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MEDIACOM Marketing Digest 28 January 2005

MEDIACOM Marketing Digest 28 January 2005

28 JANUARY 2005

T H E . Y E A R . I N . N U M B E R S


2004 Remembered.

With the arrival of yet another year, Nielsen Media Research, like modern-day alchemists, have crunched endless numbers to yield gold in the form of retrospective insights into Kiwi television viewing habits in 2004. Thanks, folks, you've saved us a whole heap of homework - all we need do is report on the results!

The envelope, please.

Top rating programme of 2004 was the NZ Idol Grand Final, which saw 24% of viewers over the age of five glued to the small screen for the unveiling of our newest officially-anointed local idol. It is, sadly, reflective of the fragmentation of the modern era that the most-watched TV programme of the year could only muster a quarter of the population. By way of comparison, we note with nostalgia that the single most watched programme of the last fourteen years was the 1992 Second Bledisloe Cup Rugby Match, which was watched intently by 42.5% of the New Zealand population. We are unlikely, alas, to see such audiences again - unless, perchance, Prince William decides to pop the question to a Kiwi maiden such as Brooke Fraser, with the wedding broadcast live from Wellington.

Television One's top-rating programme for 2004 was the Anzac Day special Dare To Be Free, the story of Kiwi war hero Sandy Thomas, who was captured and escaped five times in the course of the Second World War. In these days of reality television gone mad, it's great to see that a TV programme about a real hero can attract a decent chunk of viewers (22.6%) - and even live up to the ideals of that wonderful TVNZ Charter!

TV2, of course, was the host of the top-rated NZ Idol Grand Final. In second place on TV2, ahead of other blockbuster movies such as Harry Potter I (6th), Shrek (7th) and Lord Of The Rings I (12th), the movie Bend It Like Beckham took runner-up position. Looks like the Spice spouse can still draw a crowd, even when it's not all about him!

Rugby dominated the first four slots of TV3's Top Programmes for 2004, followed by the diary of one Bridget Jones. The year's first All Blacks/Wallabies TriNation clash led the table, followed closely by the All Blacks' humbling of England. Games in which the Men In Black underperformed (ahem) were rather lower down the rankings. Surely we didn't stop watching just because we were losing?

Prime's 2004 pre-Holmes schedule was noted for the ongoing popularity of the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire series, Number One on 5.9% of the five-plus demographic. Pompeii The Last Day and D-Day 6.6.44 occupied second and third slots respectively, demonstrating the audience's thirst for knowledge well presented. As we breathlessly await the February arrival of Mr Holmes, we find ourselves wondering what Prime's numbers will look like in twelve months' time ...

Pimp My Ride, the inelegantly-titled C4 series, led that channel's programming performance in 2004, attracting 1.7% of those five and over. Other hot shows in the fourth place included About A Pumpkin, MTV Europe Awards, Wildboyz and Jackass. What exactly were those shows? If you have to ask, you're not in the target ...

Over on Sky, Sky Sport 1 hosted the most popular Pay TV shows of 2004, with, gee really, rugby occupying 18 of the top 20 slots on the channel. The two holdouts: 13th most popular, International Rugby League; and 19th most popular, the NRL Grand Final. Most popular programme on Sky 1? The Warriors. And for Sky Movies? XXX, which many of our colleagues probably watched thinking it would be about a beer ...

Rounding off our ratings roundup: the most-recorded programme of 2004, a tribute to those intellectuals who could actually work a VCR: none other than the critically acclaimed, locally crafted Whale Rider. We note however, more in sadness than in anger, that ten of the top twenty most-recorded shows of 2004 were episodes of Coronation Street. Is there a Corries Anonymous support group for the televisually addicted?

Overall audience shares across peaktime in 2004 vs 2003?

* TV One unchanged, on 38.5%;

* TV2 down 2% to 21.1%;

* TV3 also unchanged, at 19.7%;

* Prime up 0.6% to 5.1%;

* C4 down 0.8% to 1.2%; and

* Sky up 1.9% to 13.6%.

What can we expect in 2005? Based on our evaluation of the channel lineups (as discussed in earlier editions), the free-to-air broadcasters have some pretty competitive offerings in store. At the same time, watch out for destabilisation of the seven o'clock timeslot as Holmes, Campbell and Wood slug it out. Other paradigm shift potential: TVNZ's impending free-to-air digital television service, which has the potential to reduce audience shares across the board; and, around the end of 2005, stand in line behind us for Sky's Personal Video Recorder, sure to signal The End Of Television Advertising As We Know It.

Ah, the joy of a new millennium.

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TV3 Q2

TV3 have unveiled their ratecard for Q2 2005, and the increases are (with one exception) in line with expectations. The peaktime increases are:

* April up 7%

* May up 6%

* June up 6%.

The exception? April Kids Time, up 31.6% on 2004 rates. The TV3 rationale: most advertisers aiming at kids only want to promote their wares in the leadup to and during the School Holidays. Demand is huge at holiday times, moderate elsewhen. Answer: increase rates on a highly focussed basis.

We can understand the thinking. Unfortunately, this particular solution is likely to drive advertisers away from the medium, seeking more cost-effective methods of reaching their target. Internet, anyone?

100% Music

This Waitangi Day sees Channel Z turn into Kiwi - New Zealand's first 100% Kiwi Music radio network.

The name and format change will take effect from 7pm on February 6th, on Channel Z's metropolitan frequencies: 93.8FM Auckland region, 91.7FM Wellington and 99.3FM Christchurch. Kiwi will also be available nationwide to SKY Digital subscribers on Sky Channel 100, and streaming online at www.kiwifm.co.nz.

