A Full House Renunion

Full House, the early 90s TV show, has a space in many a twenty-something year olds’ hearts. The Dannon-owned Greek yogurt brand, Oikos, is tapping into this during this year’s Super Bowl.

The brand has rolled out a microsite, OikosBromance, in advance of the big game. The site features a variety of short videos featuring the three lead men from Full House – Stamos, Saget, and Coulier (Uncle Joey) with the campaign wrapper “Fuel Your Pleasure.”

Main teaser spot:

Why I am Curious:

While Full House definitely still has a nostalgic factor (and John Stamos is still quite popular), I wonder how this reunion will actually help sell yogurt.  In some senses, the fact that Stamos is of Greek heritage actually may offend some people, perhaps playing into a stereotype   I do like the idea of focusing the campaign around a group of male friends as I think this will help break the perception that Greek yogurt is for women.

Here’s to seeing if this bromance reunion goes viral!


Disney Brings Second Screens to the Movies


For the theatrical re-release of Disney’s classic animated film, The Little Mermaid, they are hosting an interactive version in select theaters for a limited time. Audiences are encouraged to bring their iPads to join in on the experience. 


The iPad app is geared towards unveiling new content associated with the film, including games, short clips, and sing alongs. The app makes the experience more social, by pitting audience members against each other in games. 


Why I’m Curious

Second-screen experiences are usually reserved for at-home experiences, where the user is distracted and wants to enhance the TV-series they are watching or distract themselves from commercials. In fact, while most users are watching TV, they are using search, browsing the web in general, or shopping. They are usually not engaging with an extended branded experience. 


For Disney, their objective is to sell more tickets to the theatrical release of the Little Mermaid, drive sales for upcoming theatrical releases and also to boost DVD/Download sales for The Little Mermaid. The second-screen experience may distract from the overall Little Mermaid Story and makes the movie-going experience more akin to an at-home experience. This dilutes the overall draw of theatrical releases, which could be detrimental to Disney’s overall goals. 

On the other hand, a second-screen experience dedicated to The Little Mermaid may drive DVD sales. At this point it is unclear whether the app will work with a DVD/Downloads, but if it did it would align with Disney’s objective to drive additional DVD sales, which is where most of the money is anyway. 


The Subtitles Hijack

There is a large (illegal) market outside of the US for downloading American TV series. Since many of the people downloading these shows don’t speak English they also download an .srt file to provide translated subtitles of the show. Y&R Peru hijacked the subtitle files by uploading their own, imperfectly translated version of the transcript. The moment the user catches on that this out of context random line is incorrect is when they remind you to go to Británico English Institut.

Why I’m Curious: There’s nothing like a barely legal (and free) media placement that’s served to the right audience at the right time. Sure, consumers may well get annoyed for this disruption, but they’ll also know where to go to learn English.

Volkswagen Conquers The DVR Fast-Forward Challenge

In a time when more than 80% of TV viewers fast forward through commercials, what’s an advertiser to do? Volkswagen found the answer in a Slowmercial – a TV ad that works for both normal and delayed viewing.

The new Slowmercial for the Volkswagen Beetle is an almost static TVC that if viewed while in Fast Forward mode on DVR, you’ll experience the ad as if it were in print. The buy aligned with the most popular TV series that also have a significant level of delayed viewership, like Bones and Homeland and recently aired 16 March – 26 March.  Because the ad will reach both live & delayed viewers, it’s projected that the “slowmercial” will have 50% more impact than an ordinary commercial.

Why I’m Curious: 

It’s great to see an agency and a brand partnering to embrace the shift in TV viewing behavior and turn it to their advantage instead of just ignoring significant change. They make the most of the “new” medium by keeping the creative approach simple and impactful with the focus on just one key message.  But doesn’t it look suspiciously like a giant banner ad?

