finding that it was easier to market himself as a full-fledged company. He also began leveraging the cumulative reach of his website, Vimeo account and social media, adding a press agency arm to his one-man operation and spreading his work into the international realm. His efforts paid off with one of Fokma’s larger projects to date, the opening title video for FITC (Future. Innovation. Technology. Creativity.) Amsterdam 2012, a yearly design and technology conference aimed at digital content creators.
Fokma has taken some risks while making a name for himself, but his ability to evolve with his rapidly changing industry has been strengthened by being a team of one. He has seen his own creative vision come to the forefront and has been able to focus on evolving his own style instead of conforming to someone else’s. By staying true to his singular vision, he has also seen his list of clients grow. “Create a lot, copy a lot and don’t forget what your main goal is,” Fokma suggested for anyone else looking to strike out on their own. “I want to believe that it can be a mindset to do the things you love and make money with it as well.” ■
One of Fokma’s favorite jobs, the FITC project was a labor of love, a dense, film-noir-inspired sequence that utilized elegant typography to tell the story of the creative process from inside the cluttered mind of a die-hard creative. It ushered in Fokma’s new focus on stronger visual storytelling as the typography was used as a narrative aide as opposed to simply a text-based information delivery system.
More than anything, Fokma feels as though his design style has evolved along with the industry itself. According to Fokma, clients are much more interested in telling more in-depth stories through multiple means, and he finds that he enjoys growing with that demand. “Before, everything was fantasy 3D worlds and was created all inside the computer,” he said. Nowadays, I’m much more into creating stories and going back to film and cinematic storytelling.”
DESIGN/DISSECT IN FOCUS
GATHERIN MOMENT Weareseventeen Ventures into Motion Capture for Kiss TV
By Justin W. Sanders
Weareseventeen has made a name for itself delivering nourishing eye-candy, the kind that charms and intrigues clients by pairing stunning visuals with an insightful creative interpretation of the brand. The London-based agency had always created its memorable promos and idents almost solely with elegant, painstakingly crafted animation – but that all changed last year when they won a pitch to design and produce a new series of channel idents as part of British music television channel Kiss TV’s identity refresh. Their winning concept: personify the fresh, edgy and glamorous values of the Kiss TV experience via four different human-like figures, each a living, dancing embodiment of a specific attitude. According to Stephen Simmonds, creative director at Weareseventeen, it soon became apparent that, “to get the realistic movement that we wanted to achieve” for the project, “the real human feel for something that isn’t very human in appearance,” the agency would need to branch out from its proven modes of traditional animation into a previously untested technology: “It needed to be motion capture,” Simmonds concluded. A staple of the special effects industry, motion capture is a powerful tool that allows for the creation of incredibly fluid movement-based animation with relative ease. But, while an exciting new development in Weareseventeen’s ever-growing arsenal of skill sets, the convenient technology in no way excused the agency from its standard method of meticulous development and preparation. “Each project brings its own different challenges, and it’s about selecting the right tools to create the aesthetic you want,” Simmonds said. “Motion capture is a great tool if you know what you’re looking for.”
The Look Having decided on motion capture as its primary method, Weareseventeen set about finding what it was looking for. Embarking on what Simmonds described as an in-depth process that went beyond just conveying the music featured on the channel, they focused on the core aspirations of the viewers. Weareseventeen realized the channel’s values would be best portrayed through four distinct modes of musical experience: the brash hip-hop cadence of a rapper, the explosive kinetic energy of an urban dancer, the self-assured strutting of a modern-day diva, and the trance-like euphoria of a music lover lost in a song. To communicate the rather complicated nuances of this vision to Kiss TV executives, the agency simplified its ideas using an innovative and effective method: materials maps.
Assessing the potential physicality of each ident, from color scheme to background texture, Weareseventeen created a series of virtual objects distilling these elements into a tangible form. The results, on paper, look like new kinds of minerals, mined from an alien planet. One resembles a pink jellybean. Another looks like cloth made from gold foil, and yet another appears to be a zebrastriped marble. Taken individually, many of the fake objects look odd, but taken
DESIGN/DISSECT IN FOCUS together, Simmonds explained, they quickly conveyed the look and feel without having to first design everything. “You start to build up a picture of where you want to go before you actually go there,” Simmonds continued, “and we could get the client confident at that stage so we could move on to the next one, which would be a little more executional.” In the case of the materials map for the cat-walking diva ident, for instance, Simmonds’s team discovered that nearly the entire palette for the spot could be expressed by combining invented leopardprint materials with the aforementioned gold foil cloth, then throwing in some pink variations.
The Feel With the materials serving as a tonal guide, Weareseventeen was able to distill the physicality of the idents down to the bold and sassy essence deemed typical of the average Kiss viewer. When it came time for the motion capture shoot, the production team selected four dancers who each embodied a different aspect of that attitude, then set them free and let the camera roll. Taping at E.Motion Capture, one of the largest motion capture filming spaces available in London, the performers had plenty of room to run, strut, leap and flip. “They all had their own take on it,” said Mark Haley, design director at Weareseventeen. “All of them brought something different to it. We gave them some rough moves they could do, but they took that a lot further and it was those little things that helped bring [the idents] to life.” At this stage of production, motion capture proved its mettle as a powerfully effective filming technique. “You don’t have to worry about hair, makeup, wardrobe,” Haley said. “You don’t have to worry about lighting the scene or the shot. It’s all about movement, so once your [performer is] dressed in this jumpsuit covered in light reflectors, and the cameras are aligned and the rough rig for the 3D characters are set, you just record the movement. And, you get instant feedback on the screen and you can see how it looks from different angles.” Thanks to motion capture, Weareseventeen was able to quickly and efficiently capture the raw, inspiring power of human dance. From there, it was a matter of trimming it all into four 15-second segments and adding in animation to take it to the next level.
“We wanted to bring in some hand-drawn elements as well,” Haley said, “so there’s a lot of 2D stuff that was done in Flash – celanimated elements that we threaded throughout each [ident] – and even though they make up a relatively small part of what you’re seeing, they probably took longer than any of the 3D.”
Left: The explosive kinetic energy of an urban dancer in one of four Kiss TV idents. Right: Three of the materials maps that helped to distill the idents’ physicality down to the bold and sassy essence of the average Kiss TV viewer.
