media brands

CBS Buys Stake in TV Guide in its Latest Move to Create More Content

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 27, 2013 05:18 PM

“America's Most Watched Network” is moving aggressively to maintain its moniker.

In what's been a great week for CBS, the network just bought 50 percent ownership of TV Guide, including the eponymous cable channel and TVguide.com, for about $100 million. The cable channel reaches 80 million plus homes but its iconic website programming grid stretches even further via mobile apps, entertainment news coverage and content recommendations.

The deal adds a basic cable network to CBS’ current television portfolio which includes broadcast networks (CBS and the CW), pay cable network (Showtime), international TV channels, a TV studio syndication unit, sports network and the Smithsonian Channel.Continue reading...

red carpet

2013 Oscars: Brands Seek Star Power With Tim Burton, Jennifer Aniston, Naomi Watts and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 25, 2013 10:02 AM

As promised, a slew of new ad campaigns made their red carpet debut during the Oscars telecast Sunday night on ABC and in local markets. Below, check out new campaigns for Samsung Mobile (starring director Tim Burton and a unicorn), Kristen Chenoweth for Royal Caribbean, Jennifer Aniston for Aveeno, Naomi Watts for Pantene and more. Then tell us which (if any) you think deserve best in show—and which marketers should have saved a million dollars or so.Continue reading...

red carpet

Hyundai, Diet Coke, Samsung Stage Big Ads for The Oscars

Posted by Dale Buss on February 22, 2013 06:33 PM

Little do the stars know, by the time it comes to Oscars night, the most important performances are on the little screen, not the big one.

During the "Super Bowl of the entertainment industry" on Sunday evening, the ABC telecast of the Oscars, Hyundai and a handful of other advertisers will be leveraging the big stage in big ways for their brands. The prospect of the largest TV audience for the Academy Awards in several years would make achieving their goals easier.

Hyundai, for instance, will be running seven commercials during the telecast—the most of any advertiser—and it has the sole automotive rights to the automotive ad category during the show. Keeping with the show biz theme, it's fitting that Hyundai's voiceover talent is, once again, its longstanding brand voice: Academy Award-winner Jeff Bridges. At a time when Hyundai continues to dimensionalize the brand along both luxury and performance lines, the Oscars are at least as important a forum for the carmaker as for any actor or director.

"We're bullish on the chances for ratings this year, with the combination of films that were critically acclaimed and that also did big box office," Steve Shannon, CMO for Hyundai of America, told brandchannel. "We just like the feel of the Oscars."Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: BlackBerry, iPhone, Carnival and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 15, 2013 09:00 AM

In the News

BlackBerry shows new signs of life as co-founder sells stake.

Apple challenges iPhone trademark loss in Brazil.

Carnival tries to cruise away from brand disaster as passengers mull legal options.

ABC, NFL and Call of Duty get top marks for consumer engagement.

Airbus drops lithium-ion batteries from latest jet.

Applebee's expands test of Express Lunch service.

Best Western focuses on its people, not perks, in new campaign.Continue reading...

media brands

Hearst's Esquire Expanding Beyond the Magazine to Become a TV Network

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 11, 2013 05:47 PM

The Esquire Network says it's ready for prime time.

The new network, announced today, aims to “capture the essence of the magazine,” David Carey, president of Esquire publisher Hearst Magazines, told The New York Times. "This is not the magazine on TV; that would not work."

The male audience is an ever-sweet spot for brands, as evidenced by offerings that vary from Spike TV to Discovery's Velocity Channel. The Esquire Network will replace the Comcast-created G4 video gaming channel (which gave Esquire fave Olivia Munn her start as co-host on Attack of the Show) on April 22, and be available in 62 million homes with cable or satellite service.

The rebranded network is a strategic partnership between NBC Universal and Hearst Magazines. NBCUniversal cable executive Bonnie Hammer positioned it as "an upscale Bravo for men." She added, "If this was going to come under my portfolio, I’m a little brand crazy, so I said, let’s create a real brand, define a space, understand who we are programming for."Continue reading...

product placement

ABC, NBC and IFC Push Boundaries of In-Show Brand Integration

Posted by Dale Buss on February 8, 2013 05:33 PM

A Ford ad ties into the NBC series The Smash. So far, the show has brought lackluster ratings.

The Middle, Smash and Portlandia offer three examples of the growing seamlessness between product/brand placement and the creative content of TV series.

On ABC's The Middle this week, the episode was practically an ode to two brands: iPad and Red Lobster. The youngest child in the Heck family, Brick, pines and pesters for an iPad until his parents, Frankie (played by Patricia Heaton) and Mike, finally relent and buy him a restored model on eBay. Until they do, a huge chunk of the script is devoted to Brick's description of the wonders of the iPad.

Much of the rest of the story depicts the family at a Red Lobster, naming the restaurant repeatedly and including a shot of a juicy lobster. (A Red Lobster ad also aired during the episode — though there was no commercial for iPad.)Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: ABC, Chipotle, Google, Volkswagen and more...

Posted by Dale Buss on February 7, 2013 08:57 AM

In the News

ABC sells out ads for Oscars.

AOL is constantly innovating but toward what end remains unclear.

American Airlines and U.S. Airways move closer to merger as U.S. Airways rises to top of customer-loyalty survey. 

Banana Republic hooks up with Match.com for Valentine's mixers.

Boeing prepares redesign of troubled Dreamliner batteries.

Campbell Soup enlists celebrity chef in heart-health campaign.

Chipotle plans mid-year price increase.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Disney, Dell, USPS and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 6, 2013 09:06 AM

In the News

Disney sees higher TV ad revenues drive quarter and considers ESPN exit from U.K. sports coverage.

Dell seeks to transform brand, going private in $24 billion buyout under founder Michael Dell, as Microsoft gambles on involvement.

U.S. Postal Service plans to cut Saturday mail as Hallmark fights the cuts.

Apple loses right to iPhone brand in Brazil.

Arby's launches "fan of the week" promo via Facebook.

Lance Armstrong reportedly under investigation for obstruction and other serious crimes.

BP is hit by new $34 billion claim from U.S. state governments over Gulf spill.Continue reading...

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