Monthly Archives: May 2018

Ted’s Global Village

Scenes from the toil of a globe-trotting correspondent: You’re assigned to cover the Washington summit but can’t get within shouting distance of anyone important. So like everyone else, you take notes off CNN, which your editors back in Brussels or Guatemala City or Denver could just as easily do for themselves. You’re in a taxi headed for the Polish Parliament and the cabby says, “Hey, I learned my English from Bobbie Battista.” Bobbie Battista? She’s an obscure Atlanta-based anchor who has a big following in Poland, where there’s no meat but plenty of feed from CNN. You’re covering last spring’s unrest in Tiananmen Square and you go inside to see the same scene on your hotel-room TV, literally bounced around the world and all the way back again.

The Story of the Guitar: The Complete Three-Part Documentary

This is one of the best documentaries I have ever seen about my favorite instrument, the guitar. The BBC has made an instructive, entertaining, and fascinating history of the instrument.

Now this is what I call, “Must See TV!”

It started back in the 1950s. Bill Haley and Elvis burst onto the scene. Rock ‘n’ roll was born. The guitar took center stage, and it never left. How the guitar came to “dominate the soundtrack of our lives” is the subject of The Story of the Guitar, a three part documentary narrated by the BBC’s creative director Alan Yentob.

The story of the guitar is, of course, a big one. The instrument, and its stringed precursors, goes way back — all the way to the Greeks. And the influence of the guitar can be felt far and wide. It plays a lead role in classical music in Spain (and China); jazz in France (think Django); the blues in the Mississippi Delta, and beyond. Yentob paints the bigger picture for you in the first segment, “In the Beginning” (above). Part II (Out of the Frying Pan) focuses on the big moment when the guitar went electric. And Part III gets you up close and personal with the masters of the electric guitar. The documentary features interviews with Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, The Who’s Pete Townshend, Iggy Pop, and The Edge from U2 (Part 1Part 2 andPart 3), to name a few.

Part 1 – Where it all started

Part 2 – Out of the Frying Pan

Part 3 – This Time it’s Personal

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Decoding the New Age: VR, AR, SM, AI, what do they all mean?

Frank Radice

Frank Radice


AR – Augmented Reality
“Augmented Reality is a combination of real world environment and digital, computer generated information – and it is the technology that will rise to the top of the ‘new normal’. The potential impact it will have on all areas of life, including business, cannot be understated. More than anything else it can have a practical, day-to-day impact that make people’s lives better. The huge explosion of Pokémon GO earlier this year is one such simple example of the real world, combining with digital and producing a result that was a world-wide phenomenon. One of the real advantages it has over Virtual Reality (VR) is that it does not require any additional headwear like VR headsets, and the results can be just as impressive.

In a hands-on sense for businesses, the possibilities are endless. Technologies like Siri mean that you only have to speak into your phone to find out where the nearest restaurant is or what the weather is like. Soon this will develop further and you’ll be able to ask it, for example, where you can buy a loaf of bread? To which you’ll be told where you can buy the bread, how much it’ll cost, how that compares to other nearby shops, where the bread came from, how long it’ll stay fresh etc… Visibility and accessibility for businesses will be increased hugely by the improvements in artificial intelligence (AI). The way it combines with mobile phone technology will be key as everybody carries a smart phone.”

VR – Virtual Reality
VR is the flavour of the year. Everybody across sectors like gaming, sports, the media, entertainment etc are all trying to think of the best way to incorporate VR into their businesses.

VR is an immersive experience that can transport you to any setting, fictional or real life, and includes interactive elements. The future of VR is as limitless as AR. Before long, viewing films will be done using a VR headset, people will pay to be able to witness a Premier League football match as if they were actually there watching it.

The downside to VR is the awkward hardware that is required. Headsets and gloves are an integral part of the experience and are often hooked up to a computer as well. This makes VR harder to include in everyday life.
Companies are finding alternatives but AR is expected to supersede VR eventually.”

SM – Social Media
“The impact and relatively sudden importance of SM is huge. However learning how to use and harness it properly is important.
Video is the holy grail of social media, as is having effective content and materials – without which your channels will not generate conversation. Conversation is what is important is social media, it cannot be a one-way interaction. A back and forth between fellow users is what will get your channels noticed.

SM also allows businesses a direct route to the screens of millions of users via notifications. An email is easy to ignore, a flyer in the post box is easily thrown in the trash can, however notifications grab attention and force the user to act on it.
SM is also a very cheap, business-effective tool to employ – it is more than just marketing. We are still so early on in the development of SM and already its importance is unparalleled.”

