Media Series: Issue 5 – Television Advertising

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Overview of TV

Television is the big dog when it comes to media dollar expenditures. There are a number of reasons for this but the obvious one is that more people spend more time in front of their TVs than any other media source. For hitting the masses, there is really no better opportunity from a media standpoint than TV. In short, TV has a proven track record of getting to consumers and shaping their behavior.

Upside of TV

Some of the upside I mentioned above, but there are a number of very good reasons why TV advertising can be advantageous.

  • TV gives you instant credibility. Consumers just seem to believe things they see on TV.
  • The ability to combine sight, sound and motion adds dimension and realism to your advertising campaign.
  • Through program selection, you can target your audience pretty effectively.
  • No medium offers greater mass global impact. Depending on your budget, TV has almost unlimited reach and a high percentage of people have more than one TV.
  • The creative opportunity is larger for TV. If you have the cash, you can take a camera anywhere and create incredible presentation.
  • Since it is generally a leisure activity, consumers spend a lot of time in front of a TV and they have the ability to immediately act on many buying impulses.

Downside of TV

TV advertising is not without its pitfalls, though, and any one of you reading this could list off some of the reasons as easily as I could.

  • To really hit the masses, broadcast TV is best and commercial spots are very, very pricey. Cable offers more affordable options but then you don’t hit the masses as well.
  • Research shows that you need significant repetition (at least 5-7 viewings) for your message to sink in. To get 5-7 viewings, you need to be on a lot more than that. Pricey.
  • Before you even buy commercial spots, you need to spend significant dollars to create a high quality ad. You can do it for less but generally not very well.
  • Much like radio, your commercial spot comes and goes and when it’s out of sight it falls out of mind. That is, unless you buy more spots.
  • As a rule, people don’t want to watch commercials. The turn on the TV to watch the program. With more and more channels available, it’s easy to skip the commercials.

Main Thing To Know About TV Advertising

Television is the largest target of media dollars for a reason and it’s attractive for a lot of reasons. My problems with TV are that it is very expensive (when done properly) and it’s somewhat inefficient no matter how well you do it. My advice is, if you have the brand and the budget to do it right, TV can be money well spent. You need to have a high quality ad, lots of repetition and the right commercial time. If you’re not sure you have the budget, then you don’t have the budget. You’re much better off not doing it than doing it poorly.

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Why Should You Choose Virgin Media?

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It’s a great time to be a TV viewer in the United Kingdom. Between Freeview (not to mention it’s + and HD variants), BT, YouView, Sky, EE TV, and NOW TV, there are more than enough options to keep you entertained from the comfort of your own home. There is, however, one final option that I didn’t include earlier, and that’s Virgin Media.

As the second biggest pay TV operator in the UK, it’s tasked with keeping Sky on their toes and improving their service to the point where Sky are no longer the first choice for those looking to get great entertainment in their home. It’s not just TV that these two companies offer, either, because both also supply broadband and home telephony. Put simply, they’re quite similar, so why should you choose Virgin Media?

Let’s begin with their TV offering. Virgin Media’s TV is powered by TiVo, a Sky+ like box which allows you to record and manipulate live TV from the comfort of your sofa. Packing a 500GB hard drive (enough for 500 hours of TV) and three tuners, it allows for neat tricks like recording three programmes simultaneously whilst watching a fourth that you recorded earlier. It’s also got some features that simply can’t be found on Sky’s service, like built in Netflix, YouTube and iPlayer, not to mention a dedicated 10Mbps internet connection, so your normal Internet isn’t slowed by your TV viewing.

Through that box, you can get access to over 230 channels, 47 HD channels, 12 Sky only channels and even some programming in 3D. There are five packages to choose from, going from the basic ‘More TV’ package with 70 channels all the way to the fully loaded ‘TV XL’ which also features BT Sport HD. Even better, you can take Sky Sports and Sky Movies on your Virgin Media subscription too, so you won’t feel the sting of not being with Sky. Indeed, the only channel you do stand to lose by switching to Virgin Media is Sky Atlantic, which is home to the likes of Game of Thrones, The Last Panthers and more. However, if the thought of losing out on that is too much, you could always sign up to NOW TV.

