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Will Someone Please Disrupt the Television Industry

2 May

Evolution in TelevisionWhen Netflix had their big PR snafu and I thought the online streaming/DVD service might be cooked. I among others believed that a better, more advantageous competitor could come and steal their lunch money.  And then something unexpected happened…Netflix reneged  everything and went back to the way it was for the most part.  Not only was there no competitor waiting in the wings (Hulu had already been around) people clamored for the reuniting of Netflix.  Maybe we’re not really ready for the next evolution in television?

Everyone consumes television in slightly different ways. Some people like to record their favorite shows and watch them on their own time. Some people have appointment viewing and need to watch it live. Others stick to on demand, only watching what they want when they want without preconceived notions. Right now there are several options to specific needs.

Cable Subscription

This is the most stoic option. You get a plethora of channels for one flat monthly service fee. You can watch all the television your little heart can handle for that price. However, there are also a-la-carte options. You can increase your channel package size, add DVR and watch programs outside of their designated air times, use on demand for spur of the moment or out of season programming, add premium channels, and purchase movies. Each item comes with an upcharge that can make your bill look like the U.S. Census.

Online Subscription Services

There are a couple out there, but Netflix and Hulu Plus have this market pretty well cornered. With a nominal fee you essentially have an expanded on demand service at your fingertips. Movies and shows can be summoned from nearly anywhere provided you have a screen of some sort and an internet connection. If you want to watch a sporting event you’ll most likely have to tack on the individual sports service (e.g. MLB.tv) and hope you’re team isn’t subject to black-out rules. You’re also locked into whatever programming that service has rights deals to.

Pay As You Go Services

By this I mean your virtual stores, your Amazons and iTunes of the world. The pros and cons are pretty clear here. You get full freedom to decide your entertainment landscape (sans sports), but the more you add the more the cost balloons.

So what is the perfect service?

The answer is, at least in my opinion, that it doesn’t exist. My utopian television experience is a mix of all three. I would like the option to pick and choose my channels a-la-carte, have each show’s content available on demand after debut, then buy outlying programs on an individual basis. That way my experience is personalized and everything is in one place. It may be a looooooooong while before anything like ever happens, but a boy can dream can’t he?

Unfortunately, the powers that be don’t understand that a whole sale change like this will essentially eliminate piracy as we know it. I’d rather pay a fair price for legal (and safe!) media than pirate any day. Until then I’ll be crossing my fingers that the U.S. doesn’t follow suit with the U.K. and ban the Pirate Bay!

Related Content:
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TV Universe Continues to Contract, Nielson Attributes Declines to Census, Technology Too

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The Next Revolution in Online Advertising: Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus” Uses Transmedia

28 Mar

Transmedia Used to Promote Ridley Scott’s New Film “Prometheus”

20th Century Fox released a video to help promote Ridley Scott’s new film Prometheus.  It wasn’t a trailer. It wasn’t one of those awful ‘watch people watch the screening in night vision’ videos.  It wasn’t even a behind the scenes clip.  It was Peter Weyland, founder of Weyland industries speaking at the TED conference in the year 2023.  He delivers an inspiring speech in which he relates the story of Prometheus, who stole fire from the Greek Gods and gave it to humans.

 

In this 3 minute and 9 second speech there is no mention of Prometheus the film.   At the end of the clip we are provided a web address for WeylandIndustries.com.  This, my friends is Transmedia and I hope it catches on like…well, like fire.

What is Transmedia?

Transmedia is a way of telling a story through multiple platforms using digital technologies.   Transmedia builds on the ideas of Technological Convergance.  Basically the idea is that all the mediums that had been traditionally separate (television, radio, print, etc.) are becoming one medium or consumable by one piece of technology.

A great example of this is a smart phone.  At first a cell phone’s primary use was to take and receive phone calls.  Now cell  phones can do that in addition to take video, photo, compose email, transmit documents, surf the web, play music and on and on and on.   Transmedia acts in the same way.  Instead of a film being just film (or a book adaptation) living in its own environment, it becomes a video game, or a website, or an album.

In the case of Prometheus, a traditional commercial is transformed into a piece of content that supplements the story of the film.

Why is Transmedia Effective?

Ridley Scott and 20th Century Fox aren’t the only ones aware of transmedia, Coca Cola and many others are getting into the mix as well (check out Coke’s Content 2020 videos).  What makes transmedia so effective is its emphasis on story and branding versus selling and corporation.  The groundswell has been moving businesses in this direction for some time now and the evolution of social media is being realized.

