Nets place orders for Canadian series
The hunt is on to find the next Corner Gas, and the Canadian networks have made their picks for the 2005-2006 season. While CTV has ordered 70 hours of Canadian content including three new scripted series, CBC has increased it domestic load by more than 30% to over 125 hours. Global has two new series debuting in 2005 and is set to add their recently acquired TMN series to the sked in the fall. It’s too early to know for sure what will hit and what will miss, but here’s the gist of what’s on tap for next season.
Message in a bottle (Sending out an SMS)
Odds are that if you are sitting in front of your computer right now, you have MSN Messenger running; a claim supported by the fact that MSN has 10 million registered Canadian users among the 18 million regular Internet users in all of Canada. MSN unveiled its latest incarnation of its Search engine in early February and just days ago released Messenger 7.0 with several software upgrades including a new in-message-window search feature that has performed extraordinarily well with test markets. The initiatives are cementing MSN’s position on the global Internet ad market, where it has recently gone up against the likes of Yahoo and Google.
Text your mind at Speaker’s Corner
CityTV Toronto’s Speaker’s Corner, the CHUM Television’s DIY programming flagship for the last thirteen years, is giving viewers a new way to speak their mind on screen. Beginning Saturday, February 26, at 8:30 p.m., viewers will be able to use SMS to send text messages to Speaker’s Corner (at a cost of 50 cents per message), that will appear at the bottom of the screen for all to see. The technology, dubbed Text2Screen (developed in conjunction with Ericsson Canada), will facilitate not only on-screen dialogue, but will also allow viewers to anonymously connect with other Speaker’s Corner viewers off-air through the use of their mobile phones. And there’s an opportunity for sponsorship tags at the end of these connections.
Mid-season round-up: Part 4 – Quebec
Quebec television has seen a lot of changes this year, so our final instalment of the mid-season roundup gives you the lowdown on what’s hot right now in La Belle Province.
IPod presents new ad opp
U2 iPod. Playboy iBod. Heineken Podcast. Once upon a time, the iPod nation was just a bunch of people connected by white earphones. Now, thanks to the huge sales numbers from the 2004 holiday season, iPod owners are in excess of 10 million, and that has advertisers salivating over the marketing potential of Apple’s little music box.
McDonald’s, Gillette, Epson, Schneiders, Fuji, Microsoft and Best Buy have been some of the first companies to get involved in promotions and joint partnerships with the industry’s leading online music vendors, setting the table for what appears to be the next big trend in non-traditional advertising.
Since podvertising is a new and relatively unproven medium, some advertisers are wondering not only about how to effectively reach a traditionally advertiser-weary audience, but whether it is even worth trying to reach them in the first place.
Mid-season round-up: Part Three – Global
Global’s mid-season schedule features a veritable cornucopia of changes with the net hoping that it can continue the growth it experienced at the end of 2004. The mid-season lineup features some of the most desirable properties of the year, including the Superbowl and the season premieres of The Apprentice III and Survivor: Palau. But the schedule also features some new, untested series and some big ratings pushes on highly contested nights.
Sunday night’s two-hour, commercial-free broadcast of 24 was a huge hit for Global. In Toronto, 24 beat its competition head-to-head for each half hour and scored its highest premiere ratings to date for the 18-49 demo. Needless to say, buyers and planners who have invested heavily in Desperate Housewives are looking forward to next week when 24 airs in its usual Monday 8 p.m. time-slot as it did last night.
Mid-season round-up: Part 2 – CTV
CTV is set to add six shows to its schedule this month including two brand new series. In addition to its new programs, CTV is also rescheduling five of its current series including Corner Gas, which BBM lists as Canada’s number one sitcom this season. As of next week, CTV will have changed its primetime lineup for five different days with only Thursday and Friday remaining intact. With all this change, what can media buyers expect from the network that from September to December owned close to three-quarters of the country’s top 20 shows?
Mid-season Round-up: Part One – CBC
The CBC is overhauling its schedule to give the network a brand new look for the mid-season and so far at least KIA has liked what it found when it kicked the sked’s tires.
Last night, CBC premiered The Tournament to strong praise from critics. With upcoming episodes directed by Bruce McDonald, the show looks to be a hit with audiences searching for both a comedy and a hockey fix. KIA Canada, The Tournament‘s main sponsor, is using the show to air its new ads which call for an end to the NHL lockout. The KIA deal was made before the show’s script was finalized which allowed for the brand to be integrated into the plot in both the storyline (the two main characters work at a KIA dealership) and in signage (rinkboard ads, and dealership ads). The Tournament‘s Web site also features KIA branded content including Web links to KIA sites and fictitious ads for the KIA dealership on the show.
NHL lockout: The sky is not falling
With today being day 85 of the lockout, and the season all but abandoned, networks and advertisers have settled on Plan B and are embracing alternatives to reach the traditional hockey viewer demo.
There may not be one clear replacement that produces the level of engagement and audience composition of an NHL broadcast, but the viewers who were once watching hockey are not hiding in fallout shelters until the lockout ends; they are just watching other things, and that has forced media buyers to get creative in their pursuit of hockey’s once coveted audience.