Yearly Archives: 2010

Time Warner Cable SignatureHome™ Launch Event

On December 8 and 9, press and influencers were introduced to SignatureHomeTM, the premium service package from Time Warner Cable. In an exquisite townhouse on Bond St. and Bowery, visitors were taken on a tour where Personal Solution Advisors demonstrated how SignatureHomeTM seamlessly integrates their lives with their technology.

During the day the house was filled with visitors engaging with Time Warner Cable’s Look Back, Whole House DVR, 3D Programming, and Wideband internet. TV Personality and Chef Tom Coliccho stopped by on Day 1 to prepare samples and discuss his new book and on Day 2 ESPN MLB Analyst Bobby Valentine visited the Man Cave and discussed 3D programming with visiting press.

On the night of the 9th, the townhouse transformed from a warm home to a chic, exclusive party complete with a Time Warner Cable red carpet, music by DJ Becka Diamond, drinks from mixologist Yusef Austin, and a fresh sushi bar.  Talent included, but was not limited to: Nick Cannon, Martha Stewart, Laurie Holden, Jill Zarin, and Hannah Storm.

In addition to the press and media event, Time Warner Cable participated in community outreach by commissioning four artists to create their own interpretation of the Eye/Ear logo to be placed on designer t-shirts and sold through Brooklyn Denim Company. 50% of the proceeds will go to the non-profit organization Pop!Tech and Spark, a collaboration between Pop!Tech and Time Warner Cable’s “Connect a Million Minds” initiative which promotes youth education in science, technology, engineering, and math.

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Cable companies are often described as stodgy, uncreative brands that simply provide a necessary service. Through the design of OgilvyEntertainment, in tandem with Ketchum PR and Relevent, Time Warner Cable was able to bring their signature service experience to life. As Shelly Palmer from Fox 5 reported, “Time Warner Cable has done something sensational here. The big story here is about setting the state for the competition.” The launch of SignatureHomeTM allowed Time Warner Cable to break the mold and provide a space for people to interact with a cable service as they would in the comfort of their own home.

SignatureHomeTM also elevated Time Warner Cable from trade and technology press to mainstream and trendy media. The blog, PaperMag, wrote, “That’s right. A cable hosted a super chic soiree last night at their three-story, stunning townhouse on Bond Street…for the launch of TWC’s new premium service, SignatureHome.”

The strategy to position Time Warner Cable as a cable service that provides innovative consumer/media integration along with their premium services proved to be a very salient experience for all those who crossed the threshold at 54 Bond Street.

TWEED Flashback

Great minds think alike, right? TWEED Flashback is helping minds connect by scouring the web once-a-week for any and all relevant entertainment, branded content and industry stories. Get a heads up and stay in the know with TWEED Flashback.


The End-of-Year Movie-Marketing Dichotomy Ad Age 12.15.10

The end of every year brings with it an interesting mix of movie-marketing efforts. You could almost say, if you were prone to paraphrasing the famous opening of a piece of classic literature (a lazy writer’s trick to which this lazy writer is absolutely prone), “It was the narrowest of times, it was the broadest of times.”

Will Audi Join he Transporter Series? Product Placement News 12.18.10

Reports claim that Transporter, the renowned action film, will be making its debut on the TV screen.

Product Placement Is Coming Soon…But Not As Soon As You Think Marketing Week 12.21.10

Commercial TV revenues will ultimately be bolstered by brands exploring product placement following Ofcom’s announcement to allow paid-for-references on UK TV programmes next year, but take up will be slow.


Bacardi Pushes Leading Brands to Pull Others Along Promo 12.21.10

Bacardi USA is using its powerhouse brands, like Bacardi Rum, Grey Goose Vodka and Dewar’s White Label, to draw attention to its entire portfolio, including lesser-known brands such as Cazadores Tequila, Disaronno and Seven Tiki Rum.

Live From Dearborn, It’s the New Explorer NYTimes 12.20.10

The Internet played a major role in the introduction of the revamped Explorer when, in July, Ford used Facebook for the unveiling in addition to events in nine cities like Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles and New York.

New Strategy for ‘Tron’ DVD NYTimes 12.19.10

Hide and seek has long been one of the Walt Disney Company’s favorite strategies when it comes to home entertainment.  To keep demand high, Disney rotates the availability of its animated films, keeping each title off the market for about seven years, then offering it for sale again.


Oprah Winfrey Offered U2′s Bono a TV Show on OWN Hollywood Reporter 12.20.10

Oprah Winfrey recently chatted up U2′s Bono  at a dinner — and then propositioned a business deal.  “Would you like a TV show?” she asked him, according to the New York Times.  “I look at everything now through the prism of, ‘This could make a very good TV show!’” added Winfrey, who will launch the OWN Network next month. (No word on if Bono accepted the offer.)

