Friday, August 27, 2004

How about someting new on television, please..

I used to work exclusively on television programmes and it is still a great love of mine. So I cannot help but keep on watching what is happening in the broadcast industry. Traditionally the last two seasons of the year, autumn and winter are the moneymaking seasons because advertising rates are at their highest, due to the most public available. It is also the place where new programmes are launched, and producers hope for their programmes to be the "next big thing". A big thing is Pop Idol or Big Brother. Sadly the next initiatives are copycats of the original big thing with a little twist in it. In Holland where Big Brother started its enormous worldwide success, the program is not scheduled due to two last seasons where the people lost interest in it very fast. And lets be honest after one episode you know the concept and it is done. You don't want to waste any more time on wannabees eating theire noses. I think we had the best BB ever, because the first time those people really didn't know what was happening outside. After that the format changed forever because people knew what they where doing. Isn't it just plain terrible looking at all those fucked up wannabee icons playing their lives. But back to the current schedule. We are still in the aftermath of reality programming with shows like detoxing former stars, and common people wanting famous fases and bodies. So they build themselves as spitting images of Pamela Anderson, who else. In holland we see a lot of Pop Idol spinoffs, like finding the next big band. Or to keep with the twins, finding the most spitting examples.

What I am missing very much is a grand "old fashioned" show with whole new interactive twists. And I cannot get it, because the time is so now, so right now to do that. What are you all doing at Endemol, Granada and Eyeworks?? People want that safe comfortable kind of television. Not in looking back at it in sentiment, but in the here and now. And better then before because you may vote along. Let's bet.. anyone!!!
If you all wake up, give me a call, right because I have already figured out some of the processes, really!

Monday, August 16, 2004

The fourth dimension of retail communication

My work is currently much related to retail communication.
Retail communication is changing rapidly. This is because retail is now able to use IP based services to its own advantage. A couple of years ago the bricks were told they would get extinct because of the bytes. Meaning that the brick and mortar shop would get extinct in favour of us buying everything on the internet. It didn't happen... for now. Let there be no mistake about it. Some products and services will be mostly internet based and the brick and mortars will get rare to extinct. The Brick and mortar music store will become such a rare species, the traditional photstore is another one.
But at the same time a pure ICT company such as Apple is investing in high profile Applestores in every important town centre. What does this mean? It means that when you need to explain features of your product it is good to get in touch with your customers. But mostly if you want to play a role in peoples lives you have to be there, in their places of worship. The function of a store for a customer is not about buying products! It is about setting projections of a better life, more comfortable, more successfull, more in style, just like the store is.. and in the store now you may actually hold products of worship in your!!Apple I Pod is a style statement, a community building vehicle and.. oh yes, it can also store your music on a hard drive. So you have a rational argument to give into your need to be stylish and belong to the creative Apple community, which is why you actually buy the Pod. Every retailer is dreaming of getting his store or products into places of worship. He/she wants to influence his image to the customer. But how to do that best? ICT applications are getting more intelligent in the store. The publicity of RFID developments is a sign of this, although I fear another overhyped development here, it is basicly an interesting one. Currently I am working on a pilot to develop a service for retailers to actually 'see' what people do in their stores. The routes they take, the time they spent, the places they attract to and the 'dark places' that are not working for the store. This information helps the retailer to better design his store, but also to plan and design his instore communication to be most effective.
Now you have the possibility to merge interactive possibilities that the internet can give in a real environment. Mixing the real with the virtual, to enhance the story you are telling.
To me it is a very exciting instrument to test crossmedia storytelling, because in a store you can offer divers mediachannels all at once (the store itself being a mediachannel as well) and invite the customer to observe, inform or interact with the information that is offered in the store(s). How will it influence the projections of a better life, more comfortable, more successfull, more in style? Will it influence buying behaviour?