Entertainment Pie

Like UnlikeA couple of pieces of Entertainment Pie. From opposite sides of the world, and opposite sides of the enjoyment-meter, experienced on the same day.

First, Life of Pi, which was a beautiful movie. The story of a young boy and Richard Parker, the full-grown Bengal tiger, who was first his adversary, then his friend. Pi said, if it hadn’t been for Richard Parker, he would have died on that little boat, but the conflict between them kept him alive. It was a movie that I wasn’t excited about seeing, yet I knew I would be wrong about it and end up loving it. Other movies hold more “curb appeal”, that is they look good from the outside, but this one was great all through. I usually think 3D is cheesy, but it worked for me this time.

Then back home for Super Bowl XMVII. Ah, yes. Glitzy entertainment at its very best. First of all, I care not one iota about either of the teams, except that I dislike the Ravens because of Ray Lewis and because of what Art Model did to the Browns fans. Not that I’m a Browns fan either, but I know lots of them, and what he did was further proof that it’s all about the money. Sure, I know, it’s a business like any other, but there a few million Brownie fans who don’t agree.

A few things I noticed:

First of all, before the game, there is clear evidence among the players of TMT (Too Much Testosterone). Yet, when Alicia Keyes does her (and it wasn’t too bad, notwithstanding the little warbly thing at the end) rendition of the National Anthem, the tears fall through their under-eye black smudgy things.

The Ravens looked like they were wearing skinny jeans and the 49ers looked like a high school football team clad in red and gold.

The commercials have gotten so out-there-somewhere you don’t even know what they are selling.

A huge percentage of players have those cheesy, blotchy blue tatts. Yesterday, before the movie, I sat next to a tattoo “perfess’nal” and he had tattoo sleeves of lovely hues of red, green, blue outlined with black. Is there some unwritten rule that colored tatts are somehow wussy and unless you get them done by your best friend who got his equipment mail order and gets you all liquored up so he can shoot some meaningless blue ink into your pigments, y’all aren’t a real manly man? I don’t get that. Those football players are well-paid enough that they can afford the very best in body-defacement, so why don’t they ever have it?

If I had heard “Jim Harbaugh can’t believe it” once more, I’d not be here today. I was about to hurl myself off a six-story balcony.

On to Beyonce. I guess she felt she needed to prove herself after the Inauguration lip-sinking scandal. I personally am not terribly into her, but also know that I am probably in the minority. I was sure impressed with her flexibility and the fact that she can gracefully rise to her feet after settling into a sitting position with her legs wrapped around each other Yoga-style. She is quite, uh, lively, clad in relatively little, very windblown, and the flaming guitars were a nice touch.

Made me nostalgic for Tom Petty.

The gross lip-smacking kissing commercial between The Beauty and The Nerd was disgusting. Again, what was that selling?

The two Chrysler ads, designed to put a tear in your eye as solidly as a Hallmark commercial, felt a bit contrived to me. Especially So God Made a Farmer, a tribute by Paul Harvey to the American farmer. Who knows if he’d have wanted his words used this way?

The eTrade baby was just so-so, not the best. The cute baby thing may have outrun itself.

The blackout brought back memories of the Ben Affleck movie, the Sum of All Fears where the bad guys rig the coke machine with a nuclear bomb. Maybe N’Awlins isn’t quite ready to host this thing? The announcers were sweating, trying to keep up a lively patter during thirty-some minutes of darkness. They were continually “bringing us up to speed” with reruns and pictures of Evil Ray — his last game ever, you know. “The power is slowly returning” they’d say. Slowly returning? It’s either there or it’s not, I’d have thought.  “The power continues to ramp up.” Oh. Good. “More and more banks of lights!” and, heh, heh, “Beyonce must have knocked out the lights!” and “The stadium seems to be getting brighter and brighter!”

Speaking of announcers. Oh the pearls that fall from their lips. Love football-speak.

If they’d have played man-to-man coverage, this’d never have happened.

You need to be super conservative with the football.

Stop the butter coming up the middle.

San Francisco is going to have to come up with some turnovers. (This said at a time SF was down 28 to 6 – ya think?)

Someone didn’t send a check in the mail.

They are professional athletes.

They know how to stop and restart.

When you’re down 28 to 6, you have to go force the issue a little bit.

The 49ers need to stay patient. (It’s still 28 to 6.)

They need the big class play down the field.

You take away that interception, he’s really throwing the football.

Since the power outage, things have changed.

The fair-catch, free-kick rule. (Say what?)

Image courtesy of basketman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Are you 50+? Then NBC Doesn’t Want You!

In May, NBC decided not to renew the series “Harry’s Law”. Why do you suppose they did that? Was it because no one watched it? No, that wasn’t the reason. It was the second most-watched series on NBC, 8.8 million viewers, just under the 9 million viewers who watched the first most-watched “Smash”. Well, then, why would they have cancelled it? Isn’t the show’s popularity what appeals to networks? Well, yes and no.