The Top Attraction on TV? No Script, but Plenty of Action NYTimes 12.19.20

If it wasn’t clear before, this season has underscored the point, italicized it and shouted it from the rooftops: N.F.L. football is by far the most popular form of programming on American television.

Will Smith plans China-set crime drama for Fox Variety 12.20.10

Will Smith is making a return trip to China for a series in development at Fox.  Smith and James Lassiter’s Overbrook Entertainment have partnered with Chinese-born filmmaker Eva Jin to develop a crime drama set in that country.

IBM Super Computer ‘Watson’ To Take the Podium on Jeopardy

With Alex Trebek at the helm, Jeopardy! has been an iconic American quiz show for almost 3 decades. The show has adopted multiple specialty formats and iterations to keep things fresh- including College and Teen Tournaments, and Celebrity Jeopardy, which is arguably more popular in the SNL homages that poke fun at its easier categories (see below).

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It goes without saying that contestants on the show have to be well-versed in all areas of general knowledge, pop culture, and history- and over the years, thousands of people have competed against each other for the chance to buzz in. But would any of them be able to match up against an artificially intelligent computer?

Last Tuesday, Jeopardy and Sony Pictures announced in partnership with IBM- that in February 2011 they will bring the ultimate contestant to the show, a supercomputer named Watson.

According to a press release from IBM and Jeopardy!, “Watson, named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, was built by a team of IBM scientists who set out to accomplish a grand challenge – build a computing system that rivals a human’s ability to answer questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence.”

This isn’t IBM’s first publicized experiment of human vs computer. In 1996, IBM bested master chess player Garry Kasparov with its AI computer Deep Blue.

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(Source: Google Images)

Following this breakthrough, scientists at IBM wanted to take the technology known as Deep QA to the next level. The article continued to describe how engineers had to think innovatively to work within the unique constraints of Jeopardy- reporting that the breadth of information, answer-question response system and vast usage of nuances and slang in the English language provided “the ultimate challenge because the game’s clues involve analyzing subtle meaning, irony, riddles, and other complexities in which humans excel and computers traditionally do not.”

As depicted in content promoting the Smarter Planet campaign, IBM has consistently been transparent in showing the conceptualization and backend processes behind their innovative work- the development of Watson was no exception as seen in another beautiful and brilliant IBM Video.

In order to test Watson’s abilities against the highest standard of intelligence, an article in the New York Times reported that the computer will face the two most successful players in Jeopardy history, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter (shown below), in a best of three competition this February. $1 million dollars is up for grabs and “Rutter and Jennings will donate 50 percent of their winnings to charity and IBM will donate 100 percent of its winnings to charity.”

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(Ken Jennings & Brad Rutter, Source: AP)

David Shepler, the Program Manager on the “Watson” project, is quoted on the IBM Watson website saying, “IBM is not in the entertainment business. But we are in the business of technology and pushing frontiers.”

However with innovations in 3D technology, digital and social media, and seismic shifts in entertainment consumption- technological developments and pushing frontiers drive innovation forward in all industries- which absolutely includes groundbreaking entertainment.

As a self-proclaimed Jeopardy nerd, I for one will definitely tune in to see if Watson will beat the reigning Jeopardy champs, and more importantly, remember to answer in the form of a question.

Video of the Week: Katie’s Krops

Members Project from American Express presents the amazing story of twelve year old Katie Stagliano, founder of Katie’s Krops.  At nine years old, Katie planted a cabbage seedling in her backyard and was able to grow a forty-pound cabbage.  It wasn’t long before she had six gardens, donating all of her produce to soup kitchens, homeless shelters and directly to people in need.  Katie shows the world that if you want to make a difference, you follow a cause that you believe in, no matter how old or young you are.  Over 31 million Americans now live in hunger.   Just like Katie, you can help.   Take your first step by voting, volunteering or donating with Members Project.  Click here to watch now!


Spurlock’s New Brand Funded Flick: “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold”

From the creator of “Super Size Me,” Morgan Spurlock is back with a film that is unlike any other.  As the idea of financing a movie through a studio is apparently too traditional for Spurlock, he has financed this new film entirely through product placement and advertising.

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Spurlock sells his personal integrity to the highest bidder on his journey to create a documentary focused on the world of branding, advertising and product placement.  Considering his past, he is clearly not unwilling to take risks, even when it comes to exploiting our own government.  His next target: the advertising industry.

As most of you know, “Super Size Me” was an experiment to document the horrible health effects that come from over-eating fast food.  So Spurlock’s unconventional ways should not shock anyone.  Will this experiment be as successful?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

“The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” will premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.