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A Super Bowl Presidential Debate Audience And Twitter

October 17, 2016 Leave a comment

“I don’t have any experience in running up a $4 trillion debt. I don’t have any experience in gridlock government, where nobody takes responsibility for anything and everybody blames everybody else.”
— Ross Perot at the 1992 presidential debate
Some of you reading this will remember the 1992 presidential debates with Bill Clinton, Ross Perot, and George H.W. Bush. Many thought Perot was a bit kooky with all of his charts and some of his one-liners. Oh, how Mr. Perot makes the current presidential cycle look tame. And that is about as close as I will get to making this month’s column a political missive. Instead, let’s talk about TV audiences, Sunday Night Football and Twitter.
A year ago, if I had predicted that the presidential debate would have a near Super Bowl-sized viewing audience, close to Super Bowl 50, many, if not all of you, would have laughed and made what would have seemed like a sure bet. In fact, according to Nielsen, the first presidential debate brought in 84 million viewers across 13 of the TV networks that carried it live. And that 84 million doesn’t include people who watched via numerous live streams online or at bars and restaurants. This means the actual total audience was even higher. Did I mention this was a presidential debate? For perspective, the last presidential debate between Obama and Romney in 2012 averaged 67 million viewers.
But what is amazing to me is that Twitter reported their live streams of the first two presidential debates had more viewers than the NFL games.
As many readers may know, Twitter recently began streaming select NFL games, starting with Thursday Night Football. During their first event (N.Y. Jets vs. Buffalo), Twitter’s live streams reached 2.1 million people. Football fans enjoy “smack talking” during games. Twitter knows tweets spike during games, so matching that insight with live-streaming NFL games seems a spot-on way to drive engagement on their platform. And Twitter could certainly use some higher engagement numbers. The first NFL game certainly was proof for their streaming experiment. I’m interested in seeing how Twitter’s live-streaming numbers continue during the rest of the NFL season. I would love to see them prove out this concept for the long haul and see it move into other live-events, such as the hockey, tennis, and award shows.
Twitter’s NFL live streams and now the presidential debates give them the proof they need to support their belief that Twitter can be a live-video delivery platform. While many in the industry may think the concept is a stretch and just another desperate advertising solution concept for Twitter’s weak monetization efforts, I have long believed they are the perfect platform to surround great content for passionate consumers during live events.
Are Twitter’s NFL streaming numbers huge by traditional TV standards? No. But we are still very early in their grand live-streaming experiment. Let’s give it some time and see how things go and where they innovate and iterate on the service. At a minimum, they have proved their live-streaming point.
The live-steam presidential debate numbers also point out that consumers have a thirst for content they are passionate about on non-traditional platforms. If Twitter can continue to identify passion-based content (e.g., music, sports, politics), I believe the audience will show up and engage. As marketers, we all know what happens when the audience shows up — advertising solutions follow. So, here is another chance for passion-based marketers (QSR, auto, etc.) to get in and test a still unproven area and get some great learning

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Beloit College’s Mindset List – Clues to Class of 2017

August 20, 2013 8 comments

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Each year Beloit College publishes their a list of interesting facts & trivia (those who know me, know I love random facts and trivia), that shape the way the incoming class may think. I especially like the list for the class of 2017

The Mindset List for the Class of 2017

For this generation of entering college students, born in 1995, Dean Martin, Mickey Mantle, and Jerry Garcia have always been dead.

