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.


Three Ways the Second Screen Is Shaping the Future of Television

Have you heard of the second screen? If not and you’re a marketer of media, you’d better listen up and learn fast; a number of television networks and individual programs have started taking this concept seriously and are, as a result, tightly weaving audiences into a more dynamic viewing experience. If fantastic recent examples like NBC’s The Voice, CBS’s 54th Grammy Award ceremonies and WGN America’s syndication work continue to crop up, the second screen will soon enough become your new first priority.


Will Mobile Rule the World in 2012?

You know Grandma Mildred’s annual holiday proclamation "Everyone is using them dang cellular telephones!"? You can say that again, Grams. And while she may still be resisting the constant influx of newfangled tech and software, almost everyone else has embraced mobile with open arms. A while back, predictions had Internet usage on mobile devices overtaking the same on desktops and laptops by 2015. We happen to think that at least for millennials, mobile may already have usurped more traditional devices, thanks in part to a number of key apps and events.

Join us as we take a look back at mobile’s massive growth this year as a way to forecast 2012: the year in which mobile takes over and rules the world.


Twitter Roundup

While many media-conscious brands have engaged Twitter in some form, others have stuck to inefficient strategies. Bad Twitter usage—either through mass spamming or one-way messaging—makes any brand look out of touch. Twitter’s real power is sown when it’s used in supporting roles or as a base to amplify consumer-brand relationships. But some are doing it right. Take super-brands like Universal and Coca Cola.

Who’s In Charge, Sources or News Directors?

The home page of Huffington Post carried another media report Wednesday by Story Worldwide’s CEO and Chief Editorial Officer Kirk Cheyfitz. “For Tiger Photos, NBC Caves in to Annie Lebovitz” discusses the restrictions the photographer demanded and got from TV networks that wanted to use her images. Kirk's not happy with what this might say about the media’s volatile climate.

Super Bowl Alchemy: Ads Become Content

At the end of this post, I bravely name the best ad of Super Bowl 43. Hint: NBC got no revenue from this particular ad. Long before the game began, CBS began Super Bowl Sunday by understanding the day much better than NBC. The famously laid-back, magazine-style show Sunday Morning was marking its own 30th anniversary. Part of the celebration was a discussion of the cultural significance of Sunday in American life.