The Results The extra effort concocting intricate 2D elements fleshed out the raw power of the motion capture groundwork by adding emphasis to the movements, subtly laying out a kinetic visual map for the eye to follow. In the hip-hop-themed ident, the gesticulating figure explodes at one point, orange 2D fragments flying outward, creating subconscious momentum for the viewer as the disparate pieces merge back together to form the Kiss TV logo. For Weareseventeen, the extra attention to detail was just another part of the agency’s process, a system of workflow that considers every possible route along a journey endlessly open to possibility. “We knew from very early on [in this project] that we had the opportunity to use new techniques like motion capture,” Simmonds said. “This was a project that possibly could let us do that and combine everything that we already do, because there was so much that the client wanted to get in and express. It was an ideal project to throw everything at.” ■
Credits Client: Box Television for Kiss TV Creative Director: Stephen Simmonds Design Director: Mark Haley Animation Team: Renaud Futterer, Mark Lindner, Joseph Winston, Carlos De Faria, Martin Salfity Production Manager: Joanna Brock Executive Producer: George Alexander Music and Sound Design: Zelig Audio Box Television Creative Director: Nick Bentley Box Television Executive Producer: Matt Wolfe Box Television Producer: Danielle O’Keefe
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Prophet Speaks AOL’s David Shing Talks Technology
David Shing has carried the weighty title of digital prophet for AOL since 2011, when his role at the company changed from VP of media and marketing, and prior to that, marketing director of AOL Europe, to that of a futurist set on changing AOL’s brand perception in the marketplace. Shing said he was excited to take on the challenge of working for AOL, which, at the time, was considered a “turnaround” brand. Long before AOL, the Australian emerged from, as he calls it, the “last school of traditional graphic designers” and taught himself the ins and outs of rapidly advancing Internet technologies. His roller coaster career has gone from being a consultant for the second-largest web-design firm in Australia to being unemployed in New York, “eating peanut butter and jam sandwiches while my utilities were being turned off.” The ups and downs shaped him into a charismatic and respected branding guru, one whose diverse experiences have rewarded him with a rare understanding of human connection and how it plays into the digital space. Brief’s Shanna Green caught up with Shing to discuss the three modes of social, what it would be like to play king-maker, and how he gets his hair in rock-star shape.
The brands that I love, some of them are acquisitions, but they help solidify AOL’s investment in content, like The Huffington Posts of this world or Tech Crunch or Engadget.
You have termed AOL as a “turnaround” brand in the past. What have been some of the successful turnarounds or branding developments since you joined? David Shing: We have just now determined what our differentiation is, and that is really, really important with a brand like AOL. When you are with brands like AOL [and] media businesses that are thrown into the same competitive set – Yahoo!, the MSNs, the Googles, the Facebooks – it is very hard to have that differentiation, which we are [investing] into the heavy lifting part of the platform. The platform war can go on. We do not care who is going to win that, whether it is Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter, we do not care. What we do care about is the layer on top, which is content. And our investment in content is paying out. It happens to be expensive, but it is also the stuff that fuels the platforms.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY IN FOCUS
There are three brands that I love that we launched recently that are incubated by AOL. One is StyleList, another is Kitchen Daily, and the last one, which is one of my favorite brands, is called MAKERS, [which features] America’s most influential women who have helped change and mold the world that we see today. We have had everyone from Hillary Clinton to Oprah on there. What I love about it is, it is digital first, meaning we had this fabulous content that was available to us at makers.com, but it culminates [in a] documentary series on PBS. So we are going to have the reverse way of broadcast today, which is going analog to digital. We go the other way around, which is easier. Where do you get all of your information? Are you spending your day reading every single new media newsfeed? Shing: A lot of that clearly is what happens, but also I – thankfully – am of the world and in the world. It is nice to be an observer to see what is going on, and [look] around and [figure] out what that all means. But I do not sleep a lot, so I tend to subscribe to a lot of interesting things. I use old-fashioned RSS feeds. That stuff still works. RSS is a great way to find out what is going on.
“3D has been a big, fat letdown.“
Since you have been at AOL, what are some of the technology trends you have seen come along that have not lived up to the hype? Shing: In the physical world, 3D has been a big, fat letdown. The idea of mobile at its infancy is a wrong idea as well. I think mobile is quite mature, and we are just not doing enough with it. Coca-Cola in 2007 allowed you to text message a vending machine and get a Coke delivered. That happened in 2007! So [mobile] is not at its infancy, we just have not figured out what to do. And when it comes to advertising on mobile, that currently, in my mind, is a letdown. The general concept of connected TV, the idea of interactive TV being an interface on top of the TV – I thought that was going to happen. But it really has not taken off. The interactive layer on top of television happens to be a smartphone now, and that seems to be more of where that is going to go – it is not necessarily another layer on top, it is literally the smart phone, so you are mobile.
I think the social networks at the moment still feel a bit like communities. We have not necessarily determined the three modes of social, which is My World, Our World, Their World. My World being, “This is my private space for me and my family.” Our World is my family and friends, and then Their World is the global space. I think that concept has not played out yet either. I think that is going to be the next extension of what we do for social. But, it is easier to talk about things that I think are going to happen than things that have not. Because quite honestly, I would not have thought that we would be going for larger form factor. We have got an iPad now that is 10 inches, and then we have a half size of that which is about seven inches. What I am disappointed by is, we have not gone smaller with our phones. So where can we go? A Nano iPhone? I think that would be much cooler. I do think there is a market, because I do not think that people are comfortable with the cosmetic of it. The utility of the screen is great, but I do think that there is a cosmetic part that we have not cracked the nut on yet. I think it is going to end up being a different type of gestural technology than fingers. I think fingers to open and close might be interesting, but we might have a different way of gesturing to operate our phone. And it may not be on the screen, it might be on the cord or the headset or there is going to be something different that we are going to come up with. It sort of takes away the whole idea of swiping I think. That is if we get back to using phones as a utility for a phone as opposed to a macro computer, which is also good. It’s an interesting place we are in at the moment. What inspires you? Shing: I am inspired by the fact that we have not figured it all out yet, as smart as we think we are. [These] devices that we have are connecting us, but they are not creating deeper connections for us. I am inspired by the fact that I think technology can make us more human. The human side of the Internet is, in my mind, something that we have not actually bridged and I am very excited for when that does happen. I am inspired by very interesting people. The likes of an Andy Warhol – [he was a] marketer and turned into an amazing pop artist. People like Vivienne Westwood, because she is this amazing designer, deeply empowered. She is not just in fashion, she is in music, she is in the subculture. She is
just one of the cultural icons and she is just a crazy old grandmother who still rocks it out. I love people like Mies van der Rohe. He is the grandfather of modern architecture and coined the phrase “Less is more.”
“I am inspired by the fact that we have not figured it all out yet, as smart as we think we are.” He had this theory that [in] any of his buildings, you can either have all your blinds up or all your blinds down, or the blinds set to halfway. There are no mismatched blinds, because he believes that mismatched blinds kill the energy inside a business and outside of a business. I like that because I like form and function and neat lines and all that sort of stuff. I look disheveled, but I am extremely organized. What is a key quality to being a good leader? Shing: I think empathy is underrated. Being the king-maker and not the king would be really interesting as well. Young talent needs to be nurtured. It should not be cradled; it should be propelled. So you bring in an intern and treat them like they are a VP. Give them the wings to sail forward and to create a foundation where people can actually feel like they can take risks without being fired. We have lost that in many respects. We do not do enough freedom-thinking. We do not allow people to act as though they have ownership in the business. [Although AOL] is five-and-a-half thousand people, I feel like I can contribute. I feel like I can make a difference; and I do, and it shows. And I love what I do. I have one last very important, serious question: What’s the secret to your rock-star hair? Shing: One of my sisters, Janelle, is a hair stylist, so I have had crazy hair since I was about 13. I had skunk stripes down my back when I was a teenager. One big strip of hair was electric blue. People look at me and say “Hey what is up with that hair?” and I am like, “What do you mean?” Because I do not think it is even that weird anymore. ■
Covering it all.
