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New Orleans Rocks AAPC (and vice versa)

For those of us in the world of politics and public affairs, there are some events and places that are “can’t miss”. The American Association of Political Consultants Pollie Awards in New Orleans turned out to be precisely that kind of event.
Nestled between Bourbon Street and the Mississippi River, the Omni Royal played host to the largest organization of political professionals in the world.  While television and direct mail continue to claim the lion’s share of many campaign budgets, the shift to digital was clearly on. 
We’ve experience that right here at home with our sister company Gateway Media.  In 2012, traditional radio and television advertising represented 80% of the ad spending, but in 2014 those roles were practically reversed.  Another change this year was a dramatic decrease in the number of Pollies awarded, with categories combined, and judging standards ramped tighter and tighter.
While it’s great to be recognized for any of one’s creative work, we were particularly proud of two Gold Pollies among our wins this year.  Taking home the Gold for Best Internet Campaign among all public affairs firms nationally showed how much the market, and our business, has changed over the last six years.   Another public affairs Gold for Best Facebook Ad reflected Gateway Media’s dominant role in voter-matched Facebook advertising.
One of our favorite ads of 2014 was “Slushie Girl,” produced for the California Drivers Alliance.  Featuring 9-year-old actress Vanessa Steib, this spot was viewed millions of times on Pandora and YouTube and was honored for Best Use of Humor in the Web Video category. 

And we would be remiss not to congratulate our many friends who were named to the first-ever “Forty Under Forty” Awards.  Great music, great food and a powerhouse lineup […]

Augmented Reality

This was announced several hours ago. Your world is about to change…again.

I guess we now know why Microsoft bought Minecraft.

Check out the full video below.

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    Gateway Media Signs Distribution Deal with TV4 Entertainment’s Motorland Network

Gateway Media Signs Distribution Deal with TV4 Entertainment’s Motorland Network

The Motorland Network Adds “Kings of Kustoms” Pilot to Line-up, Now Available to Stream on Hulu.
For immediate release:
December 3, 2014
For further information, visit:
Gateway Media
Kings of Kustoms
(Sacramento) – Gateway Media announced today that the Kings of Kustoms pilot episode will make its debut this month on the Motorland Network channel on Hulu.
“The first episode features the legendary Gene Winfield, who created some of the most iconic cars in film and television,” said Gateway Media President Wayne Johnson. “We’re excited to be working with TV4 Entertainment, and are particularly pleased that the pilot is now on The Motorland channel on Hulu (http://www.hulu.com/watch/715880) and also at www.Motorland.TV.
Fans of Blade Runner, Robocop, Back to the Future and other Hollywood hit films are already familiar with Winfield’s iconic custom vehicles, which broadens the appeal of the show far beyond the car buff audience.
“Director Randy Bond and the Gateway Media team are raising the bar in the car and driver category,” said TV4’s Chief Operating Officer Chris Slinger. “We look forward to seeing more episodes from the Kings of Kustoms franchise.”

TV4 Entertainment. TV4 Entertainment is a next generation television company that aggregates high-quality video content into a portfolio of genre-specific Broadband Television Networks and super-distributes those Networks to all Internet-connected devices. Current programming includes the documentary channel, DocComTV (@doccomtv), the all-military channel, All Warrior Network (@allwarriornet), and the boxing channel, Undisputed Champion Network (@ucnlive) among others. TV4 Entertainment’s mission is to program your passion with great storytelling on every screen, anywhere, anytime.

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    Shout out to our sister company, SmithJohnson Research on a great election night in California!

Shout out to our sister company, SmithJohnson Research on a great election night in California!

Congratulations to Our Legislative Target Winners
Young Kim, Janet Nguyen, Marc Steinorth, Tom Lackey
(Sacramento) – “We were very proud to be part of turning back the 2/3rds Democrat majority in both houses of the legislature,” said Dr. Val Smith, Director of Research with SmithJohnson Research (SJR). SJR Was selected to by the Assembly Caucus to poll in four of their key Assembly targets and also for the top Senate target, Janet Nguyen. “In two of the four Assembly races, we were privileged to work for candidates who defeated incumbents, which is always an exciting challenge,” he added. Both Republican caucuses also adopted Porpoise Analytics, a new dynamic modelling tool developed by SmithJohnson Research which helped the candidates fine-tune their targeting and messaging. SJR also provided polling services for a variety of incumbent candidates, independent expenditure committees, and trade associations.