1. Eminem and LL Cool J could show up at parents’ weekend.
2. They are the sharing generation, having shown tendencies to share everything, including possessions, no matter how personal.
3. GM means food that is Genetically Modified.
4. As they started to crawl, so did the news across the bottom of the television screen.
5. “Dude” has never had a negative tone.
6. As their parents held them as infants, they may have wondered whether it was the baby or Windows 95 that had them more excited.
7. As kids they may well have seen Chicken Run but probably never got chicken pox.
8. Having a chat has seldom involved talking.
9. Gaga has never been baby talk.
10. They could always get rid of their outdated toys on eBay.
11. They have known only two presidents.
12. Their TV screens keep getting smaller as their parents’ screens grow ever larger.
13. PayPal has replaced a pen pal as a best friend on line.
14. Rites of passage have more to do with having their own cell phone and Skype accounts than with getting a driver’s license and car.
15. The U.S. has always been trying to figure out which side to back in Middle East conflicts.
16. A tablet is no longer something you take in the morning.
17. Threatening to shut down the government during Federal budget negotiations has always been an anticipated tactic.
18. Growing up with the family dog, one of them has worn an electronic collar, while the other has toted an electronic lifeline.
19. Plasma has never been just a bodily fluid.
20. The Pentagon and Congress have always been shocked, absolutely shocked, by reports of sexual harassment and assault in the military.
21. Spray paint has never been legally sold in Chicago.
22. Captain Janeway has always taken the USS Voyager where no woman or man has ever gone before.
23. While they’ve grown up with a World Trade Organization, they have never known an Interstate Commerce Commission.
24. Courts have always been ordering computer network wiretaps.
25. Planes have never landed at Stapleton Airport in Denver.
26. Jurassic Park has always had rides and snack bars, not free-range triceratops and velociraptors.
27. Thanks to Megan’s Law and Amber Alerts, parents have always had community support in keeping children safe.
28. With GPS, they have never needed directions to get someplace, just an address.
29. Java has never been just a cup of coffee.
30. Americans and Russians have always cooperated better in orbit than on earth.
31. Olympic fever has always erupted every two years.
32. Their parents have always bemoaned the passing of precocious little Calvin and sarcastic stuffy Hobbes.
33. In their first 18 years, they have watched the rise and fall of Tiger Woods and Alex Rodriquez.
34. Yahoo has always been looking over its shoulder for the rise of “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.”
35. Congress has always been burdened by the requirement that they comply with the anti-discrimination and safety laws they passed for everybody else to follow.
36. The U.S. has always imposed economic sanctions against Iran.
37. The Celestine Prophecy has always been bringing forth a new age of spiritual insights.
38. Smokers in California have always been searching for their special areas, which have been harder to find each year.
39. They aren’t surprised to learn that the position of Top Spook at the CIA is an equal opportunity post.
40. They have never attended a concert in a smoke-filled arena.
41. As they slept safely in their cribs, the Oklahoma City bomber and the Unabomber were doing their deadly work.
42. There has never been a national maximum speed on U.S. highways.
43. Don Shula has always been a fine steak house.
44. Their favorite feature films have always been largely, if not totally, computer generated.
45. They have never really needed to go to their friend’s house so they could study together.
46. They have never seen the Bruins at Boston Garden, the Trailblazers at Memorial Coliseum, the Supersonics in Key Arena, or the Canucks at the Pacific Coliseum.
47. Dayton, Ohio, has always been critical to international peace accords.
48. Kevin Bacon has always maintained six degrees of separation in the cinematic universe.
49. They may have been introduced to video games with a new Sony PlayStation left in their cribs by their moms.
50. A Wiki has always been a cooperative web application rather than a shuttle bus in Hawaii.
51. The Canadian Football League Stallions have always sung Alouette in Montreal after bidding adieu to Baltimore.
52. They have always been able to plug into USB ports
53. Olestra has always had consumers worried about side effects.
54. Washington, D.C., tour buses have never been able to drive in front of the White House.
55. Being selected by Oprah’s Book Club has always read “success.”
56. There has never been a Barings Bank in England.
57. Their parents’ car CD player is soooooo ancient and embarrassing.
58. New York’s Times Square has always had a splash of the Magic Kingdom in it.
59. Bill Maher has always been politically incorrect.
60. They have always known that there are “five hundred, twenty five thousand, six hundred minutes” in a year.

