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Mediacom 27 May 2005

Mediacom 27 May 2005

Six Is The New Seven

After struggling to compete in the seven o'clock slot, Holmes is on the move - to 6pm, head-to-head with the nation's news machines, from June 6th. You've gotta admire the grit and plucky determination of such a move - Prime standing out there, gazing up at the mighty juggernaut that is the One Network News and saying "Yep, we can take them on".

We suspect that most commentators will regard this as a suicidal move, and perhaps that will prove to be the case. But Prime had to do something - in the seven o'clock slot Holmes was doing a wonderful impression of the invisible man, his competitors benefiting from their inherited News audiences while Prime's gameshow groupies fled to Shortland Street.

At six o'clock, however, the "coming up this hour" news intros are (dare we say it) sometimes all you need to sample to get your news fix, especially on slow news days. It's not inconceivable that grazing habits could be modified to add a hint of Holmes, once One and 3 have been briefly tasted.

Those Kiwis who already watch Prime's 5.30 News are a relatively easy conquest - and an audience currently left to fend for themselves at the end of the early evening bulletin. The challenge will be to lure other news junkies across the viewing divide.

There are other advantages to a six o'clock swill - specifically, bragging rights to "first interviews" with the newsmakers of the day. If TVNZ and TV3 attempt to counter such moves by building up the interview content of their news hours, expect a destabilisation of their respective Current Affairs offerings.

All in all, we rate this a gutsy move that'll make Prime the topic du jour yet again. Can't wait to hear what the inimitable Mister Ralston has to say ...

They'll Be In The Herald On Sunday

The Herald On Sunday (HOS) are gleefully announcing the results of their first readership survey, reporting a total readership of 363,000 ten plus. According to their summary of the Nielsen Media Research Special Readership Report (covering the period October 2004-April 2005), some 41.2% of Aucklanders now read a Sunday paper, a 23% growth in six months.

Such news calls for a celebration - actually, any news is a good cause for a celebration! - so the HOS have dreamed up a special advertising offer. For every full page booked in HOS or View at ratecard value in June and July, you'll receive a Saturday night stay for two at Hotel du Vin, including breakfast & dinner.

If you suddenly notice the HOS appearing on a lot of schedules, now you know why ...

Hot new shows for NZ for 2006? Yeah, right. The US networks have just unveiled their new shows for their new September 2005 Fall Season, and the results are not pretty. If you're expecting American television to power a renaissance in New Zealand television in 2006, don't hold your breath. Here's a quick sampling of what's on offer:

Bones A forensic anthropologist, who also writes novels, works with the law to help uncover clues left behind in victims' bones in this drama. Didn't we see this last week on CSI or the Discovery Channel?

My Name Is Earl A recent lottery winner tries to turn his life around by undoing all his misdeeds. Money means never having to say you're sorry.

Kitchen Confidential A culinary genius finds himself working at a cheesy theme restaurant. Think Jamie Oliver's Takeaways.

Prison Break About a guy who holds up a bank so that he can be imprisoned with his wrongfully convicted brother and help him break out. Whatever happened to baking a file into a cake?

Commander-in-Chief A super mom who's on the verge of becoming the first female president of the United States. As if that would ever happen.

Everybody Hates Chris Chris Rock narrates this series based on his experiences growing up in Brooklyn, NY. Is this Bizarro Everybody Loves Raymond?

Head Cases Chris O'Donnell stars as a down-on-his-luck lawyer who had a nervous breakdown and is struggling to reenter society and his family's life. After his last bat-stint as sidekick Robin, no (boy) wonder.

Invasion About a Florida park ranger, who discovers that extraterrestrial life forms may already be among us. Like who couldn't tell that from the hanging chads?

Reunion This drama begins at the high-school graduation of a group of friends and unfolds over 20 episodes of reunions, each progressing one year into the future. I Know What You Did Last Summer - and the summer before that - and ...

The Gate A San Francisco detective solves cases in the Deviant Crime Unit with his no-nonsense rookie partner. California Vice?

Close To Home A new mother and lawyer trying to protect her community in this legal drama. Will she foil the wicked property developer before her sitter has to go home? Criminal Minds A group of FBI agents who specialize in analyzing the most disturbed criminal minds. Like those who tell us this is a new programme concept.

