Category Archives: Media Sectors

Media Sectors on Modern Media Mix

NAB Pre-Report: TV Steps Into The Future with a New Standard

Another year, another NAB Show. As UNI Digital Media students prepare for this year’s National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show, there are a variety of trends and topics to see and experience. An interest of this year’s showgoers was how TV technology is changing to create better content, and one of the biggest things on display at the 2017 NAB Show for TV is the next generation of TV, dubbed ATSC 3.0.

TV

This new generation of technology creates a lot of new possibilities when it comes to the broadcasting of TV. With higher quality screens becoming more popular, broadcasts will now be able to handle 4K Ultra HD when the ATSC 3.0 standard goes into effect. High Dynamic Range (HDR) footage will also be able to be fully utilized thanks to this new standard.

This new ATSC 3.0 standard will be highlighted at the 2017 NAB Show this year in the NextGen TV Hub. This hub will showcase all of the benefits of the new ATSC 3.0 standard and will also be showing off a local broadcast from KLSV-LD utilizing this new technology. LG has gotten in on the ground floor of this technology and will be airing the ATSC 3.0 broadcast on TV’s that support the new standard. The technology will soon be included in all new TV’s, in preparation for 4K and HDR screens becoming mainstream. This new technology will also be utilized during the broadcast of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games from South Korea.

Other TV markets have been testing this new broadcast technology in places like North Carolina, Washington DC, Portland and Madison, Wisconsin. The FCC is allowing stations to begin using this new standard on voluntary basis, as well as issuing experimental licenses for those who wish to test out ATSC 3.0.

This new standard isn’t limited to the broadcast and TV industries, however. There is a strong possibility that the mobile, automotive and home technology industries will also take advantage of this new standard, as content is being viewed on more than just TV’s today. ATSC 3.0 and its automotive uses will be highlighted at this year’s show, as well as other industries, at the ATSC 3.0 Pavilion.

-Mitch Diamond, Chris Dummer, Taylor Peterson

NAB Pre-Report: Mobile Video Takeover

A group of UNI Digital Media students are heading out to Las Vegas for the annual National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show! This is an exciting time to explore the latest and greatest in the fast-paced media industry, and the proliferation of Mobile Video is one of the topics we will be researching.

Technology is changing almost as fast as consumer preference for how to use the changing technology. The world of mobile devices is no exception. The concepts of second screening, mobile video advertising, and mobile streaming are all current trends in the mobile media industry.

Mobile Video TakeoverAs you may know, “second screening” is about using a second screen (mobile device) while watching television. The concept has expanded to include out-of-home advertisements that link to mobile devices for further engagement. For more information on this topic click here.

Mobile Video is on the rise and competing with traditional television viewing. Watching mobile video commands our full attention unlike TV where we often multi-task and watch at the same time.

Research has shown that consumers don’t want to read about a product, they want to watch a video before deciding on a purchase. As a result, mobile video advertising spending is on the rise.

One company is already ahead of the game when it comes to advertising on mobile devices. LoopMe is a UK-based startup, “with a mobile video programmatic platform that taps Artificial Intelligence and ‘deep personalization’ to deliver ads that are ‘laser targeted’ to individual users.” It will be interesting to see if other companies follow suit and advertising becomes even more targeted than it already is.

Mobile Video Takeover

Finally, consumers prefer to stream videos and movies on their mobile devices instead of their personal computers. An obvious reason for this shift is due to the fact that mobile screens are the screens of convenience for many consumers. While at the NAB Show, we will be exploring how these devices are used—some research shows that many consumers watch mobile content at home, and not on-the-go as the technology allows.

At the NAB Show we plan to interview mobile video companies and visit the various mobile streaming booths, but we also will talk with cable providers to gather their opinions on the matter. Will they agree that mobile is rising, and traditional is on the way out, or will they laugh in the face of a challenger? We’ll have a report after we return from the Show!

Zildjean Bartels, Piper Davis, Olivia Guns & Madison Steffen

 

Is GoPro Dead?

When you think of GoPro advertisements, the first thing that might pop into your mind is an ad with footage of someone on a vacation or hiking in the mountains, right? What you may not know is that GoPro didn’t make these advertisements themselves. What’s unique about GoPro is that they use their consumer’s videos for their campaigns. The question is, does user generated content effectively advertise the product and make it successful?

GoProWhen purchasing something relatively expensive we are going to want to see reviews on the product. With GoPro, you can see the quality of the camera based on the videos created with them. People may assume that since GoPro advertises with user-generated content that the videos will be low quality and shaky, but this isn’t the case. Knowing that GoPro uses user-generated content makes their advertisements seem more genuine. Consumers are able to create high quality videos and are even advertising the product themselves by sharing it online. In fact, the company more than doubled their income by saving money with user generated content. Instead of spending advertising money on video equipment, a director, and a cast they have one person do take their product, create content, and share it online.

