That call you just got on your cellphone could be a nearby billboard calling you. Advertisers have figured out how to let a billboard call bluetooth enabled phones that come within range. And they're claiming a 15% conversion rate!
From iMedia Connection, here are some thoughts from a 4-part series based on a recent speech by Jeff Minsky, director of emerging media platforms, U.S. OMD:
The technology is already in place to allow a huge, almost unlimited amount of bandwidth to come into your home. (Think videophones...think advertising on videophones.)
Video on Demand (VOD): Comcast made it an investment in MGM and Sony film libraries. So they can give up to 200 films a month for free -- not pay-per-view, but for free -- to the consumers to watch. So a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't find anything to watch on traditional television, and I went on the VOD and I saw "Brian's Song." There's two hours of my time that is no longer in the universe of a potential sea of commercial television. I'm now in a separate universe altogether, still on the TV device.
TiVo and DVR's: The consumer is in control. They do not have to watch what's being pushed down to them. It's not about three networks, five networks, 50 cable channels, saying, "Here's what you can watch." It's about taking the ability to get content from anywhere and putting it on your screen. Technology is there to help and enable them, but it's only really the beginning.
DVR owners skip commercials 80 percent of the time when viewing recorded programming.Now, some of the Forrester and Jupiter studies that have come out have reinforced the fact that people aren't skipping the commercials because they don't like commercials. They're skipping commercials because they want their time back. We've taken up too much of the consumers' time with advertising.
Home theater: I believe the home theater environment, the fact that you're spending $2,000, $3,000 for a 57-inch high def, plasma, LCD or DLP, with a Dolby 5.1 surround sound system, is going to change the actual viewing habits within the household. I believe that with a low-cost entry of being able to watch videos, either through NetFlix to your TiVo, through pay-per-view, or through buying a DVD for less than $10, $12, more cinema theatrical viewing is going to occur in this environment.
New Technologies: There are various providers that are bringing technology to the market that will allow users to click on a :30 commercial and telescope into a long form video or jump page. There are also technologies that will increase the interactivity that a TV viewer has with the programming they are watching; whether its real time score updates or voting opportunities during debates/Sunday Morning News Programming.
Direct TV is going to have the mosaic -- the ability to watch six football games on NFL Sunday Ticket, watch them simultaneously. Each game will be coded. So as someone is about to score, the skin around the game will be coded red so then you'll be able to switch the audio and go full screen to that game. After someone scores or doesn't score, you'll be able to flip back to the mosaic, watch the six games that are currently running, and then wait for the next team that's about to score.
Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing reports on a marvelous new invention called Promise TV. It records a month's worth of shows from all channels, not just the shows you've selected to record, but EVERYTHING. So you've got an entire month's worth of programming at your fingertips. So long TiVo, hello Promise!
Always looking for a connection to entertainment advertising, I could imagine creating an inexpensive 30-minute infomercial that could run at any time of the night when air time is so inexpensive. Then through emails or other advertising, alert theatergoers where to look to find your 30-minute program. They won't need to tell them where to go find it and voila, you've delivered your message. For the cost that some Broadway musicals spend to produce a slick 30-second spot, you could produce a very compelling, very hard-sell 30-minute infomercial with interviews, clips, audience testimonials, etc.
It's been a big week for TiVo. First, it was ruled ILLEGAL in Japan to fast forward through commercials!! WHAT?
Now comes news that TiVo is going to incorporate instant response into TV ads. This means if you're watching a commercial for a new off-Broadway play, you can theoretically click a few times and have a brochure sent to your home, or an email sent to your computer.
The good news is that it means that people won't forget your message immediately after seeing the commercial. Instead of saying, "I'd like to see that show someday" or "we ought to buy tickets to see that" they can now have the information delivered right to them, and hopefully they'll be one step closer to purchase.
Here's the full story from Reuters:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - TiVo Inc. on Monday introduced a feature that lets television viewers send personal information directly to advertisers when they see certain commercials, a move designed to open up TiVo's technology to more markets.
From my man Joe Jaffe's blog today is this little piece of brilliance. The marketing folks behind the new movie "Wedding Crashers" have posted a trailer online with the ability for anyone to modify using their own pictures. They call it "Trailer Crashers" and it is pure genius. Of course you have to try it. You simply upload one or two pictures, it puts your pictures in the trailer and then creates a link so you can spread it virally. You have fun, your friends get a laugh, and everyone sees the trailer to the new movie. Love it! Love it! Love it!
It meets all the criteria for an effective viral campaign: it's funny, it's unexpected, it's entertaining, engaging, not hard sell, etc.
Here's the link to the trailer I made. It stars me (naturally) and my running partner Manny, best known to my friends as "Running Boy."
The one caveat I'll add to this is that, unfortunately, some of the best ideas come for some of the worst shows. This movie looks dreadful, and this crash-able movie trailer was probably born more out of desperation than anything else. Successful and effective word-of-mouth still requires a good product in order to work. Yes, people are going to forward this trailer all over the place, and to that end, this campaign will be successful. But like me, how many people who view it will have absolutely no intention of ever seeing this movie? As is often the case in the world of Broadway and off-Broadway, the advertising is sometimes better than the actual show.
However, it's the interaction between blogs that makes them so interesting and influential. A single blog can be akin to a ranting madman on the corner. However, when linked together into massive intertwining communities, they have the vibrancy and passion of a massive street market, with information, opinions and whispers exchanging hands at light speed. And it's no longer confined to techy chats. Conversations about every conceivable subject take place. And as the quantity and quality of these conversations grows, so does the blogosphere's influence beyond the internet, including the commercial sector.
"Now, a growing number of marketers are using new technology to analyze blogs and other 'consumer-generated media' -- a category that includes chat groups, message boards and electronic forums -- to hear what is being said online about new products, old ad campaigns and aging brands. Purveyors of the new methodology and their clients say blog-watching can be cheaper, faster and less biased than such staples of consumer research as focus groups and surveys."
Adam Balkin of NY1 previews RadioTime.com, which hopes to do for radio what TiVO did for TV. The new Web-based service "consolidates radio programming from all around the globe - music and talk - and makes it very easy to find, and then listen to it when you like and where you like."
I got excited at the prospect of catching up on all the old episodes of A Prairie Home Companion and Fresh Air, until I went to the NPR website and realized that pretty much all of those shows are already available online.