Nickelodeon Trade Ad From 1990

Nickelodeon: trade advertising

via: Fred Seibert

Syfy Igniters

Syfy Igniters

Bravo has its Affluencers and Oxygen has Generation O.  Now, to generate some early buzz before the 2012 upfront season begins, Syfy introduced its Igniters.  Like Bravo and Oxygen viewers, Igniters are billed as super influential consumers with an emphasis placed on their desire to have all the latest products.  It seems the collective greasy complexion of Science Fiction fans has cleared up and they’ve tossed the pocket-protectors because according to the network, Igniters are incredibly social thinkers with tons of swag.  You can visit the Syfy Igniters site here.  Also, you can download the upfront presentation loaded with tons of data and research from PSFK here.  By the way, Bravo, Oxygen and Syfy are all owned by NBCUniversal.

Facebook: You’re the Product Being Sold
ION Upfront Ad

ION Upfront 2011 Ad

 ♫ It’s the most wonderful time of the year.  Yup, it’s upfronts season and ION seems to have followed NBCU’s lead with posting upfront ads in the subway. 

Nat Geo placed a long-form print ad in Ad Age to proclaim its steady growth over the past decade. The network is currently in 71 million homes and attracts a more upscale and male audience.

Generation O - Oxygen Network

Oxygen GenerationO 2010 Oxygen GenerationO 2010

It’s that time of year again: Upfront season. I actually watched an MTA employee put this poster for Oxygen’s Generation O up. Subway ads touting the buying power of their viewers has become a tradition for Oxygen (click here for Oxygen’s 2009 ad and here for 2008). Their goal and tagline remains the same: to plug their “Trender, Spender, Recommender” viewers as non-stop buying machines. What recession? What 9.7% unemployment rate? These ladies have credit cards and they’re not afraid of interest rates.

There’s a few differences in the 2010 Generation O ad worth noting:

1. Apparently, the fresh-faced not a girl/not yet a woman seen here is an actual Oxygen viewer. I assume the vapid, plastic expression is a necessity in the upfront ad genre.

2. No diversity. Previous ads have featured women of color because, you know, debt Generation O doesn’t discriminate. I wonder why they decided to focus on one caucasian female. Hmm.

3. Ms. Angie from Dallas isn’t shopping. In previous ads, the Generation O ladies were shopping or appeared on their way to shop. Is Generation O beginning to show some restraint or did she max out her Saks card already?

Rob Walker covers these sort of ads that commodify people in his “Product is You" series. By the way, this photo was taken at the 67 Avenue station in Forest Hills, Queens, which is a residential neighborhood and nowhere near an ad agency. Why do you think Oxygen has repeatedly plastered, what is essentially a trade ad, all over the subway? Sure these ads are meant for media planners and buyers, but who are they really marketing to?

We TV - I Do-ers


We TV’s upfront advertising just screams girl power.  Their female audience are “optimistic and resilient.”

Bravo - Affluencers

Bravo_BrandPerception1 Bravo_BrandPerception2

The Future of Media is National Public Radio?
Links to Network Upfront Pages

The 2009 Upfront ended in August.  Because of the recession, major networks sold less commercial time than they normally do and are hoping to cash in on the scatter market.  Below are a collection of upfront pages—some require login IDs that are usually given to ad agency representatives.


The Audience Commodity

"What [advertisers] buy are the services of audiences with predictable specifications which pay attention in predictable numbers and at particular times to a particular means of communication [sic] in particular market areas.  As collectivities these audiences are commodities.  As commodities they are dealt with in markets by producers and buyers (the latter being advertisers).  The audience commodities bear specifications known in the business as "the demographics." The specifications for the audience commodities include age, sex, income level, family composition, urban or rural location, ethnic character, ownership of home, automobile, credit card statues and social class."

- Dallas Smythe [via: Radio Active: Advertising and Consumer Activism by: Kathy M. Newman]

via: The Advertising Research Foundation

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Themed by: Hunson