GoProThen the company thought, since consumers are basically advertising for us, why not reward them for their work? So, they introduced GoPro Awards. Every week they would pick photographs from three different categories and the winners would receive $500.They also gave awards for video content in two different categories: $1,000 for unedited footage and $5,000 for edited footage. They created these categories so that amateurs would have a chance at winning money too. The winners of these awards have a chance at making even more money. If GoPro liked their content a lot and wanted to license it to ad agencies, the creator would receive some of that licensing money.

However, in November 2016, it was released that GoPro’s income dropped by 330% compared to the year before. They lost $84 million in three months and their stock dropped 15%. This, obviously, made a lot of their investors angry. Their CEO, Nick Woodman says the reason behind this wasn’t because they weren’t effectively advertising the product, it was because they were behind in production and couldn’t make enough GoPros to meet the demands of the consumers. See link below for more details.

After their large drop in income, GoPro created their first ever scripted TV ad. The purpose of this ad was to show people that with a GoPro you can be more “in the moment” on your adventures. We can all find ourselves hidden behind our phones while on vacations or hanging out with friends, and GoPro can help you to capture what is going on while enjoying it at the same time. But, it’s interesting that they tried to tell people to stop taking videos while taking a video. If the demand really was still high, why would they need to create this new scripted ad? See below for the ad.

I believe that user generated content effectively advertised this product at first. It was cool and exciting so see what you could all do yourself, but this soon wore off. I think that the main reason there was a downfall in 2016 was because there are many different products out there now that are cheaper and do the same thing. It seems that almost everyone has some kind of camera nowadays, so the novelty of a GoPro has worn off. Do you think that GoPro will be seeing any more success in their future, or has their time passed?

Zildjian Bartels

Seeso’s Niche Streaming Service Competes with the Big Boys

In the online streaming market, giants such as Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube dominate with the amount of variety of content they carry.  On Netflix you can watch horror movies to your heart’s content, Hulu allows you to keep up with your favorite programs, and YouTube allows users to share and create their own content for all to enjoy.  But these services are broad, and lack any sort of niche appeal.  Enter Seeso, a new streaming service which focuses exclusively on comedy.

seesoSeeso is a service which is part of the recently formed NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises, which is headed by Evan Shapiro.  Seeso was officially launched on January 6th of 2016, after an open beta that started in December of 2015.  The service has a monthly subscription fee of $3.99/month to gain access to the ad-free content.

Seeso boasts an impressive roster of programs that include a number of NBC shows and original content.  Some of the NBC and NBC affiliated programs that Seeso currently carries include Saturday Night Live, Monty Python, Parks and Recreation, The Kids in the Hall and others.  But Seeso’s main appeal is its original content such as Take My Wife by Rhea Butcher and Cameron Esposito, Harmon Quest from Dan Harmon, and My Brother My Brother and Me which is based off of the podcast of the same name from the McElroy brothers.

When asked about original content Shapiro said this to Decider.com, “In the first month, our original content was less than 3 percent of our overall content, yet it still drove 40 percent of our subscriptions.  Seven months later, original content is around 8 percent of our overall content and drives more than 80 percent of our new subscriptions.”

Much of Seeso’s content and drive can also be found in its name.  A spokeswoman for NBC said this to the Wall Street Journal about the name of the new service, “The name plays off the curated experience and the ‘right brain comedy’ programming filter.  It’s a reference to the mapping the comedy genome philiosphy (the “You came to SEE The Office, SO we’ll show you other workplace comedies you’ll love.)”

Seeso is online at Facebook, Twitter, and provides content at YouTube.  Across all three social media platforms Seeso has maintained a consistent brand of brightly colored blues, yellows, and greys.  But it’s on YouTube that you see much of Seeso’s branding and promotional material at play.

Almost all of the videos are fast, bright, and most importantly funny.

Some even claiming that Seeso is a actually a cult in a series of short mockumentary style videos.  This series of videos are by far the longest and strangest part of Seeso’s marketing campaign.

While this promotional material may be incredibly funny, is it really effective?  Did they get more people to subscribe to Seeso, or at least try out the free trial?  That’s hard to say, especially since as of writing this, Seeso hasn’t released any subscription numbers or reported any earnings.  But it certainly is entertaining enough to warrant some thought into the service.

