Thursday, September 30, 2004

Fuse TV

Thinking Differently?

Fuze Music Television is in hot water for trying to imitate the look & feel of Apple's iPod ads. As quipped by (Scanner), will this ad (dead link, 2/24/2005) catch the ire of the GGW empire?


Access-SF, the public access TV station in SF, hosts many interesting programs, ranging from special interest programming to the educational to the community-driven. The schedule is here. Public access media gives content creators the opportunity to reach an audience without the huge hurdles involved in standard media (including PBS). As a community resource with limited resources, it is an interesting challenge to effectively market a public "good."

One show oddly struck my interest, kittypr0n, which started in SF & has spread to Portland. Non-SF residents can purchase older volumes at a nominal price of $5 per volume. I'll let the producers speak for themselves (from their blog):

Accept no corporate-sponsored substitutions. Tonight at half past midnight on San Francisco channel 29, it's a new episode of the original kittypr0n. Watch for a rare appearance by actual kittens, set to the echoey sounds of BART, by Brett Lunceford's ambient project Goose. All this with no commercials, and the brand names digitally removed in post-production. (Well, no commercials, anyway.)

And, yes, we've heard about Meow TV. What can I say? Except on the most superficial level, it doesn't sound like our show. Among other things, the other show claims to be "for" cats--a somewhat stupid idea, given your average cat's attention span--while kittypr0n is for people who like watching cats. (And, yes, cats have been known to watch kittypr0n, but it's still not *for*

them. Some cats watch their shadows on the wall, too.) You will also never see "cat haiku" or a cat surfing on our show. Perhaps most importantly, according to the AP story, Meow TV "was developed after research showed that one-third of cats enjoy watching television." kittypr0n, on the other hand, was developed after watching public access while stoned. You do the math.

Blog Directories & Maps

This has been publicized elsewhere long before now. Be warned that these links tend to come & go. By geography: LA SD NYC sf bay DC SEA London Paris

garden state

Zach Braff (Scrubs) stars in & directs Garden State, a twentysomething manifesto about dropping out of {sort of} Prozac Nation (The Ricci vehicle based upon the Wurtzel novel has been shelved by Miramax for years). It's a rather clever film with a winsome Portman balancing out the other characters you just can't give a damn about. It comes with its own blog. Yes, the soundtrack is worthy of the buzz and does a perfect job of complementing a film, rather than being a crutch for narrative. The promos (aired heavily on late night broadcast TV) compared GS to Lost in Translation, both with solid soundtracks. Saw it at the Piedmont with an ale chaser at Cato's.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Film & TV Ratings Too Complicated?

The LA Times reports that during a Senate Science, Technology, & Space

subcommittee hearing, Senator Brownback [Kansas] blasted the film & TV

rating system. He's quoted as saying, "Many [parents] find the current rating system overwhelming and confusing." Really. Well, I know plenty of parents who "get" it and go beyond ratings and are able to define the boundaries of "age-appropriateness." Then again, these are folks who actually know what their kids watch. Apparently, technology by ClearPlay is out there that allows content that is"encoded" as having violence, sex, and/or nudity to be skipped or muted on DVD players. A big issue for creative content producers (mainly film) is tailoring their work to get a specified rating (e.g., recutting to avoid R and the dreaded NC-17), so directors have a vested interest in revising the system with more gradations.

Nevertheless, the concern over indecency in the media has been heightened by the now infamous Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction incident on the "all ages" rated Superbowl. Ringmaster, Jerry Springer, rated TV14, with blurred flashing and obviously appealing to the "prurient" interests, tiptoes under the FCC indecency radar. He's using a business model where more outrageous content can be bought via pay-per-view and guess this some cheesy basement operation akin to video streamed porn? Nope. It's big media, Universal, playing host to Jerry Springer Uncut 5 Raw & Original. This PPV model is not an isolated case as the racy Brazillian Big Brother can be viewed 24/7 (presumably uncut & unedited), circumventing regulatory scrutiny.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004


Original link to "Finally Woken" was broken.
Jem's "They" was added here on March 26, 2009.

The ubiquitous Jem

Sort of surprised how Jem has been getting videoplay/PR and has become the darling of soundtracks and promos. I missed a very low-key show of hers in June/July at the ultimate speakeasy basement club, Cafe du Nord. The first track (They) on the CD, Finally Woken, has back vox that reminded me of the opening title sequence in To Die For (1995) [Kidman/Dillon]. In any case, she's on the OC soundtrack and featured in the promos for the forthcoming nighttime soap for ABC, Desperate Housewives.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Product Placement in Films

Brand Cameo by is starting to list product placements in films. As consumers are bombarded with over 3,000 messages daily from multiple modes of media (think integrated marcom), this type of subtle & not-so-subtle marketing is likely to rise.

The logical (?) extreme of this is not just getting a cameo, a usage shot, or written into a script but being a part of it...and the title.

JK...Pass the Courvoisier or Give 'em What They Want

Sunday's NYT has a John Tierney article on Kerry, his brand equity, and how he has an uphill positioning/marketing problem. CSULB students can get this via COAST.

So how can the ever-patrician Mr. Kerry appeal to poor and working-class voters? Russell Simmons, the hip-hop music and fashion mogul, recommends that Mr. Kerry spend more time visiting inner-city neighborhoods, preferably accompanied by rap stars, while still remaining true to his class. Mr. Simmons points to his own success as a marketing consultant to Courvoisier, the cognac with a Thurston Howell image that became a staple of hip-hop culture.

"We brought in the hip-hop but we kept it exclusive and always protected the brand equity of Courvoisier," he said. "John Kerry can do that, too. He has to get out there with the grassroots and still dress the part. He's a better dresser than George Bush - that pink tie he's been wearing looks good with a dark suit. John Kerry has brand equity, and he needs to protect it. But he doesn't do that by windsurfing."

On a tangent, all of this reminds me of the Natalie Merchant/10,000 Maniac lyrics & video to Candy Everybody Wants, which, at the time, I thought of as both visually clever and odd, being an anti-marketing form of marketing/promotions (music video). Of course, anti-marketing marketing is all over the place these days.

The Cosmopolitan Party

Well, TBS is hyping its syndicated broadcasts of Sex and the City with a Vote Carrie site. Too bad the Cosmo (part of the show's lore) is sooo 90s, as the cool drinks have moved on to the mojito and the caipirinha.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Meet Me in Montauk

According to IndieScene, it looks like this genre may have started around 1998 with the Blair Witch site fueling the buzz generated by word-of-mouth. More recently, fake company websites linked to scripts have been cropping up. Indie film examples in '04 are Lacuna, Inc., the shady medical outfit that erases memories in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and the ersatz Wal*Mart-esque Huckabees and The Open Spaces Coalition for the forthcoming I ♥ Huckabees.