Moving on to Virgin Media’s broadband offering, we can truly begin to see the light between the two companies. Put simply, Virgin Media have the best broadband offering in the entire country, with even their most basic offering beating Sky’s most expensive deal hands down. From their Super 50 Fibre with 50Mbps broadband to their VIVID 200 Fibre with 200Mbps broadband, the company offer lightning fast and stable broadband to huge swathes of the country. They also never throttle or cap your broadband usage, so you can stream as much 4K Netflix as your heart desires without fear of bumping up against arbitrary limitations.

Perhaps the most compelling reason to sign up with Virgin Media though is their quad play deals. Because Virgin Media offer TV, broadband, home phone and mobile telephone contracts, they’re the preferred destination for millions of Brits who don’t want to spend their life dealing with bills from different companies. Those quad play deals are also some of the cheapest around, making them a highly attractive proposition for pretty much anyone, as long as they aren’t part way through a contract with another company.

Virgin Media, then, offer a TV package that’s comparable to the one offered by Sky, broadband that blows everyone else out of the water and quad play deals that no other company can match. So, what are you waiting for?

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Snappy Sound Bites Will Turn a Tv Appearance Into a Huge Success

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Anyone wanting to be a guest on Oprah or Good Morning America must learn to master the fine art of generating sound bites for television. Television thrives on sound bites – those brief, quotable remarks that will be repeated again and again on television news and talk shows. Sound bites are the pearls that flow out of our mouths into the ears of TV producers and onto the airways.

If you want to be quoted, you must convert the message points in your book into sound bites. To do this remember that analogies, bold action words, emotions and personal examples, attacks and absolutes make good quotes and sound bites. The highly personal, classic sound bite has action, emotion, and attacks – all of these elements will work to make reporters swoon.

My experience as a publicist and book marketing consultant has taught me to shy away from humor which can be a tricky business. What seems funny to colleagues, friends, or family at 5:30 p.m. may not seem so funny the next morning when you read your comments in USA Today. Sarcasm and teasing types of humor usually don’t work well in the media because you lose control of context and, in the case of print media, you lose the ability to communicate with your voice and facial expressions. The humor that is most effective is self-deprecating humor.

What about YOU? Are you skilled enough in producing sound bites to earn an interview on local or national TV? If you’ve not had media training, believe me it’s too late once you get the call. You may have to get in a car or on a plane within an hour’s notice. It’s too late to get the training then. That’s why you need to be prepared before you get the call. When my clients agree to media coaching, my first choice for them is TJ Walker, CEO of Media Training Worldwide.

TJ Walker is one of the leading authorities on media training in the world. With more than 20 years of media training experience, Walker has trained thousands of CEOs, authors, and experts, including leading government officials in the United States, European Prime Ministers, and African diplomats.

Here’s TJ Walker’s Sound Bite Checklist:

1. Create sound bites that are 10, 15 and 30 seconds.

2. Work an example into the sound bite.

3. Clichés make good quotes and sound bites. Reporters can’t write clichés, but they love quoting other people using clichés.

4. Humor makes good quotes and sound bites but the problem with using humor in front of the media is that someone somewhere is likely to be offended, resulting in a permanent public record of your remarks. So, quip if you must, at your own expense and your own risk.

5. One great way to get your message quoted by reporters is to state your ideas in the form of a rhetorical question.

6. Opposition quotes make good quotes and sound bites. Opposition quotes remain a favorite of reporters, but use them only if and when they are appropriate to your message.

7. The first letters from the following: Analogies, Bold action, Emotions, Attacks, Clichés, Humor, Pop culture, Rhetorical questions, and Opposition quotes spell out A BEACH PRO. The higher number of A BEACH PRO elements you use, the greater your chances are of being quoted. If you have not used any A BEACH PRO elements, you will not be quoted.

8. Absolutes are absolutely quote worthy. If I say “We will be the next champions” that has a better chance of landing in the story than “We are hoping to win.” Saying “Our company is the top performer in this field” would be another example.

9. Recycle your quotes. If one worked well with another media interview in the past, use it again.

10. Populate your quotes with pop culture references.

11. Put analogies in your answers, use bold, action-oriented words, let your emotions flow freely, and attack your way to the headlines.

Memorize that checklist but understand that a sound bite is only one aspect of a successful television appearance. You also must be concerned about your total message, the knowledge you display, and the self-confidence you demonstrate.

As a book publicist I’ll prepare questions for our clients ahead of time and include those in our press kits emailed to the stations. Often times the television host will read those questions right in order. Other times they refer to our questions and include some of them. That’ll help you because you’ll know what to expect and you can respond with the “sound bites” you’ve already developed.