Businesses are just now starting to catch on to tools such as; blogs, twitter, facebook, pinterest, instagram, etc. which changing the way companies communicate their brand.

We are moving away further and further away from traditional media that shouts as loud as it can so that the most people can hear it.  We are moving towards most intimate conversations that speak to highly targeted groups.   Transmedia will spark the conversation while social media outlets and the like facilitate it.

Four Seasons Gives A New Meaning To Digital Luxury

17 Jan

When you purchase a Lexus you expect the car to run better than a Toyota.  What makes it a luxury item are the extras; leather interior, seat warmers, people that will make you a cappuccino and drop you off when your car is being serviced.  We demand these things when we pay a little extra, but what about our digital experience?

The Four Seasons has decided to do a digital marketing overhaul and other luxury brands should take note.  Brands like Four Seasons have been building up their trademark for decades.  Businesses like them fear that if they open themselves to the groundswell that they’ll lose some of the equity they’ve built up.

Maybe it’s the opposite.  The Four Seasons will add user-generated reviews, Twitter wine tastings, and the “Have Family Will Travel” blog.  Suddenly they’ve opened a conversation with their customers that other competitors don’t have right now.  That way the Four Seasons can not only fix any internal customer service issues they have, but also figure out how their consumers might compare them to other hotels to help Four Seasons stay ahead of the curve.

My favorite initiative has to be the wine tastings.  It was started two years ago and 14 of the 86 Four Seasons’ hotels participated last year.  You can either go to a wine tasting at participating Four Seasons or you can hop on Twitter and partake from the comfort of your own home.  This way people can feel connected to the brand without actually physically being there.  They’ve found something that their market values, wine tastings, and figured out a way to integrate themselves into that activity.  And they can do all of this from their website.  Genius!

I hope that other luxury brands can take note and overhaul their own digital landscape, because like the product they sell it’s as much about the experience as it is anything else.

-Josh P. Greenberg
Follow: @JoshPGreenberg
Follow: @Rated_JPG

Related Articles:
Four Seasons Embraces Digital Marketing, Virtual Experiences

Is Kim Kardashian A “Real” Business Woman?

27 Dec

As I was driving to Einstein Bagels to pick up a delicious locks on bagel sandwich I turned the radio on.  “In Paris” by Jay-Z and Kanye West was ending leading to a bump before the commercial break.  That’s when the host dropped this on me.  Kim Kardashian is going to be paid $600,000 to host  New Year’s at club TAO in Las Vegas.

Are you kidding me?!  That’s more than six of the top ten highest paid public speakers in the world from 2010.  This pay check is slightly under what Tony Blair took home in appearances that ENTIRE YEAR.  This got me thinking.  Is Kim Kardashian a successful business woman or is she a famous personality who hasn’t sabotaged her image yet?

Let’s take a look at some of the facts.  She co-owns a clothing store named D-A-S-H with her sisters Khloe and Kourtney, which has three locations.  She’s had several other endeavors with her sisters including a jewelry line for Virgins, Saints, and Angels, a clothing line for QVC called K-Dash, and the Kardashian Kollection for Sears done by the whole family.  She’s also done several other fashion related works throughout the years of lesser scale.

How much impact has she had in the success of her business ventures?  Without raw numbers of course it’s hard for me to pass judgment.  I can say that I don’t believe that the bulk of what she does would be successful without the power that her name brand carries.  That could be said for a lot of people who have turned television fame into personal brands, namely Martha Stewart.  Does that matter when measuring success as a business person?  She’s a one woman marketing campaign.  This is what allows for places like TAO to spend an obscene amount of money to more or less have her show up.

Depending on where you look Kim earns about $6mil a year.  Does that make her a businesswoman?  By comparison the top earner for 2009 was former President and CEO of Yahoo! Karl Bartz at $47.2mil (Martha Stewart clocked in at $9.7mil).  Better yet does the amount of money that Kim generates make her a successful businesswoman by default?

Part of what makes Kim Kardashian so polarizing is how she earns her money in relation to the perception of how hard she had to work for it.  Maybe the bigger question is what is a business person?

-Josh P. Greenberg
Follow:@JoshPGreenberg
Follow: @Rated_JPG

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Related Articles:
Fortune: 2009 Highest Paid Women
Kim Kardashian’s Paycheck at TAO on New Year’s Eve $600,000?!
Kardashian Kollection at Sears Review
Kardashian Teaches Marketing to Small Businesses