Monday, November 26, 2007

Reality TV and E-Commerce: A Recipe for Success

Last July NI introduced you to one of our favorite sites in “Flypaper: Producer’s Tips for Sticky Sweeps.” The Bluefly sweeps are second to none, and now they have taken it even farther - integrating with every diva’s Wednesday indulgence: Project Runway.

This new promotion goes beyond a great sweepstakes (they are giving away a trip to the finale), and does what every online TV site or promotion must do to cultivate a loyal audience - extend the storyline.

What? A story-based extension that connects a Reality show AND a commerce site?? Not possible, you say? WRONG.

Each week, and PR take the show to the next level by inviting fans to “Get the Winning Look.” You can get it by shopping for items that epitomize the winning design. Throw in polls, the Bluefly Accessory Wall from the show, the previously mentioned sweeps, and clips from the previous night’s episode on Fly TV (First you watch it, then you Shop It) and fans can immediately dive right in to embrace or improve upon the designer's vision. It's a recipe for success - an extension that delivers an audience who joyfully comes back again and again throughout the season.

Everyone is trying to do online extensions, but the only other TV show that has done it this well is Heroes (with the most popular Comic Book of all time) - and NBC has never even come CLOSE to cracking the nut on elegant commerce.

Hats (and Hermes and my Prada slingbacks) Off to Bluefly and Project Runway - you've got my vote!

TOM TV Favs "Chuck" and "Life" Picked Up!

We hate to do it, but two props to Yahoo! scoops in the same day --- as they just broke the news that Top Of Mind TV favorites "Chuck" and "Life" have been picked up. HOORAY!!!
Read the article on Yahoo for the fully skinny.

Who Else Wants and Additional $40k A Year?

Today posted an amazing "American Dream" story that you'll love, "Rolling in Cash," courtesy of Kevin Sites via Yahoo's People of the Web.

The story is about Linda Katz, a part-time entrepreneur who started her online business, the Prairie Tumbleweed Farm, as a joke. It was 1994 and she wanted to teach herself how to design a website. Since she lived on the prairie in southwest Kansas, where rolling tumbleweeds are sometimes the only dynamic feature of an endless flat horizon, she invented a farm that sold tumbleweeds, listing prices at $15 for a small one, $20 for a medium and $25 for large.

Though she’s coy about her annual income from tumbleweed wrangling, she says it is over $40,000 a year. Not bad for a bunch of dead, dried-up weeds. Read the full article here - and then come up with your own unique, simple and original idea!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Attention Jericho Rangers: The Date is Set!

Couldn't resist announcing that it's official - start planning for February 12th. Jericho is coming back! Congrats to all the fans that contributed - GO RANGERS!

New SeasonSeason 2 starts February 12, 2008

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thursday Twofer - Old Favs return to Reality TV

It's been a brutal week, but I had to find a moment for a couple of exciting updates.

First, Project Runway premiered last night with Season 4 and an all-new cast. HOORAY! I'm dying to riff about the show, but even more about a really great sponsor promotion they pulled in with one my favorite new media outlets. I'll give you a hint... it's a site that has had some buzzzzzzzzz on NI before!! In the meantime, if you didn't see it I'm not sure what to tell you - it's not on iTunes and I can't find it on Hulu. So keep your eyes peeled for reruns through the weekend.

Next, did you catch the news that TLC is bringing Paige Davis back to Trading Spaces!! E! broke the news today that perky Paige is coming back to the show that put TLC on the map - and I may just have to start watching again. :)

That's it for now, more to come...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

TOM TV looks into the Alpha Eye

Top of Mind TV has spent alot of time over the last few weeks discussing the latest shows - but it seemed time for a few reviews of what the 'Nets are doing online to support the Fall Season.

Let's start with our friends at the Eye. After launching a new Alpha site in September - you probably expected the full site rollout to quickly follow, but I hope you didn't put any cash on the line. While the hottest show subsites like "Amazing Race" sport the new look, CBS standards and Naked favs "Numb3rs" and "The Unit" are still in the old style.

If you haven't seen the alpha yet, going to still won't get you there. is where you wanna go for a peek at the new site in progress. IMHO, it looks very Apple meets ABC player - so to help you tell them apart, we'll call this one the 'Bowtie'.

The look may be new but the programming is rooted in the existing model - along the left side is a combination of primetime for the current night's programming, along with previews of the upcoming night. The rest of the lineup is represented graphically across the rest of the rows in the tie. You can view a clip directly in the bowtie by clicking a 'View this clip' link after you select a show via it's image, or choose to link directly to the show site. It's looks great when you first open the video window, until you want to adjust the experience for more comfortable viewing... then you notice the lack of video controls - you can only stop and start. *Sigh*

If you choose one of the elements within the Bowtie connected to a show subsite that hasn't been migrated before, clicking to view the clip has a totally different experience. It will actually launch the Innertube player within a new window to view the clip from there. Pretty wierd, but I think it's safe to assume that this will NOT be a part of the final experience.

If you're adventurous, you might scroll past the natural break in the page to find there's more 2.0-type features below the fold. I picked the Jericho widget, even though it's yet another reminder that Kid Nation is playing in the Wednesday slot... Unfortunately, you can see that this widget is clearly a left-over from when they reran the series earlier this year, as evidenced by the 'Friday' messaging (now that's just sloppy).

It's pulling in a current feed, so the copy is representative of the latest producton blog posts - but unfortunately clicking on any of them won't take you to the actual post. So if you're interested, you'll have to navigate separately to CBS to read it. *Double Sigh*

Exploring the BTF space even further, you'll find more 2.0-type features such as popular tags, most active users, and an image-based carousel ala Apple (and every other site that has copied this style). All good solid features and they look crisp and fresh within the new design, so I must say that even with the buggy Alpha experience, I do like where this is headed. We can only hope that the really innovative features are still to come.

So keep your eye on the Eye to watch how this alpha evolves. Enjoy!

Friday, November 02, 2007

"Must See TV" OR "Must RECORD TV"?

Top of Mind... according to Rebecca Dana from the WSJ, the research experts at the Nets are figuring out that there are LOTS of freaks like me trying to juggle multiple shows in the same time slot on their trusty DVRs.

We all know how much Programming execs LOVE to cage-match their biggest shows on Wednesday and Thursday nights to compete for the big dollars from advertisers... especially the studios trying to get butts in seats for Friday premieres. But it turns out that this brilliant strategy has a teenie itty-bitty drawback - according to Neilsen Media Research these are the same shows that audiences are choosing to record and watch later.


Since advertisers have traditionally paid a premium for ratings based on live viewership, the move away from appointment television could have a BIG impact on primetime programming. Increased playback could force a change that moves the hottest shows into less-congested time slots to command a bigger live audience. Many experts have said it's just a matter of time for ad rates to move away from live viewership towards C3 ratings - a new formula that calculates the number of people that viewed the commercial live, plus the number that saw it on DVR in the three days after the show aired (and you thought the "3 C's" was just something you learned in Marketing 101).

I say "Embrace the Change" - didn't you people learn anything from the last year's Jericho debacle?

Okay, that's all I've got on TOM for now. GO RANGERS.