Live MIXX Blog Day 2 - Back for More

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4:20 PM

Reinventing: The Self—that sounds a little scary. This is a panel of former agency heads who have changed their career direction by shifting to a digital focus. Why did they make the move? To try new things, build new relationships, excel in other areas and get in on the ground level of things with great potential.

Scott Donaton jokes about the combined salary of the panelists beside him

Matt Freeman really enjoys building companies and felt a victim of his success at Tribal DDB

David Verklin talks about how he felt he took Carat as far as he could and was ready to try something else with a chance to reinvent television

Alec Gerster felt the agency business was a fantastic ride, but now sees a great way for television to change for everyone’s benefit.

It wasn’t easy but definitely worth the challenge.

OK folks—this wraps my official debut as a live blogger. Check in at some other IAB events and you might see me around (or read me?).

I’m looking forward to a nice, relaxing night at the MIXX Awards Gala. Visit late tonight to see which campaigns are recognized for creativity and effectiveness. It’s another sold out IAB event!

I don’t know about this whole live blogging thing. Next year I want to wear a walky-talky!

3:10 PM

HELLO! I just shook hands with Tim Kring. But, on to things the rest of the world cares about. (Truth be told, I’m noticing more than a few camera flashes going on behind me in the audience.)

Tim is being joined onstage by Mitch Kanner, Principal of Two Degrees Ventures.

Transmedia is the term Tim and Mitch are using to describe reaching across multiple platforms to tell a story. For “Heroes” it’s driven by the hub of deep narrative content with an unlimited amount of tentacles. Then those tentacles start to feed off each other, building content for other vehicles. Characters that are introduced online make the move to the TV screen and those that don’t last on the TV screen may live on—online. Online viewer engagement can drive show content and keep people coming back for more.

One might say Tim Kring is the inventor of “transmedia.”

The writers understood the need to build credibility in the comic books space and be sensitive to how the show was introduced to the audience through the corporate entity of a major network. They introduced it at a comic book show, which created an unbelievable buzz before the show aired for the first time. It’s own web site (originally unaffiliated with the network) lead to a following that included a social network that still lives on the NBC site.

Brand integration is important to the show. As Tim says, it’s all about baking something into the DNA of an idea. They look at brands carefully to make sure it fits the audience and the story. It’s much more that just product placement.

Mitch Kanner explains how Heroes is at the crossroads for a new paradigm of what constitutes a show.

One more session to go!

2:30 PM

It’s not the same drama as last night’s third season premiere of “Heroes”, but having the show’s executive producer / creator Tim Kring on our stage at MIXX is still pretty exciting. They’ve immersed all media avenues with “Heroes” content—no doubt about it. We’ll find out how it all works in a moment.

12:02 PM

As the morning sessions wrap up the crowd is still thumbing through their Life books as they exit the room. You can see the wheels turning as they think about what they will be able to create.

Andrew Robertson from BBDO Worldwide and Randall just spent some time talking about how BBDO reinvented itself to prosper in the digital world. One of my favorite shows, “Mad Men,” stole a few minutes of the session and they discussed the qualities needed in a good creative person today. Andrew said he doesn’t think there are many brilliant creative people out there now that can do it all. The goal is more about putting the right resources together to get the best end result—creative, digital and whatever else you need. It’s not as simple as one copy editor and one creative director making it all. That’s culture is long gone.

Andrew Robertson talks about BBDO’s fundamental goal - delivering the world’s most compelling commercial content.

I’m long gone for now. Tune back in later today for Tim Kring, the creator of”Heroes.” You won’t want to miss that any more that you wanted to miss last night’s season premiere.

11:35 AM

The online image space is huge and this last session is going to change it all!

JUST ANNOUNCED AT MIXX: A joint venture between Getty Images and Time Inc. to create

Sign me up!

It will put the images that have helped generations experience world events, and many other pictures that have never been seen by the public, online. They will all be accessible at no cost with just the click of the mouse. The site, which users won’t see until 1Q2009, will go live with 6M photos and eventually approach 15M professional images—with 3,000 new pics posted each day.

Based on the short demo shown in the room, the site will be searchable on a variety of levels and includes some pretty cool features. Easily create a picture timeline or a customized hard back picture book. The photos can be supplemented your own personal photos, transported into other applications, all with the Life brand association. Now you can play, share, download and more.

User-generated content will have a place on the site, but the photographs will be segmented to keep the professional photo front and center.

The panelists took a minute to joke about what a wide variety of photo interests they found in their research. (You’ll notice a large Animal section once goes live!)

10:50 AM

There’s excitement in the air! The IAB staff is feverishly dropping huge, hard cover Life books on the chairs in the General Session room. What’s that all about?

10:30 AM

Randall Rothenberg and Leslie Moonves, President & CEO of CBS Corporation, are chatting onstage right now about CBS’s purchase of CNET and all the things that come with it. The local aspect vs. the network aspect was first on the table.

According to Leslie, the main reason people go online isn’t too watch full seasons of TV shows. It’s more than that. The most loyal viewers goes online to pick up the shows the missed, but primarily to find things they won’t see on the network.

“It’s a brave new world,” said Leslie Moonves. Anyone who thinks TV is the only place to find quality content will be quickly left behind. People are still, and will continue, to watch TV, but it’s got to work together with the Internet and other locations to increase revenue and attract new viewers. CBS is also using interactive for researching and testing. Viewers can see clips, offer feedback, and help produce better content. It’s easy outreach.

Leslie Moonves believes the internet is for premium content that’s not on the internet. It’s not for regurgitated television content.

The monetization of news content came up as a result of an audience question. Leslie expects that the CBS structure and promotion will allow them to continue to monetize and build the news site.

I’m off to grab a snack and rest my fingers for a few minutes.

10:00 AM

Charlie and Clay just left the stage after a riveting discussion. It was Charlie’s fourth appearance at MIXX over the years and he was quick to say that each time he realizes how much information he still has to learn—and that his attendance, even to just sit and listen, is definitely worthy of his time.

They talked about Clay’s focus on the cultural implications of the web - the idea that there is a new potential out there to organize. People are adapting these technology tools not out of economic need, but a total social need. As a marketer, you must find out where the consumer is, then go to them to meet the needs. Create organic growth around them. In each social environment, they already have a way of doing things, so you need to be careful. Listen and figure out exactly what’s going to work. It won’t be a 30 second commercial right out of the gate.

Clay Shirky says, “You can’t build a community anymore than you can create a friend.”

The impact social sites are having on the presidential election was also touched on briefly—the issue of individuals creating and distributing media about a campaign without the actual campaign having control or the ability to manage anything. Now people can operate at a wide variety of social levels. There’s a lot of room between a personal network of 10 and 10M viewers reached by a TV commercial. Social media users now have access to multiple levels.

Charlie Rose takes the interviewer chair for his fourth MIXX Conference.

That was a great conversation. This short message doesn’t do it justice!

8:45 AM

It’s Tracy again—back for MIXX Day 2. Thanks for joining me! I’m settled in for another exciting day of speakers representing all facets of the advertising ecosystem. The stage is set for writer, consultant and teacher on new media and the Internet Clay Shirky. He’ll be interviewed by journalist Charlie Rose.

But first, an action-packed highlight reel covering Day 1 and a warm welcome from the chairperson of the IAB Board of Directors—Wenda Harris Millard from Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

Man, everyone’s having a great time.__