Category Archives: Pop Culture

SocialTV and Emerging Platforms Overview

SocialTV-the return of the family room?I was invited to speak to Hollywood marketing executives on June 26, 2012 at the iMedia Entertainment Summit by Brad Berens and Nancy Galanty of DMG Events. The initial request was for an overview of up and coming along with more established companies in the SocialTV space. I’m far more interested in emerging platforms than the individual companies, although I admire and enjoy the entrepreneurship, vision and camaraderie of their leaders. As an angel investor or strategic partner I might invest capital or resources in the individual company, but in my agency role I’m infinitely more interested in the convergence of technologies and consumer trends that launch new behaviors and platforms into popular culture. As a result, I framed the presentation this way:

  • Overview/Intro/Definition
  • Underlying influences and market dynamics that make SocialTV compelling
  • Proposed a spectrum of engagement models for nascent, volatile and emerging platforms like SocialTV
Some key take aways:
  • SocialTV may become the new normal for consuming video versus a discrete space–the term “SocialTV” may go away
  • Almost 90% Tablet & Smartphone Owners Use Devices While Watching TVAccording to Nielsen’s Q1 2012 report almost 90% of Smartphone and Tablet owners use their devices while watching TV; about 40% do so daily and over 60% do so several times a week. Conclusion: you can’t talk about SocialTV without the context of mobile which is where the greatest innovation will happen outside of the box
  • SocialTV is currently comprised of content discovery and companion apps–think a better remote control or check-in and chatter–as well as analytics applied around TV content
  • There are dozens if not hundreds of companies chipping away at pieces of this space but only a few are top-of-mind brands–Miso, Get Glue, IntoNow, Viggle, TrendRR, Bluefin and a few network offerings were like USA Chatter and HBOGo–mentioned at the conference of Hollywood insiders and Execs
  • There’s a lot of interest in this space as it represents massive potential shifts in consumer and advertising revenues for Hollywood, marketers, SocialMedia companies along with emerging players able to capitalize on the expanding ecosystem
  • For consumers, the opportunity to engage with families, friends and networks may unlock the social aspects of SocialTV and usher in the return from our Entertainment or TV room to the Family Room
Below is the slideware prepared for the presentation, followed by the video which has much more nuance and information with some reference links to close this post:

Slides with voiceover:

Curated links in preparation for the presentation:

http://delicious.com/marksilva/socialtv

Special thanks to Nielsen along with Adam Broitman, Adam Burg, Mark Ghuneim, Jeff Minsky and Lori Schwartz for their input and advice informing the presentation.

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Weekly Round-Up 5/02/11

Shameless Plug

  • For more about Social/Local/Mobile, see us at the Social-Loco Conference—I’ll be speaking on the “Big Brand” money panel.

Entertaining/Inspiring

  • Wrap your mind around this:  Escher’s Waterfall has our mind boggling!
  • Check out Little Thor, a miniature hero who gives this year’s favorite Super Bowl character, Little Vader from the Volkswagen commercial, a run for his money.
  • Will Turnage, VP, Technology & Invention for R/GA, shows off a shirt he hacked for a South by Southwest session.  This shirt not only flashes when he taps his phone through a Bluetooth control, but also lights up when someone tweets his twitter handle.

AppNation

  • AppNation brought the growing consumer application trend to the forefront of the minds of all those who were fortunate enough to attend.
  • Drew Ianni, Chairman of AppNation, joined us at Anthem Worldwide in San Francisco to share his view-from-the-top of the Apps Ecosystem.

Mobile

Will Apps Disrupt Every Trad Media While Establishing a New One?

Perhaps the title question is too narrow and should focus on industries Apps will disrupt beyond Media, and my prediction is that Apps will disrupt nearly everything from the way we consume and engage with brands and media to how we transact, visualize, congregate and curate our daily lives and loves. With that thunderous prediction let me offer a couple of windows into the Apps EcoSystem which Gartner predicts will become $58 Billion in a few years and conclude with some thoughts informing these predictions:

  • AppNation Conference in San Francisco this Wednesday and Thursday, April 27-28, promises to deliver the “State of the Art” view of the EcoSystem. Register to attend in person and catch full-benefit of networking with founders and leaders in this emerging space or follow the hashtag on twitter: #appnationconf 
  • Spend an hour with Drew Ianni, AppNation Chairman and Founder, presenting his view from the top of the Apps Ecosystem. Former Wall Street and Jupiter Analyst as well as top guy at ad:tech, Drew created AppNation to provide the best and biggest conference for the space. You can catch his Briefing at Anthem San Francisco here:


  • And, here are the companion slides to the video:

Some additional thoughts to complement my prediction that Apps will disrupt nearly every business and consumer interaction:

As Drew points out the value chain is shifting from the hardware–although the most elegant hardware can win massive share as we’ve seen with the iPad and iPhone–to the software or Apps on these devices. This content spans devices and channels jumping from Social/Web to Mobile and PC/Tablets and eventually connected TVs. This shift has been swift and taken the most immediately associated/impacted industries by storm and surprise. PC veteran, Michael Dell, admitted yesterday that he didn’t see Tablets coming and PC-maker Acer reported 24% drop in sales as a result of tablet disruption.  The primary utility for Tablets? Apps.