Microsoft’s Epic Plan To Turn Your Living Room Into A Giant TV

From Fast Company:

Microsoft Research has shared the first details of an interesting alternative. Their invention is called Illumiroom. A Kinect scans the shape of a room, then Illumiroom uses 3-D projection to paint your walls and furniture with images, breaking the borders of your TV like a dam bursting a river of pixels into your living space.



Watch the Video

Why I’m Curious:

As Mark Wilson at Fast Company writes, “In this regard, the project has a spiritual similarity to Panasonic’s Ambilight. Remember Ambilight? It was the line of TVs and monitors that projected LEDs onto nearby walls to enhance the immersion factor of movies. But Illumiroom could take this idea to its more ultimate (and satisfying) extreme. Plus, assuming Illumiroom were to become part of Kinect’s SDK, its capability in the hands of external developers–or anyone looking to automate projection mapping on the small scale–could be unpredictably awesome.” I’m excited to watch this type of innovation disrupt the television/gaming industries. 

Choose Your Own Adventure: The Commercial

To promote the new A-Class, Mercedes-Benz gave viewers of the show X-Factor a chance to drive their interactive TV ads with the hashtag, #YOUDRIVE. The 3-part series depicted a young musician being driven to a gig and at crucial parts in the story, viewers could take to Twitter to decide things like whether to hide or evade a car chase. The results then determined what video would be shown at the next commercial break. Now that the

David George, Mercedes-Benz’s UK marketing director said “The new A-Class represents a new younger, more dynamic Mercedes-Benz brand, which is reflected in this campaign. It’s a modern Mercedes-Benz that encourages people to do what we know they enjoy; to get involved. In doing so, we hope to really cut through, and create a positive, lasting impression on their view of the brand.” (more at PSFK)

Why I’m Curious

We’ve all talked a lot about the “second screen” and common it is for a viewer to be scrolling through Twitter while tuned into a show like “X-Factor.” But most campaigns that take advantage of this behavior allow for interaction on the computer or phone (through check-ins etc)- but it rarely ties back to the TV. #YOUDRIVE adds an element of surprise, an incentive to stay tuned, and hopefully as George mentioned a “lasting impression on [the] view of the brand.”

I’ve watched brand mentions naturally spike while a spot airs on TV or there is a mention in a movie – this is really great way to keep the interaction looped back to TV. While Mercedes-Benz only did the ad as a one-off, future executions during a big event like the Superbowl, or across weekly episodes of a show would be equally (if not more) interesting.

Can I Get a Broadband Breakthrough Please?

2012 is an Olympic year.  It’s also a year in which the traditional TV landscape is continuing to evolve, and at an increasing rate.  DirecTV has had issues negotiating deals to keep channels on their roster.  Comcast has had a fairly steady loss of subscribers.  Many of the traditional TV content providers are trying to lock up exclusive content to help differentiate.  All while viewers are seeking more on-demand content when and where they want it.

And this week, AdWeek released some data showing that 50% of people indicated they would be watching Olympics events live via the web. There are other more “traditional” online behaviors which are expected – reading the headlines, researching athlete’s stories, and finding out when events are going to happen.  But what’s interesting is that it’s not just time-shifting, or watching “fringe” sports – think team handball – that don’t get the broadcast coverage that some avid fans would hope for.  No, this year, half of the respondents said they’d be watching live events via the web.It’s awesome to see, but it made me think about how people will be doing this.  I’m personally still frustrated with the wide range of ways that you can watch online video content and the lack of an all-in way to get unlimited content and still looks good on a large HDTV.  Sure, you can hook up your laptop via HDMI or WiFi, you can use a smart TV or game console where you have a built in “app” like Netflix or Hulu Plus, or you can purchase one of the many devices like Roku, Apple TV, Boxee, etc., among other options.  But the actual services that are available across some of these options is frustrating.  We need to get beyond these early adapter behaviors and walled garden setups.  Can we get some consolidation here please?

