Archives For Advertising

ACC Digital Network Roku ads

No one was more excited than I to see that the ACC Digital Network had created a Roku channel. And my excitement lasted just long enough to download the channel and fire up highlights of former Duke basketball player Mike Dunleavy. Unfortunately, that’s where the fun ended.

Where to start? With the video quality? Horrific. How about the overall selection of clips? Lame. And then there’s my favorite: the advertising.

You see, the ACC Digital Network has partnered with a company called adRise, which describes itself as “the largest content distribution and advertising monetization engine for streaming and connected TV devices.” The “monetization engine” throws up an advertisement before every single clip available on the ACC channel. It doesn’t matter if the clip is 30 seconds, or if you exited out of a clip and are trying to return to resume play. There’s an ad. And not just any ad, but the same ad, over and over and over. (Thanks, Progressive lady.)

It’s 2013. Streaming video companies should know by now not to over-saturate content with pre-roll ads, or to stock only a single commercial in the ad inventory. That’s not monetization. It’s scaring your audience away.

In good news, however, the ACC network says it plans to expand from the Roku to other streaming boxes and smart TV platforms. I can’t wait.

DISH_southwest

No Southwest Airlines seat-back displays? No problem. Bring your own device (laptop, tablet, or smartphone) and enjoy free access to 13 channels of live television on board Southwest’s 400 WiFi-enabled aircraft in exchange for sitting through a mere 30 seconds of pre-roll advertising. Beyond mile high video streaming, DISH and Southwest are further collaborating on the marketing front with a nationwide push – new DISH Hopper subscribers will receive 12,500 Rapid Reward points and an iPad 2.

(Sadly, Southwest retired their non-stop IAD-LAS route and we rarely have reason to fly them these days.)

tivolution

While TiVo’s crushed it in defending their time warp and associated DVR patents, the company has a spottier record when it comes to trademarks – abandoning valuable assets and tilting at windmills. Even though the “TiVolution” mark was officially cancelled about 18 months ago, given TiVo’s European expansion and phonetic similarities, we suspect they may take issue with the new French “TeVolution” service that delivers television content over-the-top (OTT) via Netgear hardware. (via TiVo Insights)

samsung-galaxy-s4

Over the last few years, we’ve witnessed a bizarre new marketing trend in which products are put up for pre-order… without an actual release date or itemized spec sheet. And, amazingly, even occasionally neglecting to specify a price. AT&T is up this time, with a Samsung Galaxy S4 (pre) pre-order announcement:

Continuing our legacy as the first carrier to launch Samsung’s Galaxy series, we are excited to announce AT&T customers will be able to begin pre-ordering the Galaxy S® 4 beginning April 16 for $249.99 with a two-year commitment.

Our assumption is that AT&T’s strategy is designed to one up T-Mobile’s claims of May 1st availability. Although, the artist formerly known as Ma Bell doesn’t specify an actual release date or which model (color, memory capacity) they’re making available for that $250. Hopefully details will come into focus on April 16th. While we continue to pine for the HTC One on Verizon

As TiVo allows me to skip commercials, I’ve yet to see their new Tim Tebow ads on television. Fortunately the company has begun posting the spots on YouTube. And, overall, they’re cute but relatively innocuous — with more lines given to child actors than Tebow and, sadly, TiVo product sees very little screen time. In fact, in the ad embedded above, their in-house crew provides zero exposure to TiVo hardware or interfaces… although we do get a glimpse at the back of both an iPad and flat panel television. As mentioned last week, we believe a more effective approach would be spotlighting the experience – as Apple has done with iPad commercials (and Virgin Media did with TiVo).

Interestingly, with little fanfare, Continue Reading…

I continue to be fascinated by Yahoo’s  persistence in the connected TV market. Earlier this week, the company announced an expanded, multi-year partnership with Samsung to keep the Yahoo Broadcast Interactivity platform front and center on Samsung TVs. Even while Yahoo’s smart TV features and widgets have failed inspire much interest from consumers, the company is still doggedly pursuing a position in the living room. And it just might have a long-term strategy that works.

Yahoo’s TV play isn’t aimed at consumers. It’s all about advertising, and getting a platform embedded in connected TVs now for future applications. The consumer electronics guys know they need a platform, and by and large they also know they have to find experienced partners to implement one. Yahoo fits the bill, and it has the added benefit of not being as threatening as, say, Google or Apple from a partnership perspective.

That said, Yahoo isn’t the only game in town. Its biggest direct competitor may be Rovi, which is aggressively targeting the CE market and has its own deals in place with Samsung,  Sony and Toshiba. Yahoo and Rovi don’t offer the same features and functions, but they are both going after the same valuable territory in the connected TV market. Count the new Samsung deal as a win for Yahoo’s side.

panasonic-ads

While I’m a notorious gadget flipper, it isn’t very often we upgrade our primary television. And it’s been five years since we last purchased a big screen HDTV. As in 2007, we opted for a Panasonic plasma – given our positive prior results and CNET’s high marks across the board. So I was pretty stoked when the backordered 55″ ST50 arrived on Friday, expecting nothing but good things.

Out of the box, without any sort of calibration during its break in, I’m quite pleased with picture quality (although I need to tweak a few things STAT to clean up the soap opera effect). I didn’t purchase the set specifically for apps, yet they seemed like a nice bonus given its decent selection (YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, Skype, etc) and despite the odd, sluggish UI. Well… that was prior to the ST50 downloading ads. Because now I find the app dashboard, managed by online merchant Digital River, cluttered with Capital One and Shutterfly spam – including a video advertisement that overrides your previously playing picture-in-picture. Obnoxious!

panasonic-capital-one-ads

Equally obnoxious are what appear to be time-based banner ads that periodically pop up when adjusting the volume. I’d originally thought these were being delivered by Amazon Instant but, given Sean Logan’s photo above taken while watching cable, it’s clear this is Panasonic’s doing. Further, according to CNET, banner ads appear in additional formats and at other times. Supposedly these can disabled via an unintuitive Advanced Viera Connect setting… that doesn’t actually say anything about advertisements. Yet, another setting screen buried with the App Marketplace indicates I’m stuck with ads, whether or not I opt out of Panasonic tracking.

Continue Reading…