Posts Tagged ‘TV’

ASPEN LIVE 2010

September 27, 2010

Our goal for this year’s Aspen Live Conference (December 9-12) is to really make a difference…innovate and grow our business.  We want this conference to be all about your wants and thus are using Jeff Jarvis’s model from What Would Google Do? to build this year’s program. 

Below are some of the ideas that many of you have already sent in and are in no particular order. 

–          Try developing our own business again

–          More of a “Tech presence” this year…Social Media, Ticket Sales Platforms, etc

–          How do different marketers relate to one another so as to collaborate outside of our industries?

–          Sourcing those who are marketing without even knowing it and taking their ideas/successes and applying to our businesses.

–          Getting buy in on doing things for the right reasons and social benefit which will translate into success on other levels.

–          Making the conference more appealing to younger end talent by lowering cost/admission or creating viral option.

–          Indentifying and analyzing the real issues that will impact our abilities to sustain, expand and compel our business.

–          Attendees:  People who consume our product, such as 

  1. film
  2. television,
  3. concert goers and 
  4. video games producers

–          Expand to include more areas of music people, such as  

  1.  
    1. managers 
    2. label guys 
    3. producers
    4. studio owners 
    5. promoters
    6. venue managers

–        Bring back some of the regulars that haven’t been with us for a few years

 –          Speakers from: 

  1. Doug Fox from Beaver Productions;
  2. Google;
  3. Facebook; 
  4. People that do product placement and sponsorships; 
  5. Derek Sivers;
  6. Someone from old media, i.e. newspaper or magazine that have made a successful transition to internet; 
  7. A Venture Capital person to give feedback on what financial people think is wrong with the music business;
  8. John Bolton of SMG who manages BOK Center. He took it from not even on the map to number to #9 in the USA and #24 in the world based on Pollstar’s tracking of ticket sales

 –          Outside speakers but not if they will lose people over the necessity of paying for them… more people that are inclined to come anyway that have something to say, like Ian Rogers, the Next Big Thing guy, obviously Bob.

 –          Some new blood would be good…each of us could make an effort to get someone new to come the group

 –          Circulate a few, like 2 or 3, main topics in advance to get things moving.

 –          The Agency Group NYC once called “Awkward Lunch” where 5 or 6 totally random people are forced to arrange a time to have a meal together. Perhaps we can do an Awkward Breakfast where you assign 8 very random people into groups to eat their breakfast together at 8am for an hour.

 We are also planning to reach-out to the brand, ad agency, and corporate world as we are now more and more in partnership with them. 

Keep the ideas coming…  We will have the website up soon.

Thanks!

Jim

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IT’S OFFICIAL – WMA & ENDEAVOR MERGE

April 27, 2009

Today, both the William Morris Agency and Endeavor’s Board of Directors voted yes to merge their two companies creating William Morris Endeavor (WME) Entertainment.  Of course the deal must go through regulatory scrutiny at the state level…plus the closing B.S…but there is a new landscape being plowed in the agency world. 

Combining the two rosters will make one fierce competitor for CAA, and leave the other full service agencies looking a little weak (UTA & Paradigm).  Now WME will be a real force in motion picture, TV, music, publishing, theatre, marketing, and more.  I don’t think you have seen the last merger in the agency world. 

Would love to know what you think.  And btw, don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/jimlewi

Speak with you soon…

Jim

BRING THE SUNSHINE WITH SUMMER!

March 24, 2009

I read an article recently (don’t remember where but think it was Brandweek) about how all of the negative stories Americans watch, read, and talk about on the economy each day are effecting depression levels.  No surprise, they are up dramatically.  The bad news is just about impossible to get away from.  Even if you try and hide, it pops-up on your IRA, 401K, mortgage statement, or even a phone call with a friend.  So how can Live Entertainment help bring the sunshine to consumers, media, and brands this summer?

In the March 23rd issue of Advertising Age, author Bob Garfield tells us that “the future is bright…but the present is apocalyptic.”.  He is speaking about media.  Newspapers saw a “20% drop in circulation…amid 23% population growth” in the same period.  Magazines have seen ad pages drop off “22% so far in 2009”.    Broadcast radio, TV, and billboard giant Clear Channel that “was going to destroy our very democracy”…well now so much anymore.  Network television’s audience continues to erode in the double digits.  Garfield says that “cable has problems of its own…as it’s no more DVR-proof than broadcast.”  Even online publishers like Yahoo! are taking a hit. 