What I’m looking for is a much more simple, even-my-dad-could-do-it, solution.  And I want something that allows for a more traditional TV viewing experience – on the couch/remote in hand, with my friends/family, 5.1/7.1 audio quality, and no pixelating or hiccups in the video stream, with all the channels that I want.

Why I’m Curious

Its time has come.  With the growing number of cord-cutters entering the fray, it’s time for somebody to bring us the simple, all-in-one broadband solution we need.   We need something that will get us beyond the early adapter stage.  So, who’s it going to be?  A satellite provider?  Not likely.  A cable company?  Why not, they have the infrastructure, but seem unwilling to abandon their decades old business model and want to continue to cap data transfer.  So, who’s it going to be?  Anybody?  Bueller?


– Joe

Well, are you?  Ok, maybe you’re not familiar with this particular texting acronym (there’s not even an entry for it on Urban Dictionary!).  It stands for “Are You Watching This?”  And based on the insight that people share with their friends when there’s a game on TV that shouldn’t be missed, this web service caters to avid sports fans so they don’t miss the big upset, the no-hitter, the down-to-the-wire finish.  It promises to keep you up-to-date at the next day’s water-cooler conversation, or on your favorite sports-talk radio call-in show.


The main aspect of the service is an app, available for Android only at this point, but the service also includes Facebook, Twitter, a Chrome Web App, gChat Bot, and a Google TV integration.  Highly personalized – select your cable system at home, favorite teams, favorite sports, even control your TV with the app – it provides sports fans everything they need to be in the know from headlines, scores, what’s on your TV, and more.

The app is free, and has a very simple interface, and the alerts can be customized for just your teams, certain sports, and level of “must see-ness” that stay active even after the game is over… just in case you want to set your DVR to record over the “ok” game to make room for the “EPIC” finish that you were just alerted to.  See below.


With all the buzz about TV check-ins, multi-device TV viewing, and the like, this is an app that I can really get behind.  As a big sports fan, and someone who loves the excitement of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, I totally get it.  There’s even a system for fans to show their sports knowledge and picking prowess, allowing you to pick games and earn points based on your success rate.  Gamification squared, if you will.

Why I’m Curious

The service is a perfect companion for sports fans all over – the type of people who must be in-the-know on all things sports.  So, I’m not as much curious about how this will do, because I think the idea works… in fact, I’m most curious why ESPN, or FoxSPORTS, or CBS hasn’t already come up with their own version of this to drive people to their broadcast outlets?

Obviously, I could go on and on, but I just saw that there’s an epic upset in the making, and I need to see this game!

Turn any screen with a browser into a smart TV

Clik lets users control any screen with a web browser using their smartphone. The new platform will let developers create apps for viewing videos, music, photos or games on different screens. They have released a free iPhone and Android app to show its potential, which can quickly push YouTube videos from your smartphone to your computer or smart TV so you can watch them on a bigger screen. The app also acts like a remote control, letting you pause, fast forward and adjust the volume.

– Judy

Why I’m curious:

I think its interesting to put control in hands of the users and I like that this is a new platform to share content. For example, Clik lets multiple people scan the QR code for a single screen to control it, allowing groups of people to share content from different smartphones.

Can You Serve Singapore’s Biggest Tip Jar

— J3

Can You Serve, an original 8-part reality series in Singapore that focuses on finding the country’s best customer service individual has just launched their latest challenge: Singapore’s Biggest Tip Jar combines a real mechanical contraption with Facebook Likes. Each Like is converted into a real $1 coin that gets added to the jar, which will be won by the most-voted establishment.

Vote via Twitter in Project Runway

This video doesn’t exist

“Project Runway,” the hit A+E Networks Lifetime reality show and designer competition that is debuting in its ninth season Thursday, will encourage fans to use Twitter to vote on specific designers in a campaign dubbed “Fan Favorite.”

