I just watched 5 minutes of ads…by choice





That is the sound of this cynical Creative Director offering up a humble golf clap to a brand who hoodwinked me into watching a collective 5 minutes of advertising across two different spots.

Well played Newcastle…well played.


You heavy-handedly introduced your new product to me. And I kept watching.

Not only did you overtly set up a product shot, but you actually called out the fact that you set up said product shot. And I kept watching.

You told me about your brand’s history, about how this product was made, and you even told me how great it was. And still I kept watching.

In fact, when the first 2+ minute video ended, I couldn’t hit play on the second 2+ minute video fast enough. And this got me to asking, “why?”

Well, the easy answer to that is, “it’s on the internet.” And yes, that certainly factors into it. I have the attention span of a gnat. On the off chance that I’m watching live TV, the second the hint of an ad presents itself, I Pavlovianly (yep, that’s a word) go for the SKIP button on my remote control. Of course, the irony in all of that is that while I’m watching those very same TV shows and fiddling with the remote to skip the ads, I am more than likely consuming very ad-like content on any of the 2-3 other devices that my face is buried behind. So again, this got me asking, “why?”


Maybe the reason why more and more brands are taking to the interwebs to share the content that 20 years ago would have been TV advertising is because of the freedom that comes with it.

There’s freedom for the brands and their agencies. For instance, Wil Wheaton revels in the fact that he can drink his beloved Newcastle Scotch Ale on camera —something that couldn’t legally air within a traditional TV spot.

But more importantly, there’s freedom for the viewer. When a traditional 30-second spot airs during tonight’s episode of Sons of Anarchy, I can’t skip it. I can begrudgingly agree to watch it, or I can change the channel. Of course, if I do change the channel, I risk missing Jax’s next moment of vengeance-filled rage…and we know that’s not happening. So I turn to my devices. I find content that I do want to watch, from brands that I like (or think I might like). And if it’s good, I keep watching. And if it’s not, I keep looking. And therein lies the point.

Viewers (or “users” for all you digital folks out there) choosing what they want to watch has created a veritable creative Darwinism for today’s brands. The great creative wins…and in this case winning means engagement.

Any media agency worth its salt can buy you the impressions you think will impress your CMO, but engagement…that comes from great creative. Because while you bought my eyeballs with that 10-11pm slot on FX, the joke’s on you…I was watching a Newcastle ad…on my iPad…because I thought it was funny and I WANTED TO!

Which “ads” that aren’t TV ads are you watching? I’d love to hear about them (because I need to have something to watch when I’m not watching the spots running during my favorite TV shows).

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By George, Will & Kate are Part of Gen Duo!

With the arrival of the Royal Baby, we wanted to ask Gen Duo couples how they make decisions about baby-care. Here’s the latest intelligence from our Gen Duo panel, a beta forum made up of couples who share in decisions in the home. Our panel is growing and open for membership. If you’d like to join or know someone who would, email emanateintel@emanatepr.com. Let us know what you think about how Gen Duo couples feel about baby-care – from the big decisions to the small.


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Please Don’t Call Me Mommy

Yes, I am a blogger. And yes, I am a mother. And yes, I occasionally blog about my children. But please don’t call me a mommy blogger.

Many mothers who blog find the term “mommy blogger” insulting and too familiar. Mommy is a term of endearment. It’s personal. If I didn’t give birth to you then why would you call me mommy? I bet you can count on no more than one finger the number of people you’d refer to as Daddy. Why should mommy be any different?

Besides, what is a mommy blogger? A food blogger writes about food. A fashion blogger writes about fashion. A political blogger writes about politics. The writer you’ve been referring to as a mommy blogger probably doesn’t post about mommies.

Sometimes labels are helpful; I understand that. There is a legion of mothers blogging and they wield a tremendous amount of influence. But too often marketers are quick to lump female bloggers into one “mommy blogger” category. Women with children are blogging about much more than diapers. They’re blogging about politics, policy, food, health, the environment, sports, religion and a host of other topics.

Bloggers are an important gateway to women – and men – with purchasing power. Marketers who fail to understand the blogging landscape will miss out on making this critical connection and will risk alienating a powerful online force. Remember, when mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

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Alpha Dads are the New Dads of Gen Duo

Businessweek recently published an article on “Alpha Dads” – those who are “as serious about their parenting as they are about making partner.” A read like this showcases the work-life balance many dads – particularly newer generations of dads – are contemplating as they enter the family realm whilst already entrenched in the work one.

A quote from a sociology professor at Stony Brook University says it all: “If you listen to the best young male workers, the ones coming out of the top business schools, they all talk about wanting to be really involved fathers, expecting and assuming that their wives are going to be committed to their careers.”

While the article’s focus is on how dads manage through this conundrum in the corporate world (the creation of the Deloitte Dads club as one example), it continues to paint the picture of how Gen X and Gen Y couples, and likely generations to come after them, are changing family dynamics.

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Why Relevance Matters

Challenger brands demonstrate the power of relevance and can serve as a model for all brands to emulate.

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Why Adopt the Challenger Brand Mindset

Under threat from a challenger brand, established brands need to alter their mindset and approach to maintain relevance and protect their leadership positions.

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Challenger Brands, Relevance and Success

Matt Rose discusses why challenger brands are capable of achieving greater relevance among target audiences than established brands regardless of size, reach or marketing spend.

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