Chase Danielson

Hacking the President: Marketing Mr. Robot Season 2

When it comes to marketing, the internet as we know it today has brought along countless possibilities. There are tons of different avenues to promote your new piece of content or new invention, outside of the traditional “Madison Avenue” route of the past. TV and movies are limited only by the creativity of the teams assigned to market a specific piece of media. With USA’s Mr. Robot, the marketers had to think of ways to get viewers new and old to tune in to its premiere in July of 2016. The shows technical subject matter allowed for a clear theme to push the marketing in a good direction. Here are the top assets used in the marketing and promotions leading up to Mr. Robot Season 2.

mr. robot

The first thing to consider is the show’s background. Mr Robot is a drama thriller and premiered on USA Network in June of 2015 The show is centered around the main character, Elliot Alderson and his involvement with E Corp. Elliot, who is played by Rami Malek, is a cybersecurity engineer at E Corp, but is also a hacker when he is away from work. He suffers from social anxiety and depression. The show’s marketing for season 2 was centered around technology, which makes sense given the shows subject matter. The marketing was also trying to bring Fsociety, the hacker group from the show, to life outside of Mr. Robot.

The first marketing event that happened leading up to season 2 was the claim that USA Network was hacked and the first episode of season two was leaked online. It was released on Snapchat, Twitter and even YouTube. It was later even seen on USA Networks on website, revealing that it may have been an inside job. Fsociety claimed to be the source of the leak, claiming “You deserve something new, something unexpected, something you’ve never seen before.” The episode was taken down soon after the it was “leaked” on several platforms.

mr. robotThe next big marketing ploy helped bring Fsociety to life even more. The group began doing its own live streams in July 2016, before the season premiere. They were done in thirteen different countries and teased bits and pieces of the first episode as part of the stream.

The last big tactic used by the marketing team behind Mr. Robot was the inclusion of President Obama in the show. The President is seen holding a press conference, in which he discusses Fsociety. The video was created with the help of visual effects, as well as the use of an Obama impersonator.

The marketing campaign was a success, with over 110,000 tweets surrounding the premiere. 35,000 of them were seen before the premiere, associated with excitement and anticipation of the upcoming season. The rest came after the premiere, with a total of 30% showing the excitement and anticipation for the next episodes

Chris Dummer

Moana: Disney’s Venture into New Seas, You’re Welcome?

Moana is a Maori and Hawaiian word that roughly translates to “ocean, wide expanse of water, or deep sea.” (behindthename.com). Leave it to Disney to take this translation literally and produce a marketing campaign that was equally expansive and in a sense, deep.

MoanaMoana is Disney’s latest animated feature film to come out riding strong on the so called “Frozen wave” established with the release and success of Frozen in 2013. To ensure this success, the official trailer stated that Moana was “from the creators of Frozen” to provide a credible base for the film to stand on with viewers.

Disney used a variety of marketing tactics from the traditional to pushing the boundaries of what is new. The few that I will be discussing in this post are the traditional posters, trailers, and television spots along with the new Weather Channel backgrounds and full out vessel takeovers. Much like with Tangled, this campaign had a more boy-friendly feel to it. It was filled with more action clips than a more traditional Disney campaign would include.

Firstly, it would not be a marketing campaign without trailers and posters to constantly remind us that the movie is coming. Moana had several posters created to show off the main characters, the setting, and intrigue the audience about the plot line to be followed. In addition to this, a teaser and full official trailer were created to further intrigue audiences about the film.

The recent Olympics in Rio De Janeiro also gave Disney a unique opportunity for this campaign. What better time to advertise then when it’s quite possible the whole world could be watching? Granted it most likely aired in specific markets, but there were still high volumes of audiences. Thus, producing an extended promo was a good call on the part of Disney to ensure maximum exposure with relevant audiences.

Moving on now to the newer and more unique marketing strategies that Disney perused; starting with its frequent marketing partner, The Weather Company. What this company does is offer geotargeted promotions through its Weather Channel App. These appear in the form of branded backgrounds on the current weather screens of its users.

While other movies have used these branded backgrounds, such as The Penguins of Madagascar in 2014 produced by DreamWorks Animation, Moana was the first to use the new animated backgrounds. The backgrounds that users saw were based on the current weather conditions in their area. The branded backgrounds mimicked those conditions and subtly brought them to life.

There is one shortcoming that I can see with this campaign thus far; it was only available in select markets within the U.S. For a complete list of these cities and markets and more information about these branded backgrounds, click here.

One more element was incorporated within this app to appeal to the consumer desire for convenience. The app allowed users to purchase tickets to Moana at local theaters through a specialized website: Moanatickets.com.