The 20 designers have been assigned their own hashtag consisting of #PR and their first name. Mass Relevance will assist A+E Networks by compiling the tweets and the votes. At the season end, the designer whose hashtag has been tweeted the most will become the fan favorite and receive a $10,000 cash prize.

Why I’m curious:

Real-time TV + real-time social just makes sense on two fronts:

1. Amplify conversation. Two-thirds of smartphone and tablet owners use them while watching TV, so it just makes sense to direct them to where they already are. In this way, TV becomes a call-to-action, not end-all consumption.

2. Make them watch the TV commercials. With the rise of the DVR, fewer eyeballs are on commercials. However, by making them talk real-time on the show may encourage them to actually watch the ads, too.

DVR-Proofing Your Brand’s Commercial with Retroactive Brand Integration


In a land of fast-forwarding through DVRed TV shows, how do you get people to watch ads? Answer: digitally insert it directly into the episode.

Reruns of 2006 “How I Met Your Mother” episodes are currently airing, but 20th Century Fox Television — the studio behind Mother — has been selling promotional spots in syndicated episodes to wring even more money out of the sitcom’s already rich syndication deals. A partnership with a company, SeamBI, which stands for Seamless Brand Integration and is responsible for digitally altering old episodes with new products and brands.

Why I’m Curious:

It’s basically Photoshop for broadcasting. You can insert a certain brand of pasta into a Food Channel cooking demo or a plasma TV advertising “Bad Teacher” on a coffeehouse wall. MediaPost has a great article about SeamBI’s past placements, including McDonald’s and Chrysler.

But is this the way to get people’s attention when they’re actually paying attention to the plot line? SeamBI thinks so… but I still have a hard enough time following Law & Order to actually pay attention to whether there’s a Ford ad bobbing behind Chris Noth’s head.

Which TV Shows are the Most Social?


A new research study from TVGuide.com ranks the most social TV shows from the 2010-2011 television season. The rankings, which are based on TVGuide.com episode checkins, Facebook Likes and site comments, offer an interesting look at not only what shows are most social, but also how viewers really use social media to interact and engage with their favorite shows.

Top 10 Most Social Shows of the 2010-2011 TV Season

2. American Idol
3. Criminal Minds
4. Glee
5. House
6. Fringe
7. Bones
8. Castle
9. Smallville
10. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

In addition, the user survey showed the following:

-Users said they are more likely to talk about their favorite shows on Twitter and Facebook before and after the show airs rather than during the show. Of users who talk on Twitter, 62 percent said they engage before the show airs, 69 percent after, and 47 percent during. Of users who talk on Facebook, 47 percent engage before the show airs, 68 percent after and 24 percent during.

-Of those who browse social networks while watching TV, 35 percent of Facebook users said they talk about the show they are watching, while 65 percent said they do something else. Among Twitter users who browse while watching TV, 50 percent said they talk about the show they are watching, while 50 percent said they do something else.

-Asked why they share what shows they are watching via social networks, users said the top three reasons are: 1) to tell friends what shows they like to watch (77 percent); 2) to help keep their shows on the air (66 percent); and 3) to telling their friends about new shows (57 percent).

Why I’m curious:

TV watching — essentially a solitary activity with just you and the TV interfacing — has somehow become a social medium. People aren’t just watching — they’re watching AND tweeting, Facebooking, and Tumbling.

Although some of these shows, like NCIS and American Idol, are also extremely popular in the Nielsen ratings, that isn’t the overall rule. Programs like Glee, which have huge social media followings and a great web presence, barely rank in Nielsen’s Top 40.

Smallville, a program that is wrapping up its tenth and final season, has a tremendously strong social fanbase, despite being one of Nielsen’s lowest rated programs.

Beyond simply looking at which TV shows are most social, TVGuide.com also researched how viewers use social TV. In the past 12 months, we’ve seen a wave of second-screen experience apps appear for devices like the iPad, encouraging users to engage with social media while watching the show live.