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April 2005
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June 2005

Advertisers Tap Brain Science

Wired_june_2005Good article by Randy Dotinga at

Excerpt - "Scientists are scanning brain activity in the hopes of catching sight of the physical mechanisms that determine whether you prefer Coke over Pepsi.

The nascent research, known as "neuromarketing," could one day lead to new advertising strategies that directly stimulate hard-wired mental reflexes rather than appealing to fuzzy consumer attitudes.

The hope in neuromarketing is that there's some process in the brain that is a better predictor of whether people will actually buy things than what we already have..."

Link to article.

These brain activity scans seem to be gathering increasing interest. Whether the knowledge about the location of brain activity can be consistently converted into sensible marketing strategy remains to be seen, but be watching for continuing research in this arena.

DVRs Flying Off the Shelves

According to a recent story on cNet, the number of US households with DVRs (digital video recorders) is up to 9.2 million, and whopping increase of 155% from one year ago.


Of course, if you still want to believe this is a fad and not a trend, read the post on the ESPN research

This spike also means that the number of commercials being skipped is also likely to be up about 155% from last year.  Why aren't people watching the ads?  Because they don't have to.

Grandson Update

May_15_2005_1Due to popular demand (from my sister) here’s the latest pic of the grandson. They say he looks like me. But, will he have the same irritating personality?

I doubt it.

May_15_2005_2OK, here's another, quit begging.

Late Adopters Don't Want DVRs?

Espn_logoAccording to research done by ESPN, not everyone is enthused about DVRs (digital video recorders such as TIVO).

Here's an excerpt - "The study was intended to determine how DVRs influence viewing behavior and exposure to advertising among the later adopters who were given DVRs as part of the test. As it turns out, many didn't even want the devices. Of the 157 households that participated in the test, 90 returned their DVRs for a variety or reasons..."

Link to story.

It's been awhile since I had statistics and QA, but it seems like 157 is a pretty small sample.  They're doing another study with 1,000 but it's unclear how the sample was selected.  There are a lot of advertising dollars at stake out there.  Billions.  The 30-second television spot has been the engine of Madison Avenue for some time and it won't go without a fight.  And possibly some stilted surveys.  What's unclear is what percentage of the population meets the definition of late adopters in this ESPN study.  And it's unclear if the sample was scientifically selected or targeted to find mouth-breathing rednecks incapable of operating a DVR. 

60% of these late adopters returned their DVRs?  This just doesn't make sense.

Does it?

Blogging the Friendly Skies

American_md_80I’m on a flight from New York to Chicago as I write. Wonder when we’re going to get internet access on the plane. Lufthansa has it on some of their flights. Maybe I’d get more blogging done.

Lately I’ve had the blogging blahs. Could be good. Often periods of dissatisfaction are followed by meaningful change. Sometimes we just muddle through. Seems like I should have something profound to say from 28,000 feet.


Change or Die

Fccover"All leadership comes down to this: changing people's behavior. Why is that so damn hard? Science offers some surprising new answers -- and ways to do better."

The May issue of Fast Company has some great articles about change.  Why do heart bypass patients, when faced with death unless they change, still fail to make and sustain those changes in overwhelming numbers?  This article was not available online until recently.  Three articles are must reads:

Change or Die - link.

Five Myths About Changing Behavior - link.

Which Stage of Change Are You In? - link.

TNT/Audi to Debut The Closer Sans Ads

AudiTNT is partnering with Audi to broadcast the premiere of its new series The Closer without commercials.  From the story at

"Audi, the sponsor of the premiere, will have on-air presence and be included in national print, online and outdoor marketing campaign materials."

"While 30-second spots still play an important role in the media mix, "Turner is engaged and continues to explore ways to intercept the viewers/consumers in every way they consume media," (Turner VP Linda) Yaccarino added. "We realize in a fragmented and cluttered environment it's important to explore unique partnerships, like our partnership with Audi.""

More evidence that the 30-second spot, the staple of the media/industrial complex, is in decline.  The experimentation to find its successor is kicking in .  You'll see much more of this type of news in the months and years ahead.

Full article at Promo Magazine - link.

Previews of The Closer - link.