Olympic Medal Count Methodology

August 13, 2008 39 comments

The other day I was looking at Yahoo! and Google front pages to compare what they are doing with their logos for the Summer Olympics in Beijing. Hats off to Google for starting this trend that all the portals are now doing. I happen to think that Yahoo!’s Olympic landing page is the best overall.

Of the three sites (NBC, Google, Yahoo!) I’ve been checking and comparing on a regular basis, Google is the only US portal that has China listed first in the medal standings. The US has more overall medals but Google is listing China at the top of their list. IMHO this medal count methodology would seem to fit well with Google’s “all or nothing” approach to things in the Google centric world of all or nothing. What do you think? Granted their source for the medal count is the Beijing Summer Olympics website – built and hosted in China by the Beijing Olympic Committee which I’m sure has no bias to the Chinese team. Perhaps their medal count methodology is from the same school that determines age for the Chinese women gymnasts.

New sneakers and the cat in the garage


So, I left my favorite sneakers in the garage the other day. Actually, they ended up staying in there for a couple of days. I went to put them on yesterday and noticed a strange odor coming from the left shoe. I’m pretty sure the cat that’s been leaving paw prints on my car hood decided to leave its nasty scent on the left shoe. I bought these North Face sneakers at Sports Basement this evening.

I’ve been putting up with this rogue cat leaving its paw prints on my freshly washed and waxed car for several months. This latest stunt by the feline intruder means war. Granted I needed a new pair of sneakers, I don’t need the cat marking my shoes and thus dictating the timing of my shoe purchases.

For now the score is Cat 1 Doug 0

This score is going to change. The cat my not know it but it will soon be relocated to the humane society or some other locale. Does anyone have a havaheart trap I can use for a few days?

This Bud’s for EU

July 15, 2008 2 comments


With a nod to Auggie Busch and his new bosses, last night at Monaghan’s our trivia team name was “This Bud’s for EU”, after trivia I heard that the Drudge Report used the same line – great minds think alike. At least for our This Bud’s for EU trivia team conquered all comers.

Although I was a wee lass in the 80’s, I have vivid memories of the news stories about the Japanese buying up hallmark US properties, media companies and golf courses amidst that period of the dollar and economy being weak. But IMHO, A-B could have held off inBev, if they had only kept up with the market trends in their business of mass distribution. I don’t believe the weak dollar and the economy is fully to blame.

For the past several years there has been been a lot of consolidation in the global brewing business. Take for example, Miller – that Champagne of beers. Miller, while HQ’d in Millwaukee Wisconson is owned by SAB Miller, the South African brew master of brands such as Grolsch, Peroni, Hoegaarden, Pilsner Urquell and everybody’s favorite – Olde English 800 Malt Liquor. Molsen bought Coors..and the list goes on. If A-B had flexed its muscle and cash reserves, they could have bought more beer brands and built a better defense. The soda business is much the same – just ask friendly folks at Coca-Cola. In these businesses where locked up distribution and globalized brands is everything, you either go big or go home.

I’m less concerned about inBev making drastic changes to the A-B brands that people in the US and other countries love (for their Americana kitsch) and more concerned about the lack of having any US brewer with scale. A-B gobbled up many of the craft brewers years ago, so they are now part of inBev. Heck, even little north woods Leinenkugel up in Chippewa Falls, Wisconson is part of inBev.

And being the self serving adman that I am – just thinking about the branding possibilities for that yet to be named brewer have me thirsting for some great ad work down the road. I wonder if DDB is thinking about this yet?

In the meantime I’ll continue to have a Bud every once-in-a-while as well as a Stella. And BTW did you know that in the UK and Europe that Stella is commonly referred to as “wife beater“, as in you belly up to the bar and order a wife beater and you will without question get a Stella. I found this out while going to lunch in London a couple of years back. As part of this deal, I sure hope domestic violence won’t be on the rise.

Who will become the last American brewer to step up the the plate and speak for American brewing? Anyone have thoughts/suggestions – I would love to hear from you.

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