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CBS vs. Time Warner… the insanity

So, it’s been going on. At first Time Warner recommended that we check out CBS programming online. Now it looks like TWC has also blocked sites. :( Still it has been pointed out, CBS broadcast is still available on-air via antennae, just that we don’t think there’s anyone out there we know that owns a television set with one built in.

In the end, who will cave?


“True Love has a colour and a name…” and it has a beautiful marketing piece to it

I am an advocate of long-form commercials. I think they tell a better story, and engages the viewer/consumer a whole lot more versus the traditional 30 second spot. However, not many advertisers can afford to undertake the costs of the media buy, particularly at primetime or some other major tentpole event. Yet, brands are finding innovative way of getting around by debuting their long-form content on YouTube. Tie that in with social media, you’ve got yourself a fan base of consumers who are loyal and hungry to know more about what your brand is about.

Cartier is one of those brands who traditionally, in the US market steers away from television media buy opting mostly in print, and some online buys from my observation. However, I have also noticed they have an amazing YouTube channel featuring innovative ads, and original video content not found else where. What Cartier is creating as a brand is not just luxury goods, but also content where they produce and own, and judging from the number of views some of their videos have accumulated, the numbers are pretty impressive.

Yesterday, Cartier released their latest creative in the form of a romantic short film, Destinée, to launch their engagement ring, starring an international cast. Shot beautifully with the Eiffel Tower in the background, the film takes place at a wedding party where 2 former lovers meet, and the man, perhaps affected by the romance, upon seeing his ex-girlfriend, dashes off to the Cartier store and bought a diamond ring. I’ve got to admit, the short film got me misty eyed, and this is where Cartier succeeds with its brand message of romance, and more importantly in not a subtle manner, the message “True love has a colour and a name” We can all guess what that name is.

According to French Vogue, Destinee was inspired by an earlier Cartier design, the Solitaire 1895, and let’s face it, it is a big piece of bling.

On a personal note, what resonated with me about this film? It is in 3 languages that I speak! English, French and Mandarine. Not very often do I get to hear all 3 languages come together within a span of about 7 minutes. You can check out the video here.



Choose Your Own Ending?

As a child, I was an avid fan of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” series where pretty much, I am the protagonist in the story and make decisions to determine the plot and action. While this works pretty great for books and print in general, how about television?

Logistically, this would be mean multiple scenes have to be written, filmed and edited. While this is fairly common already for movies, for television, it is still relatively rare given the tight schedules and budgets. CBS in an effort this week if promoting one such rarity by allowing viewers to choose their own ending in the crime drama, Hawaii Five-0.

On January 14, after the holiday hiatus, the series returns and for the first time in television history, viewers will decide the ending of the episode in real time. That’s right. Real time. For the first time, technology is finally here to allow viewer engagement. Years ago, while at Viacom, I had worked on a little show on The N called Beyond the Break. Instead of real time viewer engagement, we had viewers text’d in their choices ahead and aired their choice later. So this project CBS is embarking on is certainly a first in terms of technology deployment.

For Hawaii Five-0, CBS is asking viewers to choose who they believe to be the culprit on or via Twitter. Viewers’ votes are tallied in real time and the most popular ending will be broadcast. Personally, I think this definitely takes viewership from being passive to active and engaged.

Will we see more such viewer engagement from other television programs? Only time will tell, and if we get there, I think the way we view TV will be very different moving forward. Imagine a future where the plot is based according to your preferences. Viewers will actually take partial ownership on how a story progress. Think how different popular shows will differ from the format they are now? I can see fans telling the writers what they want and have a say in plot development.

More importantly brands can participate in the story arc development and this will be an amazing opportunity for brand integration. Imagine a scene where a character has to choose between Brand A and Brand B. Viewers will be asked to help the character pick. A typical scenario would be a character buying a car. Which car would be the perfect vehicle for this character? What is more, I can see viewers discussing online why they think Brand A and not Brand B would be appropriate for the character. Again, this creates buzz for brands because viewers are talking, blogging, tweeting, and sharing their thoughts which is a great way of transforming viewers to consumers to brand evangelists.

Brands should seriously consider such participation moving forward. Talk to us at 3A Media. We are here to help make your brand awesome.

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