Posted by Dale Buss on December 3, 2013 11:17 AM
Will Carrie Underwood be able to hit the high notes like Julie Andrews? Will she botch a line? Will one of the Von Trapp children forget what follows "do"? And how in the heck can you simulate the Austrian Alps in a live production?
NBC is hoping that viewers by the millions will tune in on Thursday for the answers to those questions and more as the network stages one of the most interesting—and gutsiest—holiday TV specials in some time: a live new interpretation of The Sound of Music starring the Nashville songbird who first won fame on American Idol.
Underwood has done a bit of acting and has live-hosted the Country Music Association awards show with Brad Paisley for a few years—and she's sure done a lot of singing. But NBC is making a huge bet on Underwood's ability to stretch herself professionally in a completely new way. Already there are haters nixing her for even daring to reprise Andrews' role in the movie version of the Broadway musical, but Underwood also has defenders including other cast members.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 3, 2013 07:12 PM
The week is already building to a crescendo, that moment awaited by National Football League fans for seven months now, since the closing moments of the last Super Bowl. That's right—the moment when fantasy-football players need to lock in their rosters for the first week of action.
Well, alright: Fantasy leagues haven't become quite as big as the game itself, which will renew play for the 2013-2014 season with a Thursday evening kickoff between the visiting Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens and the host Denver Broncos. But the continued rise of fantasy play is one of the most interesting marketing elements of the upcoming season, along with the primacy of Sunday Night Football, the need for creative renewal by brands using NFL games as an advertising vehicle—and concern about the issue of head injuries.
So many Americans now are enrolled in NFL fantasy leagues that a growing number of marketers are turning to them as a sort of poor man's NFL-marketing platform. Lenovo, for example, has created a fictional fantasy-team owner whose exploits bring him in contact with actual NFL stars, according to the New York Times.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 14, 2013 09:22 AM
Taco Bell reveals Fiery as third flavor of Doritos Locos Tacos.
Coca-Cola defends safety of artificial sweeteners in new ad.
Adidas gains on Nike in China by balancing performance with fashion.
AB InBev disputes MillerCoors claims about superiority of Coors Light cans.
AOL apologizes over public firing of Patch director.
Absolut launches artistic redesign of flavored-vodka range.
Amazon hires for a secret N.J. warehouse, perhaps signaling New York grocery delivery.
Apple is pushed on buyback by Carl Icahn after he reveals $1.5 billion stake.
BMW uses humorous new campaign to boost diesel.
Chipotle faces shortage of "responsibly raised" meat.
Craigslist costs local newspapers $5 billion in classified-ad revenue.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 20, 2011 04:06 PM
With its latest collaboration, Target is going from Missoni to Tony. It's not exactly resurrecting the Rat Pack, but the retailer's new deal with Tony Bennett underscores one thing: Retro is cool.
The mass retailer has always been known for pace-setting deals with, for example, name product designers that have kept Target on the watch lists of style-conscious young women — and typically out of the same sentence with "Walmart." Target's hit (and sold out) collaboration with Missoni is the latest example of that.
While its exclusive promotion with the 85-year-old crooner isn't quite on the Missoni scale, this one also involves a collaboration with a venerable brand of Italian descent. In announcing that it will offer an exclusive version of Tony Bennett's new studio album, Duets II, beginning today, Target is laying down yet another marker of its cultural relevance.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 27, 2011 02:00 PM
Last year, after the departure of Simon Cowell as the acerbic judge and the face of the show, American Idol confronted a fateful moment: How would the FOX mega-property fight a long-term slide in ratings without its fascinating bad boy and its most compelling personality – especially one who was going to create a competing show that would debut on the same network this fall?
Idol producers succeeded handsomely, bringing in Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler as judges to join holdover Randy Jackson, and making the show’s narrative about really developing really good talent instead of allowing not-so-good singers into the final ranks and then savaging them when they performed down to their level.
Viewership for Wednesday night’s finale was 29 million people, up about 18% from last year’s according to Variety. Votes cast for the two finalists, winner Scotty McCreery and runner-up Lauren Alaina, totaled well more than 100 million, easily a record for the show (thanks largely to its addition of online voting to the old-fashioned phone medium). Inevitably, Idol questions about how long it can keep going, now arise.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 16, 2010 01:15 PM
The question has been asked before, but never so loudly and intensely as now: Does American Idol still have what it takes to remain America’s most-watched show? When the decade-old Fox reality series returns in January, will it remain king of the hill on prime-time television – or will its recent ratings slide intensify?
Such ponderings have new prominence, of course, because of the departure from the show of its symbolic father — iconic judge Simon Cowell — after nine seasons.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on September 8, 2010 05:00 PM
* P&G, ahead of taking Olay global, names Carrie Underwood as the brand's first celebrity ambassador.
* Nissan is partnering with Dongfeng Motors on Qi Chen, a new Chinese car brand.
* Oracle's board rejects shareholder proposal calling for board-level accountability on sustainability.
* AOL taps former William Morris chairman Jim Wiatt as strategic advisor.
* Apple lost 20% of iPhone 4 sales due to "antennagate" (in Minneapolis), while the NYT's David Pogue reviews 2010 iPods, finds "modest improvements, a risky new design and one home run in the new iPod Touch."
* CNN makes it official: Piers Morgan will replace Larry King.Continue reading...