As we all know, the world of media is constantly changing. You see so many new channels appear on TV or have so many choices of radio stations that you’d never think that only six major companies control almost all of it. But it’s true! GE, News Corporation, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner and CBC are in control of 90% of what we read, watch or listen including TV, news, radio and movies. Check out the infographic below to see the “Big Six” rule the media kingdom.
As we approach the end of May, we also approach the circus of season finales of fall television shows. For some of the shows that are ending their first season, some, unfortunately, will not be back in September. Recently, most networks announced which of the new series would be getting the ax for under-performing, including “Terra Nova”, “GCB”, “Pan Am”, and several others. While some of these deserve the cut for poor ratings and viewership, others like “Terra Nova” had a rating of 3.6 on a 5-point scale and brought in 10.1 million viewers weekly. Not too shabby. However, Fox is cutting it to make way for other shows like “Touch”. I have to admit, I watched a few episodes of “Terra Nova” and found that it did not live up to my “Jurassic Park” standard like I had hoped. It was very different from anything else on television, and that reason, I believe, is Fox’s motive for not renewing for a second season.
Television shows tend to follow a cycle. In the nineties there were several shows with the same concept circling around a group of friends like “Seinfeld, “Friends”, and “Will and Grace” that were popular and thrived in their time. Then came the forensic crime investigation shows like “CSI”, some of which still air today. I believe that today we live under two reigns, the mockumentary and the supernaturals. Between “The Office”, “Modern Family”, “Grimm”, “True Blood”, and “Once Upon a Time”, the same type of shows dominate networks as well as top the charts for prime-time television. Shows like “Terra Nova” are too diverse and therefore too distinct for audiences. I believe this is why most shows see the chopping block. As viewers, we find a rut and become obsessed with the same type of shows. Maybe one day television will become dominated with pre-historic survival shows and “Terra Nova” might have made the cut.
Check out information on other shows that were cut here.
Millennials present marketing, advertising, and market research professionals with a unique challenge. A distinct combination of social, cultural, and environmental influences have formed a generation of consumers with very specific needs and touch points.
A force of approximately 80-90 million strong in the US, with an estimated $200 billion in purchasing power, Millennials are not an audience to be taken lightly. Understanding Millennial consumers’ mindsets, values, and purchase patterns and behaviors through creative and innovative Millennial-specific market research methodologies is essential to the success of most mainstream brands and products.
Our white paper, W5 on Millennials, outlines key characteristics which affect their attitudes toward and interaction with products and the marketing surrounding them, as well as how W5 approaches gaining a true understanding of how to effectively communicate and connect with them. Here is a snapshot of this force by the numbers:
24% of Millennials say that ‘Technology use’ is what most makes their generation unique, the #1 answer (Pew Research 2010)
50 median number of text messages teenagers send every day (Pew Research 2010)
48% of Millennials who say word-of-mouth influences their product purchases more than TV ads. Only 17% said a TV ad prompted them to buy (Intrepid Study 2010)
47% of 16-to-24-year-olds are employed, the smallest share since government started recording data in 1948 (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2011)
46% of Millennials say they’ve had vigorous exercise in the past 24 hours
45% of Millennials highly associate their lives with simplicity, compared to 51% of Gen X and 58% of Boomers
44% of Millennials say that marriage is becoming obsolete, compared to 35% of Boomers who feel the same way (Pew Study 2010)
43% of 18-24 year-olds say that texting is just as meaningful as an actual conversation with someone over the phone (eMarketer 2010)
42% of teens say the primary reason they have a cell phone is for texting. Safety was second at 35% (Nielsen Study 2010)
41% of Millennials have made a purchase using their smartphone
40% of Millennials think that blogging about workplace issues is acceptable. Compared to 28% of Boomers (Iconoculture 2011)
39% of Millennials have a tattoo (Pew Study 2010)
38% of Millennials count themselves as Democrats, 28% Independents, 26% Republicans (Brookings Institution Study, March 2011)
35% of employed Millennials have started their own business on the side to supplement their income (Iconoculture 2011)
33% of Millennials live in cities and 14% live in rural environments
32% of Millennials say they don’t like advertising in general, compared to 37% of the general population (Experian Simmons Study)
31 the age of the oldest Millennials in 2011
29% of Millennial workers think work meetings to decide on a course of action are very efficient. Compared to 45% of Boomers (Iconoculture 2011)
28% of Millennials have a gun in their home (Pew Study 2010)
27% approximate decline in email usage among those ages 12-34 over the past year (ComScore Study 2010)
26% of Millennials say they are not affiliated with any religion (Pew Study 2010)
23% of Millennials think they will still be with their first employer after two years (8095 Live survey 2011)
21% of Millennials say helping people in need is one of the most important things in life (Pew Study 2010)
20% of Millennials are Hispanic. Millennials are more racially diverse than any generation before them (U.S. Census Bureau 2011)
19% of Millennials have voted on American Idol (Pew Study 2010)
15% of Americans ages 25-29 who had never been married in 1960, compared to 55% in 2011 (U.S. Census Bureau)
14% of the Millennial population is African-American (Pew Study 2010)
12% (only) of Millennials disagreed that they should pay more for higher quality items (Intrepid Study 2010)
11% of Millennials have boomeranged back to their parents house after graduating from college because of the recession (Pew Study 2010)
8% of 18-29 year-old internet users have used a location sharing service such as FourSquare (Pew Study 2010)
7 average number of jobs a person will have by age 26 (Intrepid Study 2010)
6 # of text message sent by those ages 13-18 every waking hour (Nielsen Study 2010)
4 average number of times that Millennials eat out per week (3.39 per week to be exact), more than any other generation
The fracturing of advertising along media lines and through disruptive technology has created a strange nostalgia in us for the good ol’ days when you could be forced to watch a commercial on television rather than switching to something else or hitting fast forward. It’s not that we want more interruptions, but there was something in that collective, obligatory experience of laboring through advertisements on television that today makes us go all misty-eyed at the thought of “giving the world a Coke.”
