. . . Wednesday January 19, 2005

Game Over

Immediately following this year’s Super Bowl, the fifteen or so folks who are diehard watchers of the NFL Network will be treated to a unique special.

They will get to see all of the Super Bowl commercials without being interrupted by the game.

This move is less strange given that the NFL Network is in some sense a 24 hour ad for the NFL.

But it does point to a possible trend that many have been expecting for years:

Ads as content.

We first saw a glimpse of ads as content with the release of those BMW films (unfortunately, as it turned out, my wife didn’t want a BMW, but she sort of did want a Clive Owen).

Want to see a current example of ads as content now playing on a television screen near you? If you have a High-Def television system, take a look at HDNet.

HDNet has created content out of ads that display a piercing understanding of their viewerbase.

The selling point of HDNet is its great picture. You upgrade your TV to HD and you’re going to want to see the prettiest stuff on your screen. And if you think this way, chances are that you’re a dude.

So what does HDNet do? They take you to beautiful destinations and show you all of the sites and the hotels that are willing to pay an entry fee (note: I’ve done no research here, it’s just obvious). They figure that you’ll watch these ads because they look so damn good on your new television.

But wait. After awhile, you might get bored of watching stuff just because of a clearer picture. Don’t worry. HDNet has a fix for that too. See, when you visit these destinations, your tour guides are a selection of shapely models in bikinis (regardless of the location or the weather).

Want to get guys to watch your ads? Having girls in bikinis prancing around in a technologically superior television picture is as good a place as any to start.

I’m not making this up. The show is actually called >Bikini Destinations (and I might add that I’ve recently become quite the expert on the Ukraine).

There is of course an old message here: Sex sells.

But there is a new message as well. Marketing messages can be made into compelling content in more creative ways than just having a lead character crack open a can of Coke and point it towards the camera.

In the short run, I guess the big question is whether or not the NFL Network will get smart and replace the former players with girls in bikinis in time for the Super Bowl ad replay.

In the long run, the bigger question is how many Clive Owen movies I will have to watch once my wife reads this post.

Concentration is important!