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This Week in Upfronts

Gannett

Weinstein

FishbowlNY was at some of the early upfront presentations this week in New York City, attending both Gannett’s and The Discovery Channel’s events on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

There were packed audiences at both venues, with Gannett’s presentation being held at the AXA Equitable Center and Discovery holding their event at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall. Gannett had a “stories of extraordinary impact” theme, rolling out speakers like best-selling author Mitch Albom and Olympic track and field star Lolo Jones. At the presentation, Gannett announced a partnership with The Weinstein Company, giving the film company first-look access to turn Gannett’s local TV and newspaper stories into TV shows and films.

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Content Marketing 101

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CBS Puts the Skids on Times Square Weedmaps.com Ad

Southern California start-up Weedmaps is gunning for the New York market. Although marijuana is not yet legalized in The Empire State, company founder Justin Hartfield explains to Fox Business Web reporter Gabrielle Karol that he is aiming to establish his brand locally now, so as to most effectively reap the dividends later.

WeedmapsDenverCentral

But this Weedmaps preemptive campaign has not come without bumps. From the Fox Business piece:

Hartfield says earlier this week, CBS “pulled for review” a Weedmaps commercial scheduled to run on the network’s 520-square-foot Super Screen in Times Square. The eight-second ad, previously scheduled to run from April 1 to July 1, came with a price tag of $50,000.

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Mighty Taco Takes On Mighty Putin

How does a Western New York Mexican food chain generate favorable AP coverage? By firing off a press release and posting this on Facebook:

MightyTacoBan

Besides the national media attention and, we assume, inevitable late night monologue punchlines, the fun of this is reading the reaction on Facebook. A couple of highlights:

Nik Malahosky: Give me a summer internship in public relations. I promise I’m a good worker, and even kind of funny sometimes. Your move.

Katya Babchuk: LOVE YOU!!!!!!!! Coming from a Ukrainian with wonderful family that lives there! God bless you guys!!

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Acura Sponsors a Show About Other Cars

A perfect Jerry Seinfeld premise, don’t you think?

AcuraNSXPer a recent interview piece by LA-based Bloomberg reporters Alan Ohnsman and Andy Fixmer, the second season of the comedian’s Crackle Web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee has a single sponsor – Acura. Although one episode featuring Sarah Silverman includes some product-placement conversation, Honda/Acura is basically paying for the privilege of wrapping online ads and a “Presented by” banner around Seinfeld rhapsodizing about other brands:

“From a traditional viewpoint, a lot of car companies or marketers would have dismissed this opportunity because he has other cars in it,” said Honda senior vice president Mike Accavitti. “I appreciate the old Porsche that he wants to show or the big Rolls-Royce that he wants to go pick up someone up in, the old Beetle he uses to get Larry David.”

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Soledad O’Brien on Diversity in the Media: ‘It’s not that hard’

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(from L to R) Soledad O’Brien, CEO of Starfish Media and Keith Lorizio, VP of U.S. sales and marketing at Microsoft

Media types gathered last night at the 40/40 club in New York to kick off MSN’s partnership with Interactive One. The event was part of an ongoing trend necessity for media companies to focus on diversity, and Microsoft is looking to do just that not only with Interactive One, but also through partnerships with Lisnr and the Marcus Graham Project.

Interactive One’s chief content officer Smokey Fontaine spoke to the crowd about how the company evolved over the years to keep in line with America’s changing demographics. “We changed our focus from being solely African American to… all of the folks who demographically and psychographically are part of the multicultural landscape.”

Why? “Companies have no choice but to serve multicultural. If you want to stay relevant, you have no choice but to serve that market. But you do have a choice whether you’ll serve that market really well.”

Census data shows that minorities will be the majority in the near future, and Pew continues to document how little change there is in terms of minorities in the newsroom. “I’ve been having the same conversation about diversity for 26 years, since I started in TV news,” Soledad O’Brien told FishbowlNY. “Sometimes, that’s really disheartening.”

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Gerard Baker Does Not Like Native Advertising

Gerard Baker GGerard Baker, editor-in-chief of Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal’s managing editor, is not a fan of native advertising. Capital New York reports that during an Advertising Week discussion, Baker repeatedly slammed the ad units.

At one point, Baker even compared companies using native advertising to Faust, the legendary character who traded his soul to the devil in exchange for unlimited intelligence and other pleasures. Yes, it gets that deep at Advertising Week.

Baker said that sponsored content or native ads blur the line between editorial and ads — a common complaint — and added that in the end, it’s a lose/lose situation:

An advertiser wants to advertise in The Wall Street Journal to be seen and to be associated with a brand like The Wall Street Journal, or The Financial Times or Bloomberg, because those news organizations are respected. If [advertisers] manipulate the digital or print operations of those news organizations, it makes the reader confused as to what is news and what is advertising, and the reader’s trust, the very reason that those advertisers want to advertise in those news organizations, goes away.

Abby Wambach Wants Soccer Moms to Like These Apples

Abby Wambach is set to complete another memorable soccer season Saturday night in Rochester when her Western New York Flash squad takes on the Portland Thorns in the 2013 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) final. And once she’s done with those WNYF duties, it will be on to the NYAA.

Per a report in The Packer, a trade publication that has been covering “everything produce” since 1893, the state of New York is set to harvest a bumper apple crop this year. As a result, Wambach will be all over local airwaves in the fall on behalf of the New York Apple Association:

The group plans to feature TV ads with spokeswoman Wambach through the fall and winter… “We’re playing to soccer moms who make a lot of the purchasing decisions for their families,” spokeswoman Jill Stewart said. “All soccer moms and soccer-playing girls know who Abby is. She’s a great fit because she grew up in agriculture. Her family owns a farmers market in Rochester.”

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Latest Patch Site is Hyper-Fictitious

And, in this anniversary month of the death of Walter Cronkite, Propwash Junction Patch is being edited by Windy Kronkite, no less.

She and the entire site are fake. Although Propwash Junction Patch looks and feels like every other recently redesigned Patch site, it’s actually a clever rich content ad for Disney’s August 19 animated feature Planes.

Links to the fake Patch, like the one above, are being embedded across real Patch sites. For our money, the funniest part of the Propwash hub is the local editor’s bio.

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Hearst Launches Native Ad Program

Hearst Magazines is getting into the native advertising game. The company is launching five new ad units that will let companies push their products across all of Hearst’s digital platforms, including video, mobile, websites, and even social networks.

As with any native ad program, it’s highly likely that Hearst editorial staff will now be asked to create copy for this program. They’re surely not going to be happy about it, but sponsored content is the wave of the future, as Troy Young, president of Hearst Magazines Digital Media, recently explained.

Staffers are going to have to live with this new reality. They’re going to have to get used to writing things they consider beneath them, like “15 Things You Didn’t Know About 15 Captains, Commanders And Conquerors,” sponsored by Captain Morgan. Sadly, that is a real article.

Cubes: VIP Tour of Huge

In this episode of Cubes, the crew takes its first trip across the East River to see the DUMBO digs of ad agency Huge.

Down Under that Manhattan Bridge Overpass, the mediabistro crew found the Huge folks hiply ensconced in the same space where the cardboard box was invented. Not sold on the whole ‘cardboard box angle?’ Watch the video to see Huge dogs, Huge copy machines named after Huge dogs, Huge conference rooms named after celebrities who are huge but don’t work there and a really cool space where Huge staffers get to do their thing.

You can view our other MediabistroTV productions on our YouTube Channel.

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