PRODUCT PLACEMENTS DON'T SELL PRODUCTS, SAYS STUDY
Integrating a product into a scene in a television show may ensure that the product gets the attention of viewers but it is not likely to influence them to buy it, according to the research group FIND/SVP, reported in Media Post's online MediaDailyNews Monday. The researchers found that consumers are twice as likely to buy a product as a result of seeing a TV commercial than they are after seeing it as part of an entertainment scenario. Focusing on one of the most discussed product-placement deals -- Oprah Winfrey's gift of a Pontiac to every member of her audience early this year, the study showed that only 36 percent of those surveyed recalled seeing it, and of those, only 44 percent recalled the make of the car.
EMMYS TO GO ON THE AIR(PLANES)
In an effort to reverse the downward trend of ratings for the annual Emmy Awards, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has signed a deal with United Airlines to show a 20-minute commercial for the awards on its flights beginning Sept. 1. The awards will be handed out on Sept. 18. "Historically, the academy didn't have to do anything," Todd Leavitt, the academy's president and chief operating officer, told today's (Tuesday) New York Post. "[But] the present broadcast world makes it very clear you have to build brand awareness." Leavitt also disclosed that the academy is considering moving the Emmy Awards to June, when they would not be competing against other awards shows.
SONY INTRODUCING NEW LINE OF HI-DEF TV SETS
Sony, which is trying to spur its electronics business, has announced the introduction of a new line of high-definition flat-screen television sets called BRAVIA (for Best Resolution Audio Video Integrated Architecture). The company indicated that it has set aside $140 million to promote the LCD sets, which range from 26 to 40 inches. In a statement, Dick Komiyama, Sony Electronics' president and COO, said, "I'm confident that BRAVIA will become as important and recognized as Sony's Trinitron brand." Last month Sony's electronics division posted an operating loss of $322.8 million for the April-June quarter.
UTAH RESIDENTS ASKED TO PUT UP WITH FILM CREW
The St. George Daily Spectrum, which covers southern Utah, including the Cedar City area where the new NBC reality show Three Wishes is being shot, editorially asked the local citizenry to make the TV crew feel at home. "Is this inconvenient? Absolutely," it said, "Your daily routine will almost certainly be knocked out of whack. You might have to find a different route to work. You might struggle to find a parking spot. But these minor inconveniences are a small price to pay for what the NBC reality show will do for the city." The editorial noted that the show will provide a full hour of national exposure to the town and will provide a boon to the local economy "today and, likely, for years to come. ... There's no telling how many people will suddenly be interested in visiting the Cedar City area after watching the show."
FOX'S AILES LAYS INTO CNN
Roger Ailes, who last week was named chairman of Fox Television Stations, one of the posts held by News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch's son Lachlan before his resignation, has indicated he plans to step up his battle with CNN, shutting down its affiliation agreements to provide news footage for Fox-owned stations. In an interview with TV Week, Ailes ridiculed recent remarks by CNN President Jonathan Klein in which he vowed to return CNN to supremacy among the cable news networks within two years. "That must be the end of his contract," Ailes quipped, adding: "Every time someone comes in and says they're going to do this in six months or eight months, I know they don't know what they're talking about. ... I think this is astounding. It's like the old Soviet regime: I expect him to come out with a 15-year plan." Ailes also took some shots at CNN's new The Situation Room, anchored by Wolf Blitzer. "What they've decided is they're not getting the ratings with their programming, so they've decided to get the ratings with their walls. In other words, just program the walls-and by the way, if I were Wolf, who is a very nice guy and a very good journalist, I would be deeply suspicious of them having me spend half of my time with my back to camera."
ARUBANS FED UP WITH TV COVERAGE
Residents of Aruba are becoming increasingly impatient with the American media's coverage of the Natalee Holloway case, the St. Petersburg Times reported Monday. "We never thought this would become a case against Aruba," Julia Renfro, the U.S.-born editor of the English-language daily Aruba Today told the Times. Numerous locals, interviewed by the Times cited egregious errors in the reporting by TV cable and broadcast networks. Juan Chabaya Lampe, the Aruban painter and writer who composed the country's national anthem, commented, "They are giving Aruba a very bad name. ... The American media should apologize." Aruba's government spokesman Ruben Trapenburg was particularly critical of CNN, saying that the cable network "used to be held in high regard. Today we don't even consider them respectable media." But Matthew Felling of the Center for Media and Public Affairs in Washington, D.C., remarked, "They are the "Not ready for prime time island."'
