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Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday Marketing, Madmen, the Kennedys, and Spiderman

The Kennedy family, with Caroline at the helm with Marie Schrieber, managed to kill a $35 million dollar mini-series on the Kennedy family, scheduled for the History Channel. Showtime and HBO have passed on it as well. The fully produced program by the producer of "24" may not even go direct to DVD. The series shows the "alleged" sex lives of the Kennedy's, including President John F. Kennedy, and does take liberties with the facts and history.

"Spiderman" remains the most expensive Broadway show in history. It is selling out and could, over the next few years, earn back its $65 million dollar cost, despite injuries, some serious, and very poor reviews, including references to "vulgar" and "shallow" plot and dialogue. None other than Glen Beck is endorsing it, saying "give up both Kidneys" to see it.

Pilot Season has begun in earnest in Hollywood and around the globe while projects already produced and content is being prepared for presentation on the twice a year show business programming convention floor. A new reality is setting in, where web produced, marketed and sold over the Internet compete against expensive studio spec programs for an ever increasing market on broadcast, cable, Internet and on-demand programming. Pilots and Trailers (pre-trailer) are produced by those creating the project as a sales tool or "spec" to sell a concept, script or idea to distributors (including networks). Pre-trailers are more often used for movie concepts, but can be used for television and Internet distribution commitments. Union actors are paid a union fee to work on a trailer or pilot, and may or may not be kept on should the pilot be "picked-up". This time of year represents a tremendous opportunity for creativity and energy, income or the potential of income for creatives in Hollywood and around the world.

Marketing by Psychographic. Exploration and trying new things, or experiential, is sought after by advertisers and raises the demand for programs that may not pull other audiences. Education lends itself to being more open minded, or experiential, than those with less education. These are personality type marketing generalities, using the psychographic element of demographics. Mindset Media is reforming the tools. The new media analysis trend will, those who believe in it say, help advertisers to target their advertising to who is likely to be viewing and buying ads in programs that will hit your audience. This has been a qualitative craft, with new methods to add quantitative data. Using this method you can conclude"Family Guy" attracts rebels, rule breakers, risk takers, people who like excitement (frozen pizza, Harley, impulse electronics). "Mad Men" attracts liberal and open minded people with a generally higher education level (Apple Computer, high end cars, resorts using quality and fun to sell),   "24" viewers are conservative and less likely to change (processed cheese, hamburgers, FORD and Chevy basic vehicles, using patriotism and normality to sell).

For more listen to KCRW's The Business, Mindset Media, Entertainment Weekly, and CBC News.

State of the Union

Fifty years ago this Thursday, President John F. Kennedy delivered one of the strongest "inauguration speech" of any new incoming president. Fifty years ago today General Dwight D. Eisenhower (as the nations only five star General he returned to that title after stepping down as President of the United States, including its duties and responsibilities), made the most famous speech by an outgoing president, where he warned of the Military Industrial Complex instead of actual national security and military needs, escalating the budget and taking control of military tactical decision making.

In an age of instant mass communication, cell phone video, texting and immediate gratification, it is important to note that people have not always campaigned, made decision by or lived on such a fast time table and quick judgement.

Travel and communication, both key to a Democracy, took time and were well planned because of the time involved.

An example of presidential communication can be found in the State of the Union, now an address before congress but on a simpler basis a way of communicating between the president, the congress, and since the invention of radio, the people and the world.

Nothing is more confusing to most Americans than why we do and how we present the "State of the Union".  It started as a way of simply informing Congress of programs in place or planned and how they related to the country, done in a time when communication may take days or weeks to travel. It evolved into public relations and today a presentation to multiple audiences (covered in my lectures).

Incoming presidents have the right to present their view of the State of the Union as do incoming presidents, since "state" may be interpreted as a report on what existed as of December or what is perceived to exist the moment of the speech.

On the State of the Union Address and the President appearing before Congress:

Jefferson was concerned that the practice of appearing before the representatives of the people was too similar to the British monarch's ritual of addressing the opening of each new Parliament with a list of policy mandates, rather than "recommendations."  

