Archive for March, 2008

The Buddy Group is proud to announce its newest website launch – www.DotLot.com. This splash page acts as the formal announcement of TBG DotLot™ Stages, the production studio for all your digital online & mobile video needs. It features a unique, movie-trailer-style video walk through of TBG DotLot™’s flagship studio and post-production facility in Irvine, CA as well as contact information for booking services. As an in-house studio, the physical facilities and instant access to top shelf digital talent provide value to agencies, independent content creators and business looking to capitalize on the cost effective global reach of digital media distribution. By combining industry-standard video production techniques with new-media sensibility and focus, TBG DotLot™ has created a language for developing and executing creative concepts that connect with the online audience. If you’d like more information about TBG DotLot™ or would like to certify your stage as an official DotLot™ stage, join the digital network– check out the new site and send an email to dotlot@thebuddygroup.com.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers. While this may surprise you (note: sarcasm)The Buddies at The Buddy Group don’t always have all the answers either. But it is without fail that once if not twice a week we hear the phrase, “Why don’t they get it” used when referring to customers, partners or..dare I suggest, even clients.

Can such an broad question be answered? We are about to find out!

Last year, I was privileged to take part in the Age of Conversation project, a book co-authored by over 100 conversationalists. Loads of questions, loads of answers and loads of conversations generated online as a result.

