Come Next Election, More Than "Entirely Possible"

I rarely quote Frank Rich. But think about this for a few minutes:

    YouTube, the medium that has transformed our culture and politics, didn’t exist four years ago. Four years from now, it’s entirely possible that some, even many, of the newspapers and magazines covering this campaign won’t exist in their current form, if they exist at all. The Big Three network evening newscasts, and network news divisions as we now know them, may also be extinct by then.

Going Green, Embracing the Groundswell, etc, First Take

Emily calls it going corporate. Jeremiah calls it a mash-up. Irregahdless, as I think they say in Southie, what it means is putting together the two best teams in social media-marketing-computing research. And you know, even to this old cynic, it's already feeling like a team. (That whole Cambridge-Manhattan thing is muted by California and Europe and all the leftover New Englanders at Jupiter....)

Some early observations:

Boy, do they have a lot of process. (Refreshingly, it's aligned with corporate and client objectives.)

They brainstorm just like we do: Way too many random whiteboard pattern-matching exercises!

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Evaluating your media agency

Mary Beth Kemp

One of my colleagues will soon be launching a "Wave" for media agencies.  For those of you who may not know, a Forrester Wave is an analysis and evaluation of a particular market. 

A critical step is defining the 80 or so criteria on which the agencies will be evaluated.  These criteria will also be made available to our clients so they are able to customize the output - or rating - based on their needs.

Among many others, we'll ask and examine these agencies' media buying and planning offers and how they execute; their clients (including retention rate); their corporate strategy; their ability to help deliver insights on specific audiences; and of course, how they approach integrated - or cross-channel - media campaigns.

What are the most important criteria for you?  If you're an agency, what do you expect to be judged on?  And if you're an advertiser, what are the make or break characteristics of the partners you work with? 


What Needs to be Covered at the Olympics

D@mn, how did I miss this? I am now a fan of Icelandic handball, regardless of whether handball should be an Olympic sport or not.

First, we have sharks and Brennivin:

    The seafood-related alcohol beverage. "When we eat the shark we drink this Brennivin," Sigfus Sigurdsson said, referring to the Icelandic caraway-flavored schnapps that is sometimes called "Black Death."

    "You put it in the freezer for a few weeks so the liquid becomes real thick," he continued, "and then the way you work the shark you can't describe it, but it smells awful."

    But it tastes good, right? "No," Gudjon Sigurdsson said with a laugh. "But you have to do it. That's just the way it is."

And then, we have the existentialism flavored with mysticism:

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What th-? Part II

Uh, why does the FiOS installation guy in the TV ad hold a Kindle posing as a digital notepad? Stoopid product placement? Hints at future products? In-joke? Or just ad hoc substitution by a prop guy?

What th-?

Potter fans are not amused.

The sixth Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, originally scheduled for a November 21 release, has now been moved to July 17, 2009 in the US and major international markets

Warners claims it's because the writers' strike threw off the skeds for other potentially big openers. Does that mean it needs Potter to save 2009, after 2008 got the surprise benefit of a bigger-than-expected Bats? Or does Potter 6 need major re-work? Furious fans want to know...

Efficiency, Hollywood Style

I guess if you already know a movie script is going to be crappy and require dozens of re-writes from multiple teams of writers who don't talk to each other, it makes sense to get to it earlier rather than later:

"We all want this movie to go into production as soon as possible," (Paradox Entertainment president and CEO Fredrik) Malmberg (who's producing the Conan re-make) said. "It's a fast-tracked movie. Lionsgate felt the process was enhanced by having a second team come in and do a script."

Play Ball!

Must-read interview in the Journal with ceo Bob Bowman. On the state of mobile sports content for now:

    People don't look at their phone for very long. It's about 30 seconds. And that's how people are used to enjoying non-voice content on their wireless devices. For a live baseball game, I'd rather get five updates from five games rather than watch two minutes of a baseball game. That may change as quality gets better, as the pipe gets better, as all of these things get better, as screens get more robust. But right now, that's where it is. is one of the rare successes in online paid content, though a ton of its revenues come from ticketing. Oh, and he says he won't sue his fans.

Paper Planes and Pineapples

This morning, M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes," previously a non-hit from a year-old album, was (still) number two on the iTunes singles list. (Not on Amazon.) It's featured in the trailer for the stoner flick "Pineapple Express." Whatever it takes. Five years ago, fans would have had a hard time buying a single of a song from a movie. See, music industry, digital isn't all bad...

Paper Planes by M.I.A.

Social Segmentation, Part XIII

I'm not sure more is better when it comes to creating customer segmentation analysis based on social media activities and attitudes. Still, the virtual discussion is fruitful, and it makes me think about demographics vs. psychographics vs. generational schemes. And to wonder how much the models we create now will have to evolve in the future.

I'm a little late to Gartner's social marketing party, but (new) colleague Jeremiah Owyang tweaked me to it. Gartner analyst Adam Sarner goes into a little more detail in this Forbes column.

Gartner calls its system a generation, but disavows age and other demographics. (And predicts more marketing spending online than off- in ten years.) Whatever. Jupiter, Forrester and most marketers and programmers I know still think a lot about demographics. Still, I'm partial to a more "psycho" approach -- I've been convinced over the years that attitudes and experiences are highly predictive of future behavior. And I've been working on Millennials analysis as well.

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