So as marketers look for ways to reach consumers… and media try to attract business…and consumers look for a way to come out of their depression…in walks the answer to everyone’s prayers…BRANDED LIVE ENTERTAINMENT!

Walt Disney built Disneyland to make his world of imagination come to life.  That’s what we have the ability to do in Live Entertainment.  Right now, people are hurting.  Everyone is looking for an escape and we can provide that.  It is really simple…so lets do a quick brainstorm to show how easy it really is.  I’m going to turn on the TV and the first brand I see, we are going to create a Live Entertainment event for them that also solves the above issues.  Shit…ShamWow…ok.

1) TALENT – We have to have Vince from the commercials, he is amazing! 

2) EVENT – How about a car wash that uses only ShamWows to wash, dry, and detail your vehicle…the car wash is free with your ShamWow purchase.  We can use NASCAR pit crews to do the washing, make it a race, more exciting…even help out NASCAR who’s numbers are down as well. 

3) MEDIA – Tie-in print, radio, TV, cable, and web partners.  Do ad buys with all that have promotions circling back to the event.

4) GIVING BACK – Water from car wash should be recycled…hoses should have the latest water saving nozzles…soap is all biodegradable…and a portion of the money should go to local charities.

5) MORE – Maybe the car wash is tied to filling the city swimming pool for the summer…or maybe the event is actually using ShanWows to clean-up your city.  How about Mayor Bloomberg gets bankers, traders, and the like to use ShamWows to clean-up Wall Street and show America that not every NYC banker is corrupt. 

Well, you get the idea.  Brands need ways to communicate directly with consumers, as their usual forms of message distribution fall-off (see above).  The media need to sources of income and ways to drive traffic.  Consumers need cheering up.  Let’s help everyone out this summer and BRING THE SUNSHINE BACK!

Speak with you soon…

Jim

WHAT TO LEARN FROM TOP RATED CONSUMER BRANDS

January 27, 2009

In the January 19th issue of BrandWeek,  columnist Kenneth Hein listed  the”Top Rated Consumer Brands of 2008″ according to research from BrandIndex via 1.2 million online consumer interviews they conducted.  As I looked over the list, I thought it would be interesting to go through each brand, write down what consumers probably see in them, and then see how we could implement that into Live Entertainment.  So here we go.  Please note that the first two on the list are both TV networks (just interesting fact)

DISCLAIMER TO BRAND MANAGERS: I’m not aware of your official brand messaging and don’t have time to look it up, so if I’ve got it wrong know that this is just one consumer’s take.