FUTURE OF TV
TV’s Not Dead, Just Changing, and Marketers Need to Keep Up
By Michael Schneider
TV’s tipping point is here. As TV Guide Magazine chronicles the dramatic shift in TV viewing this season, it has become evident that this has been one of those game-changing years for the industry. And as audiences splinter, every network executive is being forced to think first and foremost like a marketer. Consider this season’s major shifts: • DVR penetration has reached critical mass, with usage up 30% in fall 2012 – enough to have a dramatic effect on ratings. As a matter of fact, if the digital video recorder were a network — with each viewer as their own chief programmer — it would rank as No. 1 among total viewers and in the key young adult demographics. • Cable boasts the top-rated entertainment series in all of TV (The Walking Dead) with adults 18-49 for the first time ever. AMC is now reaping the rewards of having such a megahit on its hands: Commercials on The Walking Dead now fetch $375,000 per ad package, more than what most top broadcast shows even charge for a 30-second spot. “Marketers follow the audience, and they’ll pay for quality,” said AMC president and GM Charlie Collier. “The viewer doesn’t distinguish between broadcast and cable, definitely not the younger viewer. It’s all TV. It’s all storytelling.”
• Spanish-language Univision beat one of the major networks, NBC, for the first time, in sweeps this past February. • This is also the year that streaming services like Netflix and Amazon get into the original programming business in a big way, starting with House of Cards in February. In a not-so subtle jab at the old guard, Netflix is even expected to upload its long-awaited season of Arrested Development right around the same time the broadcast networks are hawking their wares at the May upfronts. Meanwhile, YouTube is investing millions of dollars in original content to take on traditional programmers. It’s become noisy out there, as viewers encounter more original fare than ever, and an explosion in platforms to catch that content. “There’s definitely more programming that I’m interested in watching than I can actually consume,” said Showtime Networks’ president of entertainment David Nevins. So, how can TV marketers make sure that their content is breaking through the clutter, and what tools and platforms are best suited to that purpose? That’s what TV’s best teams are figuring out now, but one thing is clear: marketing has gone from luxury to core competency as networks try to keep their shows and their brand front and center in viewers’ minds. SPRING 2013
FUTURE OF TV SPECIAL REPORTS Arrested Development comes to Netflix in May to the delight of eagerly awaiting fans.
“It’s gone from a game of chess to a game of three-dimensional chess.”
For executives like Fox COO Joe Earley, the challenge now is to convince overwhelmed viewers to even take a test drive. “It takes so much work now,” Earley said. “We have to get them to take the time to figure out when they’re going to watch a show and sample it and decide whether they want more. People will tell you they will definitely watch or likely watch. ‘Definitely’ doesn’t mean definitely anymore. In today’s world, there’s too much competing for their attention.” This brave new digital world is having a profound effect on traditional television – starting with what networks program, how those programs are scheduled, and how it’s marketed to the masses. “It’s gone from a game of chess to a game of three-dimensional chess,” said Jeff Bader, NBC Entertainment’s president of program planning, strategy and research. Today, broadcast executives have to factor in everything from cable competition to when and how viewers might catch a show (be it in real time, online or on the DVR), and market that to viewers accordingly. Gone are the days when the most a TV promo had to provide was the date and time to pull up a chair. “It really is a challenging business when you’re trying to build your slice of the pie and at any given moment you may be competing against reruns of your own show on a big cable network, or DVR usage, or somebody watching TV while using a tablet,” said Dan Harrison, Fox’s EVP of scheduling.
Cable continues to drive TV’s splintering. Just 35 scripted shows aired on cable when The Shield premiered more than a decade ago, according to FX Networks president John Landgraf. Now that number is close to 150, with more to come, as networks like Discovery, Bravo, E! and Sundance Channel get into the scripted series game. “I think we’re at the saturation point,” said Landgraf. We’ve come a long way from the concept of the “least objectionable program,” a term that NBC executive Paul Klein coined in 1971. Back then, he theorized that audiences mostly flipped around the dial and settled for whatever they found the least offensively bad. That made marketing a whole lot easier than it is today – all you had to do was convince viewers that your program was the best of the worst. But today, that concept is mostly obsolete. With close to a dozen high-quality and/or top-rated options on Sundays alone, viewers have to choose which shows to watch live and which ones to time-shift. And that’s just if they’re watching the linear TV channels. One of last fall’s big programming events wasn’t even broadcast on the tube. Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, a live-action series geared toward the launch of the new Xbox 360 video game, has become a hit for YouTube, where it runs on the young male-oriented Machinima Prime channel.
RENﾃ右 AMBER creative director
MARYBETH BENIVEGNA creative director
COURTNEY COSENTINO senior creative director
REBECCA RITCHIE BROWER GM/executive producer
owner/executive creative director
160 broadway east building 8th floor new york city 10038 212.500.6072 pilotnyc.com
FUTURE OF TV SPECIAL REPORTS Halo companion series Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn is featured on one of YouTube’s most popular channels, Machinima Prime.
YouTube is taking on the traditional TV model in a big way, with the help of major stars, original programs like Halo 4 and big events like Felix Baumgartner’s space jump. A year after YouTube parent Google unleashed an aggressive $100 million initiative to launch around 100 original programming channels – and, notably, committed $200 million to market the
channels – viewership on the platform was up 11% year-to-year in September. So far, YouTube’s original programming initiative hasn’t produced a hit that was big enough to enter the public consciousness. But according to comScore data, YouTube users spent an average of 419.1
Building SPOTS. Building BRANDS. Building AUDIENCES.
“What we set out to do was really kickstart online video.” boast more than 100,000 subscribers. “What we set out to do was really kick-start online video,” said Jamie Byrne, YouTube’s head of content strategy. “We’ve been successful in bringing great creators to the platform.”
The film-like poster for Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn
minutes watching video in September 2012 (when viewers could have been busy sampling the new TV season), compared to 378 minutes a year earlier. YouTube’s top 25 channels average more than one million views a week, and 20 of the channels now
Brian Robbins, who a decade ago produced signature Nickelodeon shows like All That, is now behind the youth-oriented channel AwesomenessTV. Robbins says he’s simply going to where the teens and tweens are now. “I saw my kids’ viewing habits and how they were just as comfortable watching stuff on their iPhones as they were on the big flat screen in the living room,” he said. That switch is something to watch out for: Millennials and their younger tween counterparts care nothing for network schedules or primetime. They’ve learned early that they can watch what they want, when they want, and YouTube is teaching them that
From Emmy®-Award Winning Writer Andrew Davies
PREMIERES SUN MAR 31 9/8 c pbs.org/masterpiece
FUTURE OF TV
they might not need TV at all. That too is a problem for marketers to solve.
