Innovative TV Show Release – Archer, from FX

September 22, 2009

I am a big fan of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and because of that, I am now a big fan of the FX Network’s strategic team.

For those of you that were not witness to the super secret sneak preview of FX’s new animated show, Archer, I recommend checking it out.  Unfortunately, you won’t be able to do so until the season officially premieres in January.

FX decided to silently unveil it’s new show following the season premiere of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia last week.  This is a popular move by many networks because they feel that they will have a strong audience, the reason the show directly following the Super Bowl is such a coveted spot.

But what FX did that was so interesting was that they never told you what the show was going to be.  They had coded messages saying, “Stay tuned for a secret sneak preview of our new hit show”, running throughout the Sunny premiere.  Even the TV Guide Channel, and most guides on digital cable providers showed the spot after Sunny as blank to To Be Announced.

What this successfully did was add to the hype.  Why wouldn’t I stick around and check out the show?  I was curious.  They did their job.

I watched, and I loved every minute of the dark, racy animated comedy.  They had the right audience at the right time.  And then they dropped another bombshell on us, this was just a pilot and the series would not officially come out for another 4 months.  Now it’s time for the hype machine to get started, and if it goes the way FX hopes it will go, the January premiere will be huge.

The anticipation and conversation has already started here, here, and here.  This was a great way to get the word out on a new show, one that is creative and most likely will be copied by other networks.


Post Apparently Puts the “NO” in Innovation

September 17, 2009

Post is not a company that you would expect to innovate much.  Their variety of cereals are very standard and they make a nice profit putting out the same products that they have put out for years.  They recently played on that by releasing this commercial, exclaiming that “We put the NO in innovation”.

I would argue that Post has probably made some big changes over the years in terms of production and distribution, perhaps even in corporate structure and ethical standards.  I don’t know if any of these can be called real innovative moves, but change is necessary to keep up with the times.  I get the whole “we don’t change our products because they are already what consumers want” message, but let’s not call an end to progress and innovation altogether.

All in all however, it’s a pretty decent commercial.


Intuit Acquires Mint.com

September 15, 2009

It’s been awhile since I last posted and I apologize for the absence.  In part it was because I was busy looking for a new job, and in part it was because I became slightly detached from what was going on in my area of interest.

Alas, I am back among the employed after landing a great new job in NYC.  I am the new Marketing Manager over Distance Education Company, responsible for schools like the New York Institute of Photography and the Sheffield School of Design.

And during my absence, a lot has happened in the world.  One thing that I just found out about today that is worth commenting on is the acquisition of Mint.com by Intuit.

Intuit, the company responsible for Quicken, clearly sees the value in adding this highly popular personal finance tool.

Mint, for those of you that don’t know, is a web-based tool that allows you to track all of your personal finances from one place.  You can add all of your various accounts, take care of bill paying and budgeting, and even use tools to help you better prepare for the future.  Since it’s founding in 2006, the service has grown rapidly, with new services and features added almost monthly.

In the email I received this morning as a Mint member, I was informed that the acquisition will not directly affect the service I receive as much as it will help to grow Mint’s coverage and popularity more quickly and efficiently.  Sounds like a strong play for both companies to me.  As more and more people shift their daily tasks to the web for ease, companies like this will flourish.