Social Kills Fashion – Maybe Not

There is no doubt Instagram became an amazing platform for storytelling. And as fashion relies heavily on powerful visuals and graphics…well, you feel the match. Eva Chen, Instagram’s Head of Fashion Partnership, explains, “It democratizes fashion. There’s a greater connection to the customer now. Instagram enables brands to build a voice and speak more specifically to their audiences. Designers are not just thinking about the people at the shows.”

The four pillars for Instagram development are the following:

Brand Identity

With visual storytelling, fashion brands and retailers are now using Instagram as their primary tool to reveal brand personality. One look at a brand’s Instagram page should easily provide consumers a glimpse into the brand’s culture, lifestyle and products. Apart of revealing the attributes and the world of the brand, its environment and associations, it can give also the customers an insight on what the company and its employees are like, showcasing interesting cultural insights related to the brand positioning. Instagram offers the perfect snapshot of a fashion label’s identity, and nowadays, it has become imperative for successful brands to communicate a unique footprint to their consumers.

Community Engagement

One of the most innovative forms of marketing is to let the customer do the selling. Through Instagram, brands can generate high community engagement. The hashtag still proves to be a reliable and important way to increase reach and shows some relevant trends for the brands. So we can observe high community engagement through marketing activations where it’s been asked to the people to generate some content by themselves.

Behind the Scenes of Fashion

Social media has blurred the lines between the once “exclusive” fashion community and the general public. Gone are the days of waiting until the September issue of Vogue or Bazaar to see the latest collection looks. Nowadays, fashion insiders capture the runway looks on their smart phones and share them from the show. Some fashion designers are going beyond that and offering their followers a “behind the scenes” peek.

Monetizing Social

Instagram has become increasingly shoppable. There are only few steps from the platform. There’s no doubt that Instagram has revolutionized and redefined the fashion industry. It has made the once “exclusive” fashion industry accessible to the public. Furthermore, brands can now craft an identity, create community engagement, and generate return far beyond the rack.


If you still with me until now, we can agree altogether that what I just stated here is common sense and brands are using Instagram’s assets in the proper way. But let’s have a bit of critical thinking here. Obviously instagramers are useful to the fashion industry because they offer another revenue stream for brands and designers, but could they potentially be bad for the industry? Fashion, more than most industries, relies on aspiration and exclusivity. The high fashion brands have pedigree and history. They have an institutional quality to them that’s been built over the course of decades. Instagram is a product of the new millennium. The accessible, grassroots nature of social media makes it less prestigious by default, which risks cheapening the brands that rely on it.

Before the rise of the Internet and the proliferation of social media, the bar of entry into the fashion world was much higher. Anna Wintour isn’t simply a woman with great vista and taste; she’s a qualified journalist. Alexander McQueen was not just someone with superhuman talent for designing clothes; he was the graduate of the world’s most elite school for fashion design. Influencers, on the other hand, are simply the winners of a popularity contest. They haven’t endured the same level of scrutiny from people who know how and what to scrutinize. And now, the first rows of the defiles are just populated with all those ‘new generation’ contestants. It was always striking me that the most popular fashion week was the one from NYC, the one with the less interesting and refined collections but obviously with the biggest population density of worldwide influencers and instagramers.



The keys to the door are now shared between the “establishment” and consumers, but making fashion more accessible corrodes some of its prestige. This idea might be considered a bit old fashioned, not in the wave of modernity. But it’s interesting to have a look to both sides of the coin. Meritocracy should always prevail. The rise of the influencers can compromise the creative vision of the industry, as they influence the future of creativity with pretty much novice eyes. Before the digital era, there was very little discourse between the industry and outside forces: fashion professionals picked the supermodels, dressed them, curated the image and beamed it out into the world. The only way that consumers could have a say was through their purchasing decisions. Their choice of influencer puts the tastes and desires of the consumer into a very public forum that the industry can observe. The end product is created with the consumer in mind. So, in that sense influencers haven’t really changed anything, they’ve only made the voice of the public clearer, louder and more intrusive.

I’m nobody to judge to that extent.


Cyber Pop Security

Every year, many sources file a lot of information about our passwords because of the leaks and many security issues; they compile a list of the most popular passwords based on millions of stolen logins made public in the last year. In 2017, we can enjoy again some nice data to think from. The least we can say is that human beings are mostly naïve or otherwise very influenced.

