Andy Rooney’s Last Show on 60 Minutes

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Sunday will be Andy Rooney’s last regular appearance on “60 Minutes,” CBS News announced Tuesday. Rooney, 92, will deliver his 1,097th original essay for the broadcast and then make the announcement.

The show will feature a segment with Morley Safer interviewing Rooney and will reflect on the award-winning career of the writer, essayist and commentator, according to a press release from the network.

“There’s nobody like Andy, and there never will be. He’ll hate hearing this, but he’s an American original,” CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager said. I certainly agree and will miss his take on things.

Rooney’s commentaries and essays have been featured on “60 Minutes” since 1978; he joined CBS in 1949 as a writer for “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts.”

He attended Colgate University until he was drafted into the Army in 1941. In February 1943, he was one of six correspondents who flew with the 8th Air Force on the first American bombing raid over Germany. Last year, Rooney received the Overseas Press Club of America President’s Award for these reports.

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New Equifax TVC

I just finished producing 3 spots for the Atlanta based client…we shot in LA…certainly hope they are successful….here is my favorite of the three…

TV Remains the Screen of Choice

Americans may choose to consume video on the “best screen available,” yet traditional TV remains the screen of choice. The recent results of Nielsen’s Three Screen Report a quarterly analysis from Nielsen’s Anywhere Anytime Media
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The measurement initiative (A2/M2) shows that the average American watches approximately 153 hours of TV every month at home, a 1.2% increase from last year. In addition, the 131 million Americans who watch video on the Internet watch on average about 3 hours of video online each month at home and work. The 13.4 million Americans who watch video on mobile phones watch on average about 3 ½ hours of mobile video each month.

In addition, Nielsen data shows that consumers’ time with TV, Internet and Mobile video continues to increase across the board. Online video grew 13% in Q1 2009, driven by both strong brand marketing and large media events including the Presidential inauguration, the Super Bowl and March Madness. With broadband levels increasing in the U.S., online video audiences will continue to grow as consumers begin to upgrade their PCs to support increased video consumption.

Mobile video viewing has grown a significant 52% from the previous year, up to 13.4 million Americans. Much of this growth continues to come from increased mobile content and the rise of the mobile web as a viewing option.

Out of all different age groups, 18-24 year olds show signs of watching DVR and online video the same amount of time timeshifting 5 hrs, 47 minutes per month, and watching video online 5 hrs, 3 minutes each month.

Perhaps the merging of web and TV will begin to drive the growth of true interactive TV with Google leading the way.

Mac Versus PC Ad War.

Six months ago I began to notice that Microsoft was finally taking a crack at Apple (after two years) in the “I’m a PC, I’m a Mac” war waging on TV. I did hear some comments from Apple users regarding how “stupid” PC users were, which is to be expected. I suppose it either shows fierce brand loyalty or that Apple owners need to take some time off.

The agencies for which I have worked used both PC and Mac…a testament to the strengths of each platform. I do applaud Apple for putting the smackdown on Microsoft regarding customer service. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of trying to get anything out of Microsoft that is not available on their web site, good luck. There are a billion steps to go through, and no easy way to do it. In fact, even if you do get through, the answer is usually not the one that fixes the problem. Such is the empire of Darth Gates.

Microsoft didn’t make much of an effort to fight against Apple’s Get a Mac campaign when it launched 2006. Finally in 2008, Microsoft announced a $300 million ad campaign to fire back.

The company’s first few bullets shot at Apple appeared ineffective, beginning with some quirky commercials starring Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates, followed by a friendly campaign called “I’m a PC.” Microsoft’s latest Laptop Hunter commercials are the fiercest yet, delivering sarcastic lines such as “I guess I’m not cool enough to be a Mac user” that appear to be echoing in the chambers of consumers’ brains.

Not sure yet if they are working but this may be their best attempt…aside from the “I’m not cool enough” comment which I would take offense with if I was in the 18 to 24 demographic. Let’s see if it puts a dent in Mac’s image.

New Pepsi Campaign is Flat.

Here’s “Wordplay,” the first TV ad from newly crowned Pepsi shop TBWAChiatDay. The animated montage features feel-good messages (“love,” “optimism,” “joy”) with the brand’s spanking new logo taking the place of the letter “O.” Also on display: Happy colors and upbeat music, the latter in the form of the jangle-pop anthem “Energy” by The Apples in Stereo. And the words “Happy 2009” appear in different languages.

It’s all aimed at millennials. The commercial works the whole “let’s have a positive new year!” routine a bit too hard. It’s a lot like the beverage itself: Sweet and slightly elevating at first (owing to the caffeine, in the case of the drink), but a bit too syrupy overall and liable to leave behind a bitter aftertaste.

Now don’t get me wrong; the spot isn’t actively bad. It’s just uninspired and, to extend the cola metaphor, despite its peppy visuals and soundtrack, perhaps a tad flat…let me rephrase that, after 48 years with BBDO and great advertising this is more than a tad flat, it is boring.