Digital Media

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    Frankenmetrics: Neuromarketing and the Really Cool End of Privacy

Frankenmetrics: Neuromarketing and the Really Cool End of Privacy

For all their intrusiveness, companies like Facebook really don’t want to hurt us. They want to sell us stuff. And for that reason, we tolerate the cognitive dissonance created by our love for technology and our desire for privacy.

So, it is with the mixed emotions all of us share about such matters that I say, “Facebook studied our neurological patterns and they found out some really cool stuff.”

Chief among the findings was for all our handwringing about dwindling screen sizes, it turns out people are more focused on their mobile screens than their television screens, not less. Equally important, it seems we trust that small screen more, as well. What that means for, say, politicians or the producers of YouTube cat videos is that the advent of mobile has not resulted in a qualitative loss in terms of the ability to communicate with video.

Facebook commissioned the neurological study (basically studying how your body responds to different stimuli) to answer the burning question on every marketer’s mind, namely, “If you keep making screens smaller, will we still be able to sell stuff?” Now, granted, when the government does these kinds of studies, it’s a lot creepier.   Corporations get that, which explains why companies like Facebook and Google hate to see their names linked to government data collection.

This study was done by SalesBrain, itself the brainchild of Christophe Morin and Patrick Renvoisé. Renvoisé’s bio humbly states that he “discovered the buy button inside the brain” which, just for the record, I’m not sure I buy. In any case, the study itself is fascinating in the way watching one’s own autopsy would be fascinating. The “them “of the study is us. And yes, we do act and […]

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    Programmatic Buying: Is Compiled “Big Data” Becoming Obsolete?

Programmatic Buying: Is Compiled “Big Data” Becoming Obsolete?

Huge resources have been poured into “modeling” voters based on compiled consumer data. The problem is that none of those predictive models comes close to beating the latest generation of programmatic ad buying algorithms.

These algorithms are used by Facebook, Google and other online behemoths to sell ad inventory in real time, which is another way of saying it’s how the rest of us buy ad inventory in real time. It is a moment-by-moment auction to see which ads will appear in an individual Facebook user’s news feed, for example. As individuals, we don’t all see the same ads, because advertisers value individual prospective customers (or voters) differently and are willing to bid up the price to place an ad in one news feed, while ignoring another.

That’s the “real” Big Data, and for most online ad buyers, it’s making that endlessly re-modelled compiled data out there seem almost quaint by comparison. When we then import voter file data into the Facebook equation, we suddenly find ourselves with a product far exceeding Big Data’s most grandiose promises. We don’t just talk to users who “look just like our targets”, we talk to our targets.

We can schedule ads to reach only likely voters in a Democratic Primary who vote by mail, for example, while targeting Independents who vote on Election Day, swing 45+ Republican married women, etc. with a different series of ads. Even the phrase “likely voter” is now more science than guesswork. Sophisticated propensity index models use a variety of data points in addition to simple vote history in order to rank voters against increasingly accurate scales.

Here’s the part where it gets dangerous. Agencies that understand this dynamic bid up the price to make sure […]

Why Facebook’s Future Doesn’t Matter

Facebook’s Q2 report makes one thing abundantly clear. No one can possibly predict what this company will look like, or what the Facebook user experience will feel like a year, let along 5 or 10 years from now.   Sure, advertising is up 31% in 2015, but the user experience continues to evolve in ways none of us could have predicted. Digging into the Q2 numbers leads one to the inescapable conclusion that, just as you cannot step into the same river twice, you cannot experience the same Facebook twice. Yeah, it’s changing that fast. So fast, in fact, that the challenge is not to predict what it will become, but to simply stay current with where it is at the moment.

Let’s take a look at the very recent past. Video finally went mainstream on Facebook in the first quarter, (and how that has changed advertising for the top 100 brands is an early indicator of how political advertising is going to change in 2016). Digging into those numbers shows that some companies adapted far more quickly and successfully than others. It also shows that Facebook got it mostly right.
Video is now a major content type, and Facebook users seem to have taken the self-starting videos in stride. The new format has complicated metrics on the back end (which Facebook addressed this morning by shaking up their video ad options). “Likes” are down and “shares” are up, which one would expect as the type of content shifts. People share pictures and videos more often, and that also holds true with ads. Major companies also learned lessons that will help everyone. Simply Measured conducted a study of the Interbrand 100 and recently shared the results. For […]

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.
 

Zombies Knock ’em Dead at the Pollies

Ads produced for “Zombies for Responsible Government” swept through the Pollie Awards at San Diego’s Manchester Hyatt Regency Hotel Friday night. The independent expenditure campaign targeted Nathan Fletcher in the San Diego Mayor’s race. In that race, the Zombie spots garnered tens of thousands of Youtube views and were featured on every major news channel in the San Diego market.

The Zombies, featured in a pre-roll video to San Diego voters, could also be seen in candid interviews filmed on location. Before the night was over, the Zombies racked up five Gold Awards, one Silver and two  Bronze trophies, in what proved to be a great night for our sister company Gateway Media.

Special shout out to our Zombie staffers, Matt Johnson, Bereket Kalile and Kameron Snow who backed up lead Zombie Jason Kuykendall, all under the superb director of Randy Bond.

So if you’d like to have the creative media production team that the 1,200-member American Association of Political Consultants calls solid gold, let’s talk.

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.

The Music of the Night

Stay with me.  I’m going somewhere with this.

I cannot exactly remember the first moment I looked over the audio engineer’s shoulder and saw a human voice digitally displayed in all its mathematical splendor, I just know that my world changed that day.  Pro Tools was launched in 1991, the prodigy child of Evan Brooks’ 1984 Sound Designer.  Sure, it was four tracks and $6,000, but it was a ticket to a new world.

As a young boy, I watched the piano tuner come to our house with his tuning fork, and well-trained ear.  That tuning fork resonated at 440 Hz, basically the A above Middle C on your piano.  Not important, right?  Right, unless you’re a piano tuner…or any other human being.

Most of us have a vague idea that music is related to math.  It has scales, meter, rhythm, etc., but the fact that sound is a mechanical wave, basically an oscillation of pressure, means not only is music all about math, but it turns out math is all about music.

When that mechanical wave gets pushed through a medium like air or water, we hear the resulting sound.  Now, if that wave is going through something smooth, like a train whistle, the sound is constant and shrill. But add a few holes that you can open and close, and you’ve got a flute or a clarinet, or a valved trumpet, and suddenly it gets interesting.  Then, that wave passes through the incredible array of human vocal cords, producing sounds of enormous complexity, that can beckon, agitate, soothe or awe.

Silently hold down the G key above Middle C on a piano, and then sharply strike the C key an octave below Middle C. What you clearly […]