Mr Robot

If we start by the naïve or possibly the most simplistic side of our brain, we already know the top names that emerge (based on more than 5-10 million leaked passwords in 2017) are “123456” and “password.” – they keep the top ranking since quite a few years already. In the list of the ‘already known’ and ‘still really popular’, we can have passwords as stupid and easy to hack as ‘12345678’, ‘qwerty’, ‘iloveyou’, ‘admin’ (more for IT connoisseurs), ‘welcome’, ’login’ or the really complicated ‘hello’. It seems that the people are more afraid to forget their passwords than to gently give a bunk of their personal files to strangers. Nothing really changed since this TEDx talk from Lorie Faith Cranor.


But what is really interesting is to deep dive into the second aspect of our personalities, the influenced one. We talk here about the relationship we develop with our environment and mostly the pop culture we are exposed to on a daily basis. The two new passwords that make the top 20 this year is ‘starwars’ and ‘dragon’ (obviously inspired by the blockbuster and TV series Game of Thrones plot). Pop culture is really leading us to make some choice that we believe are very personal but it seems that the hackers are much clever than you, they analyse (with the help of powerful and dedicated softwares)  geographies, backgrounds, education and other personal things. They can find out very easily what kind of films you’re watching, the games you’re playing and obviously the football team you’re supporting. Some words, expressions or references are still quite amazing to notice this year. I want to give you a sample here – those beyond the obvious but still very popular in the ranking lists –  ‘Sh1a-labeouf’ (seems that the sometimes-troubled actor is still very popular, maybe because his name and reputation make you feel safe), anything with Jennifer in it (we assume Jennifer Lawrence popularity is constantly high), ‘Mynoob’ (with a clear link to World of Warcraft and its fans), Ut4luke (abbreviation of ‘Use the Force, Luke’), Superman and 007Bond (heroes reuniting different generations) or even SpongeBob, HelloKitty and JustinBieber. “Unfortunately, while the newest episode may be a fantastic addition to the Star Wars franchise, ‘starwars’ is a dangerous password to use,” Morgan Slain, CEO of SplashData, said in a press release. “Hackers are using common terms from pop culture and sports to break into accounts online because they know many people are using those easy-to-remember words.”

According to the data from this year and years past, we are still a bunch of idiots – our astonishingly weak passwords at the mercy of even the most amateur hackers. Of course,   those conclusions might be slightly biased as the sample is built around 10 millions breached accounts (which obviously show the weakest options out of billions of passwords in the world) but it says a lot about our incapacity to learn, to memorize or to dissociate our security with things we are really attached with.


#metoo – Movement Sustainability

We celebrate the women today; 8th of March, happy Women’s Day. But it’s also important to acknowledge all the efforts still to be done for total gender equality across the globe. We also witness the outcomes of almost 6 months of Harvey Weinstein sex harassment scandals in the Hollywood microcosm. It was the sparkle that unveiled the truth (if truth had to be revealed when it comes to the cinema industry) but we have the right to understand how can we sustain this movement initiated few months ago. It is definitely a day to start to reflect on what has to be done to make tangible changes from the #metoo movement to its continuation #timesup…and beyond.

#MeToo, for all the progress it has made in exposing sexual harassment and abuse—and in exposing the contours of systemic sexism— has been, from the outset, largely limited to a certain population that is far to represent the full world population: a movement started, by the famous and the visible, a movement unsure of how to convert itself from stories into action. How do you broaden it? How do you move the #MeToo movement beyond the countries, the cultures, the socio-demographic layers, the professional environments… as a proper movement that should last, how to make it more inclusive, more systematized, more politically effective? How can #MeToo, essentially, move from the realm of the “me” to the realm of, more fully and more meaningfully? Move from identifying the problem to actively solving it.

