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Al Jazeera America Unveils Tagline ‘There’s More To It’

Al Jazeera America launches today at 3 PM ET, and the channel is embarking on an ambitious branding campaign that it says it hopes will change its perception among viewers.

In full-page newspaper ads and in new TV spots, AJAM has revealed its tagline, “There’s More To It.” In the first TV ad, the network focuses on Hurricane Sandy, and the effect the storm had on the people in its path.

AJAM will launch with a “preview hour,” highlighting the types of shows and stories the channel will air every day.

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Al Jazeera America’s Ads (Or Lack Thereof) Draw Scrutiny

As Al Jazeera America prepares to launch tomorrow afternoon, the dribble of stories about the new channel has turned into a deluge (read our story from Friday here).

One of the complicating factors with regard to tomorrow’s launch: it is not clear whether AJAM will have much advertiser support.

The channel’s executive team touted its light commercial load leading up the launch arguing that it was a differentiator, but also declined to say who the flagship launch advertiser would be.

AdWeek‘s Sam Thielman looks at that very issue.

Buyers aren’t arguing—the pitch is great. “When they showed us all their offices around the world, it was clear that among other global news organizations, no one can beat them,” the buyer said. Clients are a different story. “We want to use them, but the client wouldn’t go until they could prove that people will take them seriously.”

The NY TimesBrian Stelter also mentions the issue in his write-up today.

Elsewhere, Quartz’s Justin Martin argues that AJAM should differentiate itself by having an ombudsman, as the Times does, in an effort to build credibility.

CNN Targeting Younger Viewers To Attract New Advertisers

It is hardly a secret that cable news viewership skews old… sometimes very old. While viewers 55+ can goose total viewer numbers, the bottom line is that aside from somewhat shady gold dealers and certain male-enhancement pills, most advertisers prefer younger viewers. The TV news “key demo” is adults 25-54,” while most of the rest of TV sells adults 18-49.

According to Variety‘s Brian Steinberg, CNN is hoping to attract new advertisers for programs that it think will skew younger than its competitors. “Parts Unknown” is already vastly younger than msot cable news programs, and the network expect the same of “Inside Man” and the doc “Girl Rising.”

The subject matter drew ad dollars from Procter & Gamble’s Always feminine-hygeine products. Procter has advertised on CNN before, but this product had not, according to D’Alba. Likewise, MillerCoors has used the Bourdain program –centered on travel and food – to promote Leinenkugal, a craft wheat beer. The advertiser had not appeared on CNN in some time, D’Alba said.

“We are looking for more travel-related revenue. We are looking for more automotive, especially younger-skewing automotive, as well as the beverage categories,” D’Alba said.

Reading between the lines, don’t be surprised if CNN adds another travel program or two to its lineup at some point.

Then there is the new morning show “New Day,” which will have some sponsorship integration at launch from insurance company Allstate:
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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. No, they don’t live in a Disney film, DUMBO is New York for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass,” meaning it’s in Brooklyn.

Under that Manhattan Bridge Overpass, the mediabistro crew found the Huge folks hiply ensconced in the same space where the cardboard box was invented. Don’t sweat it if you’re not into the whole ‘cardboard box thing.’ You can always enjoy the play on words about to unfold with Huge Dogs, Huge copy machines named after Huge Dogs, and Huge conference rooms named after celebrities who are huge but not Huge. Or you can just click on the image below to watch the moving picture show.

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

ESPN Becomes A Political Ad Player

Every few years, when an major election rolls around, TV ad pods fill with ads promoting or opposing candidates and issues. In between the elections, however, the issues ads tend to be relegated to cable news channels, which rely on smaller, wonkier audiences when there isn’t big breaking news.

ESPN (which has a news operation that rivals Fox News in terms of the number of employees, and has more total employees than CNN), has always been a popular channel for advertisers. Now, however, the issues ads that dominate cable news are moving over to the sports channel, and the reason why is fascinating. Politico explains:

Media strategists tell POLITICO they offer up the all-sports network as an option to clients who want to get their issues in front of Obama and top White House officials, known as big sports fans and rabid ESPN watchers.

“It’s certainly a tactic that’s talked about a lot,” said one media strategist, who had a client advertise on ESPN in hopes of reaching Obama during the climate change debate of his first term. “It was for exactly that reason.”

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Melissa Harris-Perry Promo About Raising Children ‘Collectively’ Becomes News

MSNBC released another of its Lean Forward promos, this time featuring Melissa Harris-Perry, who hosts a weekend show on the network. The promo features Harris-Perry talking about society raising children “collectively”:

The promo did exactly what a good promo should: it got everyone talking about it. Former Fox News contributor Sarah Palin commented on it multiple times. It has spread virally online, to both conservative and liberal websites, and Fox News has ran no fewer than five segments on the ad, according to TVEyes. Five segments about a 30 second ad for a competing network.

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Jonathan Davies Out At CNNI Ad Sales

Longtime CNN International ad sales executive Jonathan Davies has left the company, TVNewser has learned. Davies had been executive VP of CNN International news advertising sales, a role he served in since 2006.

With Davies’ departure CNNI is restructuring its advertising unit. As it announced a few weeks ago, it is creating a new unit, “CNNI Commercial” which will be overseen by Turner executive Rani Raad, who currently oversees Turner’s business in Turkey, the Middle East and Africa.

“CNNI Commercial” will be responsible for advertising sales, content sales, business development, international research and marketing activities for the company. The goal is to align all of CNNI’s commercial businesses under one roof.

CNN Aiming To Monetize Out-Of-Home Viewing

CNN, for all of its troubles of late, has maintained a big bragging right over its competitors: its cumulative viewership, or “cume” as it is called in industry parlance, is usually much larger than its cable news competition.

The problem is that it is very, very difficult to monetize cume, and the currency of TV–Nielsen’s ratings system–doesn’t do a good job of counting out-of-home viewers.

AdWeek‘s Sam Thielman reports that CNN is trying a new effort to monetize those viewers through ‘CNN All-Screen,” which it is working on in partnership with Nielsen and Arbitron. According to Thielman, the theme of CNN’s advertiser pitch is “shiny and new”.:
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Fox News Sales Exec Mike Mandelker Departing

One of Fox News Channel’s senior sales executives, Mike Mandelker, is departing the channel, TVNewser has learned. Mandelker is VP of Eastern Sales for the channel, and will leave officially at the end of the month, FNC confirmed.

“As some of you already know, after seven and a half years with Fox News, Mike Mandelker has decided to move on,” Paul Rittenberg, executive VP of ad sales for Fox News wrote in an email to senior network staff this morning. “Mike deserves an enormous amount of credit for the continued strong revenue growth at Fox News. He is a legendary figure on Madison Avenue, and gave credibility to all our sales efforts with his well-deserved reputation for integrity and honesty in negotiations.”

Mandelker joined FNC in November of 2005, and before that was the executive VP of sales for the UPN network.

No word on who will be stepping into the soon-to-be-vacant role.

FBN Keeps ‘Booking Wars’ Alive With Ad

Fox Business Network has released a house ad taking aim at cable business leader CNBC, while tooting its own horn. The impetus behind the ad was the “booking wars” back and forth last week, which saw a CNBC policy that forbids guests from appearing on FBN or Bloomberg come to light.

The ad quotes from the CNBC policy, and ends with the FBN logo and the tagline “We know how to talk to business leaders.”

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