Cisco has launched a new marketing/advertising campaign called “The Human Network”. I first saw it as an ad on tv and I actually went back (thanks Tivo) and watched it a second time. When is the last time you did that? What a fantastic tv ad. Then I saw it on-line and today I have found the main site. They are also now getting Internet industry luminaries to help define what is the human network. In fact, anyone can submit a story about what the human network means to them. The main site has lots of inspiring and interesting content on it. Nowhere do I see an ad or data sheet for a Cisco router. This is about branding and it works.
And here I thought ABC was getting it with regard to the new media revolution. Well, not everyone at ABC. President of advertising sales, Mike Shaw has some amazingly stupid things to say about our new digital world.
“I would love it if the MSOs, during the deployment of the new DVRs they’re putting out there, would disable the fast-forward [button],” Shaw said.
I bet you would, effectively crippling the device. Brilliant idea. He doesn’t stop there.
Shaw also threw cold water on the idea that neutering the fast-forward option would result in a consumer backlash. He suggested that consumers prefer DVRs for their ability to facilitate on-demand viewing and not ad-zapping–and consumers might warm to the idea that anytime viewing brings with it a tradeoff in the form of unavoidable commercial viewing.
You know, people have two livers, so they won’t care if we take out one. WTF! I have bad news for you Mr. Shaw. By skipping commercials, I cut down my tv viewing hours by 15-20%. That’s time back for me to spend on other things. I am not going to just give that up quietly.
Crippling DVR’s is not the answer to the problem of ad skipping. Creating better ads and using technology to better target ads is. The tighter your grip is on your old business model, the more it slips through your fingers. I think that was in the first Star Wars movie.
ABC has had great success lately streaming tv shows with advertising support. Now Google is getting into the game. A few prominant advertisers like Pepsi and Hewlet-Packard are already on board. Google, like iTunes still offeres pay-per download as well at $1.99, but having a choice of watching ads or not is great for consumers. We shall see which format wins out in end.
Already a leader in the IPTV arena, there is much exciting news from ABC about their on-line TV experiments. ABC is having even greater success with it's free, ad supported effort than it's $2.99 per download shows via iTunes. Since last October ABC has sold more than 6 million downloads via iTunes. In the first month of the free ad supported service, more than 11 million shows were watched.
Two amazing bits of information from the tests:
The test also showed that making the episodes available on online platforms is not decreasing the amount of traditional television viewing of those shows.
Disney Channel premiered episodes of "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" online several hours before the program appeared on television, yet saw TV viewership for those episodes soar to number one in its time period for viewers ages 2 and older.
This kind of data is hopefully going to make the other networks go ape shit and start putting as much content on the Net as possible. Props to ABC and Disney for being bold and proving that IPTV is for real.