The initiatives that started to pop up through different sources include efforts to create legislation that will penalize companies that tolerate harassment, and that will discourage the use of the nondisclosure agreements that have helped to silence victims of abuse. It has embraced a mission to reach gender parity (still focusing on Hollywood studios and talent agencies when it comes to TimesUp). And, perhaps most significantly, they will administer a National Women’s Law Center’s Legal Network for Gender Equity and that will connect victims of sexual harassment with legal representation. To that end, Time’s Up has established a GoFundMe of $15 million – from Hollywood honchos and the public at large—to provide legal support to women and men who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace. “Access to prompt and comprehensive legal and communications help,” the campaign notes, “will mean empowerment for these individuals and long term growth for our culture and communities as a whole. ”


We understand the theory about movement (a lot of theories are out there, have a look to Strawberry Frog agency work on the subject). It starts by an ignition (the Weinstein scandal in our case), the expansion (the understand ing and the reflection on its own experience with #metoo, the common belief from all women that time is up, still very abstract in my sense, another slogan to make it broader) and sustainability – this is where we have to think further, to make sure that things matter, that things get real for everybody. Maybe we can think about few points – you can help me to make those points

– We have to shift public focus away from celebrities to real people living in the working world, to the thousands of women who face sexual harassment daily but may not have the means or access to pursue legal cases or media articles. That seems at least part of the goal of “Time’s Up,” but I get a possible issue here. The fund is still organized by people in the limelight and not initiated by real empathic stories for the many. If Rosa Parks or Kathrin Switzer decisions and actions were so strong, it’s because her story was simple, grounded to the reality and extremely bold as she was alone to stand for it. She was not on a red carpet in a black dress with global broadcast – that is the power of simple stories, to bring us together to act.

– We need see men and women step up as bystanders, one of the few ways proven effective at combating workplace harassment and discrimination (and in fact very easy to do!). We will reach our goals of gender equality only if we all fight for the same thing. I still hear some men saying ‘What do you think? In Hollywood, everybody knew. This is not like that in the real life and they live differently than us’. Well, we have to solve the whole thing together because it happens everywhere.

– We need to talk so much about culture and education as much as we talk about individuals, and recognize that while the Weinsteins of the world are extreme, the messages we learn about sex, and power, and courtship, and consent, are deeply engrained and start and will take far more than a workplace sexual harassment training to unleash the voices of the people. And we should not forget about disparities in the culture of the country. I don’t want to point anybody in particular here (and I might be wrong in my conceptions) but women don’t have the same opportunities everywhere for obvious reasons Top of Form

– We need to have a meaningful, some nuanced discussions about due process, understanding of the rights/wrongs and conduct behavior. What can someone accused of sexual misconduct reasonably expect, what is fair, and what range of punishments should be considered beyond the abrupt torching of someone’s career? We don’t want men to be afraid to smile to their colleagues or just to be staying late, working 4 meters from their assistant…that would make no sense. We have to define and think about what can be done and what should not be done – for the sake for everybody’s lives

– We have to encourage women to take over the reins at major institutions, filling in the gaps left by the fallen men who have long shaped our societal narratives. We know from research that organizations with more women are more successful, more collaborative, more profitable, and more inclusive. What effect might those women’s leadership have on media and culture at large? We have to make sure that this movement is getting towards the achievement of the better.

– We have to make sure that all institutions or power eco-system (in any sense) work in symbiosis to change the way we understand the society – from the media to the government, they all have something really important to play here, with intelligence and perspective. We have to focus on the right questions, the right solutions, the righ stimulus, the right…you name it.

So, what would be the next steps for the movement #metoo or #timesup. Maybe like all the other movements that made history, to disappear slowly after achieving what has to be done, never again have people questioning something that seems to be the basic understanding of our bright future altogether.


Oscars Strategic Stage

Everybody knows already who won the best picture in the Oscars 2018. Well, we can always explain that the choice was obvious, even more when not seeing any of them (this is my case). But I read something a really interesting exercise from the Guardian the other day, the fact that we can apply somehow a piece of science to understand the chances of each of them – at least to apply semantics and strategic thinking to get the core objective for each of the films. For weeks, studios have been filling the trade journals with adverts. The Oscars voters have seen these many times, and they may ultimately change or influence their votes. So what can we understand about the fate of each nominee from these ads? And does it reflect the final choice?