A new adventure that Disney took on across the pond, in the UK, was turning an MBNA Thames Clippers’ catamaran into a Polynesian Wayfinder vessel. Thames Clippers provide river bus and cruise services on the Thames River in London. This was MBNA’s first partnership with Disney and with any company on a theatrical release for that matter. The goal was to immerse the customers in the movie and make them inclined to see it.

Perhaps saving their best promotional tool for last at the annual D23 Conference, Disney brought out the big guns to talk about the movie: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who voices Maui in the film. It may come as a surprise, but The Rock can sing ladies and gentlemen. If you haven’t heard his song yet, please watch it below. It will hook you and have you singing for a while. Which leads me to my next and final point.

Marketing and promotion for this film extends beyond everything done before the movie’s release date. Disney has several of its own official YouTube channels, one of which is called DisneyMusicVEVO. Often these channels contain the songs and most popular clips from the animated films.

This serves as a marketing tool in two ways: one to lure new viewers into the theaters by hearing about such songs either from word-of-mouth or by stumbling across the videos. Two to catch repeat viewers who see the video and realize how much they liked the movie and return to see it again.

Disney has produced an impressive campaign to market Moana to a diverse set of audiences, while also returning to its core demographic of young females as it is a female-centric film. Personally, I have not seen the film, but am intrigued to do so since “Your Welcome” has been playing on my computer for multiple weeks now. If you are curious as to how well this campaign translated into dollars for Disney on opening weekend, click here.

What are your thoughts about the movie in general? What aspects, if any, of this campaign drew you in to see the movie? Do you think that Disney went too far in its campaign by taking over a tourist vessel or was it simply a genius marketing move on their part? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Piper Davis

Overwatch: The Next Team Fortress 2?

“It’s high noon,” is a quote by McCree who is one of my favorite characters from Overwatch. Blizzard released the game Overwatch last year and it was met with raving success. Overwatch has had stunning marketing results, but will Overwatch become a trend in the near future?

OverwatchCelebrity Terry Crews recently did a video that came out this month. He did a mock audition for Overwatch character Doomfist. People are still playing Overwatch if Terry Crews just did an endorsement deal for Blizzard right?

According to Direct Marketing News Perry Simpson, he listed five reasons Overwatch worked well: brand integrity, powerful influencers, high accessibility, UGC (user-generated content), and a high-quality product.

However, the Gamespulp website reported that Overwatch is slowing down. The website claimed that the characters are part of the reason why the game is not doing so well. The website also stated that there’s no unlocks and loot boxes don’t count. Finally, you already have unlocked all the characters and abilities. What else?

Well, in all fairness, Overwatch currently has around 20 million players according to IGN along with an almost perfect review. Blizzard made a really good game here. So why people think that a game like this be slowing down? One word: trend.

A trend is a popular style that lasts for a brief period in time. Trends usually do not last more than a year. A good example of a trend that has lasted is the word ‘cool.’ So, does that mean that Overwatch is a terrible game? No. Of course not. It’s just that some (including myself) see this game as a trend. I haven’t played Overwatch in months now and I don’t really want to.

Overwatch is like World of Warcraft or Runescape. There is a dedicated, loyal fan base for these games, but it is like a trend. World of Warcraft has gained subscribers, but has lost many subscribers over the years.

Overwatch is a fun game to play however and with twenty-two characters to choose from. A good variety of maps, weapons, abilities, and unique character’s backstories. The game is multiplayer only which might be a reason why this game is slowing down. How would a single player campaign work? I’m not sure.

What can Blizzard do since Overwatch is kinda-of looked at as being a trend? Well, Blizzard could patch the game, maybe add new maps, add new characters, and perhaps a single player campaign. Will they do this? Again, I’m not sure.

Other than Overwatch being rumored as a trend, I want to look more in-depth of the game’s marketing. Let’s compare Valve’s Team Fortress 2 to Overwatch due to the similarities. Overwatch seems to have a similar art style, character style, and general map rotation.

According to PCGamesN, Jeff Kaplan, Overwatch’s game director expressed his thoughts on the Team Fortress 2 comparison from a fan’s question during Blizzcon. He said, “Team Fortress 2 is one of my favorite games of all time, but we’re going in a different design direction than they are. If people want to compare Overwatch to Team Fortress 2, we would take that as the world’s greatest compliment,” said Kaplan.

Sure, Overwatch is not a complete copy of Team Fortress 2, but there are many similarities. Not to mention how Valve marketed Team Fortress 2. For example, Valve marketed and showed off Team Fortress 2 characters just like Overwatch. They made one video for each of their characters.

