via: Fred Seibert
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.
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?
The above banner images mark NPR’s first-ever marketing campaign created to portray the brand as an interactive, innovative medium for advertisers. The campaign is meant to emphasize NPR’s penetrative reach as a cross-platform media outlet that extends beyond radio. The company released an iPhone application for its podcasts on August 15 and as noted by the second panel, achieved over 1 million downloads, which is certainly helping it reach a younger audience (via: ClickZ).
I’m particularly struck by the campaigns references the demise of “old media.” The accompanying sponsorship information page states NPR reaches more than the “combined circulation of the top 55 newspapers.” This certainly highlights print media’s fleeting influence. The bold, albeit cliché in approach, slogan in the last panel implies that radio, television’s predecessor, has successfully combined a throwback medium with progressive media usage sensibilities and garnered a loyal following.
Side note: I’ve never seen a brand brag about the number of Twitter followers it has and perhaps in the not-too-distant future, that number will be just as important as web traffic figures.
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.
“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.”