As a result of this consumer draw, we can anticipate new, creative business models and entertainment forms to emerge and become as large a part of popular culture as anything Hollywood has ever produced. And, of course, Hollywood may spawn and will appropriate these new entertain forms.

As we’ve seen with Social Media, consumer adoption and new behaviors will inspire enterprise adoption as well. So, my prediction started in the title with Media, the most obvious place for disruption as we see media transformed with superior features, connectivity and transaction abilities to change how we think about distribution and engagement with Print, Radio, TV and even the Internet media that came before Apps. In establishing a new medium and channel it’s important to emphasize this is about disruption not replacing or destroying. Incombent business models will have to evolve and embrace the new medium to survive and thrive in the disruption.

Will Apps have their own mass-events like the Oscars, Grammy’s, Cannes or Tony’s? They already have their own conference. Hope to catch you at AppNation this week and every year going forward. Cheers!

Weekly Round-Up 4/25/11

Apps and Tablets

  • AppNation Conference hits San Francisco this week, April 27-28 at the Moscone center. Register now at AppNationConf.com Here’s a preview & taste of why this is such a big deal:

  • Like the smart phone, tablets are slowly but surely being integrated into everyday life.  We use them to watch movies, read books, and order a meal?  Massachusetts Institute of Technology dropout, Rajat Suri thinks that with his E La Carte we will all be doing just that.

Social Media

Global Social Gaming Overview

Two weeks ago, at AdTech, we presented a comprehensive overview of Social Gaming in the US.  The presentation was featured as a “Presentation of the Day” and Tim Chang of Norwest Venture Partners believes this may be the most current and comprehensive snapshot of the industry available today. You can also view the slides synchronized with the AdTech audio on Youtube.

Global Social Gaming Overview

On Tuesday April 12 we presented a sweeping overview of Social Gaming from its scope, scale and size in the US to the development of this space around the world. We shared how marketers can engage consumers in the space and wrapped with some informative case studies by Toyota. Some impressions, slides, video and links follow. Continue reading

Change Everything

This post presents the content and discusses the process in my journey to create the “This Can Change Everything” presentation for iMedia Breakthrough Summit on March 21, 2011. It was a 30-45 minute discussion where I covered So|Lo|Mo, Gamification, Maker-movement and Social CRM/Caring after a hat-tip to Moore’s & Metcalfe’s laws combined with the “People” coefficient. With an extra 15-minutes allowance, I may have added connected TVs as a potential “return to the Family Room” theme. Regardless, these themes are ones that I believe can change everything in the coming years.
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Weekly Round-up 2/07/11

Christians protecting Muslims during their prayers #jan25

Following Egypt

Despite an Internet blackout, Egyptians still got their word out by combining Google’s speech-to-text recognition and Twitter’s hashtagging

For greater texture about the environment in which they’re doing this, World News blogs on the state of reporting in an uprising. And Wired covers tech at ground-zero in Tahrir Square.

Al Jazeera, who’s been covering developments in Egypt, launched Twitter and Meetup Campaigns to bring broadcast to U.S.

Social Media was key in Egypt and Tunisia for expression and assembly. The question arises then, under a totalitarian, repressive regime – Is Facebook a human right?

AdWeek's "K Cole's Day in a Nutshell"

You’ve probably heard about Kenneth Cole’s poor judgment on Twitter that fueled an appropriate storm of backlash. Here is the top 10 list of parody tweets in response. My tweet take: “this really seems basic, but there are some conversations marketers just don’t belong in: porn, religion & politics are the most obvious.”

Tech & Government

Following the innovation-focused State of the Union Address, Obama announced the Startup Investment Campaign, with Facebook, Intel, IBM, TECHStars and others all pledging their support for the initiative

Startup America. The White House is paying attention to what’s working – tech entrepreneurship.

Super Bowl

BrandBowl2011 Ad Scores

Our friends at Mullen teamed up with Boston.com and Radian6 to showcase the top TV ads based on Twitter volume and sentiment. It’s a great way to see the real winners and losers from over 1/4 of a million tweets vs USA Today polls of a couple thousand people. Although the sentiment analysis is imperfect, this real-time view and measurement of ad impact is great to experience. You can see the aftermath of the engine at BrandBowl2011.com. You can also see my #brandbowl tweets reacting to the ads in real time.

Catch all the marketer Superbowl spots at AdAge. And you can find all the spots including Hollywood trailers with ratings on Fox’s round-up site.

Eminem was considered unofficial MVP for the BrandBowl. In addition to the Detroit/American anthem spot for Chrysler where he represents a powerful metaphor for redemption,  Slim landed in a Lipton Brisk Iced Tea as a claymation character. That’s Brisk Baby!

PepsiCo’s Jill Beraud and Ann Mukherjee talk PepsiCo’s return to the Super Bowl with Doritos and PepsiMax User Generated Content this year ; “Crash the Super Bowl

Here are the Top 10 Super Bowl ads with most Twitter pre-buzz–worth noting that several advertisers chose not to reveal their ads until they aired for the Superbowl. And we’ll be tracking other post-mortems for next week’s round-up.

