Blog Archives


Party’s over.  Such is the sentiment of many people this time of year.  As we kick off the first official day of fall, our fun-in-the-sun vacations, weekend shares/getaways come to a close.  For me personally, the moment my Mom starts talking about the Jewish holidays and all the kugels that go along with them, I know it’s back to the grind for me. Oy vey.

So, I’m taking a new line on the beginning of fall – and giving you five reasons why the changing of the seasons is something to welcome rather than dread.  Here goes:

  1. Everyone’s Back! – You know that close friend you haven’t seen since May since she/he has been away every weekend you’ve been in town and vice versa?  Well now you’re both in the city again and can finally catch up, go out, reconnect, etc.  The city feels more like home when it’s fully re-populated with your favorite people.
  2. Find Your Center (again) – It’s difficult to find your center and get into a routine – with work, gym, family, etc. – when every week is different than the one before.  With summer’s end comes a return to more normal schedules that bring with them a feeling of ease, zen and productivity.
  3. It’s Beautiful Out There – The beginning of fall brings gorgeous sunsets, changing leaves, warm days and brisk nights.  In my opinion, the Northeast is never more beautiful than it is in September and October.
  4. Food, Glorious Food! – With the beach behind us and our bathing suits neatly tucked away, feel free – even entitled – to dive into that bowl of pasta, slice of pizza, steak, etc., you’ve avoided like all summer.  Enjoy – next summer is never farther away than it is right now!
  5. Two Words (well, letters): TV – Your favorite shows (and some soon-to-be favorites) are back on with new episodes.  For me, that means Homeland, Modern Family, SNL, and a disturbing amount of reality programs and cooking shows.  I fully admit my entertainment tastes are not universal, but no matter what programs you enjoy they are back in full force during the autumn season.

It’s true that summer is officially over, but the party isn’t.  This is a beautiful time of year – and we haven’t even discussed all the wonderful times to be had with family and friends during Thanksgiving and the December/January holiday season.

And just when you can’t take it anymore – the freezing cold, jackets, scarves, gloves, snow, sleet and pale skin – next summer will be upon us once more.

By Scott Berwitz

Audiences Growing with Live TV: Blame #FOMO

Sochi Olympics 2014

Now that we’ve watched a puppy befriend a Clydesdale in a Budweiser spot and 80’s icons come together for RadioShack’s ad during the Super Bowl, audiences are engaged with TV’s current big event – the Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

The Olympics are a huge investment for both advertisers and its broadcaster NBCUniversal. For the Sochi Games, NBCUniversal shelled out a reported $775 million for U.S. media rights and is spending an estimated $100 million more to produce the event.

In 2010, when the Winter Games were held in Vancouver, news outlets reported that NBCUniversal lost $223 million from the broadcast. Why? Despite a favorable time zone for U.S. viewers, the Vancouver Games took place during a dip in ad spending caused by the recession.

Times have certainly changed in four years. Ad spending is up – NBCUniversal is reported to be making $900 million this time around. Media habits have also changed. Audience levels for live events, including awards shows and sports, have grown exponentially given that viewers experience FOMO – the “fear of missing out” and being left out of the conversation that unfolds on social media.

TV viewing is no longer just about contributing to the next day’s water cooler conversation. Twitter and Facebook trending topics, Buzzfeed memes and blogging serve as real-time barometers of pop culture and current events, encouraging potential viewers to tune in and engage as the action happens.

Social media enables networks to “amplify” sporting events and awards shows into true multiplatform experiences. As such, broadcasters are innovating and implementing social TV initiatives – whether it’s encouraging the use of certain hashtags, showcasing viewers’ tweets on screen or running contests through social media platforms.

The Sochi Games are no different – NBCUniversal is capitalizing on the power of these platforms. The company recently announced partnerships with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Google+ and other such sites, allowing fans to view exclusive video content and engage with Olympics commentators and athletes.  