Blizzard has even reached out to a popular film channel on YouTube known as RocketJump formerly known as FreddieW. The video came out October 2016. They advertised Heroes of the Storm more, but they do have Overwatch character Tracer in it. It sounds like Blizzard is still trying to keep Overwatch relevant.

What are your thoughts on Overwatch? Do you think Blizzard implemented a marketing genius game or will people lose interest in this game very soon? Tell me in the comments below! Don’t forget to share this post with your friends. Thank you!

Kyle Konigsmark

Creativity in Action: Marketing Rise of the Tomb Raider

In 2013 “a survivor was born” when Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix released Tomb Raider, a complete reboot to an already beloved series. The game met with incredible success and news of a sequel. Rise of the Tomb Raider was announced and fans were excited everywhere.

Tomb RaiderThat was until it was announced that Rise was going to be an Xbox One “timed exclusive”, which meant that for the first year of release, Rise was only available to the Xbox. This was met with an overwhelming amount of criticism. So how was Microsoft and Crystal Dynamics going to sell the game? With a really cool marketing campaign.

Tomb RaiderWe’ll start with the Survival Billboard. This was a challenge that was held in London, the home city of Lara Croft, and sponsored by Microsoft in an attempt to promote the game. The challenge sounded simple, eight contestants stood on a billboard. The contestants had to remain on the billboard for as long as they could while facing harsh weather conditions such as cold rain, strong wind, freezing snow and intense heat.

The event was live streamed via Twitch, an internet live streaming service, and played ads for the upcoming video game within the breaks of streaming. Microsoft also launched a website that viewers could go to. The website allowed viewers to choose what weather condition the contestants would have to deal with next. What is incredible is that the event lasted 20 hours and 45 minutes before there was only one contestant left standing. This marketing stunt won Microsoft several Cannes Lions and left one contestant with some hypothermia. The Cannes Lion is an award for those in advertising and communications.

The next bit of advertising that Microsoft threw together was “Escape from Siberia”. In “Escape” four fairly popular YouTube personalities were tasked with surviving the elements for 48 hours. The YouTubers had to complete “obstacles” such as camping, which I guess is an obstacle? Ziplining, rock climbing and archer. The vlogs were uploaded to the “Xbox On” YouTube channel as well as each of the individual YouTube channels.

Now we will head over to “The Climb”, which was aired in 2015 on Comedy Central. The commercial was a cross promotional event with the stars from the show Broad City, in which they are trying to climb up scaffolding while mixing in gameplay for Rise makes for a really funny commercial.

Something that this marketing campaign did that I thought was really cool was it tried to reach the female gaming community, as well as just females in general. If you haven’t watched Broad City, 1. You should and 2. You need to know it has a large female audience.

Another thing that Microsoft and Crystal Dynamics did was to hire Karen O, the frontwoman for the band the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Karen wrote the song and performed it for a music video that featured Lara Croft fighting and overcoming challenges from the video game, the song is called “I Shall Rise” The video was uploaded to the “Xbox On” YouTube channel on November 12th 2015. As I was saying this campaign tried to reach a larger female audience than most games do in general. However, I do not know whether or not Rise of the Tomb Raider was successful in gaining a female audience.

Now with any marketing campaign you have to have a presence on social media, and this game had just that. “Lara Croft’s Adventures” was the name given to the Instagram promotions that included several accounts which all linked together. One account was the Tomb Raider Journals in which several pictures are displayed with notes written by Lara to provide context on her current journey.

The next Instagram account was called Tomb Raider Research in which it showed Lara’s “virtual bulletin board, the account had photos, newspaper clippings, artifacts and notes and like the other account all were used to help provide context.

Tomb Raider

With all of these avenues of advertisement at their fingertips, was Microsoft successful? Yes and no, and here is why. It is true from a marketing standpoint that this campaign was brilliant and fun, in fact it won the Game Marketing Awards: “Outstanding Overall Marketing Campaign 2016”. It is true that the game was the highest selling Xbox One game during the week of Christmas 2015 and by the end of 2015 the game had sold over 1 million copies. So, it’s not like the company lost money. But the downfall comes from the fact that it was a timed exclusive for one year and on one console. Because when the game was released for the other systems such as PC, the game sold three times the amount in its first month of release.       

I guess in the end the game was a success, even for the Xbox, just not as much sales as they had projected. Crystal Dynamics is already developing a third entry for the rebooted series. Maybe they will think about pairing up with Microsoft again, or Sony, or neither and just release the game to all platforms.

So, what are your thoughts on the rebooted Tomb Raider series? Should Crystal Dynamics partner with a company like Microsoft again or not? Comment below! Peace out homies.

Nick Mussehl