Other News

AOL Acquires Huffington Post for $315m & appoints Arianna Huffington Editor-in-Chief. Long article, but worth the read as it shares a lot of ideas around the future of media including AOL’s 80:80:80 focus–80% of domestic spending is done by women, 80% of commerce happens locally and 80% of considered purchases are driven by influencers. Also, at the end of this article All Things D discloses that the were in talks with AOL as well last year but stayed w/Newscorp’s Dow Jones.

Cause marketing is taking off. Peter Jackson raises $2 million to go after cause marketers at The Experience, a niche site where people who care deeply about a particular topic can share their experiences with others.

Facebook introduces a credibility score with new social commenting plugin

Super Bowl Ad Round-Ups: PepsiCo

This post was inspired by a poll & roll of PepsiCo TV spots on AdAge (subscription required after a certain date). By curating these ads in one post I’m hoping to keep the content evergreen. Here are AdAge’s picks for best Super Bowl spots from PepsiCo of all time, along with a some light analysis of an arc you can find between the years, spots and various expressions of the brand. Which are your favs? Any missing? Pls respond with comments below:

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Relevance through constant reinvention

In two unrelated acts I found myself reacting to the work of our business in very different ways. It’s really a story of where advertising has been and where marketing is headed. Our main characters are Delta Airlines and Red Bull. Maybe you already see where this is going…

I was compelled to comment on AdWeek’s column by Barbara Lippert reviewing Delta’s new “Climb” advertising as much because of the advertising content as for the product it’s trying to represent in a positive light. Unfortunately, Delta and many other old-line airlines have been re-framed by newer and more relevant airlines like Virgin America, my current favorite, through a series of continual micro-innovations including: in-seat USB & DC power supply; in-flight wifi; seatback ondemand entertainment systems; microbrews and beverages of this decade/year/month; and more surely to come. These should be easily replicated commodity benefits for the industry to defy attempts at re-framing, but instead they respond with extra baggage fees and these ads/cinematic masterpieces.

Lippert quotes the famous David Ogilvy line to which I subscribe, “the fastest way to kill a bad product is to give it good advertising.” Eric Ryan, at Method Products–another company defined more by innovation than an advertising artifice–like to say advertising is a tax for sucking. Real Branding should be the honest, multi-faceted, self-aware expression of the most dramatic truths about a brand. In these spots, we get only some commodity industry truths and very little about what makes Delta special–because it isn’t. Ultimately, Delta has no recourse but to create big, interruptive and, yes, beautiful distractions to carry their brand advertising, because their brand truths simply don’t stick or attract you. They have to interrupt you because you wouldn’t invest the time to hear their false case any other way.

In Contrast:

I was just as compelled to post this video to my Facebook wall. Really, nothing to add here except this: Red Bull consistently creates engagements with super-influential categories and associations that inspire in all ways, from the Idea to execution. I was cheering for The Clutch at the end of this piece. I wanted to watch and share. I was drawn to the story and inspired by this piece of marketing. I look forward to how Red Bull will inspire us next and in what compelling form. I feel the power of their truth in their deeds, actions and expressions.

Red Bull gives wings to inspired marketing and represents the new marketing model in which “Above the Line” and “Below the Line” are all one line:

  • where any act can inspire and add to your brand’s marketing fame
  • where advertising draws you in and invites you to stick around versus interrupting like a loud, rude–albeit good looking–guest
  • where a local-market tactic can project as large as a national spot
  • where truths are core and essential and lies are exposed or simply ignored
  • where digital and social aren’t just media or a channel, but core to connecting and discovery with new brand recruits

It’s an example of the dynamic of “Magnetism” which you’ll hear more about more frequently here. Welcome your thoughts and contributions.

Do Androids Dream?

In Philip K. Dick’s novel, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?“–better known for its 1982 Blade Runner film adaptation–the title refers to the empathetic aspect of humans for animals that Androids lack. As our devices and the algorithm gets closer to replicating our brains and appearance the novel explores deep ethical questions arise about what is human and therefore how they should be treated. I won’t take the tangent, but it’s worth giving the nod to how this line of thinking relates to current debates around equality working its way through the courts today in California. Back to the post at hand, there’s a genius and an irony to Google’s novel reference through the Android name in their development for our most personal, connected devices–the mobile platform. Unlike our PCs and web browsers where we taught/teach the search algorithm mainly through intent (search) and behaviors (clicks) billions of times a day, on mobile we begin to expose more of us to the algorithm. In our voice inflections and dialects combined with our location, calendars and real-life friends, expressed in time on the phone and in person, we’re teaching the algorithm our more intimate aspects of those people, places and things we care about most. The mobile platform is a feeder system of millions of devices serving billions of transactions/interactions into a smarter and more intuitive cloud-based algorithm. So, perhaps in time Androids will dream and awake.

In the meantime enjoy snacking on this teaser video for the new Samsung Android-based Galaxy Tab tablet debuting in Europe next month: