Olympic Updates Text-Popup from The Guardian make me CLICK

I've been pretty focal about the intext pop-up ads which are keyword targeted. If you are reading an article, especially on financial focussed websites, I'm not particular interested to see advertisements around mortgage; credit cards or investing in the middle of the article. so please stop those in-text keyword targeted pop-up ads! But today I came across a clever cross merchandising method on the Guardian, also keyword targeted.

Check the image below here. I happened to read the article on the guerrilla marketing Nike has deployed to get attention for their brand during the 2012 London Olympics. Every mention of a sport or a country is clearly highlighted in the text, making it clear to the reader there is something special happening for the word. I hovered my curser over one of these, and the following pop-up showed latest results, upcoming schedule for the next game, and for countries the amount of medals and rank in the medal chart.

Olympics smart merchandizing from the Guardian

This allows The Guardian to cross link their Olympic focussed pages in a clever way, while keeping the audience engaged with the latest news. I bet this is causing the reader to click through to more pages, preventing the on-page-exit!

Smart and clever, providing extra value to the reader.. More of this please!

Sven Kramer vs Stupid NBC reporter

UPDATE: YouTube removed the original video with the subtitles. You can still find the video on a Dutch video site. I'm sure they won't remove the video: click here


The Dutch interview of Sven Kramer where the reporter discusses an NBC reporter asking some stupid questions to the just crowned Olympic champion, is stirring up quite a storm on the Internet. On Reddit there is quite some discussion on who is the Douche bag here, and on other blogs there are people cheering for Sven, and others disagree with his response. One more time, here is the actual Youtube movie:

The Dutch reporter and Sven Kramer are discussing the awkward situation after the reporter asked the question and Sven called the NBC reporter stupid. The reporter is pointing out that US media work this way and expect athletes to work with them. Ultimately, Sven does not want to work the way the NBC reporter asked him to, and thinks the media should do their job, where he should concentrate on his sports. He is still in the race for two additional gold medals!

Although I agree totally with Sven Kramer calling the NBC reporter stupid, this might well be one defining moment in reputation management. How it will play out is not sure yet, but it could turn ugly if people would become more aggressive in their comments. I just wait for the clip to turn up on the Colbert Report tonight!

Some comments from across the web:

The guy JUST won the gold medal race at which you are in attendance for the sole purpose to report on and you have to ask his name? Is this reporter really someone in General Electric's accounting dept. who won a contest to go to Vancouver? Kramer is sure to point out in the above interview on Dutch TV that it was an American reporter, not Canadian. Hey, we might not pay much attention to this sport between Olympics, but at least we can pay attention when the race is happening right in front of our face.

So then why didn't she just say his name and where he was from herself into the mic before she started the interview? Do you think a reporter would do the same for Brad Pitt?? This isn't some guy she's chatting with on the street, asking him for an opinion on some random subject.

And from people who work in the TV media world comes the following:

Anyone who has worked in television news will tell you it's standard practice to get any interview to state their name and for very good reason. The person doing the interview is often not the one who pulls the "clip".

A producer in a dark room shuffling through hours of video of guys in orange suits would have no way of knowing this is the guy that just won a gold medal.

The other reason is to provide a pronunciation guide. Even a seemingly simple name like Smythe can have at least three different variations.

I work as a field crew for a television station, so let me put this in perspective here. In most situations the crew does know you biography, it our job to know who we are interviewing. The people who haven't read your entire life's history is everyone else watching the tape. I don't know if that was aired live, but in the course of a day, or a major event like the Olympics, or super bowl, or Daytona 500, we interview dozens and dozens of people. Sometimes when in a hurry its easier just to shuttle to the beginning of the interview and refresh our memory with the persons name and where they are from. Its standard practice to ask from name, spelling, pronunciation, and title at the beginning of every interview because at the end of the day you may not be the person writing the story or editing it. You may be "kinda a big deal" where you come from, but we have 20 other interviews to get today and I probably won't remember your name in 3 hours when I'm editing my tape asshole.

So, I’m interested in what you think. Was the reporter asking a stupid question to somebody who just won an Olympic gold medal, and can we expect more from today’s media crews, or has Sven Kramer hurt his own reputation after making this remark.

PS> One thing I would like to put into the equation, as English is not the first language of Sven Kramer, it might be a slip of the tongue as his first reaction. If the NBS reporter really feels offended, I would suggest to do the interview next time in Dutch!


NBC ruined the Olympics and Loosing Millions in the process

Update: I wrote this post during the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Fast Forward 2 years, and nothing has changed really! NBC is still screwing up the broadcast of the Olympics, which makes a lot of fans are super frustrated.

The interwebs is calling for Google to fix Google Buzz, while I couldn’t care less. Let’s fix one thing at the time, let’s fix the live broadcasting of the Olympic games at the west coast here. For god sake, here in California we live in the same time zone as Vancouver, so why do I have to wait for “prime time” TV to see any of the medal events?

I seriously would like to call for any attention to the state of the Olympic games broadcasting. For the coming months there must be a whole lot of west coast sport junkies that must agree with me that the delay of medal events to prime time by NBC is just ridiculously in the age of real time updates and Twitter news breaking events.

