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Telemundo’s “La Reina Del Sur” Outperforms Univision and English-Language Counterparts

Telemundo’s telenovela, “La Reina Del Sur”, is establishing itself as a serious competitor to both Spanish-language and non-Spanish language programming alike. In early March, the show ranked #1 among Spanish-language stations in key markets such as Los Angeles, New York, Miami, and Houston. However, not only is the show outperforming their Spanish-language counterparts, including Univision, but also proving to be stiff competition to English-language networks. In addition to coming in first in key Spanish-language demos, the show ranked #1 for their 10 p.m. show among all broadcast networks in the men 18-34 range - regardless of language.’s-la-reina-del-sur-outperforms-univision-for-second-consecutive-day/84603



Is the End of Net Neutrality Near?

With the U.S. appeals court ruling in April against the FCC and their jurisdiction over net neutrality and ISPs, the issue has come under intense debate. Proponents of net neutrality argue that ISPs should be held accountable for treating all traffic on the internet equally. Which means that an ISP could not for any reason give preferential treatment to users in terms of traffic or bandwidth. ISPs on the other hand argue that by offering a differentiated internet, where users can pay a premium to help better manage large data loads, the quality of content will actually improve. So sites like YouTube, which use large amounts of bandwidth, would have to pay more in order for consumers to view streamlined content.

While sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter would likely not have a financial problem with this new model – consider the many local or start-up businesses that would no longer be able to compete fairly on the internet front. The net neutrality issue has many implications for us as consumers, but the reality of the situation is that most everyday users likely won’t know the difference. Even at the earliest beginnings of the internet, the general assumption has always been that there is information out there, and it is for the most part, wholly accessible. It may be naïve that we do not regularly question if somehow information on the internet is being kept from us or unfairly manipulated, but we have grown up in a country where censorship is not a blatant part of everyday life. So, were ISPs ever to begin manipulating the flow of information by means of traffic and bandwidth – most of us have been conditioned not to suspect that there is something unusual going on.

Regardless of whether or not the changes would significantly impact the average user, the fact of the matter is that we, as consumers, and as members of a capitalist society, should not let ISPs control the flow of public information. No matter how discreetly they plan to control it.



Where Exactly Did Our Privacy Go?

In case you haven’t noticed - your privacy is long gone. It has slowly been giving way to a plethora of social media outlets that obtain and publish your private information to essentially improve your quality of life. While this clearly has its benefits, it also clearly has its drawbacks. Regardless, there is no question that privacy is a thing of our parents’ past - unless, of course, you can physically separate yourself from all technological devices and run into the deepest part of the woods that Google Earth hasn’t mapped out yet. In which case chances of survival would be slim. 

So how do we cope in a world where people we know, and people we don’t, can find out everything about us? If you’re like me and in your early twenties - this really isn’t too big of a shift. We spent our earliest years constantly being tracked by our parents, then about the time we were old enough to do anything else we could be tracked via the internet, cell phones, MySpace and Facebook.

My question is, how much is too much? If you ask an advertiser, they’ll probably weigh in on the fact that the more we know, the better we can make your viewing, browsing, or mobile experience. But if you ask any normal human being, they will probably object to the fact that they are relinquishing their autonomy for the sake of a digital experience that transcends into their non-digital lives. As both a human and future advertiser, I happen to agree with both. There needs to be a fine line between privacy and creativity. If the industry is coming down to sneaky tactics to enhance consumer experience - maybe we need to revert more to our creative senses and less to our post-privacy ones. 



The New Privacy Draft

The latest privacy draft has a lot of implications for both the online and offline advertising scenes, but it may not be a bad thing. 

The draft is clearly taking a step away from the long held self-regulation model that advertisers have grown accustomed to, and taking a step in the direction toward government enforced privacy regulation. The draft will uphold old self-regulation practices such as opt-out, but will begin requiring advertisers to get extensive approval from users before using their personal information in marketing efforts. 

This means that the relatively open access advertisers have had to users’ click-streams will no longer be of existence. Or at least not without regulation and receiving prior user consent. This is going to make the practice of behavioral targeting much more difficult for the thriving online ad industry. The new draft is not going to impact the online realm exclusively. It is also going to put up roadblocks for offline efforts - as postal codes are required to receive approval prior to usage under the new draft. 

All of this added regulation may add some kinks into old processes, but ultimately it is going to make advertisers rely more heavily on creative thinking, and less on the taken for granted availability of behavioral tracking tools. The changes may be making the advertising scene more difficult, but the very best creativity always comes as a result of situational constraints. So the draft may actually benefit the industry more than hurt it.



BP Not Quite “Beyond Petroleum”

The whole BP oil spill situation is spinning out of control fast, and no one at BP really seems to be taking any strong initiative to stop it. While much of their negative image from the disaster has been attributed to the disconnect between recent events and their successful environmental campaign titled “Beyond Petroleum”, there is another layer that is responsible for a majority of the damage to their image. Beyond the disconnectedness between their crisis and their message - what is proving to be most damaging for BP is what they are not doing. 

Sure, touting that you’re environmentally friendly and then turning around and overseeing a massive oil leak probably isn’t the best for your reputation… but it isn’t the worst thing that could happen. The worst would be touting that you’re environmentally friendly, overseeing a massive oil leak, and then attempting to bribe residents with a settlement of $5,000 in exchange for waiving their rights to seek legal action for damages… Well, I guess BP is in a pretty bad situation. The fact that BP sought to solve this “under the table” before they made any sort of public address or contingency plan for the state of Louisiana makes me think that they aren’t beyond petroleum at all. Being beyond petroleum would entail being human and making right what you did wrong… not trying to sweep it under the rug.

