Thursday, October 27, 2011


 Would you like some carefully targeted, exclusive television programming with your fries? 

     This month, the McDonalds fast food chain announced the launch of specialty TV programming that will be available to its dine-in customers and will be customized to target specific locations. The McDonalds channel will feature news reports, television shows and entertainment features, and is projected to reach 18 to 20 million people per month. McDonalds plans to launch the project in several California locations this Spring and eventually implement it across the country.
McDonalds television is a smart corporate move because it will draw customers to the fast-food locations as well as increase the viewing audience for local programming and ads. And now, we Americans can finally chow down on 1,000 calorie Big Mac meals without having to expend the energy it would take to talk during our meal. If there’s one thing I like while over-dosing on artificial meat and cheese products, it’s getting sucked into entertainment programs specifically designed to allow me to boost their Nielsen ratings.

by Emilie Eastman, Intern 2011, Propulsion Media Labs

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What is PML Dressing Up As For Halloween?

With the characters we have here at Propulsion Media Labs, you are sure to find some out of the ordinary costumes for Halloween. However, there is one classic trick-or-treater like Office Manager Susan who will be a witch. Senior Account Coordinator Mike, in order to keep his beard, will be NOT Waldo. 

Going down to the audio studios; Scott is putting on a few pounds to play the part of Santa Claus. Then Tom wants to be a REALLY good Ghostbuster, or V from “V for Vendetta.”

The most creative costumes for this Halloween season, not surprisingly, came from our Video Producers. Matt would like to dress up as a zombie storm trooper, while Andrew is going to be a character from the shows “Storage Wars” or the hit series “Toddlers and Tiaras’.” 

Now that's scary
Written By:
Justin Kaufmann
Fall 2011 Intern
Temple University

Friday, October 21, 2011

Things You Won’t Need or Own by the Year 2020

DVD Player: The DVD player has the same fate as the VHS.  Blue-ray technology may extend the life of physical DVDs, but why carry around and store discs when you can have electronic copies of your favorite movies and shows or you can stream them?

E-Reader: Why carry around a Nook or Kindle that essentially has one function when tablets of the same size can do infinitely more cool things?  Unless e-readers become very cheap, they will enter the black hole of obsolete technology as tablets become more refined.

Text Books: The days of carrying around twenty-pound book bags will soon be over.  The future college and high school students will access their calculus, economics, and Spanish readings on their tablets.

GPS: Your Garmin or TomTom is on its way out the door, and faster than you may think.  As more and more people own smart phones with equally good or better GPS functioning, there is no need for a portable GPS.  Also, expect GPS to become standard in cars within the next ten years.

Digital Cameras: The new iPhone 4s has an 8 megapixel camera that captures 1080p HD video.  Don’t know what that means?  Crystal clear high-definition quality better than today’s lower-end digital cameras.  From here, the smart phone camera will only improve.  So unless you’re into more advanced photography and high-end cameras, you’ll be using the pencil-thin smart phone that allows you to share instantaneously.

Video game systems: The future of gaming will be part of your television or cable/digital library/streaming/video game box.

mp3 Player: Like the GPS and digital camera, there is really no need for mp3 players when smart phones have the same capabilities and much more.  New technologies such as the cloud eliminate any issues with storing data.  If you haven’t already gotten rid of your iPod, it will be dying in the back of one of your drawers pretty soon.

Cars and airplanes: Experts predict the invention of teleportation by 2020.  Just kidding.

Alex Campbell
University of Delaware

Friday, October 14, 2011

Any Publicity is Good Publicity?

Say you’re an advertising or marketing executive and you’re looking to get more people to buy your product. The first idea to cross your mind probably isn’t “Let me get people to hate this product!” It’s counter-intuitive right? Selling products by turning people off? That’s where you may be wrong!

A slew of products have benefitted from boycotts! One product of controversy lately has been Ben and Jerry’s new limited-edition flavor “Schweddy Balls.” This flavor gets its name from a Saturday Night Live skit in which Alec Baldwin plays Pete Schweddy, a bakery owner who makes many ball-shaped treats. The sketch’s famous phrase is no one can resist my Schweddy Balls.” SNL-enthusiasts and general pranksters alike appreciate the double-entendre name, but some more conservative customers found it appaling. One website boycotted this product and got such media coverage that the ice cream actually became more famous AFTER it was boycotted.

This type of phenomenon happens all of the time: a certain issue is relatively unknown, and then a protesting group makes such a ruckus that it brings the issue to a highly public spotlight. This makes me think, if people hate a product, maybe they should just ignore it so it goes away? By making a big deal out of it, they are bringing it more attention, and may be selling more of said product.