State of the Union Messages to the Congress are mandated by Article II, Section 3 of the United States Constitution which states,"He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient;" Among the many precedents established by George Washington was clarification of the phrase "from time to time." Since 1790 State of the Union messages have been delivered regularly at approximately 1 year intervals.

A seemingly well-established misconception found even in some academic literature, is that the State of the Union is an orally delivered message presented to a joint session of Congress.  With only a few exceptions, this has been true in the modern era (ca. 1933-present, see Neustadt or Greenstein), but beginning with Jefferson's 1st State of the Union (1801) and lasting until Taft's final message (1912), the State of the Union was a written (and often lengthy) report sent to Congress.

From State of the Union Messages: research notes by Gerhard Peters

LA Times Company Town Links: Gloves, Jobs, Woes, and Dirt

Gleeful at the Globes. Fox's "Glee" and Sony's "The Social Network" were the big winners at Sunday night's Golden Globes. Paramount's "The Fighter" also had plenty to celebrate with Christian Bale and Melissa Leo taking home acting trophies, as did Natalie Portman for "Black Swan" and Colin Firth for "The King's Speech." As usual, there is lots of second-guessing about whether host Ricky Gervais was out of line. To paraphrase "Spinal Tap," there is a fine line between clever and obnoxious. But hey, you knew what you were getting when you hired him. Recaps and reviews from the Los Angeles TimesNew York TimesVarietyHollywood ReporterUSA Today and IndieWire.
Jobs goes on leave. Steve Jobs, the visionary behind Apple, is taking another medical leave. Jobs, who took a long break from work in 2009 for a liver transplant and previously battled pancreatic cancer, said in a letter to staffers that he would "continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company." Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook will take over during Jobs' absence. The latest from TechCrunch.
"Green Hornet" poised to take weekend. Since it's a three-day weekend, we don't have final box-office estimates yet. But it looks like Sony's "The Green Hornet" will be on top among the new movies. It made more than $33 million through Sunday while Universal's "The Dilemma" made about half that. A preview from Movie City News.
Redbox woes could make Hollywood smile. At the end of last week, Redbox parent Coinstar lowered estimates on its fourth-quarter earnings. Turns out those 28-day deals Redbox struck in which it agreed to wait a month or so after DVDs of new movies were available before offering them for $1 rentals are hurting business. Why some studios aren't crying for Redbox from the Wall Street Journal.
Big throne to fill. Piers Morgan takes over for Larry King on Monday night on CNN with a star-studded lineup of guests for his first week, including Oprah Winfrey and Howard Stern. Although, like King, Morgan will interview newsmakers and pop-culture icons, his show will be different in that it will be taped, not live. Also, whereas King often seemed to fire off the next question before he or his audience had digested the answer to the last one, Morgan is planning a more give-and-take approach. A preview from the New York Times.
Inside "American Idol." Newsweek has an excerpt from Richard Rushfield's new book looking behind the scenes at the Fox hit "American Idol." It's all here. The tension between creator Simon Fuller and judge Simon Cowell. Rupert Murdoch's final effort to keep Cowell on "American Idol" and the impact the show has had on TV and culture.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: More Golden Globes dirt for you obsessed fans. A look at all the ingredients behind "Black Swan."

Share your tales of addition, help others

We are looking for people to be on camera sharing stories about addiction, mental health issues, health illnesses or anything you faced that was tough. If you are in Las Vegas and want to be on camera sharing your story please email me and look at
Will Listen 

Note that this is from Craigslist, so appropriate caution is recommended,

Obama Advantage for Unions: Resisting anti-union laws


The National Labor Relations Board is threatening to sue four states over their state constitutional amendments that would take away at least one of the federal law protections given workers who want to form a union. Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah passed constitutional amendments that would prevent employers from recognizing unions even if a majority of their workers sign cards saying they want to unionize.