The last few years have presented challenges for media buyers, with the introduction of YouTube, MySpace, iPods and TiVo. Scott Berg, worldwide media director for Hewlett-Packard in Houston, says user-generated content has become a significant portion of the media mix. That includes time-shifting and the ability to skip past commercials.
"And I don't think there's an advertiser out there, frankly, that isn't concerned about it, and it's a debate that goes on every single day. And so what we've done is we've increased the amount of product placement that we do on television, number one, so our products are integrated into the actual shows itself. And if you take a look at shows such as 'House' shows such as 'The Office' et cetera, you're gonna see a lot of HP products there. And what we're trying to do is we're trying to show that those products can be utilized within a business environment. The other thing that we've done is, it's up the ante as it relates to creative. The good thing is that if people like to rewind your spot and watch it over again, you're reinforcing that message on a consistent basis. An interesting statistic, though—87 percent of all commercials are skipped by DVR users."
Berg says HP initiates product placement through the networks.
"And you pay a fee to actually engage with that particular product. Now, the thing that we try not to do is we don't want to have logos. What we want to do is we want to actually show the product in use to the consumer. We don't think that it provides enough value—it's a very quick shot, it's maybe one to two seconds—and just having the logo there doesn't really explain the product itself and what the product can do. So what we've chosen to do is we've been much more focused on putting our products within the actual scenes themselves and in the actual storyline context, so that you actually see people utilizing the product or you see unique aspects of the product, that they're utilizing it. '24' is a great example, where we have our products with the main character and he gets to use our iPac product and is interfacing with that and our printing products and scanning technology, et cetera. That's a much more powerful message to people than just having a logo up on the screen."
When traditional commercials are utilized on television, it's in places where people pay more attention—the Grammys, the Oscars or the Super Bowl.
Texas ranks 14th among states in terms of effectiveness at adapting to a new global economy, according to the Houston Business Journal. The 2007 State New Economy Index from the Ewing Marion Kaufmann Foundation and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation looks at how the states have transitioned their economies from "how many companies can be lured" to focusing on the creation of retention of high-value, high-wage jobs. Massachusetts placed first on the list. Texas placed third in the globalization category and sixth in the number and value of initial public offerings. But Texas is 43rd in the number of Internet users as a share of the total population.
Site Selection magazine ranks Texas second only to Ohio in its 2006 Governor's Cup award list for ability to secure corporate facilities, according to the Houston Business Journal. The Houston-Baytown-Sugar Land area ranked seventh on the top tier in its three-tiered list of top metropolitan areas. The magazine ranks cities and states based on their success in securing the most new and expanded corporate facilities.
AMR Corporation, the parent of American Airlines, is hiring International Business Machines Corporation to perform some of its personnel chores in a $217 million deal that will run for seven and a half years. Fort Worth-based AMR expects that hiring an outside firm to do the work will save it $60 million over the length of the contract.