The bottom line: Prepare some clever answers and snappy sound bites ahead of time, rehearse them every day and you’ll sound like a pro turning your TV appearance into a huge success.

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Global International Conference Calls

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So you are looking for the best international conference call solutions to easily host global conference calls for your business or individual use. So which solutions are the easiest and most affordable?

As a part of most businesses, international conference calls are necessary sometimes. Since people attending the call may be connecting from any part of the world, using a reliable and quality solution is the key to a successful conference call.

When looking for a great conference hosting service, there are two important factors to consider: reliability and saving money.

You certainly want your calls to have a great quality. The voice must be clear and fast, with no major delay. Considering the fact that it is an international conference call and because of the long distance, the call quality plays a big part.

Another factor is choosing an affordable, low cost solution. After all, why spend too much money on a conference service while you can save money and use a more affordable one with equal or even more features?

Some companies offer you toll free numbers to make your conference calls free for people from US and Canada. You will also receive a separate number to give to your international customers or business partners to use to connect to the call easily.

When you do a simple search online, you will be amazed to see how many different companies are offering conference hosting services for global use.

Each of them come with certain benefits, quality, and price. You can compare carefully your choices to choose the best solution for you.

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The Benefits of Investing in an Archos 5 Digital Media Player

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There used to be a time when portable digital media players were intended to play audio and video files only. The trend seems to be changing nowadays because manufacturers are trying to add additional functions into their portable media player models. Take, for instance, the new Archos 5 – this digital media player comes with integrated web browsing facilities. Connectivity to the internet is availed with the aid of Wi-Fi. Some other interesting pointers that make this particular product revolutionary and innovative will be outlined in the rest of the passages.

One of the best factors that deserve to be mentioned first is the touch enabled screen provided on Archos 5. Imagine browsing through the web using such a device! I do realize that many other media players now come with augmented facilities to connect with the internet. Nevertheless, Archos 5 is the first portable digital media player to make this distant dream a reality. The model is offered in three flavors – these models come with the 60GB, 120GB and 250GB hard disk space. There is widespread confusion regarding the “term” that must be used to depict the true functionality of the device.

While the manufacturer advertises Archos 5 as a “Wi-Fi enabled internet tablet”, some of the renowned reviews still portray the device as a portable digital media player. In fact, when you first see the device in person, you are going to commit the mistake of treating it as a GPS unit. Well, if you were thinking about on those lines, do not fret; because in the coming weeks, the manufacturer has promised an upgrade for Archos 5. This firmware upgrade will make the device to function like as GPS unit (similar to the ones, which are fitted into the automobiles).

A major gripe, which was depicted in countless review sessions of the Archos 5 (which was conducted by independent reviewers), is that the device is a fingerprint magnet. Well, we too experienced the same – the good news is the inclusion of a cleaning cloth along with the boxed product. Despite the screen being brighter than most of the modern portable media players, it could not suppress the glares. Although the manufacturer has included USB connectivity, interfacing the device with your computer is going to mar the user experience. Thoughtfully, the product comes with a proprietary USB dock that must be used whenever you wish to transfer media files into the Archos 5.

Support for many video and audio codec makes it a pleasure to use this device. One can also read PDFs and text files with the same. If you are bored, you can spend some time trying your interesting games. It is better to check the official website for the newest firmware – the manufacturer incorporates additional features into the Archos 5 via these firmware updates. The same device (although enabled via suitable software) also supports High Definition (720p) playback of the video. The average pricing starts from $249 and increases according to the storage size.

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Dish Network Vs Direct TV

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When it comes to satellite television programming, your choice usually comes down to Dish Network vs Direct TV. By comparing these two satellite television providers, you can find the one that works best for you and your television viewing, so that you make the most of the money that you spend. Where do you begin your comparison of Dish Network vs Direct TV?

You will first want to compare the number of channels and the type of channels that are offered from each satellite provider.

Here is the basic rundown of the offerings of each service. For around $40 per month, Dish Network offers a satellite package of 100 top channels with the local channels. For the same amount, Direct TV offers a package of 140 top channels and includes 50 XM Satellite radio channels as well. This price for the Direct TV includes local channels as well.

By comparing the offerings for each price that fits your budget, you can find the right satellite provider for you and your needs.