The concept of an all-NZ music format is a no-brainer, given the wealth of musical talent that the country now boasts. But we must admit we await the launch with interest, to see what musical style will permeate the new network. Segmenting by place of origin rather than demographic means that Kiwi will be dependent on a rather more eclectic mix of music than the channel formerly known as Z. Extracting a consistent product out of a musical palette that ranges from the once and future Shihad to Sir Howard Morrison to Llamarada will be an exquisite programming challenge.

And a challenge for the sales team, as well. The new network is theoretically aimed at a broad 15-49 year old audience, but the opposite ends of that particular spectrum seldom co-exist in the same space. A different approach is required to target potential advertisers. But what marketers might target the musically monocultural? Only the NZ-owned-and-operated? An interesting dilemma.

Radio With Pictures - But Not on TV

Mobile phone giant Nokia has been working on a technology called Visual Radio, which takes an existing FM signal from a radio station and enables that station to add enhancements such as information and pictures, which can then be viewed on suitably-configured mobile phones.

If you have a Visual Radio enabled mobile, when you hear an artist you don't know, or there's a competition that appeals, one click will call up a visual channel parallel to the on-air broadcast. That visual channel is run from a computer within the radio station, and sends out context-sensitive information to the mobile. As well as details on the track or artist of a particular song, you might also be able to interact immediately with the radio station itself.

Possible interactive content includes competitions, votes and even the chance to rate the song that is playing; and Visual Radio will provide a gateway to listeners' wallets. With the technology, users can instantly purchase goodies such as music downloads and the latest gig tickets..

That interactivity makes the service especially attractive to radio stations, who will be able to track the number of people taking part in such activities on a real-time basis, increasing ad revenues and offering advertisers new opportunities to reach listeners.

The first Visual Radio service will begin in the UK in a few months time with Virgin Radio, who are expecting big things from this latest whizzbang gadget. Initially Visual Radio functionality will be limited to two Nokia handsets due out soon - the 3230 and 7710 - but other manufacturers are expected to join in with their own offerings if the technology lives up to expectations.

Visual Radio is evolutionary, not revolutionary, and continues the relentless convergence of all sorts of services inside the humble mobile. We thought the Swiss Army Knife was a multifunctional cool tool; soon we'll have everything but the kitchen sink crammed into our cellular sidekick. Hmmm - wonder if anyone's working on a mobile microwave?

Email Practices that Lose Customers

Andy Sernovitz, CEO of GasPedal, shares these email strategies that lose customers:

Use a tricky opt-in/opt-out

Hide the check boxes. Hide the permission request under tiny, tiny type. Write a 30-page privacy policy with insane permission to promote. If your customers don't realise they're giving you permission to email them (hidden in the small print), you might have letter-of-the-law protection from spamming charges. But you'll destroy your customer list and scare away new leads.

Rent a list from a dude you just met

Some guy tells you that the list he's renting out is clean? He just happens to have 44 million people dying to get more email? Good enough for me! Renting a list is risky business. More often than not, brokers are spammers or scammers. If, for some reason, you decide to rent - deal only with well-known companies.

Mail Constantly

There is no such thing as overmailing. Your customer wants to hear from you every day. If they try and tell you otherwise, they are just playing hard to get. Don't ruin a customer relationship by mailing too much. The most loyal customer will turn on you if you flood their inbox. Unsubscribe rates don't measure customer anger. If you think you might be emailing too much -you are.

I have an extra $200 million in Nigeria

I GUARANTEE that this FREE advice will ENLARGE returns on your financial MORTGAGE. YOUNG, EAGER analysts are waiting to talk to you. CP123 d12@ ad14. Spammers have destroyed our ability to use perfectly normal, very effective direct marketing language. Get a thesaurus or your email will be deleted or filtered.

Pay someone to spam

Offer pay-per-click fees to anyone who wants to send out your offers. Let them mail all day long -it doesn't cost you anything unless you make a sale! If you pay for a spam list, you're spamming. Think about it: 10,000 clicks at a 0.5% response rate = 1,990,000 annoyed former leads.

Sell Out Your Subscribers

Want to make a few thousand bucks. Let anyone with a cheesy offer send email to your entire list. What's 10 million messages between friends? When you rent your list, you lose. The mailer gets all the sales, you get all the unsubscribes. Treat your list like the valuable asset that it is, and keep it for your own use.

Screw up the unsubscribe

When someone wants off your list, continue to email them for a few days. Even better -make it nearly impossible to unsubscribe by asking for passwords, shoe size, and their mother's maiden name. Unsubscribing has to be easy and instantaneous. Sending just one unwanted email makes you a spammer.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Sure I stand behind my offer. Just don't ask for my address or phone number. Want to know if an email tactic is safe or sleazy? Ask your spouse. If you're having trouble justifying it, it's trouble. If you're sleeping on the couch, don't even try it.

ABOUT MEDIACOM

MEDIACOM, with offices in 80 countries, is one of the world's largest and most respected independent media planning and buying organisations.

We create media solutions that build business for a wide range of local, regional and worldwide clients.

With $13 billion in global billings, a commitment to strategic insight, total communications planning, tactical media brilliance and tough but creative media negotiating, MEDIACOM provides unsurpassed value in today's chaotic media marketplace.

Published by MEDIACOM (NZ) LIMITED, P O Box 3369 Auckland New Zealand,

Phone 09 914 4940 Fax 09 914 4903

Editorial Comments or requests: newsletter@mediacom.co.nz

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