The web is a big problem when it comes to emotive advertising. Online ads are functional and easily ignored, most often search algorithms that return relevant but uninspiring results. Google with Project Re: Brief is taking on this challenge by retrofitting four classic advertising campaigns for the web: Coke’s “Hilltop,” Volvo’s “Drive it like you hate it,” Alka-Seltzer’s “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing,” and Avis’ “We try harder.” The whole thing is called accompanied by a documentary, the trailer for which is below:
Today the internet is buzzing with retrospectives of Steve Job’s innovative work as Apple’s CEO. Jobs sought to change the world by taking computer generated technology to the next level. And his marketing of these new technologies was, to say the least, inspired.
Commercials for Apple products use a variety of tactics to achieve “stickiness” with consumers. They often let the technology shine as the superstar to open our minds to new possibilities. But for me, the commercials that really “stuck” were those that tugged at the heartstrings. I’ll remember Jobs’ legacy through those advertisements that told a great story about how new technology could bring us a little closer to one another:
For a highlight reel of the Apple ads that captivated us during Steve Job’s creative direction click here.
The New York Times has published a really cool interactive census map up on its site. It has a number of different ways to sort and visualize the data including population change, population density, various demographics, housing, etc. It also gives you an opportunity to view all data by state and zoom in on your own zip code. It’s a very nice and simple tool.
This chart shows music industry revenues from ’73 to ’09 by format. Common belief is that digital piracy is killing the record industry, but it’s clear the CD era greatly inflated sales. What could be going on here:
With the CD, consumers were repurchasing albums they already owned on vinyl or tape. Forced obsolescence isn’t an issue with digital music. It’s relatively easy to burn music from CDs into the new format.
The 90s CD era featured the emergence of “alternative” music genres that widened the music buying audience. This doesn’t just mean grunge though. Mainstream country became a massive market. Garth Brooks became the best selling artist of all time and Shania Twain’s album Come on Over went 20x platinum.
Economic recession. People buy less stuff when the economy is bad. The 90s were good, the late 2000s, not as much.
This chart doesn’t show how the industry has changed. While sales have fallen, the concert industry posted record years before the recession took hold. And there’s also the music licensing and publishing industry that puts popular music in movies and commercials.
Home recording and online distribution is often seen as a response to record industry decline, but it’s a viable option for musicians to promote their work. Musicians can make and record music rather cheaply, distribute it online, promote on social networks, and build a following. The music industry is no longer in complete control of who becomes a star. Aggressive mass marketing is simply not as effective as community building.
For decades Hollywood has been predicting how companies will be advertising to consumers in the future. From Blade Runner to more recent examples such as this scene from Minority Report, the movie industry has envisioned a world of high-tech, interactive and overwhelming promotions crowding our urban areas. In a rare occurrence, it seems as if the entertainment industry may have gotten this prediction correct.
A recent article from ScreenMediaDaily.com showcases a joint interactive advertising effort from Yahoo! and several advertising and technology firms. The campaign consists of large, touchscreen displays mounted at bus stops in the San Francisco and D.C. areas that allow patrons to not only view different ads but also interact with them. So far Yahoo!’s Bus Stop Derby games, which allows users to compete against others over the web, has been a big success. But the fun doesn’t end once your ride shows up, as these games are also available on mobile devices, further engrossing consumers in the experience.
Another innovative advertising campaign comes from Clear Channel Airports, the world’s largest airport advertising firm. The company has partnered with Mirrus, the creators of a “Digital Advertising Mirror.” By installing these mirrors throughout airport restrooms, advertisers are able to “insert” consumers into their ads as they (hopefully) use the sink area before leaving.
These are two early examples of how new technology is engulfing consumers in advertisements on a daily basis. Other recent campaigns have featured eye sensors and new social media applications allow for highly personalized messages. With combinations of some of these technologies as well as new tools such as directional speakers we could very well be on our way to realizing the consumer world that we see in our favorite films.