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December 2006
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February 2007

OfficeMax Dumps TV in Favor of Internet Strategy

045 "Santa was good to OfficeMax.

The company -- which is eschewing TV advertising entirely -- took what it would have spent to make three 30-second spots and created 20 holiday-themed microsites aimed at catching a viral wave and touting its stores as gift-giving destinations."

Article from AdAge.

This has to make Madison Avenue nervous.  The staple of big-money advertising for years has been the 30-second  television spot.  Make and average product for average people and pump sales with TV spots.  That has been changing gradually, but now the cultural shift seems to be picking up momentum in the advertising world. 

One great aspect to this change is the shift from the importance of the medium to the importance and salience of the message.  Take a look at television advertising.  Companies spend hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars producing a 30-second spot.  Most of them are not memorable.  But, until recent years even a non-imaginative spot that aired often enough would create a bump in sales.

There's a shift of power taking place in the world of communications, advertising and media.  It's a trend and not a fad.  Intrusive advertising is declining in favor of advertising that people want to watch.  Companies who get creative like Office Max will rise.  Those who stick with the old models will decay.

OfficeMax has made a bold move here to say "screw television, we're betting our future on the web."  It will continue to be an interesting story to follow.  And, you can count on plenty of others to try to mimic their success.

Yes, Bob Dylan, the times they are a-changin'.

NATPE Mobile ++

Chris_busch_at_natpe_2007 I'm in Las Vegas this week at the annual NATPE (National Association of Television Production Executives) convention.  One of the big topics this year is delivery of digital content (especially video) to mobile devices.  Today, about 20% of the cell phones in the US have video capability.  Soon that will be 33%.

One of the problems in the mobile sector is the lack of good short-form creative content.  Viewing habits on cell phones tend to favor content that is only a few minutes in length, rather than full-length programming.  While users tend to expect content delivered via Internet to be free, there is precedent for people to pay for additional mobile phone content.  For example, people will pay $2.95 to download a Coldplay ring tone (when they can download the entire song legally for $.99). 

Revenues from delivery of video/TV to mobile devices generated about $123 million in 2006.  That figure is expected to grow to $4.3 billion by 2011.  Astounding growth predictions.

Meanwhile, with the introduction of the iPhone by Apple and a gaggle of new devices that were introduced at CES last week, the hardware in the marketplace is becoming even more video friendly.

Ultimately expect to be able to download video entertainment to your cell phone and be able to decide whether you want to view it on your phone, or via BlueTooth consume it through your television or computer monitor.

Two years ago the mobile market was discussed as still being future.  This year that future has arrived and is about to hit the steep slope of the growth curve.

Related articles -

Mobile TV Data Depicts Baby Steps of a New Media (Television Week)

Cowley speech kicks off mobile mart (Variety)

Re-read a Book in Less Than 15 Minutes

Interesting article over at on using Mind Mapping to re-read a book in less than 15 minutes.

Several good links from the article as well.

I started using Mindjet's MindManager software a few months ago and really like it.  I am going to take a look at iMindMap when I switch over to the new MacBook Pro.

Newsroom Confidential

Newsroomjan07 Just finished a media relations course today in Austin at Wizard AcademyDean Rotbart taught the course and it was two days of fast-paced working and learning about how the world of news media really works.  And of course the Wizard himself, Roy Williams, dropped in to download some of his latest thinking and dreams.

Like every other course I've taken at Wizard Academy, this one was outstanding.  It's such an exciting time to be alive.  All of the old school ways in advertising, PR, sales, etc. are all on life support and people who can adapt to the changing culture are in for a great ride.

Yes, We Are Addicted to Media

Adults and teens will spend nearly five months (3,518 hours) next year watching television, surfing the Internet, reading daily newspapers and listening to personal music devices. That’s only one of thousands of nuggets of information on Americana and the world in the U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007.

According to projections from a communications industry forecast, people will spend 65 days in front of the TV, 41 days listening to radio and a little over a week on the Internet in 2007.   Adults will spend about a week reading a daily newspaper and teens and adults will spend another week listening to recorded music. Consumer spending for media is forecasted to be $936.75 per person.

US Census Bureau Press Release

Blu-Ray & HD-DVD on One Player

043 LG announces that they are producing what is believed to be the first dual-format player that will playback either Blu-Ray or HD-DVD discs.  Will this end the hi-def DVD format wars, or will the economic pressure of handling and inventorying two formats lead to the ultimate survival of only one format? 


Stay tuned.  My prediction - only one format will ultimately prevail.  The eventual winner?  I think it will be Blu-Ray.  But, I think they would have improved the brand name by calling it Blu-Ray HD and piggybacking on all the buzz HDTV will be generating in the coming months and years.

The HD-DVD brand is more descriptive, but Blu-Ray has more "sex appeal."  It should be a great case study in 3 to 4 years.