Whether or not BP actually is environmentally friendly is another issue in itself, but what is going to remain either way is that they have a lot of cleaning up to do. Literally and figuratively. No amount of advertising and PR efforts are going to convince people that they are a trustworthy company at this point. They’re going to need a different kind of media to accomplish that. The kind of media that you can’t buy, or wire through a press release. The only way I could see BP saving their image is if the very people who thought bribery was a good idea got out there, rolled up their sleeves, and got to work. A company can’t convince a nation that they care when their C-suite is living large and driving home in their expensive cars while the government and contracted labor are cleaning up their mess. If BP can get out there and show that the environment and communities they serve are worth more to them than a settlement of $5,000, then social media will be their only friend and hope.



Why Businesses Are Dumping Arizona

The new immigration law that Arizona has implemented allowing law enforcement to question the immigration status of “suspicious looking persons” is going to hurt more than just their residents. The complete obstruction of Constitutional rights behind the new law has Arizona businesses trying to distance themselves as much as humanly possibly from the debacle that the state of Arizona is right now. Arizona’s high-volume convention market is going to be hard hit, among others. To date, Arizona has lost between $6 million to $10 million as national organizations have already began moving their conventions to alternate locations. In a time when the rest of corporate America is paying close attention to their Hispanic markets, it’s ironic that the Arizona government would do something that would so adversely affect their economic health. However, amongst all of the negative surrounding the state’s political blunder - and there is a lot of negative - there lies an important opportunity for Arizona businesses to solidify their relationship with their Hispanic and general markets by rejecting to be affiliated with Arizona’s policies. Companies such as AriZona tea, Cold Stone Creamery, and the Phoenix Suns have made such declarations - and with the downward PR battle that Arizona is facing, it’s likely that more will follow suit.



Media Firms Blur the Line Between Content Producers and Content Creators

For years media agencies have been offering ad-agency services in attempt to gain more of their clients’ business, but recently media companies have become more aggressive in pursuing this revenue model. Companies such as Conde’ Nast have offered creative services off the cuff for clients in the past, but are now seeing that offering these services as a permanent feature could be very beneficial to both the client and agency. In this relationship the media agency benefits by garnering more ad dollars from individual clients, while marketers benefit by achieving deeper cohesion between creative and media. It’s a win-win situation in that respect, but will this new environment force traditional advertising agencies to alter their strategies? Or will the fact that media companies are dividing their focus actually hurt them? It may be too early to tell, but one thing is certain, media companies don’t seem to be backing down from pursuing this new business model. 



Augmented Reality… Back to Basics

Augmented reality has fallen into the “me-too” trap that many emerging technologies tend to fall victim to. Web-based augmented-reality applications have exploded, which is great that it is being adopted, but useless if it’s adopted for no other reason than to deliver sub-par content. Augmented reality, when used appropriately, should have just as much of a strategic business purpose as any other communications effort - but lately user experience and strategy has been thrown out the window in order to achieve a one-off goal. The misuse of augmented reality is threatening its longevity. Users are going to get burned out on poor executions of augmented reality before it even gets a chance to reach its full potential. In order to keep this trend from following the likes of other ill-fated trends, we need to keep in mind that it’s not a matter of how to incorporate AR into a campaign; it’s a matter of how AR can best be used in that campaign to achieve larger business objectives, while also providing the target with some needed (and relevant) utility. 



General-Market Agencies in Hispanic-Market Territory


Hispanic agencies have been working tirelessly since the 1960’s, trying to convince mainstream America of the importance of the Hispanic market. And now that everyone is starting to pay attention - Hispanic agencies have found that they may actually lose business. General-market shops are increasingly beginning to encroach on Hispanic agency territory. With clients who are looking to consolidate budgets, general-market agencies who focus on the Hispanic market are beginning to look more and more appealing. The most recent example of this trend was seen when Home Depot moved it’s $37 million account from Vidal Partnership to a subset of their general-market agency, Richards/Lerma. However, this blurring between general and Hispanic-agencies may not be a completely negative thing. More interactivity between general and Hispanic-agencies could be extremely conducive to the environment we live in today. The general market and multicultural markets are beginning to meld, at least slightly, and this is evidenced by the sheer fact that right now one of the biggest challenges is how to target a bilingual market - who is neither “general” or “Hispanic”. Having knowledge from both sides may actually bridge a gap. 



Companies have started paying thousands of dollars to celebrities for endorsed tweets. If that seems like a big waste of ad dollars - that’s because it is. Consumers are smarter than this model takes into account. If a Twitter user gets a tweet from Kim Kardashian, blatantly endorsing a product - they’re either going to know, or not care. Besides, it’s the so-called “Twitterati” that marketers should be paying attention to - not the over-priced celebrities. The “Twitterati” are the sole influencers of Twitter and are the ones that essentially shape the Trending Topics every day. So instead of wasting thousands of dollars on an ill-fated tweet, marketers should hone in on the “Twitterati” and figure out how to make themselves relevant to this group.

Companies have started paying thousands of dollars to celebrities for endorsed tweets. If that seems like a big waste of ad dollars - that’s because it is. Consumers are smarter than this model takes into account. If a Twitter user gets a tweet from Kim Kardashian, blatantly endorsing a product - they’re either going to know, or not care. Besides, it’s the so-called “Twitterati” that marketers should be paying attention to - not the over-priced celebrities. The “Twitterati” are the sole influencers of Twitter and are the ones that essentially shape the Trending Topics every day. So instead of wasting thousands of dollars on an ill-fated tweet, marketers should hone in on the “Twitterati” and figure out how to make themselves relevant to this group.