Check Out This Sneaky Amazon Product Placement

Q: If you are a TV show on the bubble between renewal and cancellation, what’s the best way to make the bosses happy?
A: Make them more money.

Undateable will never win an Emmy. It’s niche is that in its 3rd season (and basically out of desperation due to being moved to the Friday night dustbin), it decided to shoot every episode live. The result is a hyped up Friday night live studio audience that contributes to a show that is part script / part improv.

BUT… that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be back for Season 4. So the show needs an extra revenue source on top of the normal :30 spots to secure its place in the Fall lineup.

Enter Amazon, in what is one of the sneakiest product placement deals I can imagine. Remember, subliminal advertising is illegal. But subliminal product placement apparently is not. I counted about four different camera angles in two different scenes where the logo is visible. I’m going to estimate the logo got about 60-120 seconds of airtime. How much do you think that subliminal product placement is worth? More or less than a :30 spot?

Can you spot it?

Undateable and Amazon 1

Undateable and Amazon 2

Undateable and Amazon 3

Undateable and Amazon 4

Undateable and Amazon 5

A Request to the Writers of The Daily Show

Dear Trevor Noah and the rest of The Daily Show writing team,

I have a request for this election season.

Every candidate is busy lining up endorsements from the people they thing will most energize voters. Candidates need endorsements from all the individual politicians, tastemakers and influencers, from President Obama to Jay Inslee to Ed Murray.

But here’s what I would find REALLY interesting. Not who the thought leaders are endorsing. But who the crackpots, weirdos and psychopaths want to see in office. I would learn way more about a candidate by knowing if they are being supported by the craziest of the crazy. After all, candidates can try to hand pick and choreograph the endorsements they get from positive figures. But they’re helpless to defend themselves against endorsements from the “wrong people.”

So Mr. Noah, this is where you come in.

You have the power, the prestige, the connections and the brains to pull together a list of some of the biggest wackos in America AND get them on camera and find out who they are endorsing. You all can dive in and find out why. And as Americans, in some cases we’ll have to reconcile the fact that we support the same candidate as someone we’d never invite over to dinner.

I think the rare combination of ratings winner and public service. Thanks for your consideration.

Your loyal viewer,


Turning Lemons into Lemonade – The Antoine Dodson Story

You may have seen parts of this saga, but just in case you didn’t follow it all the way through.

So FIRST, watch the new Huntsville Alabama clip that got the whole thing started…

Chilling, no?.

THEN watch what a few clever kids did to it..

It doesn’t end there..

The Huntsville TV crew goes to work, and does a follow up story..

And you know what’s coming, right. .

Antoine Dodson is basically now the new Old Spice Man…With an Ed Hardy T-Shirt no less…Go see A lesson to Snookie and anyone else negotiating for reality TV duckets – characters are everywhere.

The Cure For Local News… No Anchors?

Not many people under the age of 55 would disagree with the idea that local news needs to be reworked.  In previous times, the local anchor was one of a few links between the scary, confusing news story and the viewer who needed it explained.  

But over time, that bond has eroded.  Some would argue the anchor did not evolve with the rest of the news gathering process.  Most of us are more than comfortable being our own editor.  We navigate from website to website, focusing on topics we self-select in filters and rss readers.  

So what role does the news anchor play now? Down in Houston, KIAH is going to see if that answer is, “They don’t have a role.”

Word is that KIAH will try an anchorless newscast.  The concept is still a work in progress, so no other insight is available.  But an anchorless newscast enables a wide range of sweeping changes in the local news.  At the very least, the 4 talking heads could be consolidated into a single one, news magazine and national newscast style.  And managing editors could be guided by popular opinion or some form of viewer input.

Will people watch a TV screen that has no differentiation from a YouTube channel or web site?  Either way, it will be an interesting to story to follow.

And Now Back to Marketing Stuff…World Cup Ratings Soar

Well the U.S. World Cup team is out.  Sad day last Saturday.  

But thankfully, a combination of high drama, strong ESPN/ABC coverage and a Saturday afternoon match provides a nice segue from soccer stories back into the world of marketing.

According to

The 2010 NBA Playoffs averaged a 3.6 U.S. rating and 5.7 million viewers across ABC, ESPN/ESPN2 and TNT, up 3% in ratings and 5% in viewership from last year (3.5, 5.4 mil), and up 9% and 16%, respectively, from 2008 (3.3, 4.9 mil).  A seven-game NBA Finals more than made up for several sweeps in the second round and consistent declines in the Conference Finals.  

Given those numbers, I was interested to find out how many more people would watch the NBA playoffs than a World Cup soccer game.  Well, according to ESPN:

Saturday’s game, which began at 2:30 p.m. EDT on ABC, received an 8.2 fast national rating, ESPN said Sunday. It was seen in 9,455,000 households and by 14,863,000 viewers. Only the 1999 Women’s World Cup final, featuring the United States and China at the Rose Bowl, averaged more households (11,307,000) and viewers (17,975,000) for a soccer game. An additional 4.5 million people watched Sunday on the Spanish-language Univision.

Wow.  To put those numbers side by side:

  • US vs Ghana Soccer Game: 8.2 rating, 14.9 Million viewers (ABC), 19.4 Million viewers total (ABC+Univision).
  • NBA Playoff average: 3.6 rating, 5.7 Million viewers

Now I know it’s not a fair comparison, since the NBA playoffs also included cities like Oklahoma City where only 3,500 of the 10,000 people with electricity actually know how to work their remote control.  So to be fair, here’s data from the most watched basketball games of the year:

  • Game 7, NBA Finals: 15.6 rating, 28.2 Million viewers
  • Game 6, NBA Finals: 10.4 rating, 18.0 Million viewers.
  • Game 5, NBA Finals: 10.8 rating, 18.7 Million viewers.
  • Game 4, NBA Finals: 9.9 rating, 16.4 Million viewers.
  • Game 3, NBA Finals: 9.6 rating, 16.0 Million viewers.
  • Game 2, NBA Finals: 9.2 rating, 15.7 Million viewers.
  • Game 1, NBA Finals: 8.6 rating, 14.1 Million viewers.

So the U.S. vs Ghana game comes in just under Game 1 of the NBA finals.  I expect that’s much more than ABC expected.