By Gavin O’Malley
- As scheduled, Apple debuted its highly anticipated tablet device on Wednesday — for many, representing the dawn of a new age in media consumption.
- Christened the “iPad,” the device is expected to be available in March for a (surprisingly low) minimum price of $499 (Wi-Fi enabled, with a 3G version to follow a month later). With it, users can browse the Web, read and send email, view photos, watch videos, listen to music, play games, and read e-books.
- “iPad creates and defines an entirely new category of devices,” said Apple head Steve Jobs, who unveiled the product at a private event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.
- The iPad will come in two versions: one with Wi-Fi and the other with both Wi-Fi and 3G.
By David Goetzl
- ESPN said last week it has acquired a company with technology facilitating virtual insertion of ads within sportscasts, such as a logo underneath a hockey player or Pepsi sign behind horses coming down the stretch.
- The acquisition of Vistas Unlimited could help ESPN financially, if it doesn’t have to license the embedded-advertising capability it already uses.
- Advertisers can insert logos in baseball, college basketball and other broadcasts, but not within marquee property “Monday Night Football,” since the NFL does not allow any sponsorship integrations in games.
- PVI Virtual Media Services has been a leader in the virtual insertion space — having developed the line that appears during football games showing the distance to a first down. Owned by Cablevision, it has worked with ESPN on advertising initiatives.
By Wayne Friedman
- NBC Universal had a difficult last three months of 2009 — with profits sinking 30% to $602 million. NBC also witnessed revenue slipping 4% to $4.3 billion.
- Much of the drop came from Universal Pictures, with few high-performing theatrical movies and fewer DVDs sales — some 12 million units from “Inglorious Bastards” and “Public Enemy,” versus 33 million in the fourth quarter of 2008, which had “Mamma Mia,” “Hulk” and “Wanted.”
- Operating profit at Universal dropped $200 million with revenue sinking by more than $400 million to $1.2 billion. Also contributing to declines was higher TV rights fees for NFL football.
By Laurie Sullivan
- Brands demand the promises and the guarantees of performance — the same performance and fundamental metrics they have come to know in traditional media, such as television and radio.
- During his keynote at OMMA Performance Monday, Young-Bean Song, senior director at Microsoft Advertising Institute, told attendees the online industry needs to adopt traditional performance metrics into online to make brands that traditionally advertise on television and radio feel more comfortable about moving advertising on the Web.
- Data needs to prove the outcome of a campaign. But that outcome has become complex. So, marketers continue to look for ways to take the data and prove the outcome. During the next few years, companies will bring traditional media metrics to online media plans. The industry will also design new standards for return on investments (ROI).
By Karl Greenberg
- With several opponents on the auto field injured and sending in the second string, Hyundai is dropping back to throw for a touchdown. The automaker is doing its biggest ad push ever for a single model this year, including a raft of ads on Super Bowl Sunday that tout the totally redesigned Sonata and Tucson vehicles, and broadcasting the message that Hyundai has taken a leadership position in the auto industry.
- Sonata, Hyundai’s core vehicle, which competes in the brutal mid-size segment of the auto market, will get the most media largess this year, and it is the vehicle that gets the big spotlight during Bowl Day and a month later during the Oscars.
- The company, which ran two spots during the game last year, this year will run two during the Super Bowl and four before. The spots, narrated with avuncular gravitas by Jeff Bridges, are elegantly shot and talk about Hyundai the company through Sonata the car. The first, for instance, touts Sonata’s 35-mpg rating and Hyundai’s leadership in fuel efficiency; another pre-kickoff ad focuses on Hyundai’s proactive work on vehicle safety.
By Tripp Mickle
- Pepsi has agreed to a two-year extension that will see Mountain Dew remain the title sponsor of NBC’s and MTV’s action sports series through 2011.
- Sources valued the deal at $4.5 million to $5.5 million a year.