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Archive for May, 2014

The Changing Screen of Australian TV

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Things are starting to get interesting in the Australian TV landscape. We’re seeing a time where networks are trialling a number of different cross-screen broadcast strategies to try and keep their audiences, mirror modern audience behaviour, and avoid piracy.

What the ABC have done with Chris Lilley’s Jonah (offering the full season upfront online prior to broadcast) is putting the consumer at the heart of a program’s distribution strategy. It appeals to a modern audience with a binge watching culture; people want to sit down and watch a season from start to finish in one sitting. SBS offer the same for a number of their SBS 2 programs (The World of Jenks, Bullet in the Face, etc) they will air the first episode on TV then have the whole season available to watch immediately online, in what they call back to back programs.  

 

What Ten have done with a number of their programs (Homeland, Under the Dome, 24) was react to declining viewers in recent seasons  – fast tracking international content to bring any straying viewers back to their great content.

 

Ten’s recent tactic with Offspring, one of their extremely popular broadcast programs, was really interesting. Here, they offered the first episode of the fifth season online prior to broadcast for 48 hours, or to 20,000 viewers (whichever came first). This was a proactive move to give a highly engaged audience what they have eagerly awaited since the end of the last season.  This is a great way to build social advocates and use an already loyal audience to increase the anticipation, and hopefully ratings, for the season opener.

We are likely to see a lot more of this happening from the likes of Ten, SBS and ABC who are leading the market in terms of online broadcasting alongside or before TV. Seven and Nine are yet to fully implement this kind of strategy, they seem more focused on using online for extended program content or just catch up. They have dabbled in the space, with Seven having an extensive back catalogue including Saturday Night Live and original Yahoo!7 content (The Flip Side, Tiny Commando etc) and Nine releasing four episodes of Love Child online prior to broadcast.

 

Maybe when Netflix is finally available in Australia this might force more change in the TV market, a number of Australians are already accessing it illegally, but not enough to persuade the larger networks to take notice. Although the fact that we are already the leading nation in illegal downloading hasn’t seemed to make much of an impact, with networks still picking and choosing which shows to implement these strategies on.

Trying out these kinds of strategies isn’t just network specific, but also genre specific. Broadcasting online first/offering seasons upfront works for certain types of programs like drama or comedy series, however it’s hard to imagine reality TV will be offering a season upfront, with the whole formula based on cliff hangers and live decisions and results.

We’d like to see a time where it didn’t matter whether a person watched a program online or on TV, but the reality is TV ratings and revenue are the priority for most networks. Keep your eye on Ten, SBS and the ABC as it looks like they will continue to lead this space and test different cross platform broadcast options.

The Mother Of All Days

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Mother’s Day. The one special day of the year dedicated to giving our mother the attention and appreciation she deserves. Not only is this a time for children to give thanks to their mothers, it’s also a special time for brands to showcase just how in touch they are with their customers. Some get it right- they show mothers around the world how they understand them and also offer children great ways to show mothers their gratitude.

On the flip side, some brands just don’t get it right or don’t seem to try. You could forgive a business for trying and not getting it right but you will find it hard to forgive plain and simple patronization. Let’s take a look at some of the good and not so good efforts around Mother’s Day 2014.

1. Google released a YouTube clip titled ‘Here’s to the Moms’. It’s a clever piece of content that makes you smile, miss your mum and think more positively about Google in general. It makes you appreciate your mother because of the person she is. What it doesn’t do, is make you feel obliged to buy her a shallow gift because of all the times she vacuumed the house or did the dishes. The beauty about this clip is that it portrays mothers as fun and beautiful. Powerful stuff.

 

2. Proctor and Gamble have positioned themselves as the “proud sponsor of mums” and released a clip that will probably make you cry. In a good way. The clip tells the story of U.S special Olympian Molly Hincka from her mother’s perspective. It shows the power of a mother’s determination to not let anything get in the way of her children’s dreams. The spot also shrewdly illustrates the brand’s ability to demonstrate its sponsorship of the Special Olympics in a tasteful and timely fashion. I need a tissue.

 

 

The not so good.

1. The Spanish fashion brand Desigual thought they would take more of a light-hearted approach to Mother’s Day. However the spot leaves you feeling somewhat confused as to what they’re actually trying to do. The concept of devious conception simply doesn’t work. Moreover, the spot chimes in on the brand’s own political views. A line comes on screen with the words “You decide…which is later followed by Happy Mother’s Day”. This seemingly refers to the current discourse around abortion in Spain. Wow.

 

2. The following images are not albeit 2014 Mother’s Day examples but they are something you should see. They are extremely patronizing examples of how a business views a mother and they will make you cringe. These are promotional tactics not even a mother could love. Enjoy.
  
  
At the end of the day there are many different ways that brands can react or capitalise on special days such as Mother’s Day. We have seen a couple of good examples and some less than impressive ones. Moving forward let’s hope brands further develop and harness the ability to connect with mothers/customers tastefully and with relevance. Love you mum.

3D Printing

Monday, May 5th, 2014

 

Over the past few years 3D printing has been an emerging technology and is now considered to be an increasingly prominent technology. From the creation of parts for automobiles, planes, appliances and even medical implants such as organs and limbs, 3D printing limitations are somewhat undetermined.

With the advance of the 3D printing capabilities there are many industries that stand to benefit from the technology. It creates a cheaper source of production for companies as well as delivering a faster turnaround for product innovation through reducing the time between idea generation and production dramatically. Also the amount of customisation that can go into products, being created to consumer’s exact specifications, means possibilities can be endless.

For the Marketing and Advertising industry, the advent of 3D printing means the creation of a new age ad craft. 3D printing creates the opportunity for exciting and innovative thinking for marketers as to how they can utilise the technology to assist in delivering a truly unique and physical brand experience to the consumer, beyond the flat dimension brand expression.

Some early adopters of the new technology such as ‘Coca Cola’ and ‘DVV’ have used the 3D platform to deliver a truly unique and customised experience to the consumer.

‘Coca Cola’ found a smart way to incorporate the technology into one of their campaigns in Israel. To promote the launch of their new mini bottles, Coca Cola invited consumers to their custom made printing lab where they were scanned and then given a 3D printed “mini me” version of themselves.

‘DVV’ a Belgian insurance company used 3D printing in a very useful way, demonstrating how useful the technology can be and how specific its customisable abilities are. The company introduced the service called “Key Save” which allowed their consumers to scan their keys and save the data to a secure server. Whenever the consumer would lose their key they could simply take their key data to a 3D printer and print out a new one. What is particularly impressive about the way in which this company used the new technology was the fact that they stood to save a considerable sum of money as they were losing money yearly in replacing homeowner’s locks when they would lose their keys.

These are great examples that highlight the value of moving beyond the flat dimension brand expression as well as demonstrating the customisation abilities of 3D printing. In an age where understanding the consumer is so important as the audiences become more and more fragmented, 3D printing provides an opportunity to interact with the consumer in a whole new way. Through integrating full customisation and incorporating audience participation, advertisers can interact with the consumer on a whole new level. With the possibilities of the technology yet to be fully understood or tested, it will be great to see what the future will hold when advertisers and marketers marry up with the technology in exciting and innovative ways, bringing a whole new dimension to consumer and brand interaction.