Ghost Whisperer Medium, not so rare drama about a young newlywed with the ability to communicate with earthbound spirits. I hear dead people.

Threshold A team of experts investigate a UFO that has landed in the Atlantic Ocean. More boat people.

Everything I Know About Men Based on a failed BBC comedy, about a single young woman juggling all the men in her life. The book version runs to 100 blank pages.

E Ring Set inside that ultimate fortress: the Pentagon. Highly explosive conflicts between American military heroes and the civilians to whom they report. Think West Wing with Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Fathom A thriller about strange creatures living at the bottom of the sea. The truth is down there.

Three Wishes About a woman who helps people realize their dreams. Singer Amy Grant does cover versions of Highway To Heaven & Touched By An Angel.

Inconceivable ER set in a fertility clinic. Love's labours lost.

Apprentice Martha A Trump spin-off tailored to Martha Stewart's personality and brand identity. Judging candidates based on their accessorizing as well as their accomplishments?

Crumbs Estranged brothers reunite in their small hometown to deal with their mother Suzanne, who is being released from a psychiatric country club. Bates Motel?

Freddie The story of an overwhelmed bachelor whose peaceful pad has just been invaded by four women: his sister, sister-in-law, niece and grandmother. From the short story "I have no mouth and I must scream"?

Hot Properties A high-end NYC real-estate office is filled with four women who couldn't be more different in their opinions or personal lives. Sex in the city, in a little four-bedroom brownstone that has your name on it.

And they say that television is repetitive ...

Travels With My Cart For the first time there's real data showing the paths taken by individual shoppers in an actual grocery store. The data -- charted for the first time by radio frequency identification (RFID) tags located on consumers' shopping carts, using a system called PathTracker -- has the potential to change the way retailers in general think about customers and their shopping patterns.

In a new paper called "An Exploratory Look at Supermarket Shopping Paths," Wharton marketing professors Peter Fader and Eric Bradlow, along with doctoral candidate Jeffrey Larson did some serious number-crunching, focusing exclusively on in-store travel patterns. The results, they conclude, challenge many long-standing perceptions of shopper travel behaviour.

The following grocery store travel patterns emerged:

* Grocery shoppers don't weave up and down all aisles -- a pattern commonly thought to dominate store travel. Instead, most shoppers "tend only to travel select aisles, and rarely in the systematic up and down patterns most tend to consider the dominant travel pattern.

* Once they enter an aisle, shoppers rarely make it to the other end. Instead, they "travel by short excursions into and out of the aisle rather than traversing its entire length."

* Shoppers prefer a counter-clockwise shopping experience. They tend to shop more quickly as they approach the checkout counters. Shoppers' behaviour is driven more by their location in the store than the merchandise in front of them.

* The perimeter of the store -- often called the "racetrack" -- is actually the shopper's home base, not just the space covered between aisles. "Whereas previous folklore perpetuated the myth that the perimeter of the store was visited incidental to successive aisle traverses, we now know that it often serves as the main thoroughfare, effectively a home base from which shoppers take quick trips into the aisles," the paper states.

These findings, the researchers predict, will have important implications for store layouts, product placement, end-cap displays, and relationships between aisles and perimeter spaces -- not to mention a better understanding of how consumers shop and how retailers and suppliers can respond to these patterns. "There is a tremendous amount of research available on why people buy what they buy, but until now there was really no research on tracking the actual buying decision," said Fader.

The PathTracker technology and the ability to analyze its considerable data will no doubt have implications in other retail markets. "People will always want to understand the behaviour of people inside the store," said Professor Bradlow. "I think people in mass merchandising stores will see the value in this. We have all this lore in marketing. If you put popular items like milk in the back of the store, do people make more impulse purchases along the way? Does that actually happen? Imagine if you knew which products were at the back of the store and you could show how traffic flowed or changed because of that."

Eventually, Bradlow predicted, continued analyses could show shopping "hot and cold" spots in supermarkets, and predict movements and purchasing patterns that could lead to significant retail adjustments.

If you'd like a copy of the gloriously-complicated white paper which details the study, email us at


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