Let me introduce the team of 275 (yes…275!) authors of this year’s Age of Conversation: Why Don’t People Get It?
Adam Crowe, Adrian Ho, Aki Spicer, Alex Henault, Amy Jussel, Andrew Odom, Andy Nulman, Andy Sernovitz, Andy Whitlock, Angela Maiers, Ann Handley, Anna Farmery, Armando Alves, Arun Rajagopal, Asi Sharabi, Becky Carroll, Becky McCray, Bernie Scheffler, Bill Gammell, Bob Carlton, Bob LeDrew, Brad Shorr, Bradley Spitzer, Brandon Murphy, Branislav Peric, Brent Dixon, Brett Macfarlane, Brian Reich, C.C. Chapman, Cam Beck, Casper Willer, Cathleen Rittereiser, Cathryn Hrudicka, Cedric Giorgi, Charles Sipe, Chris Kieff, Chris Cree, Chris Wilson, Christina Kerley (CK), C.B. Whittemore, Clay Parker Jones, Chris Brown, Colin McKay, Connie Bensen, Connie Reece, Cord Silverstein, Corentin Monot, Craig Wilson, Daniel Honigman, Dan Goldstein, Dan Schawbel, Dana VanDen Heuvel, Dan Sitter, Daria Radota Rasmussen, Darren Herman, Darryl Patterson, Dave Davison, Dave Origano, David Armano, David Bausola, David Berkowitz, David Brazeal, David Koopmans, David Meerman Scott, David Petherick, David Reich, David Weinfeld, David Zinger, Deanna Gernert, Deborah Brown, Dennis Price, Derrick Kwa, Dino Demopoulos, Doug Haslam, Doug Meacham, Doug Mitchell, Douglas Hanna, Douglas Karr, Drew McLellan, Duane Brown, Dustin Jacobsen, Dylan Viner, Ed Brenegar, Ed Cotton, Efrain Mendicuti, Ellen Weber, Emily Reed, Eric Peterson, Eric Nehrlich, Ernie Mosteller, Faris Yakob, Fernanda Romano, Francis Anderson, G. Kofi Annan, Gareth Kay, Gary Cohen, Gaurav Mishra, Gavin Heaton, Geert Desager, George Jenkins, G.L. Hoffman, Gianandrea Facchini, Gordon Whitehead, Graham Hill, Greg Verdino, Gretel Going & Kathryn Fleming, Hillel Cooperman, Hugh Weber, J. Erik Potter, J.C. Hutchins, James Gordon-Macintosh, Jamey Shiels, Jasmin Tragas, Jason Oke, Jay Ehret, Jeanne Dininni, Jeff De Cagna, Jeff Gwynne, Jeff Noble, Jeff Wallace, Jennifer Warwick, Jenny Meade, Jeremy Fuksa, Jeremy Heilpern, Jeremy Middleton, Jeroen Verkroost, Jessica Hagy, Joanna Young, Joe Pulizzi, Joe Talbott, John Herrington, John Jantsch, John Moore, John Rosen, John Todor, Jon Burg, Jon Swanson, Jonathan Trenn, Jordan Behan, Julie Fleischer, Justin Flowers, Justin Foster, Karl Turley, Kate Trgovac, Katie Chatfield, Katie Konrath, Kenny Lauer, Keri Willenborg, Kevin Jessop, Kris Hoet, Krishna De, Kristin Gorski, Laura Fitton, Laurence Helene Borei, Lewis Green, Lois Kelly, Lori Magno, Louise Barnes-Johnston, Louise Mangan, Louise Manning, Luc Debaisieux, Marcus Brown, Mario Vellandi, Mark Blair, Mark Earls, Mark Goren, Mark Hancock, Mark Lewis, Mark McGuinness, Mark McSpadden, Matt Dickman, Matt J. McDonald, Matt Moore, Michael Hawkins, Michael Karnjanaprakorn, Michelle Lamar, Mike Arauz, Mike McAllen, Mike Sansone, Mitch Joel, Monica Wright, Nathan Gilliatt, Nathan Snell, Neil Perkin, Nettie Hartsock, Nick Rice, Oleksandr Skorokhod, Ozgur Alaz, Paul Chaney, Paul Hebert, Paul Isakson, Paul Marobella, Paul McEnany, Paul Tedesco, Paul Williams, Pet Campbell, Pete Deutschman, Peter Corbett, Phil Gerbyshak, Phil Lewis, Phil Soden, Piet Wulleman, Rachel Steiner, Sreeraj Menon, Reginald Adkins, Richard Huntington, Rishi Desai, Beeker Northam, Rob Mortimer, Robert Hruzek, Roberta Rosenberg, Robyn McMaster, Roger von Oech, Rohit Bhargava, Ron Shevlin, Ryan Barrett, Ryan Karpeles, Ryan Rasmussen, Sam Huleatt, Sandy Renshaw, Scott Goodson, Scott Monty, Scott Townsend, Scott White, Sean Howard, Sean Scott, Seni Thomas, Seth Gaffney, Shama Hyder, Sheila Scarborough, Sheryl Steadman, Simon Payn, Sonia Simone, Spike Jones, Stanley Johnson, Stephen Collins, Stephen Cribbett, Stephen Landau, Stephen Smith, Steve Bannister, Steve Hardy, Steve Portigal, Steve Roesler, Steven Verbruggen, Steve Woodruff, Sue Edworthy, Susan Bird, Susan Gunelius, Susan Heywood, Tammy Lenski, Terrell Meek, Thomas Clifford, Thomas Knoll, Tiffany Kenyon, Tim Brunelle, Tim Buesing, Tim Connor, Tim Jackson, Tim Longhurst, Tim Mannveille, Tim Tyler, Timothy Johnson, Tinu Abayomi-Paul, Toby Bloomberg, Todd Andrlik, Troy Rutter, Troy Worman, Uwe Hook, Valeria Maltoni, Vandana Ahuja, Vanessa DiMauro, Veronique Rabuteau, Wayne Buckhanan, William Azaroff, Yves Van Landeghem

We are proud of our collaboration with NBC Universal Digital (http://nbcunidigital.com/) and the NBC Universal Integrated team (http://nbcumarketplace.com/ ). Both sites are designed, development, managed and hosted by The Buddy Group (via partnership with Internap).

We have been pretty busy these days preparing for next week…this article gives a little glimpse into the “why”.
NBCU Meets With Marketers One Month Ahead of Rivals

By Brian Steinberg

Published: March 25, 2008

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — NBC will unveil its 2008-2009 programming schedule next week, breaking a tradition of broadcast networks waiting until mid-May to communicate such information.

click here to read the story http://adage.com/mediaworks/article?article_id=125927

Irvine, CA – March 25, 2008 – The Buddy Group, an Irvine based digital creative agency, highlighted its year of growth by capturing 13 awards at the 2008 Orange County Addys for its execution of websites and digital ad campaigns, including six Golds, five Silvers, a Merit Award, and a Special Judges Award for the Reebok Hearts / Scarlett Johansson site.