AI – Artificial Intelligence
AI is what really turns people’s heads. So many associate AI with scenes from The Terminator movies, in reality it is much more subtle. Siri on an iPhone is a mild form of AI. What is so intelligent about AI is its ability to learn and memorise, so that it becomes personally tailored to the user, it learns what you are interested in, what music you want to hear etc.

Eventually, this technology is what will result in driverless cars and in-house robots that make a genuine difference and improvement in our lives. That is the re-occurring theme throughout all of these tools – they are being developed to improve our lives.

For businesses – this technology will change the kind of work that is produced, no matter what kind of business you are in.”

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The Next Normal

In “the next normal,” what we now know as television will be dead, and marketing the next iteration of TV will not be dependent on brand.

These are two bold yet not mutually exclusive statements.

People don’t watch brands…they watch video.

Spending to market NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, all the cable channels in the niche categories, and the hot OTT’s of the day, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Facebook Live Streaming, Snap and Instagram Stories, just won’t matter as stand alone providers.

The user experience will define the medium as much as the content defines a brand now, and the advertising around and in the content will play as much of a role as traditional branding does now.

Internet video will account for 80 per cent of total consumer Internet traffic by 2019, compared to 64 per cent currently, according to a report on audio-visual services in the digital era by a Rome-based think-tank. In fact, the younger generation, children between the ages of 5 and 15, now spend more time on the internet than they do watching TV on a regular TV set, according to UK telecoms regulator Ofcom. The latest connected entertainment research findings from market research and consulting company Parks Associates, finds more than 50 per cent of US broadband households now watch Internet video on a television screen.


It’s inevitable that all content will eventually gravitate to the Internet, and the web has a far better user interface than an EPG and a remote control.

AI and voice will be the new sextant of “The Next Normal,” and every type of content and format will live together regardless of the device it’s consumed on.

It’s about the UX.

Choices will be presented in a number of ways. Favourite actors and directors, titles, genres, formats, events, sports, and breaking news, games and more, will be accessed in a far more elegant fashion.

Netflix and TiVO are leading the way in on screen UX, and the Amazon Echo/Firestick is on the leading edge of voice control.

Advertising and promotion won’t just live side by side in the “next normal” ecosystem, it will live within the content. What we now know as branded content and programmatic delivery will become the norm. The less intrusive it is, the better it will work and the more it will be accepted.

Where the content is housed and what format it is won’t matter as much as access to the material you want to consume. The key will be how easy it is to find, any additional messaging will be so organic as to seem invisible.

Eventually when you say to your device “show me the money,” you will see choices that include the Tom Cruise movies, “Jerry McGuire,” or a CNBC programs. You then drill down to what you want with a few key words and make your informed choice. Eventually, through machine learning, you won’t even have to do that.

So how do you market in “The Next Normal?”

One way is to combine PR and Promotion seamlessly under one umbrella. Use the tools of promotion to make your communication more compelling.

It won’t be some ad creative telling you what to watch or what to buy, it will be you telling others what’s on your mind simply through your content choices, and that will influence decisions and change the behaviour of others in your circle. It’s likely to be a form of uber native technology around the global water cooler.

In some ways, “The Next Normal” is like back to the future!

Roger Pugh, of Big Smoke Advertising says, “Native advertising has characteristics that make it especially suited to the digital space. It is created by specialist digital writers, it is more cost effective than offline advertising, it is extremely difficult to block and it fits seamlessly into online publications. And the best part is that the metrics behind such a campaign are far more nuanced and ROI-driven than many CMO’s realise.”

This doesn’t really work on traditional TV, and that’s just another reason “The Next Normal” will be the future of content consumption on-line.

Yes, TV as we know it is dead, and so is the way it’s marketed.

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Campaign of Distinction: It’s a New Day

In Depth: TV Week

By Debra Kaufman, Special to TelevisionWeek

As Meredith Vieira prepared to step into Katie Couric’s seat at “The Today Show,” NBC faced a kind of relaunch: same show, new faces.

“The campaign started with the line ‘It’s a new day today,’ which had two meanings,” said Frank Radice, NBC Agency’s executive VP of advertising and promotion. “One, it’s a new day because Meredith is coming, but it’s surely not a new program. And it’s a new day every day, which was the double entendre.”

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