Monday, February 20, 2012

mad men in space

Fifty years ago, we were in the throes of a frenzied Space Race with Cold War rival Soviet Union who, to our dismay, were the first to send cosmonauts around the earth. (Our guys were astronuats, theirs were cosmonauts.)

On February 20, 1962 John Glenn evened the score, becoming the first American to circle the globe. He did it three times, in under five hours, less time than it now takes us to go JFK→LAX.

The best part of the Universal Newsreel chronicle of the trip is retro animation and antiquated announcer-speak: The Colonel is strapped to a “contoured couch” before blastoff when “millions are moved to silent prayer.”

Of course, this scenario jogged my memory of my favorite spaceman scene, below. Countdown to March 25.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

social tvland

image swiped from LA Weekly
One of the most interesting offerings at the banquet that is Social Media Week was a panel hosted by Alan Wolk of KitDigital, intriguingly titled "My Social TV App Thinks I'm My Dad."

Social TV has become a buzzword lately, though "social" misleadingly refers to a phenomenon that's been been around for a while. Mike Monello of Campfire pointed out that TV viewing has always been social. You may watch your favorite shows at night blobbing alone on a sofa, but part of the experience is deconstructing them the next day with coworkers or classmates. The difference is, now you don't have to wait until the next day. You can rant or rave with friends about episodes as they air, via the real time magic of Facebook and Twitter.

Research shows that a critical mass of viewers are now online while they're watching TV. What impact is this having in TV Land? Thanks to the plethora of info disseminated knowingly or unknowingly by users of social networks, entertainment companies and advertisers are far more knowledgeable about viewing behaviors and preferences of audiences. Which means they're shifting dollars to more accurately target spending. One panelist, Dan Neely reported that his company advised a client *not* to buy a halftime ad in the SuperBowl this year, but to air a spot on Walking Dead. Why? Because his social data showed that a critical mass of men don't watch halftime, they switch over to watching the AMC show instead. (Whether or not this resulted in sales, it indisputably saved millions.)

Jim Spare suggested that the biggest opportunity for the industry is to provide a companion structure for the frenzy of consumer activity that's already happening around programming, referred to as "second screen experience." Once this happens, he predicted, commenting on a show via hashtags and posts will seem archaic. And as more viewers become trackable via social media, advertisers will migrate to where the eyeballs are and advertising will support and elevate this experience.

More panel goodness can be found here, in a surprisingly satisfying Livestream experience. Don't miss the excitement about halfway through when Wolk takes on Neely in a showdown fueled by the age-old rivalry between creative and research.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

adultery in advertising is new again

Mad Men has been creating a bit of a stir in New York with its ads, not only by creating controversy, but by introducing what appears to be a new form of advertising: adulterated print. Minimalist posters put up in the subway have invited "desecration" by...who? Passing artists? Or pseudo-Banksys commissioned by AMC? The added art seems just a bit too conceptual and artful to be random. But who cares? The posters are wiped clean every night (by overworked MTA officials? really?) and new art appears each day to give harried transit riders a bit of much needed entertainment. Which is, of course, the product that AMC is selling.

The Gothamist is featuring a "best of" collection of adulterated posters (including a beautifully executed save by Victor Cruz) and seeding viral engagement by inviting you to send your photoshopped effort to

Brilliant play by modern Mad Men. And women, no doubt. Aptly touted atop taxis on Madison Avenue.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

mad men ad controversy

If you're a Mad Men fan addict like I am, you already know Don and Betty are making a comeback on March 25th thanks to minimalist print promos that are a grab shot from the show's animated title sequence. In New York, this ad caused a bit of an stir due to its similarity to Richard Drew's haunting image of a man falling from a World Trade Tower on 9/11. Drew's "Falling Man" appeared in one edition of the New York Times, but was pulled after readers protested its publication. Now it's an ad? Tom Junod of Esquire does an interesting speculation on whether this is a desecration or simply how we continue to reckon with the day the world as we knew it came to an end.

via Adelaide Now