Cable networks – such as AMC, TNT, USA and FX – have learned that full slates of original series can help boost ratings, according to Michael Wright, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies. “The networks that are growing,” he said, “are the ones that are offering original or exclusive content year-round.”
Photo by Frank Ockenfels/AMC
Ironically, this age of clutter has forced TV programmers to turn to more solid original content in order to survive. Already, services like DISH Network and Time Warner Cable are removing, or threatening to remove, small channels that aren’t delivering their numbers. Time Warner recently removed Ovation and Current TV (soon to become Al Jazeera America) from its channel lineups.
And growth, as every TV executive knows, is the name of the game.
AMC’s The Walking Dead has gained an impressively loyal following as an original series.
Still, with so much original programming competing for eyeballs, FX’s Landgraf says a shakeout is inevitable. “It’s just too tough and competitive a business,” he said. “You need to find a niche that is underserved. I think we’re going to see a lot of failure.
â€œThe networks that are growing are the ones that are offering original or exclusive content year-round.â€? Those companies that manage to raise the bar in terms of quality and marketing will continue to ďŹ nd success. But they wonâ€™t all succeed.â€?
ordered 100 series pilots this spring that are all about big: big stars, big producers, big concepts. â€œExecutives are looking to ďŹ nd shows that can break out from the clutter,â€? said Terence #ARTER &OXS 360 OF DRAMA DEVELOPMENT â€œThereâ€™s a far greater number of shows now that all launch at the same time.â€?
Itâ€™s clear that media companies understand the rising importance of savvy marketing, with veteran marketers climbing TVâ€™s ranks.
All of that is a tall order for marketers operating on increasingly limited budgets, although making use of social-media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Viggle allows marketers to reach many people for less money. When TV marketers do take big bets, they had better be accompanied by lots of conďŹ dence.
-ARKETERS SUCH AS %ARLEY % %NTERTAINMENTS PRESI DENT 3UZANNE +OLB 53!S CO PRESIDENT #HRIS -C Cumber and others have risen to top network gigs as corporations see the need to stand out. Networks on the rise, such as History, beneďŹ t from offering viewers an extremely distinct brand, and that brand has been carved out by careful marketing.
â€œI know marketing budgets are thin, and inevitably these networks are able to market only a couple of THINGS WHEN THEY LAUNCH v SAID 3ONY 0ICTURES 46 co-president of programming and production, Zack Van Amburg. â€œEither a show has to be a self-starter, or if youâ€™re going to spend $10 million on a marketing CAMPAIGN Âˆ YIKES Âˆ IT BETTER WORKv Q
With next season on the horizon, TV marketers have their work cut out for them. The ďŹ ve major broadcast NETWORKS n !"# #"3 &/8 ."# AND 4HE #7 n
FUTURE OF TV SPECIAL REPORTS
Netflix has taken its shareholders on a roller coaster ride in recent years, but then that’s to be expected when a company makes such brash moves into that treacherous, unexplored terrain beyond live television. “Everything we have done as a company has been about trying to figure out consumer needs and desires, and deliver on it,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netﬂix. Bidding to reinvent the release model for new shows with a binge viewing strategy, Netflix debuted all 13 episodes at once of the Kevin Spacey-fronted House of Cards in February. But to many, the even bolder move occurred after the fact, when the streaming service declined to release any of the show’s metrics or performance numbers. Filling the gap, broadband technology firm Procera Networks stepped in to monitor traffic on the show’s release day and has said that across one unnamed broadband network that comprised a large portion of viewership, about 2% of Netflix subscribers watched an episode of Cards, which amounts to about 540,000 viewers. And those figures don’t account for other broadband networks or the days following the February 1 release date. “We’re thrilled with the performance,” Sarandos said, though he was quick to emphasize that Netflix isn’t necessarily promoting binge viewing. “We’re promoting consumer choice and among those is the opportunity to binge if you want. Many people love doing that and it’s every bit as enjoyable as watching one episode at a time.” To promote the release of House of Cards, Netflix ran an ad in The New York Times, as well as on billboards in London, New York and Los Angeles, also relying on its home page to drive awareness. In addition, Netflix turned to its own personalization tools to deliver different trailers based on viewing habits. Someone who’d watched Thelma & Louise, for instance, might have seen a trailer focusing on the female lead, Robin Wright, while a viewer who’d seen Margin Call would see a trailer with star Kevin Spacey front and center.
“Everything we have done as a company has been about trying to figure out consumer needs and desires, and deliver on it.” “The goal is to help position Netflix as a source of high-quality original programming as much as it’s a source of archived TV shows and movies,” said Will Richmond, industry analyst and expert with VideoNuze, and a fan of the all-at-once viewing strategy because “it turns the traditional TV programming BRIEF 40
On the release day for House of Cards, about 2% of Netflix subscribers watched an episode, or about 540,000 viewers.
model on its head and it’s right in synch with what viewers expect these days.” The all-at-once approach also gives creators freedom to move away from traditional storytelling tools such as weekly cliffhangers. “I don’t buy into the notion that waiting a week is half the fun,” said Sarandos. “That’s pre-Internet and the problem with cliffhangers is it creates an artificial storytelling means.” The big cliffhanger for those hungry for more Netflix news is that the company won’t release another original series until April with horror show Hemlock Grove. Then an even bigger test comes in May when Emmy winner and cult favorite Arrested Development returns to air with a new slate of episodes exclusively for Netflix. Both series will continue the trend of debuting all their episodes at the same time. Meanwhile, analysts will be watching to see if the trend of high viewership continues as well, and if Netflix’s new model has what it takes to compete with HBO and other cable network providers of high-quality original content. ■
JOURNALISM On the Future of Broadcasting BUSINESS & FINANCE MANAGEMENT PROGRAMMING TECHNOLOGY REVENUE MARKETING DIGITAL 2013 ISSUES:
April 1 June 17 September 9
Executive Outlook From the growing family of properties at NewsCheckMedia LLC
FUTURE OF TV SPECIAL REPORTS It’s fun to contemplate the limitless future of content and its many delivery methods, but it can also be a little exhausting. Fortunately, no matter how deeply content travels into the far corners of the earth, we’ll always have the good old-fashioned TV room to kick back in and watch some tube at the end of the day... or will we? Charlie Smith reports that, as what we view changes at a breathless clip, so do the technologies by which we view it, and hear it. Don’t plan on tossing out the old La-Z Boy just yet, though you may need to rearrange it a bit to make room for a few of the seven exciting developments below, designed to revolutionize not the content itself, but how you receive and perceive it.
3D SOUND Want something awesome to pair with your 3D viewing? How about 3D hearing? Certain home speakers will become so small and precise, the time will come when we can fill a room with hundreds of the things, building them into skirting boards and picture rails that are connected to your TV. The result: You’ll be able to hear rain falling from the sky and hitting the ground, or hear a helicopter fly past over your head and not just behind your sofa as with current 5.1 sound systems.