Brands have also been keen to connect with the millions of engaged fans on social media.  For the brands not officially sponsoring live sporting events or awards shows, social media offers the opportunity to sneak into the conversation – like JCPenney did tweeting the Super Bowl with its Team USA mittens. It’s too early to tell what brand is winning the social conversation during the Olympics, but the athletes themselves have been doing a great job stirring conversations around #SochiProblems.

There’s no doubt that live events offer broadcasters and brands alike an opportunity to engage with an avid audience. The dual forces of television and social media are pushing us into experiencing live events on second and third screens to redefine “TV.”

Yes, times have certainly changed – we do watch whatever we want, whenever we want. However, when it comes to awards shows and live sporting events like the Olympics – #FOMO is at its most rampant.    

Is My TV Watching Me?

In this űber-connected world, technology’s conveniences lull many of us into a state of denial about its dangerous tradeoffs. This story from HD Guru stopped us in our tracks.

The new 2012 Samsung smart TV comes with the following features not offered (yet) by its competitors: “Internally wired HD camera, twin microphones, face tracking and speech recognition. While these features give you unprecedented control over an HDTV, the devices themselves, more similar than ever to a personal computer, may allow hackers or even Samsung to see and hear you and your family, and collect extremely personal data.”

According to the article, Samsung has yet to respond satisfactorily to the reporter’s queries about data collection and the personal privacy of consumers.

If it’s true, as the article says, that the new technology on the Samsung TVs is difficult for customers to disable, Samsung should take immediate action on the PR front:

1)      Act swiftly to publicly acknowledge the concerns brought up in this article

2)      Launch an informative campaign that fully explains the use of these devices and why customers needn’t worry about privacy invasion

3)      If there is real potential for privacy breaches, Samsung should consider recalling the TVs and fix them to allay concerns

Otherwise, spooked consumers will stay away in droves and the door will swing wide open for competitors to develop and tout the impermeability of their own smart TVs.

CES 2012 – Where’s the Beef?

by Shaun Quigley, mobile practice director, Brunner

A Year of “incremental improvement?”

LAS VEGAS — With Apple strikingly absent from this year’s CES, and with Steve Ballmer making Microsoft’s swan song at the world’s largest tradeshow, I had tempered expectations as I touched down in Vegas.  And the show is delivering on that expectation: small, incremental improvements to things like TV and tablets.

Nevertheless, every tradeshow has a few golden nuggets. Here’s what we uncovered opening day.

App of the Day: EBay’s AWESOME augmented reality fashion app helps shoppers try on the product before they hit the store.

Content Consumption and Co-viewing.  People are watching more TV than ever before. That consumption is the result of co-viewing (or multi-screen viewing) on tablets, smartphones and an increasing number of “ultrabook” options.

CES 2012 LG Cinema 3D Smart TV

Smart TV. Executives from LG and Best Buy acknowledged that 40% of TVs being sold in stores today are connected, with projections of 90% by 2015.  The smarter the TV, the more social the viewing experience. The more social the viewing experience, the more integration points for brands.

Communications Planning. Demographics are out. Contextual relevance is in.  Also, media flowcharts are killing digital’s ability to make smarter, faster connections with consumers. (Why? Because it’s a line item that’s easy to cross off!).  Industry must find a better way to present media plans.

Mobile Strategy.  Business goals are different when your consumer is in the kitchen versus the store. Location awareness must factor into the strategy.

3D Everything. Last year there were just a handful of 3D enabled TVs on the showroom floor. Today there are hundreds.  Implication for brands:  how can your product experience reach out and touch someone?

Shaun Quigley is the mobile practice director for Brunner, and lead’s the agency’s innovation incubator, BHiveLab. Follow him @Squigster

The United DMAs of America

Marketers often hope that there is a one-size-fits-all approach to reaching today’s television viewers – a magic bullet of sorts that will make media buying easier rather than strategic. But, with today’s diverse audience only becoming more varied with each passing day, it is essential that brands understand the nuances of their viewers from region to region and how to best target them.