Call Me By Your Name

Call Me by your Name

Call Me By Your Name seems resigned to losing best picture award, so has gone all out for best-adapted screenplay. The ad tells you how many awards the screenplay has already won, a snatch of the film’s dialogue (in the typewriter font Courier, because it shows the truth of the real screenplays) and a photograph of James Ivory. It’s been quite a novelty to feature a clear picture of the screenwriter, even somebody as famous as James Ivory. And maybe his name appears around 8 times in the ad…that’s an obvious objective to make him the face of the film.

But then, there is this frenzy of throwing into the battle anyway with the second part of the ad, highlighting some big statements supported by an emotional picture. But definitely, this picture is not symbolic enough…if you haven’t seen the film (which is unfortunately the case for a lot of voters), it does not say anything. So…let’s go for the Best Writing Adapted Screen Play – bingo for James Ivory who just became the older screenwriter awarded in the history of the Oscars.

Phantom Thread

Phantom Thread.jpg

We can maybe see here the most stylish ad from all – a really nice and crafty illustration that makes it very classy but also very enigmatic. We can’t see anything from the movie, no pushy quotes telling us how good the film is, not even a sign of possible Daniel Day-Lewis’s retirement. Just a simple painting of a gown and an elaborately worded notice: “Focus Features thanks the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and proudly congratulates our Oscar nominees.” If you take the narrative, you can find elegance but also a sort of sad understanding that we have to thank everybody before…because we don’t expect much.



I love Christopher Nolan, his talent, his vision but also his dedication. But I was surprised to see him as the main character of the Oscars ad in the professional ad. Well, we have to acclaim his lucidity on this one. Look at Christopher Nolan here, splashing around in a wetsuit like some kind of hunk. Ostensibly the message is: “Behold the struggles Nolan endured to achieve perfection.” So we can explain very easily what is the objective in our case – they put all their expectations in the Best Director award but also in all technical categories. Like they have been to their limits of technicity to bring you best experience (not really a film, yes, an experience). So it is…

The Post

The Post

We see a very thorough design, a balance between the storytelling, the information and the symbolic. On the left, an ensemble shot of The Post’s extraordinarily talented cast, a group of dedicated and brave people. On the right, an image of Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep climbing a long and steep staircase, symbolising the chances that anyone who has had anything to do with this film will actually win something. And of course, clear information at the middle remind the context of the film. Not clear what they’re looking for, maybe a collective recognition as the two stars are not really put forward.

This ad celebrates the strength of a team but does not really focus on the main actors to win some accolades – strange for this couple of immense stars.

Darkest Hour

Darkest Hour

This ad might be too much obvious to be believable… at least, it does not celebrate the intelligence of the viewer. Maybe it taps to its fears. Well, it does not sound very promising for the ceremony. If the 2018 Oscars are a breakthrough moment, with black and female directors finally getting their seat at the table after decades of being ignored, then leading an advert for a middlebrow film about an old white man with the quote “The movie we need right now” seems especially shortsighted.

But Gary Oldman is one of a kind, and we know that the Oscars are always weak when it comes to epic and historical biopics (mostly with physical challenges for the main actors). So, the Darkest Hour finally got some interesting visibility. Well, he was the main topic of the advert with mostly all the quotes related to him.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards

The horrible truth is, not every Oscars voter has seen every film. This poster seems to acknowledge this, offering a shot of a critical plot moment. Now, instead of saying: “Oh, this is that film about the billboards,” clueless voters can impress their friends by saying: “Oh, this is that film about the billboards that burn down at some point.” We can explain this still shot in many different ways: a clear claim that the film is burning hot to be on top of the list, a melancholic attempt to show that the film speaks for itself and we can burn out the quotes and the talking, the strength of a storytelling with ‘Sign of the Times’ but not really explicit after all.

Still, the praising position of the actress says a lot about her deep dream to be on the stage. She was heard by whoever decides about the final results.

Lady Bird

Lady Bird

Lady Bird, we all understand, had some good reviews in the last few months. But the decision to list all of them in their entirety is a bit overwhelming…if not annoying. We have no time or desire to read everything, which keeps the full story an enigma for most of the viewers. Look at some at the reviews – seven sentences long. All the advertisers would say to you, focus and simplicity are key for success…too many messages are not good for the clarity of your product. Well, maybe, the designers here would be happy to spend an internship in a good ad agency.

Remind me what they won, I already forgot…or maybe I haven’t seen them at all.