  1. Discovery Channel – Quility programming that covers content others don’t.  They also do a good job with brand extensions and how they touch consumers.  LIVE’s lessons here are first, quality is always important in driving sales,  and second, to develop entertainment for consumers that are being under-served.
  2. The History Channel- Again we see quality in their programming as a key to the network’s success.  Also, many are just fascinated by history.  LIVE’S lessons from History would be to create more programs like the live Titanic exhibit that combine the past with a live emotionally engaging experience.
  3. Google – First to market, easy to use, consistent, and almost everyone has access…this is a great brand.  Why not a Google for LIVE?  There really isn’t anything out there that is reliable, consistent, easy to use, etc.
  4. Craftsman – You can rely on your tools…  Craftsman is a great brand because they make a quality product at a good price point that lasts forever.  My idea here is to hook-up with Sears to produce the ultimate Handyman/DIY consumer show.  Do-it-yourself is big in a down economy!  Sears, please call me!  I already have the deck done.  Branded Live Entertainment at its best!!!
  5. Sony – You’re staying home more which means more time in front of your television.  Your Sony TV works great.  So does your DVD player.  LIVE should be able to create quality products that you can rely on to entertain you…but we don’t always.
  6. Rubbermaid – They make your waste basket and the containers you use to store your food.  In other words, Rubbermaid makes products that you need… that last.  Figure out what consumers and fans need and produce that show.  Observation works a lot better than research groups in for this.
  7. Barnes & Noble – Don’t really get this one.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the brand and read a lot.  It’s just not clear why they would be so high in consumer’s minds.  As for an idea, LA has a very successful book fair at UCLA every year sponsored by the LA Times.  Newspapers are looking for anything right now.  Here is your chance to partner with them. 
  8. Whirlpool – We need washers, dryers, and refrigerators.  That’s not going to change.  Whirlpool makes good ones.  No ideas here for LIVE…yet.
  9. Clorox – One bottle has so many purposes at such a low price.  One must be careful not to try and be all things to all people…especially in Live Entertainment.  Festivals are the LIVE version of bleach.  Lots of entertainment for one price. 
  10. M&M’s – If you are hungry and standing in front of the candy rack, M&M’s look like the best value.  You get more than one M&M, they come in different colors, sizes, and packages, and now you can even customize them.  Ever been in an M&M’s store?  Crazy!!!!
  11. Tylenol – It’s the choice of hospitals.  That’s enough for me.  They even made it through the “Tylenol Scare” and managed to invent a safety package that everyone else had to copy.  If you are in LIVE, find who is at the “white hot center” of your show theme and get them to endorce you.  If it is doctors for Tylenol, who is it for you?
  12. Duracell – High-end electronics (like those for products that keep you alive such as pace makers) come with Duracell batteries in them.  See above. 
  13. Quaker – In tough times, people turn to their health.  Quaker Oats are healthy and inexpensive (I’m assuming they aren’t talking about the motor oil company).  How about producing a health related event?  Before Ben Silverman joined NBC, I pitched him and his production company on a “Biggest Loser Live” concept”.  Now might be the time. 
  14. Pillsbury – Easy and quick to make, good price points, and an iconic lovable mascot.  Pillsbury saves the over-scheduled consumer precious time.  You should be using ever means at your disposal to break down any barriers for consumers to finding your event, buy tickets, and attend. 
  15. Lowe’s – Surprised that they are on the list and Home Depot isn’t, but hey that’s consumers for you.  I would pitch Lowes the Handyman/DIY show I want to run by Sears.
  16. Black & Decker – Tools again.  Reliability.  LIVE, see above on Handyman/DIY…again.
  17. KitchenAid – They make appliances you need with good design…and have Kitchen in their name.  In LIVE, food shows and festivals are continuing to grow.  The Agency Group Events & Entertainment has two different concepts we are producing in 2009 alone. 
  18. Campbell’s – Soup makes for filling, inexpensive meals.  Campbell’s has been around forever.  Time to start a food show. 
  19. Maytag – Years of advertising the same message of “the lonely Maytag repair man” seems to have paid off.  What’s your message?  If you are still marketing your shows line-up (product attributes) you are doing it wrong.  Market the experience!
  20. Kenmore – One would think with Craftsman so high on the list that Kenmore would be higher.  Again, with consumers…  Anyway, Bruce Springsteen is our Kenmore.  So is Sesame Street Live and Disney’s Broadway shows.  Like Kenmore, you know the brand and the experience are going to. 

Keep the ideas flowing.  During trying times like these, great things can happen. 

Talk with you soon… and please visit our new company website @ http:www.theagencygroupevents.com.   Also don’t miss the Customer Service Panel at the Concert Industry Consortium on Friday, January 30th at 3:30 pm in the Santa Monica room at the Hyatt Century Plaza Hotel. 

Jim

“My Heros Have Always Been”…Promoters?

November 12, 2008

I always loved that song – with the word promoters replaced with the actual lyric cowboys of course.  But the title of this newsletter is true.  There are three giants of the live and branded live entertainment businesses that make up a majority of TAG Events & Entertainment DNA.  They are Walt Disney, Bill Graham, and PT Barnum.

Here is how our three DNA strands come together.  Walt Disney created the ultimate Experiences in everything he did, whether it was the first full-length animated motion picture or the first themed amusement park (although I do believe that there was a park that opened a month before that did nursery rhymes and that kind of stuff).  Concert promoter Bill Graham always remembered that what was most important were the Audience and the Talent, while P.T. Barnum was the best at Communicating the Experiences his Audiences would have at his shows.

