OFF PLANET RETAILING

In the November 1 issue of CIO Magazine there is an article on what the new retail model is and where is it going.

It’s called “Omnichannel Retailing” (put it in your computer’s dictionary, you will be seeing more of it and using it quite a bit in the near future).

The beginnings of this seem to have begun as a way to stop what is called “Scan & Scram,” the practice of scanning a product at the brick and mortar location and then going home and buying it on line at another retailer or at least for the lower, on-line price.

This new process goes way beyond the concept of checking it out on-line and then buying on the net or going to the store.  It combines search, pricing, availability checking, pickup, return and paying before you get there or even adding items on your smart phone as you shop so that at the end of the trip to the grocery store you simply walk out with an electronic receipt and  the items in your bag – no more lines to stand in!

Leaders in the field are Verizon on the equipment/provider side and Sears and, most notably Nordstrom, in retailing.

Soon to come will be the ability to scan a barcode on a product, check for size, color, virtually “Try it on”, price, order, pick it up or have it shipped.

Bloomingdale’s has gone so far as to allow passers-by outside the store “try on” virtual sunglasses to see what’s new and in store.

There are, obviously some major “devils in the details” here; the process must be completely foolproof and easy to use. There must be a minimum of “glitches” that will minimize, wrong items, colors, sizes, etc. causing consumer frustration.

While not mentioned in the article, I envision some challenges in the area of security, but overall Omnichanneling will certainly be the next wave in retailing.  Retailers with Brick and Mortar responsibilities are making the changes necessary to keep up with us and our technology.

NEWS JUNKIE NEWS

I want to apologize for my blogging absence for the past few weeks.  No excuses, just an apology.

Today I want to share some pretty significant information about who watches, listens to and reads – yes reads – the news.  The data is reported in depth in the October 8-14 issue of ADWEEK and I encourage everyone to visit the site or liberate a copy of the magazine.

I will just cover  some things I found to be not quite obvious about news consumption, as in:

  • 38% of the public is getting its news from digital & social networks; with 29% from newspapers
  • the youngest audiences are using The Colbert Report, The Daily ShowNY Times , WSJ, and The Economist (I would not have guessed the last two).
  • The old folks are getting theirs fromThe O’Reilly Factor, Sunday news shows, network evening news, Hardball (surprise) and Hannity.
  • By affiliation it’s LIBERAL – Rachel Maddow; INDEPENDENTS – The Daily show; CONSERVATIVES – Limbaugh

When thinking about all the data as a full meal of information, the menu seems to be indicating that the news cuisine is beginning to become less like “Sit Down Dining” and more  like “Food Truck Eats”.

The younger consumer is not very interested in spending a lot of time at the table and is not taking the meal very seriously.  Could this be signaling that we don’t believe what we hear/see as much as we once did or that we have just been force fed and are “stuffed”.

When “reporters” like Colbert & Stewart continue to build audience and Limbaugh and Glenn Beck continue to slide in popularity, it appears that we are starting to push ourselves away from the table.

One final thought.  With billions of dollars being spent on political advertising this year, I will really be interested in what the CPM will be for actual voters.

I’ll get back to you in November on this one!

Miss Representation – the documentary

The Dallas Women’s Foundation will be screening “MISS REPRESENTATION”, in our area soon.

This documentary by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, and aired onOWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

The film explores how the media’s misrepresentations of women have led to the under representation of them in positions of power and influence.  The film challenges our culture and conscience about gender and the media.

There will be two screenings in the area:

The first is on Thursday, September 13, in Dallas at the Studio Movie Grill on Central & Royal (11170 Central Expressway.

The second is in Plano at the Studio Movie Grill at 4721 W. Park Blvd. on Tuesday, September 18.

BOTH EVENTS will have a 5:30 reception; a 6:00 pm Screening and a 7:30 discussion with an impressive panel of local Dallas – Fort Worth women in business, education and the media.  (Go to www.dwfmissrep.org for more info).

I am proud to be a member of the hosting committee at the Plano screening.  Please join us at one of these events.  I believe you will find this documentary both entertaining and informative.

NBClympics

We watched the ceremonies last evening and while the Brits blew it out, I was more impressed with the way that everyone – especially Bob Costas – kept promoting all of the other feeds that NBC was filling for the games.  From BRAVO to MSNBC to NBC Sports, they have the waterfront and the track covered!

If you did it right, you could program every sport you wanted to see and play them back for decades, or at least until the next summer Olympics came along or until you ran out of disk space.

I was also very impressed with the quality and smartness of most of the commercials and the way the majority of the advertisers was tied to promoting the games.  It would really be great if they kept that intelligence level throughout the rest of the year.

I am looking forward to the remaining fifteen days.

On a more personal note, this past week, I was nominated and approved as First Vice President of the Dallas Chapter of the AAF (American Advertising Federation) for 2012-2013.  I am anticipating a fun and productive year.

AD CHOPPERS

In case you missed it, a federal judge has moved the FOX, CBS and NBC lawsuit against DISH’s “AUTOHOP” to California from New York, as requested by the three networks. They assume the west coast legal system will be friendlier to them.  A similar case involving DVR’s would give DISH legal precedent in New York.

As you know, “AUTOHOP” is the service on DISH that allows subscribers to automatically skip commercials in playback programs on their DVR’s.  This looks like another new battle over who has the right to control technology and its devices.

