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As the media landscape around us changes, so do we. What started as a printed newsletter now lives digitally on Tumblr as an ever-changing, digital version of The Media Kitchen. The Fridge is more than a newsletter. It's a compilation of the ideas, insights, and independent thinking you have come to expect from us at TMK.

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This week we discuss the internet of things, wearable devices, and smart phone addiction with our guests Will Moseley and Alissa Dunbar.

IT’S ALL TV, ISN’T IT: A RUMINATION

BY: MITCH OSCAR

I’m a TV guy and proud of it. I enjoy horizontally watching a slew of my favorite professionally produced TV programs, surfing the electronic program guide, neurotically scanning my personal video recordings selections to ascertain future storage capacity, and fast-forwarding through advertising messages – though less so recently, to see if I can accurately time the activation of “the play button” with the final second of the last commercial position in the pod preceding program content. And selfishly, I admit, I rejoice in the $66 billion spent on TV advertising annually; remain unaffected by naysayers’ pronouncements about TV – the dying medium – and the 30-second commercial – a relic of the neo-Paleolithic media age; and eagerly await the ubiquitous deployment of advanced TV applications in the televisual realm: addressability (with interactive extensions), telescoping, intuitive navigation (encompassing all content, all the time, on-demand) and TV programmatic pragmatism coupled with more meaningful, manageable “big data.”

That’s me. So here is my question to you. Why the continued TV and digital video divide, though agencies religiously profess the shuttering of silos?  A rumination or two:

Video Streaming Designation
At its inception, why did the online agency professionals insist on calling the video viewing experience in the broadband arena “video streaming?” Why didn’t they refer to it as television?” After all, TV is defined by Webster – haven’t checked Wikipedia – as “the transmission of video images.” In my opinion, had they utilized the time-worthy appellation, they would have more readily gained access to a greater share of the $66+ billion in TV ad revenue, make my job and that of other digital transitionists easier, and accelerated bridging the gulf between the two mediums to mutually share in the ability of the fundamental sight, sound and motion attributes of the video experience to engage the consumer.

TV Programmatic Nomenclature
I posit that had the media community – traditional and digital – gleaned lessons from its divisive video streaming christening experience, the digerati might have chosen a less complex nomenclature for TV Programmatic, one that was not built upon the collision of foundations endemic to traditional TV and digital video. The term “programmatic” in the digital sense is derived from a computeree’s concept of programming software and/or hardware i.e., algorithmic conversations between 0”s and 1”s. To the contrary, the concept of “program” in the TV universe relates to context as expressed in the dialogue and action within a set timeframe between animate objects, with terrestrial plots imposed for effect. Both concepts heavily ensconced in their heritage. Both camps having difficulty extricating themselves from the past.

Cultural Obstruction
Historically, part of the cultural obstruction between the two communities lies in the line of demarcation drawn by the online community that unceremoniously labeled the traditional media community as “offline” – kind of like the tail wagging the dog, albeit a very long, but nonetheless considerably smaller tail. Broadband video generates upwards of $4+ billion in the U.S. in ad spend compared to TV’s $66 billion. Not a pleasant way to encourage a fellowship between mature and burgeoning advertising sectors – particularly when the mature/traditional community, via the media planner/account director, oftentimes is still the gatekeeper to allocation of ad budgets by medium.

The other half of the dilemma seems to reside in the traditional community’s need to disproportionately silo ad budgets to different distribution platforms, even when they fall within the same consumer experience. As an example, when a television viewer in New York City watches Channel 7 (an ABC station) via an over-the-air signal we call it “broadcast.” Pretty simple. However, when a cable subscriber watches Channel 7, do we define the viewing experience as broadcast or cable? And when a satellite customer views Channel 7, is the experience broadcast, cable or satellite? And let’s not forget other platforms that contribute to this miasmic discussion: broadband publishers, mobile, telcos, apps, over-the-top devices, streaming video services, gaming consoles and of course, antenna-farmed Aereo – oops they are a cable system. Right.

I think that a positive step in encouraging a synergistic relationship between the two video cultures is best accomplished by at least delineating on paper real and imaginary differences:

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In closing, I would argue that to the consumer, it is all the same experience. It’s television. And if we, the ad community, both mature and burgeoning, are successfully going to engage the viewer of video, whether it is via traditional television, broadband, over-the-top devices, streaming video services and/or mobile, we must view it as TV as well, and utilize each platform’s individual attributes and applications to enhance our messaging capabilities in the service of our client’s goals.

This week Clair and Bruce are joined by Craig and Jonathan to discuss all things social media as well as John Oliver’s recent critique of native advertising.

This week we discuss our favorite and least favorite modes of communication, Orange is the New Black, streaming, and preview new fall TV shows.

Helping our friends at the IAA get the word out. The call for entries begins today!

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Using Vine for Brands

Clocking in at just six seconds, a Vine can make the old-school elevator pitch seem like a doctoral dissertation. But creative companies are finding a way to pack a lot of marketing muscle into the looping videos that are easy for both customers and brand-builders to create and share through social media. And some innovators are taking the video-sharing service, launched by Twitter in January 2013, from the smartphone to the big screen.

In September, Dunkin’ Donuts aired the first-ever television ad made completely from Vine video during ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown, the Monday Night Football pre-game show. The ads mimicked game replays and featured Dunkin’ drinks as players.

“I think that was an interesting and first-ever use of Vine,” says Ekaterina Walter, cofounder of Branderati.

It was also effective, with Dunkin’ Donuts representatives telling Walter each  #DunkinReplay Vine delivered as many impressions as a comparable TV spot at a significantly lower cost.

“So they found that it was a very high ROI,” said Walter, author of the upcoming book, The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand.

It was also a great way to squeeze in a marketing message in context and without really interrupting people’s viewing experience. The short video segments also fed viewers’ seemingly insatiable appetite for video content. To mark its eighth anniversary in May 2013, YouTube announced users uploaded 100 hours to YouTube every minute. And statistics collected by The 7th Chamber in fall 2013 showed five tweets per second contained a Vine video link.

“The attention span of an average customer is shrinking,” Walter said. “And so I think what’s happening is the shorter and more impactful the segments are, the more interesting and effective they will be.”

Vines that encourage interaction are one of the best ways to break though the marketing clutter. In one example, Urban Outfitters teamed up with Converse in a contest offering a cross-country trip and other prizes for Vines that creatively answered the question “Where do your Chucks go?” in six seconds or less, inspiring consumers to create their own content.

Other effective Vines offer viewers visual demos that show them how to do everything from clean rusty knives (as seen in Lowe’s Fix it in Six series) to mix the perfect Cuba Libre (as seen in Bacardi’s Six Second Cocktail series).

“People want videos that are useful and entertaining, and they want to know how you cater to their interests. Try a “how-to” or demo of your product – or present something interesting related to your brand,” said Eric Hinson, founder and CEO of Explainify, which creates brief explanatory videos. “This should go without saying for all social media, but don’t try to hard sell your products here.”

It may also be worth mentioning Vine viewers should probably complete the Lowe’s how-to before concocting cocktails.

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