The M Wire From HEILBrice, 10/12/08
Shared by admin Friday, October 10, 2008

Obama Buys Network Time for Infomercial

Barack Obama has purchased a half-hour of prime-time television on CBS and NBC for a nationwide pitch to voters that will air on Oct. 29 — less than a week before the general election. “Obama’s appealing to the whole nation rather than a handful of tossup states,” says an organizer.

“This is another indication that Barack Obama’s got more money than [available] television time to buy,” says Evan Tracey, executive at the Campaign Media Analysis Group. Whether John McCain’s campaign will do the same remains to be seen, though its TV buying has been limited mostly to ads in battleground states.

“Obama’s campaign is not doing this and pulling down [ad] buys in Florida. This is not an either/or decision. They’ve got 25 days and unlimited amounts of money,” says Tracey.

Is That Sarah Palin or Tina Fey? Either Way, SNL’s Ratings Are Up

Sarah Palin is the best thing that happened to “Saturday Night Live” this decade. Last Saturday’s show marked the third appearance this season by Tina Fey as Palin, along with surprise guest Queen Latifah sitting in as vice presidential debate moderator Gwen Ifill.

The 11-minute opening number drew rave reviews in the ratings and in the blogosphere, where a clip of Fey-as-Palin saying the GOP ticket would be all “mavericky,” gained wide traction overnight.

The episode averaged a 7.4 household rating, per Nielsen. That’s within a tenth of a point of its Sept. 13 premiere (also with a Palin skit), which was the highest-rated show since Dec. 14, 2002, when Al Gore and Phish appeared.

Google is Changing the Mobile Ad Landscape with New iPhone-Specific Platform

Not that anyone still doubted the iPhone’s heft in the mobile ad market, but just in case: Google is reportedly telling advertisers they will soon be able to create an iPhone-specific ad group as part of their regular search campaign.

The search giant wouldn’t confirm the rumor, but several agency executives say they’ve taken meetings with Google where the opportunity was discussed. Essentially the creation of an iPhone-specific ad group would mean that marketers could create ads that would appear specifically to iPhone users. In January, The New York Times reported that the iPhone was already the No. 1 source of mobile traffic to Google’s search engine.

Google would not be the first to offer its clients this option–JumpTap and AdMob are just two that have already done that–but it would obviously be the largest. It’s also notable given the recent launch of company’s own iPhone competitor, T-Mobile’s GI, also known as the Google Phone.

Arbitron’s Portable People Meter Gets Push Back From Minority Groups, But Will Keep Moving Forward

When Arbitron rolled out its portable people meter on Monday, two days early, it was a preemptive move against New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who had threatened suit to block it, contending the new radio measurement system undercounts minority listeners.

Cuomo may still file suit, perhaps today, as he’d promised. But the chances that Cuomo, or anyone else, for that matter, will roll back the PPM appear slight to none.

Once up and running, the new electronic system is all but a done deal, in the minds of analysts and industry watchers.

There will surely be court challenges to the PPM that could go on for months, even years, but the likely outcome is that the radio rating service would be forced to adjust the sample panel it uses to collect the data to better reflect the demographic makeup of the population in each market.

TV Car Crash Followed By an In-Program Ad For On-Star: Contextual Ads Debut on TBS

Turner Broadcasting revealed new partners for its new TVinContext system, which will match advertisers’ products with related scenes in movies shown on TNT and TBS. The partners include OnStar, DirecTV, Cadillac, and Victoria’s Secret.

TVinContext delivers ad content related to what just happened on screen. The first TVinContext ads will run on October 25, when the network runs Matt Damon’s “The Bourne Supremacy.” After a car chase and crash scene, the network will insert a spot for OnStar’s automatic crash response service.

As for the scenes that will put viewers in the mood for Victoria’s Secret ads, use your imagination.

Root Canal TV: Coming To a Dentist’s Office Near You

Advertising is being invited to the dentist’s chair via video goggles that patients wear while getting root canals and other sometimes-stressful procedures. The goggles, launched a year ago by InChairTV, show movies and TV shows from Disney and ABC.

Now the company is selling commercial time during the programming. It figures advertisers for toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, travel and stress-relief products will be willing to pay higher rates to reach people eager for distractions during dental sessions.

So far about 400 dentists nationwide have bought the $500 video goggle system to entertain their patients.

Sources: Media Post 10/6/08; Advertising Age 10/6/08; Research Brief 10/6/08; Media Life 10/6/08