$3 Million For 30-Seconds

Football talk in May? It’s NBC’s turn to broadcast the Super Bowl in 2009 and they are wasting little time setting the bar on advertising rates for America’s biggest spectacle. Fresh off last year’s record-breaking TV ratings (most watched sporting event in U.S. history), NBC will be asking $3 million for a 30-second ad spot which represents a 10%+ spike over last year’s rates. In an era where all media is being cannibalized by the web, live sports represents one of television’s last bastions of utility. Depending on who you ask, live events may be the only segment of the content spectrum to thrive on television as more and more programming migrates online.

In 15 years, broadcast television will only be useful for high-profile live events like the Super Bowl, awards shows and programs like “American Idol,” Ben Silverman, co-chairman of NBC Entertainment.

quote tv week

IAB Finalizes Standards For Video Advertising

One of the bigger perceived stumbling blocks to monetizing online video was the lack of industry-wide standards. Pre-roll, post-roll, no-roll, overlay, how long, how short etc… With text ads and especially display ads (banners etc.) the standardization of specific unit formats helped propel the growth of those ad delivery mechanisms. I am now happy to report that as of today, the Internet Advertising Bureau has finally settled on some standard units for online video advertising.

While this won’t immediately lead to a rush of ad dollars for online video distributors or creators, it should begin to set the table for consistent adoption and growth going forward. Bottom line, this is an important milestone and very good news for everyone involved in the online video industry.You can download the full IAB Digital Video Ad Format Guidelines and Best Practices document here: PDF File (496k).There are still hurdles that need to be overcome. The whole cost-per-impression (CPM) vs. engagement debate is ongoing. Most people agree that CPM is not the best metric for online video. But how will we track, measure and monetize different levels of engagement? This will take more time, industry debate and experimentation to shake out, but the introduction of standard ad units by the IAB is a big step in the right direction. For more on the CPM vs. engagement debate, watch Yahoo!’s Rebecca Paoletti discuss the issue in more depth:

Chrysler’s New Car Launch Spells Doom For Newspapers

Much has been written and said about how much Craigslist is contributing to the demise of the newspaper business. While Craigslist is single-handedly killing the print classifieds business, there are other storm clouds brewing that are just as worrisome for newspapers.

Car makers launching new models are increasingly putting more and more of their spend into digital platforms and newspapers are getting less and less. So it’s not just the auto classifieds that are disappearing, but the big newspaper display ads to introduce new models are becoming endangered species…

Chrysler is about to embark on a major launch campaign for a car called the Dodge Journey, but for the newspaper business they might as well nickname the car Dodge Doom. The upcoming advertising campaign serves as a microcosm on several fronts. It illustrates both why newspapers are seeing a drastic cut in revenues, and also why internet advertising revenues will continue to grow despite a weak economy.Chrysler is spending $35 million to launch the Dodge Journey which is the same amount they spent last year when they launched the Dodge Nitro. The big difference is not in the total ad spend, it’s where the money is going or not going. Two years ago, Chrysler allocated 5% of their launch budget to online/interactive media. This year, that number is 29% which marks the single largest online ad spend for Chrysler to date.

The reason the company likes online is that it gets so much direct feedback from web consumers — it says it has already made 400 changes to 2008 and 2009 models based on customer web feedback.

Television is still getting the most allocation at 54%, followed by 29% for online, 9% for print and 4% for radio. Of the 9% for print, the majority of it is going to magazines, not newspapers. Now you can begin to understand the gravity of the situation for the newspaper business. For a major automaker to spend $35 million to bring mass awareness to a new product and then subsequently choose (for the most part) to do it without targeting newspaper readers, is a major shift.

And let’s not forget Porsche is promoting its Boxster and Cayman sports cars this month. The campaign is using magazine ads, online banners, and micro sites. The company says that going into 2009 interactive and magazines will continue to be its focus. “Online is a big part of Porsche going forward,” said Marshall Ross, the chief creative officer of the Cramer-Krasselt agency developing the campaign. “If we can bring that personality online in a compelling way, you will see a lot more of it.”

Full article: Chrysler Is Spending Some $35 Million To Launch Its 2009 Dodge Journey Crossover Auto, But If Newspapers Are Lucky They May See Around $1 million Of That Spend

Digital is where it’s at

In the tech world we see no shortage of ‘hype’ these days. The internet/digital spaces are sizzling with M&A activity and innovation is at an all-time high. However, lurking on the fringes of all of this hype are people who have lived through the dot-bomb era and are consistently warning everyone that a ‘correction’ or a full blown ‘bubble burst’ may be on the way. I’m a big believer in paying attention to ‘breadcrumbs’. Breadcrumbs are little morsels of information that act as signals or indicators in support of (or not) for a larger trend.

If we are indeed in a ‘bubble’, I have to say that I am not seeing many breadcrumbs to support that notion. In fact, we are consistently seeing signals in the marketplace that support the continued rise, growth and valuation of digital media.

One such breadcrumb that I stumbled across today was news that one of my favourite ‘Canadian-founded’ digital marketing agencies Blast Radius was acquired by a worldwide traditional (direct) marketing company. Blast Radius was founded in Vancouver in 1997 just as I was in the middle of my New Media diploma course at the Vancouver Film School. If memory serves me correctly, a VFS alumni was one of the founders of the agency. The CEO of the acquiring company had some brief but revealing comments regarding the logic behind the acquisition that in my opinion, just continues to support the notion that we are not in a bubble, but simply experiencing the rise of all things digital and web.

I’m surprised at the speed at which clients are moving real communication dollars into the [digital] channel,” said Wunderman Chairman and CEO Daniel Morel, adding he expects the history of advertising will one day be divided into “before search” and “after search.”

ClickZ: Wunderman Acquires Blast Radius