Another comparison that you will want to make is the price of the components that are needed to get the satellite programming.

For the most part, these components are offered free if you sign up for service for a particular length of time, but sometimes there is a rental fee that is associated with components, which can cause your monthly fee to be more than the programming cost.

Be sure that you read the fine print of your contract to be sure that you completely understand the terms, so that there will not be any surprises.

Customer service is much the same for both companies. They each offer a 24 hour a day, seven days a week customer service line, which will allow you to get in touch with them any time that you need it.

Dish Network is ranked #1 in customer service for cable and satellite providers, but Direct TV is right behind them at #2. This shows you how much they value their customers and work to keep them happy versus cable providers.

One thing that Direct TV offers you that Dish Network doesn’t is some really cool sports viewing ability. This does cost extra, but the bird’s eye view and extra features that you get from these packages may be well worth the additional cost.

The sports that offer you these amazing views are NASCAR, NBA basketball, major league baseball, NFL football, hockey, and more. If you are a sports fanatic, then you will want to consider Direct TV for this programming.

When comparing Dish Network vs Direct TV, you will want to include those parts of television viewing or features that are important to you. If price is your main consideration, then use this as the main comparison. If sports are your thing, then use sports as your main comparison.

By customizing your comparisons to your viewing and needs, you will find the right satellite programming option for you and your needs.

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Everything Needed To Know About Satellite TV

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Similar to cellular telephones, many people around the world use Satellite TV. For some people, this is the only way to receive television signals, but for others it is simply a way to view more television channels than what standard cable providers provide. There are television providers in Japan, Europe, South America, and basically all over the world.

Satellite TV has existed since the 1960s, though it did not become popular until later when it became more accessible. The first TV company was in the Soviet Union, however it did not send TV signals directly into homes until 1976. Until then, there was a central antenna that received the signal and the signal was sent out to the homes of the people. This new technology did not appear in North America until some years later, but has now become extremely popular.

Direct broadcast is the mode that is typically used today, which is not the same as the earlier version. This direct broadcast is where the individual has his or her own satellite antenna and receives a signal that goes straight to his or her television. Today, signals are digital as opposed to analog, which means more or less, they are able to be broadcast at a higher frequency.

Typically, due to the laws of physics, a higher frequency wave will travel a shorter distance. This higher frequency often translates to better quality whether the medium is radio, television, or internet. However, because digital signals are better quality than analog signals, it is now possible for satellite TV to be broadcast in digital.

Currently, there are two major providers in the United States. These providers offer anywhere from 250 to 1000 channels. They charge for their service based on a series of packages, which are groups of channels. Typically, if the customer wants more channels, he or she will have to pay extra. Most of the time, there is a basic group of channels that the company deemed most customers would want, and then each subsequent package will have more channels. Most packages are a mix of sports, news, movie, and educational channels.

In recent years, HD television has become popular, and therefore, most providers offer High Definition service. This typically requires a larger antenna and a special high definition television, However, in many countries these are becoming cheaper and more accessible to the public.

The technology is being improved every day. Through technological innovations that allow the interaction between television and internet it will be possible, and is in some cases, to use the internet with the equipment provided for the satellite TV. It is already possible in many instances to listen to digital music with the satellite equipment.

It is thought that this form of television may not as disruptive to the environment, since to broadcast to homes, there does not need to be a wire connected from the home to the television provider. For people in more remote locations, where the cable companies cannot provide the wire connection, this may be their only option.

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Makeup for HDTV: Looking Your Best on TV

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The purpose for all makeup is to enhance your best features and minimize your flaws. Unlike television of old, high definition television does not require the thick pancake makeup, dark contouring or dramatic applications. Nor will everyday street makeup create flawless looking skin.

A professional makeup artist, studied in HDTV, can tailor your approach guided by your coloring and bone structure. For personal application, the following is a guideline to the products and application techniques you will need before you appear on HDTV.

Men and women alike require a foundation, concealer and blush/bronzer for any HDTV appearance. Women (and some men) will also need eye makeup and lip color.

Aptly named, the foundation selected for on air appearance is the single most important element in creating a pleasing look.

The allover face makeup used in HDTV differs from daywear. Even the most flawless complexions should not attempt to go barefaced. Makeup for HDTV should cover the entire face, neck, hands and any other exposed skin. Attempting spot application will appear just as that…spots!