WHAT'S A NICE GIRL LIKE YOU DOING AT A MOVIE LIKE THIS?
Although young males are generally the targets of raunchy comedies and thrillers, young females outnumbered males at the box office for last weekend's top films, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Red Eye. Universal said that 54 percent of the audience for Virgin was female while DreamWorks said that 58 percent of the audience for Red Eye was female. Both films performed slightly better than expected. Virgin, which cost about $25 million to make, took in $21.4 million. Red Eye, which also cost about $25 million, took in $16.2 million. Last week's champ, Paramount's Four Brothers, dropped to third place with $12.5 million, bringing its total to $43.1 million. Two other films debuted further down the list. Universal's The Skeleton Key came in at No. 5 with $7.7 million, while 20th Century Fox's Supercross: The Movie crashed with just $1.3 million, placing 15th. The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Exhibitor Relations (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date):
1. The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Universal, $21,422,815, (New); 2. Red Eye, DreamWorks, $16,167,662, (New); 3. Four Brothers, Paramount, $12,487,537, 2 Wks. ($43,118,074); 4. Wedding Crashers, New Line, $8,002,613, 6 Wks. ($177,642,603); 5. The Skeleton Key, Universal, $7,725,495, 2 Wks. ($30,448,770); 6. March of the Penguins, Warner Bros., $6,487,696, 9 Wks. ($48,444,218); 7. Dukes of Hazzard, Warner Bros., $5,978,292, 3 Wks. ($69,070,528); 8. Valiant, Disney, $5,914,722, (New); 9. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Warner Bros., $4,434,453, 6 Wks. ($192,638,088); 10. Sky High, Disney, $4,034,895, 4 Wks. ($50,862,532).
HOME VIDEO ISN'T JUST FOR THE HOME ANYMORE
"Home video" or "home entertainment" are quickly being obsolete terms given the proliferation of devices that now allow consumers to watch video on-the-go. According to Home Media Retailing magazine (whose title may also be heading for obsolescence just months after it was adopted to replace Video Store magazine) portable entertainment has become a major growth area. The magazine quoted Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Studios Home Entertainment as saying, "Whether it's a business traveler with a laptop or kids in the back of the family minivan, people are creating their own personal entertainment environments wherever they go." The magazine also cited figures from Autobytel's Automotive Information Center indicating that 22 car models now offer DVD players as standard features and another 20 percent offer them as options. Sales of portable DVD players, it noted, rose 50 percent in the 12-month period ended June 30 from the same period a year ago.
HI-DEF VIDEO GROUPS SET TO WAGE WAR
A format war between two different high-definition DVD technologies appeared inevitable today (Tuesday) as Tokyo's Yomiuri Shimbun reported that backers of the two technologies have given up efforts to develop a unified format. Toshiba, backed by NEC and Sanyo, intend to proceed with plans to start manufacturing devices using its HD DVD system, while Sony, Samsung and Matsushita (which manufacturers sets market under the Panasonic brand) plan to proceed with their introduction of sets using the Blu-ray format. Toshiba has said it wants to introduce its sets in time for the holiday season, while Sony said that it will do so early next year. A majority of home-video distributors supports the Blu-ray format.
OREGON LURES MOVIEMAKERS WITH NEW TAX INCENTIVES
Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski on Monday signed into law a bill granting tax incentives to filmmakers who spend more than $1 million in the state over the course of a year. The bill establishes the Greenlight Oregon Labor Rebate Fund, giving producers a rebate of approximately 6.2% of wages paid from which Oregon income tax is withheld. Participating in the signing ceremonies were actors David Ogden Stiers, an Oregon resident, and Ed Asner, who noted that since his daughter and ex-wife live in Oregon, he considers the state a second home. Asner, a long-time liberal activist, also criticized federal lawmakers for not doing more to provide incentives to keep movie and TV productions from fleeing to other countries.