Just imagine the horror I had to go through last Saturday. I got up at 5.30 am to go to the Mavericks surfing contest at Half Moon Bay. Thank god I made the right choice to watch the surf from the cliff, not from the beach. Leaving for south San Jose at a reasonable time to catch the 5K speed skating event in Vancouver, where my fellow Dutchman Sven Kramer had high chances of winning a gold medal.

imageReady to watch the race, I went looking on my digital guide to see where the Olympic games were broadcasted. No where could I find any of the live events. In horror I tweeted what I found broadcasted, while others were watching the 5k speed skating.

Apparently NBC had decided broadcasting the Olympic events on prime time would make them more money, than showing the events to any of the people who are interested in the live broadcast.

Henry Blodget also blogged about this, his angle was the Men’s downhill which was shifted to broadcast at primetime during a public holiday. I take it a notch up. I’m even talking about any Olympic event that would even begin at a normal working day, but starts at non-prime time TV hours. Just start the F****** broadcast, Seriously, NBC, you will make more money broadcasting the event live, and a replay during prime time, than you stupid attempt to keep the rabbit into the hat.

For the Olympic Games broadcast rights, NBC paid $2 billion:

General Electric got itself in its Olympic-size financial fix in 2003 when it bid $2 billion for the television rights for Vancouver and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. GE's bid was $900 million more than the next closest bidder, Rupert Murdoch's Fox network.

From another site, a partner from NBC King5, I got the following statement:

NBC has indicated that their decision is based on providing coverage of the most popular events in time periods that allow the most people to enjoy the Games. Most viewers are available to watch The Olympics during the prime time hours between 8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

And a last great quote from another Internet piece:

The biggest problem with NBC's approach to Olympic coverage is that the network believes it is still 1984. Instead of utilizing all of the options at its disposal to broadcast as much of the action as possible, Ebersol and his minions have elected to tape-delay most of the events. Think about how stupid this is for a second.

Tape delaying the events would make perfect sense if the vast majority of the viewing public didn't have Internet access all day long. Nobody is waiting around until prime time to find out what happened. Viewers essentially have to shut themselves off from the "Information Age" in order to enjoy a spoiler-free Olympics.
Does NBC think that nobody in America has access to DVR or TiVo? How out of touch can an allegedly major television network be?

The worst part is that the Olympics aren't happening on the other side of the world this time. They're happening in Vancouver, which is in the Pacific time zone!

Just see why I call NBC stupid here.

  1. I’m sitting on a free Saturday afternoon in front of the TV to watch a skating contest, while I’ve just spent 5 hours at a sunny beach on California watching one of the most awesome surfing contests there is on earth
  2. You piss me off for not showing my country win a gold medal on the first day of the Olympics
  3. I find out Sven Kramer won the Gold medal as soon as it happened
  4. I have no interest to watch the whole event in replay any more
  5. Fuck You NBC for ruining my excitement if being part of the Olympics, you could have sold so much advertisement time to me, while I was sitting there in anticipation of the races to start again!

Just watch the following conversation unfold on Twitter after I tweeted the message above:

image

At least I got the updates through Twitter. NBC is ruining the Olympic games for a lot of people while they could make a lot more money just broadcasting the live events, and double dipping on those people who will be watching the events at rerun.

From the Examiner article, I can only agree with the quoted viewer:

"I'm not surprised they're going to lose money, they deserve to. All we're getting is a sanitized version in the evening, they don't even have the decency to show events live. I for one won't watch it in those circumstances."

And how stupid NBC really is, just watch the following piece from Dutch TV, where Sven speaks about how stupid the question from the NBC reporter is (in Dutch but with sub titles):

BTW: the reporter and Sven Kramer are talking about how a reporter from NBC are asking these kind of stupid questions and expect the athletes to comply with their "way of working". Sven answers that he is not interested in playing that game. If the reporters want to introduce him, that's ok, and he is also perfectly fine answering any question.

Update: On Reddit a lively discussion has started about the Stupid NBC reporter question as a defining TV moment of the Olympics so far. One person, who is a field crew member is jumping in to give some context:

I work as a field crew for a television station, so let me put this in perspective here. In most situations the crew does know you biography, it our job to know who we are interviewing. The people who haven't read your entire life's history is everyone else watching the tape. I don't know if that was aired live, but in the course of a day, or a major event like the Olympics, or super bowl, or Daytona 500, we interview dozens and dozens of people. Sometimes when in a hurry its easier just to shuttle to the beginning of the interview and refresh our memory with the persons name and where they are from. Its standard practice to ask from name, spelling, pronunciation, and title at the beginning of every interview because at the end of the day you may not be the person writing the story or editing it. You may be "kinda a big deal" where you come from, but we have 20 other interviews to get today and I probably won't remember your name in 3 hours when I'm editing my tape asshole.

So next time, make it easy for yourself and do the intro yourself. This way, you can introduce the person in your own way, and make sure you have all the info you need for the editing. Or next time you probably won't get any interview anymore if you act like this as a field crew. He is the asshole then!