The two formulations of makeup to date which best serve HDTV are airbrush and mineral powders.

Airbrush makeup is the choice of most professional television makeup artists. The coverage is complete and flawless. Applying airbrush makeup requires a compressor-like machine. Makeup is applied in seconds, evenly and completely. Tiny molecules of either water based, alcohol, polymer, or silicone based foundation is sprayed through a medium to fine airbrush nozzle onto the skin.

Complete airbrush systems with a low pressure compressor (about 10 psi) range in price from $120US to $1,000US or more.

Television anchors, hosts or frequent TV guests would benefit from this investment. Use takes a little practice, but it is easy to master. The flawless appearance pays for itself.

“Airbrush” makeup in an aerosol can is available at many price ranges. This make-up works quite well for occasional application. However, following manufacturer’s instructions to apply to the hand and then to the face can lead to streaking. Direct spraying on to the face is not recommended by most manufacturers, or by this author. This product is inexpensive, and can produce acceptable results.

Airbrush makeup can correct flaws, hide tattoos and cover rosacea, port wine and similar skin blemishes.

The other option for HDTV quality foundation is mineral powders. This is the easiest makeup to master for amateur application. Skin tone shades are applied via a kabuki brush, a stub handled thickly bristled brush.

Application involves buffing the powder into the skin, which creates a soft matte appearance. Shine on HDTV is glaring, distracting, and reminiscent of the flop sweats on Broadcast News.

The actual application uses a surprisingly small amount of powder to achieve coverage. Minor to moderate skin imperfections can be hidden without creating a chalky appearance.

The only caution in selecting a mineral powder makeup is the mica content. Mica is a light reflector, and can create unflattering reflections on the skin. Test any mineral powder under a strong light or in bright sunlight. If the powder appears to “sparkle”, choose another brand with less reflectivity.

Poorly applied makeup is a distraction (remember Al Gore’s imitation Reagan makeup during the first George W. Bush presidential debate?)

Adjusting the makeup formulation and application before standing in from of a high definition camera can create the appearance you need to allow your message to be heard.

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International Conferencing for Your Business Brilliance

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With fast paced globalization, world economy has witnessed a drastic change and now the companies have decided to head on foreign investments to maintain pace with the changing market scenario. Companies are keen to set up offices across the world. The reason for establishing offices abroad is to keep a strong footing in international arena. So, in order sustain close contacts and co-ordination with the regional branches of the corporate houses, international conferencing has become really indispensable. Besides, such conferencing solution has proved to be an essential means of connecting multiple parties straight to people in various locations round the globe.

Frankly speaking, gone are the days when business personnel and representatives were required to throng to foreign countries to meet and invite new business collaborates, suppliers, channel partners, retailers and other dealers. With international conferencing becoming the most sought after tool these days nothing seems impossible. One can just make good use of internet or telephone to connect with the stakeholders and communicate with them in real-time. So it is not only convenient but also reduces the conference calling expenses, curtailing the traveling time and costs each time.

Big business houses and organizations, seeking for the most cost-effective means to manage their conferencing arrangements can look for call service providers which offer effective services at reasonable costs. The service providers come up with wide range of web interacting solutions that let the users work in virtual setting which is pretty supportive to collaboration. The basic requirement for such type of virtual meeting is computer or laptop well accompanied by fast net connection and a conferencing application. The conferencing service doesn’t demand any software installation by participants or moderators. What’s more is that the user-friendly application is well accessible from all the web browsers devoid of any plug-ins. Simply put, they are fully safe, as the service operator encrypts the solutions as per maximum security protocol.

There are plenty of providers dealing with international conference call service who are into offering global conferencing service to company. The providers present applications which are installed with multiple advanced features. The users get the choice of transferring the applications, documents and files without any heck followed by sharing the whole desktop with participants present on the other side. The webcasting service lets the participants to record the meeting for further reference. Apart from these, the effective features include drag and drop, white boarding which are included into the transmission software to guarantee right brainstorming and transmission at real time amongst participants who are located at distant places. Companies as well as individuals can choose such features as per their needs and requirements while gaining international conferencing solutions from reliable service providers.

To conclude, this can be said that with operator backed conference call, you get the liberty to simplify the whole conference process and facilitate your meeting in a more effective and formal manner. Well, regardless of your business size, be it big or small, you can make good use of this superb international conferencing and make the communication easy like never before.

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