Steve Lanzano, CEO and President of TVB, shares a few thoughts with DGC on the value of local media to reach today’s diverse audience. With the help of Nielsen’s “Cross-Platform Report,” he sheds light on some unique media behaviors across the country, while touting the value of local media to help reach these viewers:

One of the great enduring ideals that we hold about ourselves as Americans is that we are One. However, that’s just not entirely true. “One nation” is true – we all stand up for the same flag, struggle to hit all the same notes in the same national anthem, recite the same pledge. But in a practical sense, “America” is a very personal concept. It’s even right there in our name – the United States of America. We’re really a collection of localized differences.

There is very little that’s unanimous about media, either. So it should come as very little surprise that Americans tend to use media differently depending upon which DMA they happen to live in. The demographics, economies, and social behaviors vary too greatly from market to market to make media “one size fits all.”

In their 2Q 2011 “Cross-Platform Report,” Nielsen shines a spotlight upon some of the differences in media behaviors that exist among people from the top 25 DMAs. Some are fairly intuitive – the fact that Los Angeles has the most Hispanic TV households, for example. Others, however, are somewhat enlightening:

  • Dallas-Ft. Worth is tied with Houston for the youngest TV household median age. It also has the highest DVR penetration.
  • Pittsburgh is tied with Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne for the oldest TV HH median age.
  • Miami has the highest mobile phone penetration.
  • Los Angeles has the highest percentage of Mobile Video users.
  • Minneapolis is somewhat split – on one hand, it has the highest A18-54 cross-platform behavior (TV viewing with web surfing), but it also has the most broadcast-only homes.

For an advertiser, the ability to recognize that these local distinctions exist will allow them to leverage these behavioral nuances on a market level. Without considering local usage trends, they sacrifice their potential to maximize spot market deliveries that might be lost by relying upon a national medium.

Like everything else, media has its own quirks, customs, and accents depending upon where you are. Local broadcast TV’s advantage lies in its ability to speak to consumers in their own uniquely local way – on air, online and on-the-go. It really is the United DMAs of America that you’ll find here – one similarity with many differences. And because we are a nation of nuances, that’s where the brilliance of local media truly shines.

So we have to ask….How do you speak to your audience on a local level?

TV On The Go: Coming To A Mobile Device Near You in 2012

It happens to all of us. We’re on our way out the door to work and Matt Lauer announces a Breaking News report “coming up next.” We’re on a business trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma when the Giants are playing the Jets. We’re on a road trip with the kids and are one of those families without TV’s in the headrests.

These days, consumers have a device for everything. So why is it that they don’t have a devise for receiving high-quality, live TV, on the go?

At this year’s Advertising Week, Abby Auerbach, EVP & CMO of TVB moderated a panel which featured some of the top names in Mobile Digital Television including; Erik Moreno, SVP Corp Development, Fox Networks Group; Co-GM, Mobile Content Venture, Anne Schelle, Executive Director, Open Mobile Video Coalition and Jeff Minsky, Director Emerging Media, OMD Ignition Factory.

Turns out Mobile Digital Television, via the Dyle app, is poised to make its first major consumer push next year- offering consumers in 32 cities nationwide free, over the air TV directly to their tablets and mobile devices.

So what does this mean for advertisers and marketers? Extended reach and frequency – MDTV allows for an extension of the viewing day- on average consumers increased their daily live TV viewing by 38%.

Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • Daytime is the new primetime when it comes to MDTV-  Consumers loved watching different types of programming during the day, especially local news
  • Consumers were watching live TV at new and different locations – at work during their lunch break, at idle moments waiting on line at the checkout or the doctor’s office
  • Moms enjoyed passing a mobile phone or tablet to kids en route to school or running errands
  • Consumers were staying in-tune with breaking news and weather

Watch Abby Auerbach offer a recap of the panel here.

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