Gold winning entries are NBC Uni Digital’s B2B site, The Reebok Hearts Scarlett Johansson site, Motorola Moto Tool B2B site, Old Navy Denim online advertisements, Old Navy MTV landing page, and The Buddy Group’s Office Survival Kit self promotion.

Pete Deutschman, CEO and Chief Buddy stated, “With more than 400 entries in the competition, we are very pleased to be recognized by our peers in the advertising community for the creativity and execution of our work. It makes both our team members and clients proud to receive such recognition and encourages us to continue to improve upon the level of work we deliver.”

The OC Ad Club Addy awards are the local entry level for the National Addy Awards sponsored by the American Advertising Federation. Winning entries at the Gold and Silver levels go on to compete in the Regional Awards that lead to the National Awards event.

According to Thom Cameron, President of the OC Ad Club, “This year’s entries provided a wide range of contenders. It is great to see a company such as The Buddy Group demonstrating such a high quality of work in the dynamic field of the internet.”

Other winning entries from The Buddy Group are:
- Silver B2B HTML: Furnished Quarters
- Silver Online Games: Federal Mogul Corporation Champion Game
- Silver Online Web Campaign: CW Network’s The Reaper
- Silver Advertising for the Arts: Serino Coyne Wicked
- Silver Advertising for the Arts: Stone Productions Spelling Bee
- Merit Mini Sites: Janus Financial with Sketchfolio

See more at http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/080325/20080325005469.html?.v=1

We have built our studio around the creation of original content for the web. We have learned, the key is to speak to your target audience in a fun and relevent way. NOTE: This does not mean CORPORATE VIDEOS or COMMERCIALS.

See our Holiday Campaign as an example at http://myofficesurvivalkit.com
This is a great and quick video interview which I found to reinforce what we have all seen for some time now. While he references Dove (I point to that as a poorly done/forced execution) I do agree with everything he says.

http://blip.tv/file/768903

By BROOKS BARNES

LOS ANGELES — When Michael D. Eisner left the Walt Disney Company in 2005 and set about remaking himself in new media, investing in a video-sharing Web site and starting a digital studio, some people in Hollywood snickered. Here we go, the whispers went, another fading star who doesn’t know when to leave the stage.

Could Mr. Eisner get the last laugh?

Among the Hollywood developers scrambling to create original Internet programs, Mr. Eisner, 65, is one of the very few who can claim early success. “Prom Queen,” a murder-mystery series distributed on MySpace and other Web sites, has been viewed by nearly 20 million people since its debut last spring.

He sold a dubbed version in France, peddled remake rights in Japan and made a sequel, “Prom Queen: Summer Heat.” The series, which came with commercials, even turned a profit along the way, a spokesman said.

Now, Mr. Eisner’s second series, “The All-For-Nots,” a comedy that documents the travails of a fictional indie rock band, will make its debut next week on the Internet, mobile devices and the HDNet cable network. The project reflects lessons learned. This time Mr. Eisner is protecting broad foreign syndication sales by restricting foreign access to the series, which will be available in the United States on YouTube and other sites.

With “The All-For-Nots,” which is sponsored by Chrysler and Expedia, Mr. Eisner is out to prove there is money to be made in the space between user-generated content and traditional television production.

“I would like to say I have a McKinsey study of a strategy,” he said, referring to the management consulting firm. “It doesn’t work that way. You just take your history and your education and your instincts and you put them all into a melting pot and out comes something.”

There are plenty of people in Hollywood who are rooting for him to fail. Jealousy over the success of “Prom Queen” — and Mr. Eisner’s occasional boasting about it — is one reason. He also retains his share of detractors from the Disney days. And while Internet types have overwhelmingly welcomed him, others remain skeptical.

“Just because Eisner is behind something, it doesn’t mean it is going to be a success,” said Darren Aftahi, a digital media analyst at ThinkEquity Partners in Minneapolis.

Still, the manner in which Mr. Eisner signed up Chrysler goes a long way toward explaining how he has become a leader of the digital media pack.

Most of his rivals — including his former employer, which announced the creation of a digital production studio last week — must labor to woo big-name advertisers to their untested Web content. The Disney-ABC Television Group spent months refining its strategy before Toyota signed on as the inaugural sponsor.