SUPER HI-VISION Forget 4K, the future is 8K – about the maximum resolution that the eye is capable of processing. Developed by the science and technical research labs of Japanese national broadcaster NHK, in collaboration with the BBC’s R&D department, a new 8K viewing technology known as Super Hi-Vision was tested at this summer’s London Olympics. Unlike HD TV or even 4K resolution, there wasn’t even the merest hint of pixilation or compression, and with 60 progressive frames-per-second of clean digital footage, there were none of the flickers or low frame rate issues we are used to experiencing on our HD TVs.
AUTOSTEREOSCOPIC 3D TV 3D TV gets a bad rap in part because those glasses can feel heavy and can turn the newly enhanced visual world dim and depressing. Cue autostereoscopic 3D TV, a living room set with a lenticular lens or parallax barrier built into its screen. This gives each eye a different perspective on the projected image, tricking the brain into seeing three dimensions sans the cumbersome spectacles. The current downside to this technology is that the eye can perceive dead spots depending on where you are positioned in the room.
SURROUND VIDEO The concept of surround video is not far removed from its sister technology, surround sound, aiming to create the feeling of being in the middle of the action by engulfing the viewer in a visual landscape that extends what’s onscreen. To produce this encapsulating content, video is captured during production using two HD cameras mounted side by side on a rig, one with a standard lens with traditional framing, the other with a fish-eye lens to give a much wider field of view. When broadcast, a standard HD TV gets complimented by a wide-angle projector behind the viewer which creates mapped background images of the given scene along the floor, walls and ceilings, filling the viewer’s peripheral vision with the peripheral world of the show.
WAVE FIELD SYNTHESIS And from the third dimension of listening, we go one dimension further. Okay, so wave field synthesis technology won’t let you travel through time (the fourth dimension) but boy will it transport you. Remember those hundreds of tiny speakers from the first entry? Now imagine a system of amplifiers, multichannel audio interfaces and rendering computers that create surround sound from those little woofers and tweeters, but without that listening sweet spot indicative of current systems. Instead, audio geeks will be able to drool from any spot in the room, creating virtual origin points that leave the sound quality unchanged no matter where you’re standing. The price of this technology is prohibitive at present, but keep in mind that early personal computers cost upwards of $1 million.
ULTRA-HIGH FRAME RATES (300 FRAMES-PER-SECOND) Current standard television field and frame rates top out at 30 FPS, which can cause problems for motion portrayal. Objects stationary within the video frame are generally sharp, provided they are in focus, but moving objects are prone to an unpleasant visual smearing effect. But television systems are experimenting with successively higher spatial resolutions, including 72, 120 and even 300 frames-per-second. At that highest rate, not only will motion blur cease, but it becomes possible to enable different perspectives to be projected consecutively for each eye – meaning yet another opportunity for glasses-free 3D broadcasting.
DIRECTIONAL SOUND FOR HEADPHONES
It isn’t just the sound of your home viewing experience that is changing, but the sound of your mobile TV watching as well. Future headphones could have a motion compass built in that detects when you are moving your head and adjusts the forthcoming sounds accordingly. This will provide the sense of sound coming from a specific location such as behind you or above you no matter where your head is pointing, tilting or sleeping.
PR CRISIS MANAGEMENT
Best Practices for a PR Crisis By Kevin Ritchie
Last November, the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men became embroiled in its second bizarre controversy in two years when 19-year-old star Angus T. Jones appeared in a video for the Forerunner Christian Church, criticized the series as “filth” and urged fans to tune out. The clip went viral but ratings remained stable, Jones apologized and the network honchos appeared to be taking it in stride. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, CBS president Leslie Moonves seemed to brush aside the controversy as nothing compared to former Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen’s widely-publicized, drug-fueled public meltdown a year earlier. “I don’t know what our status is with [Jones]. We took this boy who started with us when he was eight years old, and it seemed to be what happens with child stars over the course of time,” Moonves said. “I don’t think it’s quite been resolved, but after going through what we went through with Charlie Sheen, this is a piece of cake.” The first step in responding to a crisis is identifying one, but the definition can vary depending on the variables in play. “A gaffe and a crisis – there is no delineation anymore because a gaffe could quickly become a crisis if not addressed,” said Tammy Golihew, SVP of publicity at Warner Bros. Television. “You could look at a gaffe as something you could walk back and apologize for. Some things, however, are beyond an apology.”
“A gaffe could quickly become a crisis if not addressed.” Increasingly, social media is the platform of choice for corporations to issue a mea culpa but according to a survey conducted by Good Relations and Watermelon Research, two out of three organizations are not prepared to tackle crises using such platforms.
PR CRISIS MANAGEMENT SPECIAL REPORTS
Out of 100 businesses in the United Kingdom surveyed, one-third of respondents said they were not sure how to use social media to neutralize a crisis, and 41% said their existing plans had no significant social media element. Two-thirds said that their company’s organizational structure prevented them from using social media effectively, and 80% said social media duties were handled by staff outside the realm of communications. “The golden rules of issues management still apply,” said Malcolm Munro, head of issues and crisis management for Good Relations, in a statement. “You need to contain and control the developing situation by having the right procedures and protocols in place. But what has changed is that, in almost every case, social media has become the front line of any crisis, and companies need to recognize and do something about it.” Television network or entertainment brands have the added gray area of celebrity talent that is associated with a program and the brand, but independently control their various social media feeds. When the talent is actively building relationships with fans on Twitter or Facebook, most publicists can only see an upside to the attention that can bring to a show. However, situations such as a public meltdown a la Charlie Sheen, an insensitive tweet or a social media spat with another celebrity can easily spin out of control if the network communications team doesn’t have a social media strategy in place to handle the unexpected.
“Social media has become the front line of any crisis, and companies need to recognize and do something about it.”
Angus T. Jones criticized his series in a video testimony that quickly went viral.
According to analysis firm Gartner, 75% of organizations with BCM (business continuity management) programs will have made social media a part of crisis communications strategies. Not only is social media the quickest way to respond to everything from viewer complaints and hashtag fails to news leaks and serious crises, but a Twitter feed is increasingly the go-to voice of authority for reporters and fans alike when a story breaks. “There are still major companies that are resistant to embracing social media,” said Steve Spignese, the entertainment team leader at Beck Media & Marketing. “We’ve been evangelizing Twitter and other platforms to our clients for about five years. It’s interesting to see other organizations with more ingrained processes still struggling to incorporate the tools into their plans.” For best practices during times of crisis, Brief approached PR and marketing professionals working in the entertainment field and asked them to do something anathema among communications pros: discuss the negative side of their business. While all agreed social media is an essential tool for damage control, a gray area remains around what defines a full-on PR crisis versus a grist for the 24-hour news cycle. While some communications crises still require a press release or full-page apology in The New York Times, others might merit a video response from the CEO, a blog post or a series of tweets.
