Skip to main content

TV detox (sort of...)

I’ve been conducting my own personal media experiment over the past several months. I’m going through TV detox. No traditional TV. No sitting on the couch and letting the warm glow of mass media wash over me. Instead I’ve been using more Web TV to get a first hand feel for whether this platform has potential.

True confession: I love TV. I love its connection to, and ability to shape, the pop culture zeitgeist. This is not the test of some new-media, TV-bashing fanatic.

The result? Like with all media platforms, online TV has its time and place. It cannot match the experience of watching TV on a Bravia in 5.1 surround. But I have been pleasantly surprised to discover how many of my favorite programs I can download or stream for free. I like the freedom of streaming 30 Rock while waiting out a delayed flight or getting my dose of Anderson Cooper 360 on my iPhone on the treadmill. I’ve also incorporated many more video podcasts into my viewing diet, such as Rocketboom.

So why should we care about this? From a marketing standpoint, online TV content has the potential to help marketers use the time-tested branding power of sight, sound and motion in a far more targeted and less-intrusive manner. Each network uses a different approach to sponsorship. I found the occasional commercial every 10 minutes or so from a single sponsor to not be overly bothersome in exchange for free content. And the ability to click over to learn more about the product finally delivers on the long-promised potential of interactive TV. (Perhaps, then, the best usage of this platform is for launching new products and not merely re-running existing commercials.)

Another reason we should care came to light this week in a new study published by the Conference Board. Its joint study with TNS reports that close to 16 percent of American households who use the Internet watch television programs online and that the number of consumers viewing full episodes online has doubled from a year ago. The study also reveals that watching TV programs has replaced news as the most widely viewed content online.

A second true confession: Those who know me well know that this test is suspended every Sunday while I watch the New York Giants. My commitment to the pursuit of knowledge has its limits you know…


PURE Studios said…
Looking forward to hearing more about your experiment! I've been on the same diet (sans TV) for 6+ months now. As for Sunday's, stays live on the laptop throughout the day. And, I too have have been enjoying an expanded scope of video podcasts (and downloaded episodes of some favorite "mainstream" shows). has become my favorite hub. From a marketing perspective, what I've noticed most is that the brands that are reaching me (and influencing my purchasing behavior) are those that are present and/or favorably endorsed within my consumption of online/non-traditional/social media outlets (via a Twitter from Robert Scoble or a blog post by Steve Rubel or perhaps a mention from Adam Curry on the daily source code - an oddly addictive indulgence)...

Popular posts from this blog

What makes a premium brand premium?

I was thinking the other day about the DNA of premium brands . One thing is certain -- it's a relative idea. For example, Hyatt is not a premium brand if you're used to staying at a W or a Ritz Carlton. But if your vacations to date have been holed up in a Holiday Inn, then by all means a stay in a Hyatt is a premium experience. Another thing is certain -- a brand is considered premium only when we believe it is worth the price. And that's where we can dig deeper. Why are we willing to pay more for a product when there are others that provide the same service or function at a lesser price? I have spent a good part of my marketing career developing strategies and ideas for a wide range of  premium brands, including American Express, Sony, Callaway Golf, Hilton, Jaguar, Land Rover – even the Toyota Prius.  Through these experiences I have come to believe that a premium brand is built upon specific tangible and intangible attributes that give it a sense wort

Super game. Dull ads

As a passionate Giants fan it is safe to say that I had a good time yesterday. But as an advertising professional I felt a bit underwhelmed by the caliber of the advertising . Many were entertaining. But few possessed that intangible Super Bowl-ness...big, pop-cultural, fun. Even fewer seemed to have anything relevant to say about the brand, such as the Planters "uni-brow" spot. I loved the Bridgestone "screaming animals" spot, but it would have been a much better spot for the Saab featured in the spot than the tires the car rode upon. As for Bud, good spots, but I've seen the dog and horse thing before. Tide's talking stain was funny, but did it have Super Bowl-ness? My fav? The Coke "balloon float" spot. It was classic Coke (for Coke Classic). Big. Entertaining. Unexpected twist. Utterly charming. And Charlie Brown finally won something. Coke is about smiles. And that spot was just that. The Audi spot that I wrote about last week liv

Will this be your first recession rodeo?

In a previous article I referenced Mark Twain’s quote, “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.”    If true, then this is a poem about marketing in a recession by reflecting on lessons which I will attempt to freshen... Ok, no more poetry. I recently revisited the WikiBranding articles I wrote during the 2008-2009 meltdown that spotlighted best practices from a range of marketers.   It struck me that  those of us who guided businesses through The Great Recession can  share  lessons we learned with managers for whom this downturn might be their first.  (Bob Barrie, Stuart D’Rozario and I had just co-founded BD’M; learning how to navigate the recession was not a choice!)     Who decides if we’re in a recession?     Spoiler alert:  the consumer decides.   News stories about the economy lead us believe we’re in a recession – the “R-word” is having its moment.     Economists might say otherwise, based on their often used definition of a recession, i.e., two consecutive quarters