Sunday, March 30, 2008

Short Takes: 3.30.08

Here are some interesting XM and online marketing news items and links for your perusal:
  • Movie theaters are going to new lengths to try to stay relevant. For example, so-called "Red Band" trailers, which feature R-rated scenes from mature movies, have long been banned from most movie theaters, but now Regal Entertainment, the nation's largest chain, will be permitting the edgier previews. It's all part of an attempt by movie theaters to provide customers with a better experience. This article from BrandWeek also shares info on the growth of 3D movies, pre-movie trivia contests entered by text message, and National Cinemedia's technology that turns moviegoers into "human joysticks" to play an on-screen game. With consumer video technology creating better movie experiences at home, theaters have to remember they are in the entertainment experience business, not merely the movie-showing business.

  • Old media is taking a page or two from the new media playbook. Last month, NBC tried to take an internet phenomenon and turn it into a TV show. quarterlife was a popular scripted net-only show consisting of 8-minute segments. As a 30-minute show on broadcast TV, quarterlife failed in a spectacular fashion, providing the lowest ratings the network had seen in 17 years. Some felt this called into question the strategy of moving content from the Internet to TV, but I believe differently. I think the problem was that 8-minute segments was what young audiences wanted for this kind of content. Now MTV is trying alternative-length programming on its network. Learning from the success of Robot Chicken, the net is airing original series with run times of just two to six minutes. For some types of entertainment, brief content is the experience that matches the brief attention spans for Internet-weaned youth.

  • Wine is an experience unto itself, but what about ordering wine? That process hadn't changed in years, until Adour, a restaurant in New York's St. Regis Hotel, opened. Looking to differentiate itself by making selecting wine an experience, Adour has a new touch-sensitive, interactive wine experience. Wired calls it, "Minority Report meets Sideways." I find this an interesting way for a restaurant to create an experience that customers will remember!

  • The "Got Milk?" campaign, introduced back in 1994, is rolling out the 2008 iteration, and this time it's going social. Aiming for teens, the campaign will use a MySpace profile to introduce milk-enhanced rock star, "White Gold," who sings about his love for milk. I'm not sure how this will work--first of all, the 70s-era hair band approach seems more likely to appeal to folks older than their teens. Also, the song lyrics are funny but heavy handed. Gauge for yourself with the music video below.

    (It's funny: the
    creative director at San Francisco-based Goodby, Silverstein & Partners brags about 100,000 people having seen the YouTube video in the past month; meanwhile, this inane video for has been seen almost half a million times in two days! In viral marketing, everything is relative.)

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