Dish Network’s Hopper Fights the Future of Traditional Advertising

The commercials for Dish Network’s ad-skipping DVR, the Hopper, are quite memorable and humorous to a native of Massachusetts, like me. The actors have thick Boston accents, and they repeatedly pronounce the name of the device the way any good Red Sox fan would: “Hop-ah.”

It’s ironic, though, that the Hopper’s commercials are so memorable. The device’s primary function is to eliminate commercials altogether. The Hopper automatically records the entire prime-time lineups for ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC. With a little user programming, however, many digital video recorders (DVRs) can do that. What sets the Hopper apart is that it enables playback completely sans commercials (versus fast-forwarding over them). Score another point for ad-slaying technology in the post-advertising age.


The Phuture of Pharmaceutical Advertising

Think of the last pharmaceutical commercial you saw. It probably involved scenes of nature: people doing normal things like sitting in bathtubs on a hilltop and walking on the beach. But what was the name of the drug it was advertising? You can’t remember, can you? That’s because 99 percent of the pharma commercials created are exactly the same, and they all blend into a soft-focus, elevator-music-tinged, generic pile of boredom.

This unending cycle of mediocrity can be prevented. I’ll take a look at a typical pharma commercial and then give it a makeover, as well as give you tips for making sure your pharmaceutical brand stands out. You should, of course, consult your marketing agency before making these changes.


Facebook’s New Premium Ads: A Huge Mistake?

At last week’s first-ever Facebook Marketing Conference (fMC for short), Facebook officially announced the integration of four new products into their advertising model. These additions represent the most invasive placements on the social networking site yet. For the first time, they’ve placed ads within the previously untainted News Feed (on both desktop and mobile sites)—a move that speaks volumes of Facebook’s new trajectory.

Facebook users don’t often warmly embrace shifts in their social media routine, so it’s only natural to wonder how Facebook’s 845 million users will react to these game-changing announcements. What will it take to make sure these new ad formats don’t backfire on branders?


Is Your Antiquated Legal Department a Brand Killer?

Additional reporting by Luke Dringoli and Jon Thomas.

We’ve all seen it before: Marketers create an innovative social media campaign only to have it squashed by the legal department into a bland, lifeless lump of the original idea. Sadly, many archaic legal departments are wary of social media at best and digitally illiterate at worst. Their fear of embracing these tools can be a barrier for brands that want to interact with their audiences in authentic, transparent and engaging ways. But that doesn’t mean brands shouldn’t sacrifice creativity (or throw out their old-school legal department) just yet.


8 Traits of Successful Viral Videos

Making a viral video is just like that carnival game where you throw the whiffle ball into the big basket. It looks easy, but when you try it, it’s surprisingly tough. Then you fork over more money to try again because your girlfriend is obviously disappointed in you. After three more misses your now ex-girlfriend has left you and you're wondering what went wrong.

Viral videos seem so easy to make. I mean, even Rachel Black made one! However, the reality is that virality is ever-elusive. There’s no single equation. You can’t buy it anywhere. No internet marketer/video editor, no matter what they tell you, has the one formula to guarantee viral success. It’s not like six pack abs—those are sought after but there’s a clear formula. Eat well. Exercise often. That’s it. That’s the formula. You heard it here first. Just look at my abs as proof (please don’t).


The Future of (Auto)Mobile Advertising

Growing up, all I wanted was a black Pontiac TransAm that spoke to me and helped me fight crime through a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of criminals operating above the law. What I got was a 1985 Peugeot 505s with cigarette burns on the canvas seats and a tape player that didn't have a reverse button. Cars have come a long way since the "forward-thinking" days of Knight Rider. Cars not only speak to us, they can drive for us, give us directions, and show the kids some Dora the Explorer while en route to a ski trip in Vermont. And this is just the beginning.


When Faking It (on Twitter) Is a Good Thing

It’s late November, and UK Lord Chancellor Sir John Simon has just told Parliament that Britons have sent watches, jewelry and gold to help the government pay for war. According to Sir John, “One girl sent a small envelope, asking me to accept her ‘peace offering.’ Inside was her engagement ring.” Incredible. Particularly because I just learned of this from a tweet chronicling the world war that’s raging in Europe right now.

You didn’t know there was a war going on in Europe? That’s because it took place in 1939. It’s the beginning of the Second World War, and it’s being retold on this date and at this time by the Twitter account @RealTimeWWII. After tweeting for only three months, @RealTimeWWII, which according to Mashable is maintained by Oxford graduate Alwyn Collinson, has already exceeded 150,000 followers. Why can't brands be this inventive?

The Post-Advertising Summit marketing conference in New York October 21

Story To Host World’s First Post-Advertising Summit!

After three years of charting the emerging Post-Advertising world right here with you guys, we decided to throw our very own real world event: The Post-Advertising Summit! (March 29th, at New York’s Cult Studios. Details here). In other words, we're throwing a party...and you're all invited!


Would You Watch This New Fall TV Show? Please??

Mysterious expression. Well-coiffed hair. Piercing, Photoshop-blue eyes. Just who is this “gifted man,” and do we even want his gifts? The poster for this new CBS series may be thought-provoking, but it doesn’t tell us anything about the show. Instead of using this real estate to engage consumers with actual content, mysterious billboards like this one leave the premise up to the imagination of viewers. Sure, it’s meant to intrigue, not to inform. But is that wise?

Post-Advertising Summit :: October 21st :: Cult Studios, NYC

Post-Advertising Summit

The Post-Advertising Summit celebrates the end of the broadcast age and the dawn of a new era for marketing. The advertising-as-interruption model has collapsed and the ad world is evolving. Today, we live in an opt-in culture, which means the only messages your audience will see or hear are those that they choose to see and hear. So how do you get positive attention? By creating great media that is relevant, informative, and on-brand.