PR CRISIS MANAGEMENT
THE TALENT SHOW
In 2011, actor Charlie Sheen threw production of Two and a Half Men into peril after he went on a now-notorious drug-fueled bender and insulted show creator Chuck Lorre in a series of press interviews. The show went on hiatus amidst circus-like press coverage and the network reportedly lost millions. Eventually, CBS fired Sheen and replaced him with actor Ashton Kutcher. Throughout it all, the makers of Two and a Half Men kept a low profile. “Chuck Lorre handled it well,” said Juda Engelmayer, SVP of 5WPR. “He didn’t say anything irresponsible and kept on the high road no matter what was going on. That’s a key way of doing it: not to get drawn into the problem.” Sheen’s personal meltdown falls into crisis category compared with his former co-star Jones’s more nuanced situation: a child star grappling to resolve his career with his faith as he enters adulthood. “It’s the responsibility of the studio to first figure out what damage is being done and if it’s going to hurt or help their ratings,” Engelmayer added. “Then you have the moral and ethical questions of how to deal with a direct attack like that. In some cases, they handle it properly and in other cases they get all emotional.” A response must be timely but also thoughtful. A publicist that keeps abreast of the social media chatter around a brand, program or celebrity will be better prepared to gauge the severity of a situation and see it from the point of view of the offended parties. An increasingly common scenario that can snowball into a crisis is the Twitter fight. For example, music stars Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj have become embroiled in Twitter spats that ended with the deletion of their accounts (both have since rejoined Twitter), a move Beck Media & Marketing’s Spignese calls “the nuclear option.” However, according to Spignese, the trend is moving away from nuclear war as “we’ve seen more individuals riding the difficulty out, taking advantage of the benefits of social media tools and using them correctly – with speed, sincerity, authenticity and perhaps humor.”
Two and a Half Men found itself embroiled in controversy with its young star shortly after getting over its first big breakdown with Charlie Sheen.
“That’s a key way of doing it: not to get drawn into the problem.” Social media training is one way to prevent a celeb slip-up. Beck Media will prepare clients by drafting an organization-wide best practices document with advance preparation for a few worst case scenarios, talent and program guidelines for show social handles. For less savvy social media users, the agency will start with the basics. Personal accounts remain a gray area. Talent and network staff active on social media are urged not to mention the brand or company in tweets that could be construed as inappropriate and to keep the chatter about after-hours fun to after office hours. “At the very least, networks are hopefully monitoring the talent accounts and therefore aware of potential situations immediately, and they have prescripted statements to deliver to media as needed,” Spignese said. “In those situations where it really is beyond their control, there’s no substitute for having good relationships with the talent and his or her representatives.”
PR CRISIS MANAGEMENT
TV Summit BREAKING NEWS
On September 1, 2010, Discovery Communications experienced a serious crisis when an armed man entered its Silver Springs, MD headquarters and took three people hostage. Police evacuated the building and the situation ended when police shot the assailant dead. Throughout that day, viewers and family members of staff inundated Discovery’s social media pages with messages. The company’s communications team held back on issuing a statement until they received confirmation from police that all employees were safe. Discovery’s corporate blog then became the official information hub for the press, staff and their families and although corporate blogs were not en vogue, the strategy proved effective during the hostage crisis.
“A blanket, ‘We don’t respond to rumors or speculation’ only gets you so far.” “In this day and age, people use those platforms to write stories,” said Amber Harris, director of digital communications and social media for Discovery. “People thought they were sharing something with just friends and family on Facebook, but someone happened to be friends with [a reporter]. For me, that was a takeaway. We had a solid social media policy and a process for talking to different teams about [posting on Facebook], and it further emphasized that.” There are also less severe examples of when a TV network needs to contain a news story, such as a contract dispute with talent, a news leak ahead of an official announcement or the dismissal of an executive or personality. Often, a network will refuse to comment on private business dealings or attempt to draw attention to more positive stories. However, there are times when a reaction is merited. “In general, a blanket, ‘We don’t respond to rumors or speculation’ only gets you so far,” Spignese said. “Going on background with a trusted journalist to get your side out may be an option, or offering more details down the road to a journalist in return for holding the story until the formal announcement could help to gain control of the situation.”
FULL AGENDA NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE
New York • Thursday March 21, 2013 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. followed by reception • Sentry Centers Midtown East 730 Third Ave at East 45th Street, New York, NY • Keynote and Panel Discussions SPE
A look at how over-the-top and alternative video viewing platforms are changing how — and where — content is viewed.
UAY RIVOEK W A G
K E Y N OT E
President & CEO Epix
Braxton Jarratt CEO Clearleap
Chief Content Officer Netflix
SVP & Chief Digital Officer NBC News
Strategist: Global Creative Solutions Facebook
President Digital Fox Broadcasting Company
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Howard T. Stein
VP/GM Content & Services Intel
G U E S T S
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PR CRISIS MANAGEMENT
SOCIAL MEDIA APOLOGY Apologizing via social media is an increasingly common way to tackle a slip-up – especially if the gaffe in question occurred via Facebook or Twitter. Gauging the severity remains the tricky part as not every off-color tweet requires a full-page apology in the newspaper or via YouTube – but some do. The CEO video apology is more common in the world of consumer brands than entertainment: the heads of Research in Motion, Domino’s Pizza, JetBlue, Netflix, BP and Sony are but a few of the solemn-faced executives that have filmed an apology to contain simmering controversies.
“A video may make sense as a component of a bigger overall plan,” Spignese said. “The images are incredibly easy to share or to co-opt and they’ll be around forever, serving as a reminder of the crisis long after it’s blown over. For entertainment clients, and especially talent, it’s important to ask: is the situation you’re dealing with really a crisis, or is it simply some negative press attention that will blow over in a few days?” Other options might be a promoted tweet, a hashtag, keyword or a targeted link pointing to an apology to help the brand weather the situation. The response time is another issue that needs to be gauged according to the severity of the situation. Social media platforms are real-time so if a brand is going to engage during the good times, communications pros should
be prepared to respond relatively quickly. That means reducing the layers of approvals a spokesperson would normally need to go through in order to respond to less serious situations via Facebook and Twitter. At Discovery, Harris is part of an in-house agency, led by David C. Leavy, chief communications officer and SEVP of corporate marketing and affairs, that includes designers, marketers, researchers and social media practitioners that forecast potential scenarios and plan out responses accordingly. When a slip-up or viewer complaint arises, the social media team can respond in a timely fashion without going through 10 layers of approvals. “It’s easy to step back, think on something and say, ‘Is that going to turn in a negative way?’” Harris said. “There’s no guarantee that it won’t go awry. Be OK with a little bit of risk – but don’t get caught up in the moment and make an error that could’ve been prevented by engaging a colleague.” A negative trend Harris is seeing among communications professionals is over-engaging on a social media platform via a branded handle. For example, if a Twitter account set up to handle customer service is extremely active in the good times but falls silent the moment something negative arises, it’s not a good sign. “Perhaps it’s for a good reason and perhaps it’s not, but it goes back to creating a sustainable social media strategy for
engagement,” Harris said. “When something good or bad happens, you have to make sure you’re not diverging too much from the norm.” Putting a positive spin on a negative story is a classic approach to crisis management that can pay off if handled well. Warner Bros.’ Golihew points to a potential dust-up between cookie brand Oreo and movie theater chain AMC Theatres that was handled and neutralized by an interactive marketing manager who employed a bit of wit. In September, the marketing person using the official Oreo Twitter account asked, “Ever bring your own Oreo cookies to the movie theater? #slicksnacker,” to which AMC Theatres retorted: “NOT COOL, COOKIE.” Hundreds of people retweeted the response, prompting a lighthearted and humorous exchange between the two brands. The case was also telling of the manner in which each respective brand engages in the Twittersphere. “People learn to separate the show from what is someone’s personal belief,” Golihew said. “I don’t think you should be on Twitter if your primary goal is to promote a show or your projects. I do think you should be there to tell your fans about the things you’re doing and to be engaged in other conversations. If [self-promotion] is the only thing you do, your audience will completely lose interest.”