Get Out

Get Out

We can say that this is the best advertising press ad. An iconic image surrounded by clear quotes clearly organized and structured, but mostly enhancing the movement of the guy falling. So you will say that a guy falling does not support the idea of winning, but this is the dramatic comparison to Hitchcock and Mad Men that makes this ad a killer. And the adjective that are the most visible are ‘electric’, ‘provocative’, subversive’, ‘frightening’, terrifying’, ‘incisive…A very promising approach for the success of the film but might be a bit too much for the conservative Oscars Academy.

The Shape of Water 

The Shape of Water

Here, we have an interesting case. Maybe we can talk about a game-changing game in terms of adverts for Oscars Academy. We have a structure that reminds the best attempt from brands to inspire the world (‘Live for Now’ for Pepsi, ‘Be Stupid’ with Diesel…) and we talk about a film. The plot is revealed partly but not really clear, the promoters preferred to raise interest from the viewer with some kind of motivational quotes that can be energizing for any of us. No quotes, no pre-selling visuals, no link to political context, no desire to get into provocative thoughts no bullshit…this is as pure, inspirational and possibly positive as possible – we can say that the slogans are a bit lazy but still, they can touch almost everybody

We may believe that The Shape of Water has unlocked a cutting-edge new marketing strategy that operates on a level unfathomable to mere mortals. And for this reason, we believe that the award from last night is not really a surprise (it’s always a surprise anyway). But we do see that films are now evidently products and you have to advertise them as such – with the best skills you can.

It would be interesting to do this exercise from now on for the coming ceremonies in the world, but the Oscars are still the best material for thinking as they invest so much for marketing and communication. So I assume that we will try again in 2019.


Olympic Reboot

Few days ago, a Russian friend of mine was asking on Facebook who was watching the Olympic games – 90% of the answers were quite evasive. You would say that because the responses were coming mostly from Russian people (considering the biased context of their participation) but that feeling was quite wide spread in the world. When historians look back on this year’s Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, they may not have a lot to say apart of few moments that the Olympics know how to create. However, the reason the 2018 Games will go down in history will have nothing to do with the emotions of sports. In the Wall Street Journal story about the declining ratings at the Games, Magna’s Dani Benowitz, a major ad buyer, made the startling observation that “the days of the ratings bonanza are over.”

To be sure, overall viewership for broadcast and cable networks has slumped in recent years thanks to the surging popularity of Netflix and other streaming services. Events that networks and advertisers counted on to attract huge audiences — such as the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Grammys and the Oscars — have struggled in recent years to add viewers. That’s why it’s not a shock that the Olympics are experiencing the same issues. Of course, there are specific reasons for the decline in specific events. The Super Bowl was enjoyed by millions of people. Overall, though, the TV audience on Comcast’s NBC network, which is also broadcasting the Olympics, hit a nine-year low. So TV is alerting us about something that might be deeper inside the Olympic masquerade.

Olympic Circles

Whatever the virtues of the Olympics, economics were always a deep challenge. It will cost so much to host the Olympics extravaganza that no one will want to do it. Although that may seem far-fetched, the number of cities vying for future Olympics has already dropped dramatically. Here is what Andrew from Smith College, an expert in sports economics, says, not so long ago, cities lined up to bid the moon and the stars to secure the Games. But daunted by the escalating demands of Olympic organizers and a recent history of huge budget deficits, environmental and social dislocations, and rampant corruption, bids to host both the summer and winter Olympics have sharply declined.”  The numbers, as always, speak for themselves. In 1997, there were 12 cities competing for the 2004 Summer Games, which were ultimately hosted by Greece. By contrast, the bidding for the 2024 Games ended with two contenders — Paris and Los Angeles — after Boston, Toronto, Rome, Hamburg and Budapest dropped out. The story is the same for the Winter Olympics. In 1995, there were nine candidates for the 2002 Winter Games. By 2011, there were only three for the just-finished 2018 Games. To host either the Games requires massive construction projects and organizational factors, the prospective revenue not even coming close to covering the costs. As a result, the Games impose a permanent burden on the host country’s taxpayers. Zimbalist roughly calculates the cost of the next Summer Olympics at $15 billion to $20 billion against prospective revenue of $4 billion to $5 billion. While costs are going up, the prestige and long-term economic benefits — in increased tourism and investment — seem to be going down.