Slushie Girl

“Slushie Girl” was one of our favorite spots to produce this year, featuring 8 year-old Vanessa Stieb giving it to the “Hidden Gas Tax” with both barrels.  Prediction: You’ll be seeing a lot of this talented young actor in years to come.
 

California Republicans Campaign For Blue State

Cal Newsroom, John Harbe on March 11, 2014 – California Republicans Campaign for Blue
“Around the globe, blue is identified with conservative, free market parties, while red is identified with social democratic parties,” points out Shawn Steel, a former chairman of the state party who now serves as its representative on the Republican National Committee. “It is why conservative-leaning Democrats in Congress were called ‘Blue Dogs.’ Everyone knew what it meant.”
For the full article, visit Cal Newsroom.

Sacramento Business Journal Honors Tim Rosales

The Sacramento Business Journal is honoring Tim Rosales as a “40 Under 40” Finalist at a special dinner December 10. Congratulations, Tim!

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    Wayne Johnson elected to Board of Directors of the International Association of Political Consultants

Wayne Johnson elected to Board of Directors of the International Association of Political Consultants

Wayne Johnson has been elected to serve as an American representative to the Board of Directors of the International Association of Political Consultants. The IAPC is a professional association of approximately 200 consultants founded 45 years ago in Paris by Gaulist consultant Michel Bongrand and American Joseph Napolitan.

Zombies in San Diego Mayoral Bid

White House correspondent John Gizzi weighs in on San Diego Zombie ad:

Democrat David Alvarez unexpectedly placed second in Tuesday’s mayoral contest, knocking out a candidate long considered a cinch to be one of the top vote-getters, and will join Republican Kevin Faulconer in a run-off early next year.

Although many point to Alvarez’s support from key union leaders for his advancing past former state legislator Nathan Fletcher, who had placed second in nearly every poll, other observers in San Diego credit anti-Fletcher TV spots that featured zombies.

That’s right. Zombies.

The mindless creatures featured in horror productions, from George Romero’s 1968 cult classic “Night of the Living Dead” to the current hit AMC TV series “Walking Dead,” were unleashed in independent commercials underscoring Fletcher’s change of positions as he continually changed party affiliations, switching in earlier races from Republican to independent to Democrat.

“Nathan Fletcher courted the tea party with anti-immigrant rhetoric, but then he switched his principles when he ran for mayor,” said the narration to the ad, as a hoard of zombies lumber Frankenstein-style at dusk.

“He bashed labor unions and supported pension reform, but then he switched his principles again. Now he’s against pension reform and supports spending billions – but wait! He’s switching again!”

Finally, an exasperated zombie declares: “This guy keeps switching his principles – on every issue! I can’t keep mindlessly following Nathan Fletcher! And I’m mindless!”

The commercials were paid for by an independent expenditure known as “Zombies for Responsible Government.” They began airing online on, appropriately, on Halloween.

“We only spent $1,800 on pre-roll ads on Youtube to launch it, but once Twitter lit it up, the paid media was practically irrelevant,” explained veteran California media maestro Wayne Johnson. “The real definition of virality […]

iTunes Radio vs Pandora: Let the Battle Begin

Tuesday was Apple’s annual October launch event, which includes the introduction of the new iPad Air, retina iPad Mini, OS X Mavericks, updated Macbook Pros and a newly designed cylindrical Mac Pro. Although I was excited to hear about all the new and updated products coming from Apple, I was most interested in discovering how iTunes Radio had performed in its first month on the market.  Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook revealed that 20 million users have played 1 billion songs in iTunes Radio’s debut month.  This is quite an accomplishment, but still pales in comparison to Pandora’s 72 million monthly active users. (Pandora has recently surpassed 200 million overall users.) The question on everyone’s mind is whether iTunes Radio is a threat to Pandora’s market share.

iTunes’ entry into the predictive playlist market pits their 27 million songs under license to the hand-crafted 1 million song library of Pandora, whose “music genome project” involves one or more music technicians rating the song against a matrix of attributes, so that each song has its own genetic code, so to speak.  An individual song may have as many as 4-500 “genes”, which are used to categorize the song and weigh its similarity to other songs.  The results are then fed into a listener’s queue, with each song “liked” by the listener further improving the queue.

iTunes has the advantage of starting with their customers personal song libraries, which in my case would be several thousand.  While Pandora takes the boutique approach of weighing and analyzing each individual song, iTunes Genius appears to be largely driven by algorithms, and one suspects a similar algorithmic approach is at work here.  iTunes Genius (and presumably iTunes Radio) tracks volume and crowd […]