“Fans want information, and they want to feel like somebody cares about the fact that they’ve had a bad experience.” Honesty, transparency and positivity should be at the core of any response to a severe crisis or a seemingly innocuous gaffe. These principles are not new, but social media platforms can encourage negative behavior, so it’s important for publicists to take the high road and not become the story by giving in to an urge to unleash a snarky tweet. “Fans want information, and they want to feel like somebody cares about the fact that they’ve had a bad experience,” Golihew said. “We care very much about the fans, and when we have the opportunity to take their experience and flip it, it’s rewarding. However, if you only deal in that negative space, then you quickly become a place where people only go to complain.” Communications professionals should remain focused on listening to fans, viewers, consumers and followers year round so that when an issue arises, it doesn’t snowball into a crisis. ■
PICTURE TUBE LAST LOOK
(1-8) Los Angeles Holiday Party: (1) Dominique Goulet, Jennifer Morrison, Ben Apley and Janice Walbrink. (2) Clay Burton, Jeff Berg, Debi Mae West, Diana Dixon, Charlie Pomykal. (3) Lisa Gregorian. (4) Greg Neal and Chuck Carey. (5) Mary Ellen Lord, Jessica Bulavsky, Kathy Sachi and David Ginsberg. (6) Scott Rowe. (7) Cassandra Nuttall and Debbie Menin. (8) Amy Troiano, Brad Roth, Ashley Rideau, Bear Fisher and Mark Feldstein. (9-15) New York Holiday Party: (9) Mike Skalicky and Katie Tricot. (10) Ron Goldberg, Bill Kerner, Thomas Arnold and Michael Fox. (11) Michael Padula, Vlad Novikov and Aaron Day. (12) Renee Amber and Courtney Cosentino. (13) Joe Nichols, Ben Asher and Julie Zivic. (14) Allyson Cantor, Jamie Manalio, Rob Ortiz and Azin Shamma. (15) Jay Jay Nesheim, Venus Ferrer, Tony Richardson.
(16-23) ‘The Source Presents,’ in association with FinchFactor in Amsterdam: (16) Wesley ter Haar of MediaMonks. (17) Host Jamie Madge of SourceEcreative. (18) Attendees in Amsterdam. (19) Elske van der Putten of HEYHEYHEY. (20-22) Attendees in Amsterdam. (23) Erik Sjouerman of HEYHEYHEY. (24-31) The 2012 Sports Media Marketing Awards: (24) Speed skater Joey Cheek and 2012 Game Changer Award honoree Lisa Baird. (25) Carol Kruse, Adriana Rizzo, Bryan McAleer, Caitlin Friedensohn and Paul LaBarbera. (26) Stephanie Lafair Smith, Alexis Carroll and Lou Tumolo. (27) Dorothee Bergin, Brett Joss and Alex Duncan. (28) Sports Media Marketing Awards Show host Jay Mohr. (29) Brian Jennings, Tiki Barber and Mark Waller. (30) Andrew Barnsley and Kevin Foley. (31) 2012 Lifetime Innovator Award honoree, Dick Ebersol.
PICTURE TUBE LAST LOOK
(32-40) Winter 2013 Emerging Media Workshop (EMW) in Los Angeles: (32) Attendees at the 2013 EMW held at Trailer Park. (33) Mark Comstock, Dave Carter, Ruth Wels and Zachery Aker. (34) Rick Eiserman, Trailer Park CEO, welcomes the EMW attendees. (35) Trion Worlds presenter Georgina Verdon. (36) Roku presenter Steve Shannon. (37) Machinima presenter Allen DeBevoise. (38) Jeremy Marusek, Ashley Harris and Juliana Lewis. (39) David Pasternak and Shawn Poiley. (40) Robert Blatchford, Samuel Margolius and Scot Chastain. (41-47) Member Cocktail Party in New York: (41) Sergio Cardena and Peter Martin. (42) Quincy Jackson and Amber Laws. (43) Lauren Reeves and Chris Phoenix. (44) Kerri-Ann McKenzie and Gleana Albritton. (45) Kohle Nixon and Angela Tapia. (46) Eric Pliner and Dan Quinn. (47) John Anderson, Alissa Dering and Bryn Jacobs. (48-50) PromaxBDA Creative Clinic in Jerusalem: (48) Noam Aviram. (49) Sid Lee’s Will Travis. (50) Keshet Broadcasting’s Yaron Gat.
(51-54) 2012 PromaxBDA Africa: (51) Maurice Marable. (52) Thomas Gumede, 2012 Africa Awards presenter. (53) Tim Horwood. (54) Cindy Gallop. (55-57) The Best of PromaxBDA in Budapest: (55) Tamas Hermecz, Chello Central Europe; Janos Szilardi, HBO GO; Bodoczky Antal, University of Art and Design Budapest (MOME); Andras Kubicsko, McCann Erickson Budapest. (56-57) MOME students. (58-65) Fall 2012 Emerging Media Workshop (EMW) in New York: (58-59) Attendees watch the EMW presenters. (60) Seida Saidi. (61) Kristen Huffines. (62) Andrew Peters, Glenn Millen and Barry Chiate. (63) Presenters from Aereo: Nick Sallon, Chris McKay and Virginia Lam. (64) Alexis Ginas, Viggle presenter. (65) RecordSetter presenter Dan Rollman.
SHUFFLE LAST LOOK Leila Amirsadeghi
Jeff Zellmer to VP, creative services, Fox 5 Atlanta.
Mason Beinschroth to creative services director, KRXI/KAME. Kristen Byrum to marketing director, WCBD. Susan Connor to director of creative services, KIRO.
Deena Stern to head of marketing, Esquire Network. Todd Troop to creative director, brand design, HGTV & DIY Network.
NETWORK AND STUDIO Kevin Tsujihara to CEO, Warner Bros. Angela Cannon to VP, affiliate marketing, GMC.
Michael Vamosy to SVP, creative services, Starz Entertainment.
Sofia Chang to EVP & GM, HBO. Kelly Donnell to marketing director, KGMB/KHNL. Sandra Gehring to director of marketing, W*USA. Tom Hebel to director of marketing, WFLA.
