Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March Madvertising

March Madness is often a popular place to showcase "cool" advertising because of how many people crowd around their TVs, congregate in bars or check the games while they are supposed to be working.

After fully indulging in March Madness this past weekend I started to really ponder the future of TV advertising during live sporting events. As we all know the technological world is rapidly changing with kids and their facebooks, tivos and twitters. So how far away are we from the majority of TV consumption being done through a DVR or online?

I happen to believe linking laptops to TVs enabling one to watch LOST on abc.com but on a big TV or having that same capability through a PS3 or whatever other device is going to be a trend that takes off in the next 5 years.

If that DVR/online TV world becomes a reality, is there any other type of programming on TV that will remain appointment viewing? Live sporting events are actually protected by other technological advances (smart phone, blackberries, etc.) to stay as appointment viewing. It's too difficult to hide from the world in order to not find out who won or lost so generally sports fans would rather check the scores on their phone if they are not able to watch the game.

This makes me wonder how expensive the spots on all major sporting events are going to become. Ratings during Sunday night football on NBC were huge this past fall and I can only imagine the effect that is going to have on prices for the fall of 2010. I also imagine smart marketers are going to have to start really planning ahead when using the live sports medium considering the eventual increase in demand.

Perhaps creative minds will take a different approach and actually focus on things like increasing the popularity of certain live sporting events for the sake of creating more "beach front property" aka effective TV advertising space.

I don't know if there are really any hard conclusions to make at this point regarding this matter but there are is definitely stuff to think about it that will become more relevant faster than we might think.

One love, one heart

Eric McPherson

Twitter: @EricWMcPherson

Sorry for the lame title....had to do it

Monday, March 8, 2010

Crashing the Boards

I went to the hockey game between the Minnesota Gophers and the Wisconsin Badgers on Friday. The Badgers won and honestly hockey isn't high on my sports priority list so I'm not too upset over it. Also, I'm officially mad at gopher hockey fans because an old guy in a gopher hockey shirt yelled at me to "SIIITTT DOOWWWNNN" when all I was doing was returning to my seat (there had been a short stoppage in play that turned out not to be long enough for me to get to my seat before play started up again...sorry old guy).

Anyways, being the advertising nerd that I am I was intrigued by the companies and ads that surrounded the boards within the rink. Normally the Target Center does not host hockey matches (I kept calling the hockey game a match just to upset people that love hockey and I will continue to do so now) so I'm guessing these boards may have been old or borrowed (or brand new...what do I know, but I believe one of the only other times the Target Center uses a large sheet of ice is for epic events like Blues Clues on ice).

The boards had quite an array of companies including national brands like McDonald's and Wendy's and a local construction company. Most of the space was taken up by company logos with a few exceptions of actual ad looking messages/images. What got me going was how crowded and overwhelming the space was. There was a new company every 5 feet and it was really hard to focus on a specific brand. It reminded me of walking through the enclosed part of the Washington Avenue Bridge at the beginning of fall semester after all the clubs had painted their new image/logo/message on the wall and how it was barely possible to keep up with all the images while walking to good old Wiley Hall (for those of you that did not go to the University of MN this probably makes no sense but just go with it).

I thought to myself, if I was McDonald's and had a advertising budget similar to the cost of the new Dallas Cowboy's stadium, I would pay double whatever half of the board space was currently going for and come up with something really cool that takes up half that board space. Now maybe the gopher hockey team has too many sponsors for this to be plausible, but if I am McDonald's and I do, insert really cool ad that takes of half the board space, I have people leaving the game saying thins like "I wish the gophers hadn't had that goal taken away by having a man in the crease, and did you see that thing McDonald's did with the boards?" You might even ignite the "cell phone" effect where people bust out their fancy phones and snap pictures or even shoot videos that might end up on YouTube.

To me this is a classic "cluttered advertising space" case that presents an opportunity to do something different.

That's all I got.

One love, one heart

Eric McPherson

Twitter: @EricWMcPherson

Friday, March 5, 2010

Do Something Positive

This post is completely random and off topic but my post ideas have been running a little thin lately (or I could give the old excuse that I have been really busy which may or may not be true but really aren't we all sick of hearing that?).

To preface this very random post I have to explain that I am commissioning a March Madness pool (on Yahoo for $10, if you are interested in joining send me an email or text or call or send a carrier pigeon and I will get you the info). Part of my commissioning duties are to remind people that they need to pay up or they will get booted from the group come tournament time. One of my tactics for this particular duty is mass texting, which usually includes what I believe to be hilarious quips and threats (in all likelihood the texts are probably just annoying but that's neither here nor there nor over there).

So I sent a mass text to a bunch of the people that are signed up on Yahoo who have not signed up to pay through the third party account. One of these persons is an old friend of mine from when I worked for the fine City of Bloomington mowing grass and taking down diseased trees. This friend has been living in Arizona for a few years so we do not contact each other too often. However, I must say that he is quite the prankster which definitely contributed to what follows (he used to hide on top of the warehouse where we kept the mowers and pour buckets of water on people as they walked inside...classic). Maybe I am the only one who thinks what follows is funny but apparently I had the wrong number for who I thought was my old friend. The following text messaging conversation has not been altered in any way, of course nobody would have any way of knowing that but just trust me it hasn't...enjoy.

Me: "I see a lot of you have signed up for the March Madness pool on Yahoo but not to pay on leaguesafe (third party site)...16 days until the deadline to pay, you were warned..."

Anonymous person I thought was my friend: "Pay for what?!!! I don't even use Yahoo, you have the wrong person. Take me off your list please. Thank you."

Me: "You are lying, I will boot you from the March Madness Yahoo group so fast..."

Anonymous person I thought was my friend: "I am going to report you if you threaten me any further. Why would I lie about a March Madness group. That is nuts. I have not signed up for anything lik"

Anonymous person I thought was my friend (he or she ran out of characters): "e that in my life. Do not harass me any further. I have no idea who you are and this is scaring me."

Me: "You are signed up for a March Madness pool...stop lying"

Anonymous person I thought was my friend: "if I was signed up for that, that would mean I wanted to be in it, so you wouldn't be hearing this. I am an honest person. You must have the wrong person"

Anonymous person I thought was my friend (he or she ran out of characters): ". Will you please leave me alone now. If you text me again, I am going to report you to the police for harassing me for NO reason. I would rather not hav"

Anonymous person I thought was my friend (he or she ran out of characters): "e to do that, but I will if I have to. Do something positive."

Now maybe you are thinking I am a jerk and should have left this person alone after one text or maybe you are thinking I should have been meaner and taken this way further just to get this person to use more hilarious verbage. Either way, I think "Do something positive" is just a phenomenal line and wanted to share it with anyone who might be interested.

That is all I got, if the person I interacted with via text message reads this...I hope this falls under your category of "positive"...cause I did it.

One love, one heart

Eric McPherson