Trends, commentary, and insightful rants from the bleeding edge of advertising, content & branding.

New Media Breakthrough: Books!

Demographically challenged housewares brand Electrolux has commisisoned a book (“Men in Aprons“) to attract a hard to reach demo of young adult men who do laundry and other house chores but rarely pay attention to other forms of media. What? No YouTube? No Viral Video?

Men in Aprons Men in Aprons

‘Men in Aprons’ by Alex Mattis

Dan Fielding is the envy of his mates – a job in television, a flat in Islington and the perfect girlfriend, Anna. Then Anna walks out on him. To make things worse, his boss, one of the country’s top chat-show hosts, has it in for him, setting him a series of nigh-on impossible tasks.

With his love life and career going wrong, Dan is forced to take a good look at himself. Why did Anna walk out? Was it really – as she claims – because he’s domestically incompetent? With the help of his posh new flatmate Jackson, he sets about becoming a god in the kitchen, with hilarious consequences…


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YouTube: Land of Misfit TV Pilots

Karl Long helps keep the buzz alive around said failed TV pilot.  (This is before the CW made its appearance) For those of you still wondering if YouTube is just about camcorders + college keggers…this kinda sorta proves there’s something happening.

A TV Pilot That Never Aired Gets Viral

Published by karl long June 28th, 2006 in Marketing, co-creation, Fun Stuff Tags: , , , , , .

I love this story and hope i’m not the last person in the world to blog about it, I would hate to become totally redundant. So there’s this TV pilot that was filmed last year titled, ironically enough “Nobody’s Watching”, and it’s kind of a show within a show about two friends who want to create a sitcom and the WB is making a reality show about them making the show. Anyway, it got axed, never aired. Except someone uploaded it in three parts to YouTube.

These are the stats for the first 10 minute segment:
Views: 291,600
Comments: 645
Favorited: 2249 times
#49 – Most Viewed (This Month)
#34 – Most Discussed (This Month)

So this is what? the long tail effect for TV pilots?

Youtube the new “focus group”?

A venue for niche shows that only 1/4 of a million people want to watch?

In the end there has always been a tension in the Creativity & Distribution relationship, the music business knows this, the movie business knows this, and the TV and Ad business is getting to know this. As distribution becomes cheaper, and the tools used to create becomes cheaper more innovations in the way we experience and participate in media will become possible.

BTW funniest line in the show was in reference to show related clothing.

“But no-one wants a pair of boxer shorts with “Smallville” written across the front”

“No, but i’d buy the pair that said Everwood”

Go take a look this is the first 10 minute segment


Social Bookmarking


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Do These Pixels Make Me Look Fat? Virtual Retailing Comes to a Site Near You.

Tired of shopping in the real world? American Apparel is preparing to launch the first major retail event in the virtual world of Second Life and cross-promoting with their real world counterpart. The grand opening of the American Apparel’s Second Life store on Lerappa Island (sl-url) is scheduled for July 28, 7pm PST/SLT. The company plans to offer an “exclusive preview of our new Denim Slim Slacks for men and women” and will offer a “15% discount on any Real Life item you buy in Second Life”.

American Apparel has stores in eleven countries on three continents, but none of them are anything like the latest “virtual” store. This is the first “real life” company to open a store in the amazing world of Second Life.

For the uninitiated, Second Life is a vast 3-dimensional, digital world filled with people to meet, places to visit, and things to do. You start by creating an “avatar” – basically a virtual representation of yourself. Then you jump inside and explore. It’s like merging MySpace and The Sims. And best of all, now you can outfit your avatar in the same stylish t-shirts, swimwear, and dresses you love to wear in real life.



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Online Video: We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Business Model

Sure it’s great sizzle, but where’s the steak?  Can you really make money peddling videos of drunken lip-syncing teenagers?

Thumbnail Online Video: The Market Is Hot, but Business Models Are Fuzzy
On July 11, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment became just the latest media giant to put its heft behind a small startup, as the white-hot online video market has players both big and small placing bets on digital distribution. Add up the venture capital dollars funding online video startups, the technology advances, the willingness of established players like ABC, CBS and NBC to try new distribution models and the increasing web viewership, and it’s clear that the video market is at an inflection point, say experts at Wharton and media research firms. However, several questions remain: What will ultimately become of all the wheeling and dealing in the online video market? What are the most important technologies needed to expand online video? Can online video startups find viable business models? And aren’t all parties simply hedging their bets since it’s unclear which online video distribution models will win?(knowledge@wharton jul 12 – jul 25)

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This Just In…Repurposing TV Content to Cellphones “Bad Idea.”

What happened to using your “phone” to “make calls”?  Too old-school?  Like everyone else we’re still waiting for tsunami of excellent mobile content that was supposed to transform our Motorola into the 3rd screen.  Problem is…there’s plenty of stuff out there, most of it bad.  Anyone who’s simply hijacking stale TV content and compressing it for phone viewership is living in pre-revolutionary France (and we all know how that ended).