Chris Ender to EVP, communications, CBS Corporation.
DESIGN AND PRODUCTION
Luis Fernandez-Rocha to SVP & regional director, Univision Communications, Inc.
Leila Amirsadeghi to VP, client engagement, Trailer Park.
Peach Gibson to SVP, creative services, Telemundo Media.
Richard Eng to creative director, loyalkaspar.
Bonnie Hammer to chairman, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment & Cable Studios.
Alex Gorodetzki to director of business development, LOGAN.
Peter Liguori to CEO, Tribune Company. Melisse Marks to creative services director, WCPO. Curtis Miles to VP, creative services & programming, WLS. Rick Nitido to creative services director, KSEE.
Vincent Marcais to EVP, worldwide brand marketing, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Dana McClintock to EVP, communications, CBS Corporation.
Shannon Powell to marketing director, WFXG.
Wendy McCoy to SVP, marketing, GMC.
Robby Propp to creative services director, KMID.
Oswald Mendez to EVP & CMO, MundoFox.
Andy Schwabe to marketing director, KGUN.
Suzette Millo to VP, content strategy, MundoFox.
Don Smith to director of creative services, KOVR.
James Purnell to director of strategy & digital, BBC.
Ed Tudor to director of creative services, WVEC.
Lara Richardson to SVP, marketing, Discovery Channel.
Les Vann to president & GM, WJLC/ WTGS.
Barbra Robin to SVP, integrated marketing, The CW
Larry Wert to president, local broadcasting, Tribune Company.
Caralene Robinson to SVP, creative group & consumer marketing, VH1.
Amy Gunzenhauser to senior director, social media & strategy, bpg. Diana Lochridge to creative director, 99 Tigersâ€™ new division, 98 Monkeys. Darryl Mascarenhas to creative director, loyalkaspar. Greg Neal to chief strategy officer, Radley Studios. Mandy Novak to executive producer, loyalkaspar.
â€”Shuffle is compiled by Kate Bacon, an experienced creative director, producer and writer, and the owner of Well Dunne! Talent. She is the author of the entertainment marketing resource, blog.welldunnetalent.com.
By Joel Pilger
THE MOVIE TRAILER TEST Hollywood knows how to move an audience. As the original masters of sight and sound, movie studios produce trailers that elicit emotions, inspiring you to action. If Hollywood’s done its job, you’re inspired to spend 50 bucks or so at your local movie theater. Shouldn’t it be the same with television? How does your network communicate with viewers? Like a Hollywood movie trailer, does your network’s message emotionally engage audiences? Does it inspire viewers into action or loyalty? The answer lies in the lesson of a great Hollywood movie trailer: an inspiring story. If what your brand says doesn’t feel like an inspiring story, it won’t make an inspiring brand either. COMMUNICATING INSIDE OUT Look around and you’ll notice most brands communicate from the outside in: they define themselves in terms of what they do. Does your network speak this way, too? Examples include brand messages that communicate “movies” or “sports” or “news” or “food” or “entertainment.” Look closely at brands that inspire you and your loyalty, and you will find they communicate in quite the opposite way: from the inside out. They speak in terms of why. I credit Start with Why author Simon Sinek and his theory of The Golden Circle, which elegantly demonstrates why some leaders and companies inspire us, while others do not. According to Sinek, truly inspiring companies communicate their why, not so much their what. Turning our attention to some example television brands, notice these network slogans: History. Made Every Day. AMC. Story Matters Here. USA. Characters Welcome. Fox News. We Report, You Decide. MSNBC. Lean Forward. Of course, a network brand is much more than a slogan, but isn’t it interesting how a belief is implied in each of these messages? Yet most networks communicate in terms of their what. One example: CNN. The Worldwide Leader in News. While I respect CNN, their brand is communicated merely in terms of what. Their why is fuzzy. By contrast, rivals MSNBC and Fox News are clear about their why. The impact? CNN’s recent ratings headlines speak for themselves. Every viewer out there is bombarded with myriad messages claiming what they do is better, funnier, faster, sexier... you name it. Unfortunately, this means marketers are fighting rampant cynicism. Or, as I like to boil it down: It’s not what people are buying. It’s what they’re buying into. Communicating from your why is one of the best ways to stand out in an authentic and inspiring way.
INSPIRING YOUR AUDIENCE The path to inspiring your audience with why is not for the faint of heart. Here are a handful of insights to keep in mind on the journey.
Insight 1: Why is Scary Why is a scandalous little word. Reveal your why and you’ll reveal your motives. But don’t you dare punt by asking a focus group to tell you your why. You either know your why and you are proud to own it... or you are afraid of your why and you run from it. Insight 2: It Takes Time Research by When Growth Stalls author Steve McKee reveals that successful companies commit to campaigns lasting an average of 2.3 years but “... [companies] that struggle tend to change direction more frequently.” This can be frustrating because our economic system’s insatiable hunger for quarterly earnings puts immense pressure on short-term results. Focus on ratings and that’s what you’ll get. But that’s all. Going after loyal viewers will require perseverance. Insight 3: Not Inspired? That’s a Red Flag Do you really know why viewers watch your network? Do you watch your network? You see, in our industry we talk about “viewers” so much in the abstract that we forget a simple truth: “viewers” are not subjects in a focus group, they are people just like you and me. And if you are not truly inspired by your network – its brand, its message, its programming – then just be honest and admit neither are your viewers. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to read viewers’ minds. Important questions to always ask are, “Do I love it? Am I inspired by this idea? Would I watch this network, show, etc.?” If the answers are anything other than a resounding “yes,” you should stop the overanalyzing and get back in touch with your intuitions. Insight 4: Emphasize Simplicity Over Choice At times it will be tempting to speak to your audience by falling back on the old-school shotgun marketing approach of “We’ve got it all, everything you want, it’s all here.” Resist. Because it’s not really true. Those are the what claims that you just can’t credibly own. Remember the lesson of the Hollywood movie trailer. In a noisy marketplace, viewers crave the inspiring simplicity of your why more than the myriad options of your what. Stick to more narrow positioning, communicate with your audience like an inspiring story does, and never be afraid of spurning transactional viewers in exchange for loyal viewers. Your network’s future depends on one but not the other. ■ Joel Pilger is the president and founder of Impossible, a brand-building production company producing moving images that move audiences. Impossible’s creative and strategic expertise spans network branding, promos, commercials and integrations and serves a client roster that includes the network families of Discovery and Scripps, Sundance Channel, History, DISH Network, Blockbuster, MillerCoors and IBM, among others.
JUNE 25-28, 2013 PLANET HOLLYWOOD LAS VEGAS, NV THE PROMAXBDA STATION SUMMIT IS A FOUR-DAY CRITICAL GATHERING WHERE NETWORKS, STATION GROUPS, SYNDICATORS AND LOCAL BROADCASTERS DISCUSS, DIALOGUE AND DEBATE THE ISSUES, TRENDS AND EMERGING BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES DRIVING SUCCESS IN LOCAL TELEVISION.
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Published on Aug 12, 2013