Over the past 10-years or more, we in the live business have moved away from these three simple principles of creating amazing, once in a lifetime experiences for audiences, and then properly communicating those experiences to that audience.  Tonight let’s look at Communicating and a few ideas to remind you how easy and fun our jobs can be.

Promotions, and the planning and execution of them are a lost art form.  To start with, we in the live business seem to think that ticket giveaways are the only form of promotion.  Giving away tickets is only a promotion if you can keep a story going on-air.  “The 25th caller wins…” isn’t a promotion because the jock isn’t on-air long enough to make it exciting.  Now, having a station broadcast live while Playboy Playmates give away tickets to an upcoming UFC fight at a Chevy dealership, that is a promotion.  It is amazing that we have the ultimate Experiences and are just not that good at communicating it.

Have you seen the print ads and outdoor that Virgin America has been running lately?  Those ads do a great job of communicating an experience; and they are an airline.  Would you rather fly or go see your favorite team, singer, or family show perform?  Here are a few links for you to decide for yourself. http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://images.patronmail.com/pmailemailimages/132/116004/photo_1.jpg&imgrefurl=http://jessicamah.com/blog/%3Fp%3D330&h=600&w=500&sz=318&hl=en&start=1&usg=__wJF5Iqc2f1SBk5S2Fr0qur6R9FA=&tbnid=zvI8pH8ILZKhzM:&tbnh=135&tbnw=113&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dvirgin%2BAmerica%2Bads%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den

And now this… http://www.oldhandbills.com/images/060807/Bon_Jovi-Goo_Goo_Dolls-Staples_Center.jpg

Certainly not knocking Bon Jovi’s creativity here.  These are the current tools of our trade… :30 second radio & cable TV spots, 1/4 page print ads, email blasts that mostly get ignored, links on websites, flyering cars at the last minute, and all with very little description of what the fan will actually experience because we are too busy making sure we have all the sponsor tags, the right music beds of songs no one has ever heard of, and of course all the promoters names in there because that’s what is really selling the tickets.  There has to be another way.  Start experimenting.  Here are some ideas.

1) Double incentivize the talent or show with commissions on top of what they are already making in guarantees.  You will see the most action from direct to consumer marketing.  If bands can sell more tickets directly to their fans, let them make the ticket markups and commissions instead of you.  Get Talent working for you.

2) Family shows and sports are the only ones that seem to be able to handle group sales with any success.  The rest of us should take some lessons.  Start by assigning one person in your office as lead and come-up with a group sales strategy.  Look at pricing and models of the groups sales at buildings, sports and family shows and off you go.

3) Try media partners.  The idea of spreading shows across different stations, papers, magazines, etc, is just diluting your message in many cases.  2009 should be the end of the “Neutral Show” unless your show can sell no matter what.  By focusing on fewer media outlets, you should get a lot more bang out of it.

4) Use the economy for your promotions.  For instance, the average price for a gallon of gas in America is now down to $2.30 (not in LA).  If we can see a direct relationship between ticket sales and the price of gas, let’s promote that in a big way…while we still can.

5) Ringling shouldn’t be the only ones to do a “Circus Walk”.  It drives me crazy.  The animals have to get from the train to the gig somehow but PT Barnum turned it into an event in every city.   It still makes news everywhere.  Invent your own circus walk.

6) Guinness Book of World Records stunts get the media out every time.

7) Out hustle/work/promote your competitors.  I was watching a special on TV about Will Smith (the making of something) and they showed him goofing with the cameras.  He said the most interesting thing.  Something like, “you know why I win? Because while you are out partying, I’m working, while you are sleeping, I’m working, while you are watching TV, I’m working…”  Maybe take a lesson from Will.

Before we close, I also wanted to point out something from one of my previous posts, “Drop Your Prices Already”.  It was brought to my attention that artists like Metallica are back with a new album and tour.  Tickets are priced at $59.50, very reasonable.  AC/DC’s current tour is also scaled very sensibly.  As sports ticket sales fall-off in all but the largest cities, you in the sports community should be thinking about price as well.

Talk to you soon,

Jim