Olympics Investment

What about the funds from selling television rights and corporate sponsorships? It turns out that they don’t go primarily to the host cities but to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which channels most of its money to national Olympic committees and international sports federations. Zimbalist says that host cities now get 20 percent to 25 percent of the sales of TV rights. Confronted with these unhappy realities, the IOC has taken steps to curb costs. The wake-up call for the nations is always tremendously scary.

One solution and others is to reduce wasteful investment by designating permanent locations for the Games. Such permanent locations for the summer and winter games would offer many benefits:

  • In the future, security in our public arenas will become more difficult to manage. Successful theme parks are not unlike fortified military strongholds. But they’re designed to make spectators forget that tracking systems is monitoring them. Permanent Olympic Parks would allow the IOC to prepare more adequately in advance, to secure its venues and to allay the fears of athletes and spectators alike.
  • A permanent location could also mean stronger oversight when it comes to doping: athletes from member nations could be required to visit the Olympic Parks for drug testing. Much easy to centralize and to organize
  • One of the stated missions of the IOC is raising awareness of environmental problems. The new Olympic Parks could be built using sustainable resources, and, as upgrades are made every cycle, the IOC should share with the world the learning’s on the way
  • The IOC advocates for the “advancement of women in sport at all levels and in all structures, with a view to achieving equality between men and women.” What better way to do this than to design the Parks with gender equity in mind.
  • To continue the Games’ tradition of featuring global heritages, nations would be selected to co-host each Olympics-to showcase their heroes, their cultures and their ideas. For the first time, this would allow nations like Kenya, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Cuba and Jamaica and many others to be in the spotlight.

The potential for savings is considerable, as the case of Los Angeles shows. Designated host for the 2028 Summer Olympics, it has managed to keep its projected budget below $6 billion. “Since L.A. is home to many professional sports teams and several universities that invest heavily in athletics, Los Angeles already has a full complement of sports arenas and stadiums,” Zimbalist writes. It’s not clear that Los Angeles would want to be a permanent host to the Olympics — or that any American city would satisfy global opinion.

Lost Forever

As the year starts, some of your favorite TV shows stopped. We farewell lots of shows in 2018, and with this being the first year Netflix decided to start cancelling shows, it may seem more shows were more discontinued than in previous years. The networks, as usual, axed plenty of shows old and new, like the comedy ‘2 Broke Girls’, which faltered in ratings later into its run. One of CBS’s new show, ‘Wisdom of the Crowd’ was canceled after its star, Jeremy Piven, was accused of sexual misconduct after it premiered in September. We’ve also included in this roundup the shows that knew their end was coming, like ‘Orphan Black’, ‘Girls’, ‘The Vampire Diaries’, and ‘Bloodline’. And many others did not survive their fate – many more you haven’t heard of and too many to count. But do we know when a TV series or content should be discontinued?

Lost Image

That’s a vast question in a period of complexity and abundance of choice on your best platforms. When Mr. Robot aired its season-one finale, USA Network execs were understandably happy about the show’s solid ratings, amazing buzz, and clear brand-changing potential. The launch was nothing short of a triumph, particularly in an era when grabbing viewers’ attention sometimes seems next to impossible. But that’s not how it works in the age of on-demand viewership: with audiences trained to consume shows however (and whenever) they want, networks are now promoting their biggest titles year-round, particularly when such series are in their infancy. Indeed, as soon as Robot season one ended, USA was already actively pushing audiences who’d heard the buzz about Robot to binge the show online, while figuring out ways to keep those already hooked thinking about the series up until its return. ‘You can never stop messaging your franchise,” says Alexandra Shapiro, executive VP of marketing and digital for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Networks group. ‘The moment you stop is the moment the fans stop paying attention.”

