Peter Propp — Marketing Leadership

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As 3-D Fades, Hollywood should focus on stories

June 1st, 2011 · 3D, Uncategorized

Cover of "Avatar (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Co...

Cover via Amazon

While I’m rarely happy to discuss the failure of a new idea or a new technology, I was delighted to read in the Times over the weekend that the 3-D boom in movies may finally be waning. “3-D Starts to Fizzle, and Hollywood Frets” (NY Times, May 29, 2011)

 

It could not happen a moment sooner.  Last October I wrote about the abuse and over-use of 3-D in a piece I titled  “3d Is Not For Me”

 

The problem with 3-D and with the movie industry in general right now is not the technology.  The problem is the quality of the storytelling.  If a movie has a great story, they should make it.  If it has a great story and they can use 3-D in clever ways, they should make that movie – Avatar for example.

 

But we saw Avatar at home a few months back on a non-3-D TV, and it was a perfectly fine adventure movie (even if it was a poorly cloaked version of the story of Pocahantas). I’m sure the 3-D would have made it a modestly better experience, but we were able to enjoy the experience because the story was good, the script was solid, the acting, directing and cinematography were all set at a high Hollywood standard.

 

So please Hollywood – how about focusing on some original stories?  How about more films with focus on strong female characters?  Clearly that’s an area that hasn’t been done to death.  Who knows?  You might find an untapped audience that’s ready to spend.  Just don’t make “Thelma and Louise 3-D.”

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River city extension

April 30th, 2011 · Uncategorized

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An Horse

April 30th, 2011 · Uncategorized

Like em!! Lotta sound from 1 guitar and 1 drum kit!!

2 great singers.

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State Radio

April 30th, 2011 · Uncategorized

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State Radio

April 30th, 2011 · Uncategorized

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The Crew

April 30th, 2011 · Uncategorized

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Plain white Ts

April 30th, 2011 · Uncategorized

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Bamboozle as a Dad.

April 30th, 2011 · Uncategorized

Took Rose and her pals today to Bamboozle, a music festival in the bucolic parking lot of New Meadowlands Stadium.

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300 Million reasons why HuffPost/AOL deal is a Keeper

February 7th, 2011 · content, Smart Mergers, Time Warner, Uncategorized

NEW YORK - MAY 28:  The AOL logo is displayed ...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

If I had been blogging back when AOL and Time Warner merged, I would have written one hell of a post.  I could have told you why AOL’s “filtered Internet” business was a dopey match for one of the worlds great media companies.  Time Warner was so far out of AOLs league – the combined company always made you think of a couple where the wife was so much better looking than the husband.  How had AOL been so able to “punch above his weight?”  Sadly, I believe the only answer was “Cash.”

In that marriage, I think Time Warner was also looking for distribution and believed that AOL was the answer.  Meanwhile, the scads of smart Internet teams within Time Warner were probably screaming in disbelief.  While there may have been good parts to the arrangement, AOL ended up hurting Time Warner in terms of execution, branding, and finances, as AOL’s mighty consumer dial-up stream began an accelerated demise right around the time the merger completed.

But the AOL Huffington Post deal is different.  AOL is different, and has been purchasing small content brands like TechCrunch and 5Min Media that have loyal followings.  They’ve purchased niche technology players such as Surphace, who power the “related content” box that follows some posts on this blog.  They are bit by bit embracing the real Internet and it has been a steady smart strategy.

Huffington Post has bootstrapped itself with $1M investment and Arrianna Huffington, a hard-working, Oxford educated leader with unassailable intellectual chops.  They have become a new kind of media company that fully embraces the real web in all its messy, complicated uses of new and emerging technologies and storytelling techniques.  HuffPost makes money, breaks stories, makes us laugh and represents a moderately liberal point of view that is clearly popular and well received across the globe.  And in the media world of today, a reasonable, well constructed point of view is unfortunately a rare creature.  At the same time, in our time-crunched life, we yearn for a trusted source to help us formulate our own point of view — and that’s why Huffington Post has been a success, now worth $300 large.

In other words, the AOL of today purchased the right partner for today.  I don’t know if there was a better partner for them than Time Warner a decade ago.   I wonder where they would have been if they hadn’t made that deal at all?

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Carl’s Jr, Hardees — Mobile Apps That Make Good Business Sense

December 28th, 2010 · Branding, Brands, Four Square, Mobile Applications, Uncategorized

From ClickZ — “Having announced their intentions to do so earlier in the year, fast food restaurants Carl’s Jr. and Hardees have launched a location-based mobile application to reward loyal customers. Parent company CKE Restaurants said the company chose to build its own application, as opposed to partnering with existing location-based providers such as FourSquare, Gowalla, or Facebook Places.

The app, dubbed Happy Star Rewards, is now available on the iPhone and Android platforms, and invites users to check in when they dine in either of the restaurants. The first check-in earns the user a spin of “The Wheel of Awesome,” ” (Full ClickZ article here)

And I say: finally!  This is a great idea for an app, especially for brands like fast food who have loyal customers and others who choose from a selection of restaurant choices.  As I wrote in a post a few months back, branded apps provide a huge opportunity for customer loyalty, much more so than pairing up with a broad generic provider. If I know that every 3rd visit I have a chance to play a game on my iPhone and maybe win a burger, there is a much greater chance that I will become a loyal customer.  And once CKE has developed experience with customer usage of the app, the opportunities for seasonal promotions and other 2nd generation tweaks are solid.

The argument for branded mobile/social apps vs big platforms like Foursquare is easy to make.  Remember the web malls of the early Internet boom?  I do because cause I ran business development for IBM’s World Avenue.  The problem was, the brands that were in our mall were much more likely to gain atttention on their own than by subverting themselves under an IBM branded service.  The comparison will hold true for those brands willing to take the time to build the right strategy and deploy the right app.

(But we did have a lot of fun and I made a lot of good friends there)

Congratulations to Carl’s and Hardees for getting the recipe right.  Now if only there were a Carl’s or a Hardees near me…I am a big fan of the “Famous Star.”

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