Don’t networks care that a lot of people are watching their shows? That depends on the advertisers. Don’t advertisers care that a lot of people are watching the shows wherein they air their commercials? Yes. As long as the watchers are between the ages of 18 and 49. Otherwise, not so much.

Networks kiss the rings of advertisers, so advertisers determine what we watch on TV. And they (these esteemed “Advertisers”) don’t give a rat’s ass if every single person 50 years of age and older is watching a program or not. They don’t want us. They want the younger crowd. So that would seem to say, “Seniors, suck it up! Learn to love what the demographic that we care about is watching. You are just too damn old to matter to us any longer.”

One NBC executive had the nerve (oh how I’d like to use another term here), to say, “Its [Harry’s Law’s] audience skewed very old and it is hard to monetize that.”

Monetize this, dipshits.

  • 75% of America’s wealth is controlled by those 55 and older.
  • We spend nearly $400 billion more than any other generation, each year.
  • We outspend the average consumer (whoever that is) in categories such as entertainment and dining, gifts and furniture, and these are the types of commercials that generally air during prime time.

Bottom line. We have more money and we spend it.

But advertisers still listen to the Neilsen Company, who has been monitoring what we watch for the last 40+ years or so. It would appear they continue to use the same methodology they did back in the 70’s.

The Neilsen Company is telling advertisers that the only people who matter are under 50. The advertisers are listening to Neilsen, which is a huge mistake, and threatening to pull ads where the demographic is suspect. No advertisers = no show.

The strategy the Neilsen Co. uses is installing a box in a select number of homes. These are the “Neilsen Families” and they are paid for the inconvenience of having their TV viewing privacy violated. I have never been approached by Neilsen to be one of their select “families” nor do I know anyone who has, but I would have told them where they might place their monitoring device, should they have invited me to become a “Neilsen Family”.

“Hello, may I speak to the head of the household?” says Neilsen.

“Speaking,” say I.

“We, at Neilsen, would like to invite you to become a Neilsen Family, and in that way you can take part in our ongoing quest for Accuracy in Television Viewing and aid our clients in determining who is watching what shows, and if they should bother to advertise on said shows or not, which will then result in those advertisers pressuring the TV networks to axe certain programs. And we would be delighted to bestow a small gift upon you and your family for your cooperation in this matter.”

“No way,” say I. And then I would have told them the location where the monitoring device might be deposited.


That’s the way that conversation would have gone.

Who would agree to do that? The checks they send aren’t generous, the term used is “token”, and anyone who would do it for that paltry money is certainly not the demographic Neilsen is targeting.

The Neilsen Company wants to “identify, message and find your [the Almighty Advertiser’s] most valuable consumers to maximize marketing efficiency”. They also hope to “adjust your strategy, product and/or marketing to better appeal to key consumers”. (Hint: We are not the key consumers of which they so eloquently business-speak.) And finally, they hope to “…identify white-space innovation opportunities based on a proprietary understanding of latent and emerging demand.”

Wow. WTF does all that purposely obfiscating, nonsensical stuff mean? It means basically, we’re screwed. You will watch American Idol and Dancing With the Stars and NCIS and like it. Turn to the AMC channel if you don’t like it, you old farts.

What’ll it be, Mother? The Travel Channel or The Weather Channel?

One of the reasons they say old-timers aren’t worth pursuing as viewers is that everyone knows that brand-loyalty is established between the ages of 18 – 34. Well, I sorta beg to differ on that one. I’ve switched brands lots of times, and I use products that weren’t available back then, and I’ve changed my mind about a lot of stuff so don’t tell me that I have any brand loyalty at all because I don’t. How do we establish brand loyalty for cell phones, and flat screen TVs, and eReaders between the ages of 18 and 34 when they weren’t around then? And never mind that the brands you might have been loyal to, have long been driven out of business anyway!

And another thing. What about all the 18 – 49 year-olds who DVR everything so they can fast-forward through the commercials. Everyone does that, but I’d be willing to bet Baby Boomers do it less than 18 – 49 year-olds.

Here’s the perfect solution. Advertise the products you think we are interested in (even though we’re clearly not), but in your infinite wisdom of what you think makes good business sense, it would fit in quite nicely. And then you can advertise these products on Harry’s Law.

A few products to consider:

  • The Pride Mobility Go-Go Ultra X 4-wheel Scooter
  • The Rollator/Transport Chair Walker Combo
  • The Medlift Economy Full Size Adjustable Bed
  • Depend® Real Fit Briefs – Discrete Protection (Choose the one which suits your lifestyle)
  • Poligrip Denture Adhesive (Helps keep food out)
  • Funeral Pre-planning (Give your family Peace of Mind)
  • The myriad of drugs marketed on the National News, including (but not limited to) ED helpers, osteoporosis, emphysema and “going and going and going” medications and all the other junk drugs that fix one problem and cause four more.

But give us back Harry’s Law.

I Want My Harry’s Law!

What do you think about this?