Mr. Eisner just flips through his Rolodex. When you spend 21 years running Disney, your friends are people like Robert L. Nardelli, the chairman of Chrysler. “I needed a car for the show so I called Bob,” Mr. Eisner said. (His successor at Disney and the other media kingpins have deep business relationships of their own, of course, but do not have the luxury of devoting their full attention to lining up product placements.)

Vuguru, Mr. Eisner’s Web studio, is just one of dozens of players trying to make a business out of Web shows. Many have popped up in recent months, as producers idled by the writers’ strike tested the medium. Others, like the producers of “Lonelygirl15,” have been tinkering in the area for years.

Studios like Warner Brothers and NBC Universal also have been trying to muscle in to the area. There have been pockets of success, but no studio has proved that it has a workable business model, said Michael Pond, a media analyst at Nielsen Online.

“The big studios have a lot of resources, but fast for them is pretty slow for the Web,” he said. “They are focusing harder on creating Web programs, but others are already there.”

Like Mr. Eisner. Vuguru, a made-up word he thought sounded hip, is part of a constellation of new-media plays he is making. Through Tornante, the venture capital firm he founded after leaving Disney, Mr. Eisner owns Vuguru; a large stake in Veoh, a site that allows users to download video with the quality of high-definition television; and Team Baby Entertainment, which makes sports-themed DVDs for infants and toddlers.

Most recently, Tornante, which is Italian for “hairpin turn,” paid $385 million for Topps, the longtime maker of trading cards and Bazooka bubble gum.

Mr. Eisner is keeping his ultimate playbook to himself, but drops a few hints.

“With Topps, I was interested in a company that could be a far bigger sports and entertainment media company,” he said. Among his ideas are the digital delivery of trading cards and the creation of Topps-branded sports movies or sports channels on cable. As for Bazooka Joe, the gum mascot, he recently told a trade magazine that “it would be foolish of me not to try and build that character into something as much as or more than he ever was.”

In some ways, “The All-For-Nots” is comfortable territory for Mr. Eisner. While working at ABC in 1970, he helped develop “The Partridge Family,” the series about a musical family that unexpectedly hits it big. “The new show is not that different from that experience of marrying music to story,” he said.

The idea for “The All-For-Nots” came last spring when Mr. Eisner saw “The Burg,” a Web comedy about the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. “It had real flair,” he said. “It was funny.” He sought out the creator, a company called Dinosaur Diorama, and asked for ideas.

He passed on “The Burg 2,” but a pitch about the hubristic futility of trying to conquer the nation with indie rock sounded fun.

Bebo, the large social networking site, signed on as a distribution partner, along with a half-dozen other sites. “The All-For-Nots” cast members will have Bebo profiles that link to a channel where users can watch the series. David Aufhauser, Bebo’s business development director, noted that the site’s features would allow users to distribute “All-For-Nots” content among themselves.

Verizon Wireless became the mobile video partner and Mr. Eisner got HDNet on board. Mark Cuban, the founder of HDNet, had been a guest on Mr. Eisner’s CNBC talk show. “Michael and I talk ideas all the time,” Mr. Cuban wrote in an e-mail message. “The approach we have taken with ‘All-For-Nots’ gives us three shots at consumers, any of which could take off singularly or in combination. Web exclusivity is too limited.”

Like Chrysler, Expedia paid to be woven into the story line. As the band travels to 24 cities in search of fame, it books hotel rooms using Expedia, the online travel agency. Sarah Pynchon, Expedia’s vice president for brand marketing, said the company has been looking for product-placement opportunities in Web shows, but has been reluctant because the Internet audience “is going to be much more skeptical” of advertiser integration than television viewers.

Mr. Pond of Nielsen said that Mr. Eisner was smart to focus on music-driven stories, pointing to the success of shows like “Hannah Montana.” The concept also provides additional marketing angles. Cast members of “The All-For-Nots” will perform a concert on March 11 at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Tex.

Mr. Eisner is the first to caution that, despite his early success, he has not found the Web video Rosetta Stone. Indeed, the slogan for “The All-For-Nots” could be his own. “The band that will conquer the World Wide Web,” the show’s Web site reads, “unless they run out of gas.”

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