Com CentralExporting a Dying Content Model to a New Medium?
Verizon Wireless CMO Warns of Pitfalls in Producing Content for Mobile Phone Networks
Speaking at the Madison & Vine Conference in Beverly Hills, Verizon Wireless CMO John Stratton criticized the increasing ineffectiveness of traditional advertising venues such as broadcast and cable TV while warning Hollywood producers about “exporting a dying content model” to the new third-screen medium. He predicted mobile phone networks would “in a few short years” control up to 30% of the $100 billion U.S. market for brand advertising.

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Brawny Academy Webisodes: There’s something wrong with this industry when friggin’ Brawny…

…is on the cutting edge of online content.

Courtesy of our friends at Fallon; along with this week’s new episode following the Brawny husbands-in-training comes some Woodsy Wisdom from the man himself. The Brawny Man.

The woodsy wsidom covers many of the key areas the Brawny Man is trying to encourage his charges in:

– Just Listening
– Wooing
– Staying Positive
– Hygeine
– Home Protection

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CBS Viral Eggvertising: There’s a fine line between clever and stupid…

NY Times reports on CBS’ fall campaign to brand shows on the surface of 35 million eggs.

Some of their planned slogans: “CSI” (“Crack the Case on CBS”); “The Amazing Race” (“Scramble to Win on CBS”); and “Shark” (“Hard-Boiled Drama.”). Variations on the ad for its Monday night lineup of comedy shows include “Shelling Out Laughs,” “Funny Side Up” and “Leave the Yolks to Us.”

Newspapers, magazines and Web sites are so crowded with ads for entertainment programming that CBS was ready to try something different, said George Schweitzer, president of the CBS marketing group. The best thing about the egg concept was its intrusiveness.

“You can’t avoid it,” he said. He liked the idea so much that he arranged for CBS to be the only advertiser this fall to use the new etching technology. The CBS ads are the first to use imprinting technology developed by a company called EggFusion, based in Deerfield, Ill. Bradley Parker, who founded the company, wanted to reassure shoppers that egg producers were not placing old eggs in new cartons, so he developed a laser-etching technique to put the expiration date directly on an egg during the washing and grading process.

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Geo Mapping – WTF?

More user-created Geo Mapping.

Socialight lets you put virtual “sticky” notes called StickyShadows™ anywhere in the real world. Share pictures, notes and more using your cell phone.

Each StickyShadow that you create can be made public or available only to specific people – like your contacts or members of your groups.

As you travel around the world, you can find StickyShadows that are tied to the places you go. The system can notify you via your mobile phone any time you step on a StickyShadow. As your phone buzzes, it will display the media, along with some information about the person who set it. From there, you can instantly respond, leave your own StickyShadow or just move on.

How’s it Used?
•I leave a note for all my friends at the mall to let them know where I’m hanging out. All my friends in the area see it.
•A woman shows all her close friends the tree under which she had her first kiss.
•An entire neighborhood gets together and documents all the unwanted litter they find in an effort to share ownership of a community problem.
•A food-lover uses Socialight to share her thoughts on the amazing vanilla milkshakes at a new shop.
•The neighborhood historian creates her own walking tour for others to follow.
•A group of friends create their own scavenger hunt.
•A tourist takes place-based notes about stores in a shopping district, only for himself, for a time when he returns to the same city.
•A small business places StickyShadows that its customers would be interested in finding.
•A band promotes an upcoming show by leaving a StickyShadow outside the venue.

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Sci-Fi Channel Goes Direct to Broadband

scifi_shows_asoh_0711_1200.jpgOnline video continues its move beyond the dorm room as more nets experiment with sending content straight to micro-sites.Sci-Fi Channel has taken a cue from the online distribution of failed pilots like Global Frequency and Nobody’s Watching by getting ahead of the curve: The Amazing Screw-On Head pilot has debuted on its online video site Sci-Fi Pulse before the channel has decided its televisual fate. Head is a visual trip – based on a cult comic by Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, the show is a twisted spoof of the steampunk genre of sci-fi set in the 19th Century.

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ABC Family Goes Cross-Media

Nets continue to throw pasta at the walls to see what sticks. The BRAINS at MIT media labs are tracking a content experiment for the ABC Family Channel.

Next week will see the launch of an interesting experiment for the ABC Family Channel, which will be launching a transmedia experience for viewers of its two-hour television movie Fallen.

The movie itself is an adaptation of a popular series of books by author Tom Sniegoski, so the project begins with a transmedia focus in terms of adaptation. But the true nature of transmedia storytelling isn’t just telling the same story in multiple platforms–rather, it is to have a story in which various parts or chapters reveal themselves in different media forms.

That’s what the Fallen project hopes to do. Producers have already planned to air four more hours of Fallen next year and wanted to create a storytelling platform that would keep viewers invested in the Fallen story between installments of the television movies. Which is why they are launching an online game of Fallen that will continue throughout the summer.

The game is planned to be in real-time. It will launch after the movie airs next Sunday and will last throughout the summer, with participants being given new clues as they continue through the story. The project contains elements of an alternate reality game (ARG).

The movie will launch the game by giving a clue to the online game. All of this will propel viewers to go to the Web site, where the game will focus on the story of a character named Faith.

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