Those of us, who can remember it, know that some of these same networks once tried to sue to stop the production and sale of videocassette recorders, claiming that recording programs was a violation of copyright laws.  They lost that one and I believe that there is a chance they may lose this one as well.

The suit brought by the networks does not address the right of the subscriber/consumer to delete advertising, but rather that DISH “…has created and marketed a product with the clear goal of breaching its license…..”

The networks are claiming that this violates copyrights and destroys the fundamental underpinnings of the broadcast television business.

And they may well be correct in this claim.

If DISH can get away with this, it surely will not be too long before another company will have an AUTOHOP clone on the market, opening a real Pandora’s Box for commercial TV, and drastically changing the way we media planners and buyers look at delayed viewing and pre-recorded audience numbers, when evaluating total delivery, for our clients.

On the other hand, it may be the beginning of the demise of DISH.  They have already come into conflict with AMC and other content providers and have dropped AMC from their feed.  If they win this suit, other commercial networks may also decide not to do business with DISH.

AMC has a group of very popular programs – Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead and The Killing, to name a few. And Dish does have competition – DIRECTV……

This will be a very interesting case for all of us to follow.

PRIVACY, OPEN INTERNET, BIG BROTHER, FIRST DO NO HARM

None of us is unaware of the conflict going on around the issues of free speech, protecting privacy, protecting copyrights and a myriad of other legal and social issues, revolving around the internet.

There doesn’t seem to be any way to answer all of these knotty issues very satisfactorily.  The internet is, for all intents and purposes, a totally new dimension of communication.

Since GonzoMedia is a Media Planning and Buying Company, and needs all the possible information we can garner about the consumer in order to “properly” target our clients’ commercials, we are, “greedy” for the demographics, psychographics and personal habits of the consumer.

And we are – through sites like Google, Facebook and a multitude of other sources, never before available – able to gather more and more of that valuable data.  It seems that many people are perfectly willing to disclose information about their personal lives, their jobs and other information on the internet that they would never discuss or reveal to their family members or clergy.

On a personal level, however, I have concerns about how we protect the information which those consumers do not want revealed.

We have all seen reports of people losing jobs because they have posted their dislike for their bosses and/or companies they work for.  And we marvel at why a person would reveal videos of themselves in embarrassing situations.

Obviously, there is no accounting for taste or for lack of foresight for many of our fellow citizens, so I say, “post away”, and, hopefully, these individuals will not do themselves too much harm.

As I said before, I do have concerns about those of us who do not desire to have personal and private information revealed without our permission.  The fact that the simple act of going to the web to gain information on any given subject, product type or medical affliction, can generate an e-mail assuming that we are prone to buy a product or service, or a sufferer of that affliction, is a bit more than frightening.

We once feared that “Government” would create Big Brother, this is no longer true.  We have created him out of whole cloth.  As Walt Kelly’s POGO once observed, “…We have met the enemy and he is US…”

In my opinion, therefore, we should promote the concept of Opting IN rather than that of having to Opt Out in matters of privacy on the net and it should be as simple as a universal tag on one’s email address declining all intrusion.

If a particular site refuses to give information regarding what they regard as proprietary, unless one allows the gathering of personal data, so be it!  Somewhere on the net, There will be another site willing to give one the requested information without requiring the divulging of that personal data.  That’s how it works, “out there”!

FIRST DO NO HARM.

DREAM FUND – AUSTIN & HOUSTON

The Dream Fund, which started in 1991 to help colleagues in the Ad Community in times of financial need, is holding fund-raising events in Austin and Houston.

This organization is active in Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico, Louisiana and Oklahoma and has been instrumental in assisting members of our industry in times of need.

I encourage anyone in the Ad and Media Businesses in Austin and Houston  to turn out for these events and for those of us in other markets to make a contribution today!

for more information go to www.dreamfund.org or contact teresa.novak@dreamfund.org or pnolan@att,net.

PLEASE HELP!

Pretty Soon – the Chip in the Nape of the Neck

Apple’s new features for its computers, iPad and iPhone, are truly amazing, from the Retina screen for their computers to the iOS 6 for iPhones and iPads, they are ripping new furrows in the tech landscape.

Their new Maps software will definitely do damage to google. With the 3-D views of buildings and their live, real-time traffic plus making Siri more lifelike, they are definitely taking major steps up the ladder.

(For a really good examination of the changes go to “Pogue’s Posts” on the NY Times site.)

It’s not only amazing, but just a bit scary.  It really looks like implantation of the chip is near.  I am reminded of  a Dean Koontz novel of  a few years back about the melding of humans and computers and how the malevolent  machines turn the users into vampires.

No fear, however, in that scenario, they lose…..good luck to us.

DARK SHADOWS REDUX

I thought I had commented on this but apparently not.  The Holy Quartet – Burton/Depp/Elfman/Carter are up to it again.  This film has very little to do with the old TV series – it only alludes to soap opera.  As promised Jonathin Frid had a cameo.

It was, however, fun until the end when all the furniture and most of the cast get blown up dismembered or otherwise destroyed and then, it really “fell apart.”

Wait for the blue ray.

NEW LOOK FOR MEDIALIFE ON-LINE MAG

I got a nice surprise this morning when I opened the daily mail from MEDIALIFE – new logo, new look and an expanded list of places to check out.

If you are a media planner or buyer and are not getting this, you might want to take a look.  It has been around for a while and does a nice job of commenting and reporting on a variety of things relevant to media professionals; including overnights, and people movement.