Check out this humorous article that explains further:

Emily Levy,Intern
La Salle University
Communication and Art History

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Google: They Grow Up So Fast

This past September Google officially became a teenager. Google, like a human, is growing into a teenager with an attitude, social skills, and a more competitive edge. It also thinks it knows everything. As it is growing in age, Google is growing as a company. When Google was born it had just one employee. In 13 years they have almost 30,000 employees.

Since Google’s birth, it has been innocently shutting down other engines like Magellan and InfoSeek. But will it get a little sassier to try and shut down Bing? Only time will tell. Although Google’s attitude may begetting a little feisty, it is trying to become more social.

In June, Google launched a trial run of Google+, a social network. They say it is safer than Facebook because there are levels of friendship. According to Google,“putting everyone under the ‘friends’ label hurts the ability to share. It becomes sloppy, scary, and insensitive.” Google+ has just been released for public use in September. If all goes well, they may be going following Apple’s path of taking over the world.

Along with trying to outshine Facebook, Google seems to be trying to take over Microsoft Office. Google has a feature called Google Docs,a free online combination of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Although it has been out for a while, it has become increasingly popular. You can share your documents with others, chat in real time with others viewing your document, and publish online.

With all this improvement in a fairly short amount of time,who knows what goodies Google has in store for it’s first year as a “young adult”. Will it blossom and grow even larger? Will it become more accurate in finding what you’re searching for? Will it get more aggressive in its competition with Bing? Will it become a social butterfly? No one quite knows yet. We will just have to wait these next 365 days to see what happens.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Part 15 of PML’s: How does a Voice Talent Prepare for a Session?

We asked some of our top 100 voice talents to find out how they get ready for a voice session. Here is what Nick S. says...

“To prepare, the first thing I do is get very familiar with the copy.  It's very important to understand the copywriter's intention.  I read it aloud a few times to be sure I understand how one phrase or sentence flows into the next so I can inflect properly.  A misplaced inflection can weaken the power of good writing.

The second thing is to choose an "attitude" for the performance.  If it's a straightforward 30 second "announcer sell" radio spot, this is pretty simple.  I let the copy determine my energy level, identify the power words and let it fly!

For those commercials or narrations that demand a natural, conversational non-radioy performance, the process is quite different because it requires more than just giving it a good radio read.  What is my attitude going to be?  It could be friendly, reflective, enthusiastic, tender, fearful, comforting, reassuring, excited, persuasive....any number of choices.

This is where acting comes in.  Once an attitude is chosen, I try to infuse myself with that feeling so that it informs the texture and character of my delivery.  It is not easy and after many years I still strive to get better at the whole process.”

More responses from other talents are coming soon!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Shift Toward Product Placement

Have you ever noticed that your favorite television or movie character drinks a certain soda or drives a certain car?  Perhaps you have noticed the guys from Entourage sharing a few bottles of Budweiser, Phil from Modern Family driving his kids to school in a Toyota, or even the big Gillette sign overlooking Atlantic City in Boardwalk Empire.  These are all examples of product placement.  These products, which viewers are able to buy in real life, are not placed in shows and movies by accident.  Companies pay to feature their products in television shows as a different method of reaching the audience than the standard television commercial.  Because new technology (DVR, on demand, and the internet) allows viewers to fast forward through commercials, product placement has become more prevalent in recent years.

That’s not to say product placement is a new phenomenon.  In fact, it’s quite the opposite.  I’m sure you remember E.T.’s favorite candy.  James Bond wasn’t cruising on the cliffside road in a generic automobile, was he?  And in the notorious Seinfeld episode, it was a certain type of mint that Kramer famously dropped into a patient during surgery.  So next time you’re laying on your couch watching TV or at the local theater catching a flick, think to yourself: am I being advertised to right now?

Alex Campbell, Fall 2011 Intern, University of Delaware

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Obama is not an American.
Facebook is going to start charging its users.
Apple makes the best computers.

What do all of these statements have in common?
The answer can be found in the Echo Chamber Effect.
The Echo Chamber effect is responsible for YouTube videos that “go viral”, for the success of online advertising, and for the popularity of certain brands.
Just what IS this mind-altering, crowd-swaying effect?
Webster’s Online Dictionary describes the Echo Chamber as “any situation in which information, ideas of beliefs are amplified or reinforced by transmission inside an ‘enclosed’ space.”
In plain English, this means that when rumors, slogans or ideas start circulating within a group, they become more believable and widely accepted. The more you hear that Apple makes the best computers, the more likely you are to believe it
This ties into the concept of “Brand Familiarity” – the idea that consumers are more likely to buy products they have seen/heard of multiple times.
Social Media creates an ENORMOUS, ready-made echo chamber for advertisers to tap into and take advantage of. Facebook, for example, is basically a giant database of potential consumers/clients ready to be contacted. This is why so many companies have decided to use Facebook as a major tool in their marketing campaigns. In the past, it has been a free and relatively easy way to reach consumers. Unfortunately, I’ve heard Facebook is going to start charging its users soon.