So you mean that, beyond our interest in the obvious creativity and talent of the show, it’s all about marketing; It’s all about managing properly the networks assets. “It used to be enough to just say, ‘Okay, our show is coming back. Let’s just throw some promos on leading up to the premiere,’” they explain. “Now, it’s a more complicated, multilayered, ongoing game to keep your engagement, to keep people consuming it.” The continuous loop of hype has been particularly aggressive with shows launched in 2015 and 2016. You can optimize your weapons to get audiences by linking shows together. Fear the Walking Dead did not need much investment in that sense; The Walking Dead spinoff benefited from being associated with the biggest show on TV among viewers under 50 y.o. And yet, the network made sure to keep audiences engaged with the newbie zombies in between seasons. In the case of Mr. Robot, USA made sure (as most networks do these days) to keep the show available on the network’s video on demand platform, allowing cable subscribers to catch up. But then, at the start of 2016, it did something unusual: It put together a sort of director’s cut of the show for VOD platforms in which episodes ran with unbleeped profanity and unedited adult content, as well as very limited commercials. “We re-pitched the entire season (to viewers) as an almost binge-like experience,” Another bump came after the network’s aggressive campaign for the Golden Globes paid off with two wins for the show. The job of selling TV shows seems to have been a lot easier five, ten years ago, when marketing efforts were almost entirely focused on driving viewers to a limited linear run — i.e., the rollout of new episodes at a scheduled time each week. While making it clear there’s still a “laser focus” on getting (and keeping) linear audiences, “that’s no longer our only objective, we’re in the franchise-building business. We’re trying to build [series] that are able to have success over a long period of time.” The move to maintain marketing momentum year-round is being driven mostly by necessity. Huge swaths of the audience are abandoning both live viewing and even DVRs in favor of on-demand platforms, pushing down Nielsen ratings — and thus ad revenue — for both cable and broadcast series. Ongoing marketing serves two purposes: It helps shore up linear ratings by making sure existing fans of a show remain engaged while at the same time allowing networks to woo new audiences more inclined to watch via on-demand platforms. Those digital viewers might not represent as much potential profit as those who still watch on TV, but they’re growing in number. And it may change the way networks are negotiating exclusivities with platforms like Amazon or Netflix. All of this is a shift from just a few years ago. Some industry insiders draw parallels to the feature film business, where movie studios market franchises — think Star Wars or any of the Marvel movies — as relentlessly as McDonald’s pushes Big Macs. “Television networks … need to become more like studios, reducing their reliance on first-window revenues and reorganizing around longer monetization periods,” We’re already seeing networks adopt this philosophy of patience in other ways. Just a few years ago, there’d probably be palpable disappointment among some newbie TV shows of aggressive marketing and, in the case of some of them, amazing critical response didn’t immediately translate into big Nielsen gains.

So, the reality is there. TV shows are disappearing when some pre-agreed solid KPIs and ratings are dropping…then, just be pragmatic and do the math. If the investment and the ‘huge’ marketing investment are not matching the revenue on investment (mostly in a long-haul as the eco-system changed in the last few years, more patience is needed) and the performance of Nielsen ranks, just forget about your nice storytelling. As we all know, in Hollywood, we stopped to be romantic a long time ago.

Super Bowl Vitrine

We talked about the relative impact of a Super Bowl viewing from the consumers. But, put apart any cynicism, this year delivered much better advertising pieces of work than the last few years. Let’s have a look to few of them, just for the pleasure of it…and because every single ad blogger is doing the same thing as me right now.


Always when the company is more commented to cut down its expenses in advertising and communication, P&G won the big contest with a perfect series for Tide and Jim Hoff, one of the guys from ‘Stranger Things’. Like Old Spice, this strategic work is expected to become a classic.

For the Super Bowl, we expect to see a lot of celebrities. Amazon set up the perfect situation to show some of them – well, even before the Big Game, it was more viewed and discussed ad on social media

Toyota is plays the peacemaker in a country that needs a bit of compassion and understanding. Interesting move coming from a Japanese brand

M&M’s continues to build on its irresistibility platform, with a twist named Danny DeVito , maybe the only celebrity that could incarnate a chocolate candy.

Another classic that gave so much to laugh about for advertisers, a spoof of Dirty Dancing, this time in the very masculine world of the NFL

And last but not least, maybe the one that was the most teased before the D Day, the double product Doritos-Mountain Dew (PepsiCo) story, maybe I should say fight. Truly epic.

We’ve done the job…now, we can come back to a normal activity in the next spot. And just to finish off, one of the best branded contents in the world, brought to you by Pepsi