Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, December 09, 2021


Parody ads are so much fun to put together. I wish I had done so with this one; actually it’s (I believe) the handiwork of The Beast.

And just to make that snarky ad copy more searchable, a transcript:

You wouldn’t buy our shitty cars.
So we’ll be taking your money anyway.

The Bailout. Coming this January.

You probably thought it was smart to buy a foreign import of superior quality, with better mileage and resale value. Maybe you even thought that years of market share loss might prod us into rethinking our process and redesigning our products with better quality in mind. But you forgot one thing: We spend a shitload of money on lobbyists. So now you’re out $25 billion, plus the cost of your Subaru. Maybe next time you’ll buy American like a real man. Either way, we’re cool.

We’re The Big Three. We Don’t Need to Compete.TM

The pricetag is actually looking more like $15 bil. But by the time the supplemental cash infusions and miscellaneous bribes get counted up, I’m sure $25-billion number will represent the new low-end estimate.

The true irony is that, even with this funding, the carmakers probably won’t use it to produce real-life full-page print ads. Which means that my own personal revenue preserves (media) will continue to pump a dry well, without benefit of bailout funding.

(Via AdFreak)

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 12/09/2021 11:44pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business, Comedy
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NBC managed to defuse what was shaping up to be a messy late-night situation by handing over its Monday-Friday 10PM timeslot to Jay Leno, starting in 2009.

What accounts for this unprecedented ceding of prime time territory to a late-night style of stripped show? Basically, it’s a different television world these days, and the traditional 8-11PM prime-time bloc is no longer sacred — or even particularly relevant:

Executives involved in the decision said Monday that because ratings have decreased and costs are becoming more critical, NBC could reap an enormous financial benefit from this move.

Though Mr. Leno will command an enormous salary, probably more than $30 million a year, the cost of his show will be a fraction of what a network pays for dramas at 10 p.m. Those average about $3 million an episode. That adds up to $15 million a week to fill the 10 p.m. hour. Mr. Leno’s show is expected to cost less than $2 million a week…

There have been no new hits at 10 p.m. on any network in almost four years; ratings for shows in that time slot continue to fall.

So this was very much a negative move, i.e. a cost-cutting measure first and foremost, that dovetailed with CEO Jeff Zucker’s desire to reduce the network’s programming hours. Appeasing a dissatisfied Leno and keeping him in the NBC fold (thus avoiding an embarrassing defection to a competing network) provided the convenient wrapping.

I think the more far-reaching implication, though, is the curtailing of what we all used to consider to be network prime time. Even if Leno’s new show doesn’t catch on, the template has been set: From now on, the recognized prime time slots begin at 8PM and end at 10PM. Within that space, the reality shows, sitcoms, and dramas will dwell; after that, it’s the official start of late-night, with the attendant opportunities for edgier fare. This will matter more for advertisers than for the audience, but that’ll be the new landscape.

Which, for me, actually feels more right. Growing up, I used to think that the 10 o’clock hour effectively marked the end of truly “fun” original shows on the tube (I’m old enough to remember pre-cable television, when the Big 3 were the only game in town for first-run programming). All the half-hour sitcoms that I preferred as a little kid never started any later than 9:30, so I knew that once those started rolling their end-credits, it was time to switch off the set. It took 30 years, but the industry finally caught up with my youthful perception.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 12/09/2021 07:56pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Celebrity, TV
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I get that Circuit City’s current TV ad campaign is meant to exaggerate our obsession with shiny tech toys. Thus the motif of setting up the consumer with the anthropomorphized product in the form of a blind date, as in the “Mixed Signals” spot.

Then, there’s this one, called “Pick Me Up”:

Take another gander at the look on the face of this “happy customer”:

Is it just me, or does this guy exude creepiness? Look at that too-lascivious leer. I’m not kidding here — I truly think that he’s going to take his brand-new television home with him, and have sex with it. As if his femme-fatale flatscreen is a mail-order bride that he’s just picked up for years of disgustingly digital sex. Ugh.

So the seductive subtext of how much we love our tech-toys goes just a bit too far in this case. I think it’s just the way this particular actor looks. They must have cut corners in the talent search. I guess when you’re in the midst of bankruptcy, you take what you can get.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 12/09/2021 10:31am
Category: Advert./Mktg.
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