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The New Advertising Order

Monday, May 8, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Every day I receive e-mails asking me for info on an ad a listener herad on my program, the details of which he or she didn’t catch. Most of the time it is for a web address like etc. This is why mosy of my radio advertisers purchase links on this site, which is inextricably bound up with the radio show.

Today’s Wall Street Journal has a report that TiVo is making commercials available on demand –a very smart move. Excerpt (subscription required):

As the first brand-name digital-video recorder to be adopted widely by the general public, TiVo has become synonymous with the ability to skip TV commercials. Now, a group of marketers wishes to see whether consumers will use TiVo to find ads they want to watch.

TiVo will today launch Product Watch, a service offering on-demand ads to its subscribers. TiVo has signed up about 70 advertisers, including marketers such as Kraft Foods, Ford Motor, General Motors and IAC/InterActive’s LendingTree, to participate in the service. TiVo announced plans for the service in November.

For the most part, the marketers won’t run traditional 30-second TV commercials. Instead, they will offer longer ads that attempt to be more informative than typical commercials. Kraft, for instance, will offer 20 different cooking videos that will show such things as how to grill its Tombstone pizza, potato-salad basics, or how to create a cantaloupe-and-Jell-O dessert.

Sellers are becoming content-providers, which they have to do if they are going to attract customers in an era when almost everything can be skipped.

The best advertising executives have always had to be creative and smart. Now they will have to add some new skills such as news judgment to their portfolios. What makes a viewer likely to watch FoxNews or listen to my program is the same thing that will make them choose to watch a commercial.

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Please, God…

Monday, May 8, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Al Gore, on the brink? From the (subscription required):

“I appreciate that buzz, but he’s not running for president,” insists Michael Feldman, a former vice presidential adviser who is helping promote the film and Mr. Gore’s new book on which it is based. “He has been spending a considerable amount of time trying to educate people about the issue of global warming,” and won’t talk about politics “right now,” Mr. Feldman says.

The demurrals aren’t persuasive to some Democrats, including former Clinton-Gore White House insiders. “I do know that he’s thinking about it. I know for a fact,” a former adviser says. “He’s talked to people about the pros and cons.”

Among those said to be pushing Mr. Gore are billionaire venture capitalist and high-tech entrepreneur John Doerr and Laurie David, a global-warming activist and producer of the film, and wife of “Seinfeld” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” creator Larry David. “When people see this movie, I know they’re going to see the real Al Gore, and they’re going to demand that he run,” Ms. David says. But, she adds, he changes the subject whenever it comes up, and had to be talked into making the movie when she pitched it.

Mr. Gore has begun assembling a Nashville, Tenn.-based operation to help with the demands on his time. He has hired longtime friend and top aide Roy Neel to head the office, and environmental activist Kalee Kreider, from a Washington public-relations firm, to handle communications. Mr. Feldman says their work will focus on global warming, not on maneuvering for 2008.

Timing Is Everything: Painting the Map Red

Saturday, May 6, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

From AP, courtesy of MSNBC:

Angry conservatives are driving the approval ratings of President Bush and the GOP-led Congress to dismal new lows, according to an AP-Ipsos poll that underscores why Republicans fear an Election Day massacre.

Six months out, the intensity of opposition to Bush and Congress has risen sharply, along with the percentage of Americans who believe the nation is on the wrong track.

The AP-Ipsos poll also suggests that Democratic voters are far more motivated than Republicans. Elections in the middle of a president’s term traditionally favor the party whose core supporters are the most energized.

MSM is, once again, about three months behind the curve. The prospects of the GOP Painting the Map Red have increased dramatically in just the past month.

After the Alito hearings and confirmation, prior to the resolution of the impasse over the selection of the prime minister in Iraq, during the run-up to and immediate aftermath of the election of the new House majority leader, and right through the first immigration debate in the Senate over McCain-Kennedy, there was in fact a moment or two when it seemed like the GOP base might just quit the game.

But with the rejection of the immigration approach favored by the Democrats and the mavericks, the appearance of some fiscal discipline among some senators, the slow but certain march towards the confirmation of future Judges Kavanaugh, Boyle, Haynes etc, the word that the White House will be back in the judicial nominations business very soon, and –most of all– the return of the war to the public’s consciousness because of Iran’s manifest aggressiveness on nukes and Israel and undeniable threats in Central and South America, suddenly the election if framed –again— as a choice between the serious though flawed party of victory, growth, and border security and the party of surrender, to both the jihadists abroad and the demands for amnesty now and again in the future at home.

There are undeniable signs of GOP renewal, in Senate races in Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, Washington State, Montana and Missouri –and perhaps next week in Florida– as well as great candidates for governor in Blackwell in Ohio and Swann in Pennsyvlania. As Michael Barone has argued, the GOP voters just seem to keep turning out, despite their grumbling.

Bill Kristol has argued that 9/11 may have changed American politics far more than we know, and I suspect the president’s poll numbers –to the extent they are accurate– reflect not dismay with the war, but dismay with the Administration’s occasional appearance of placing priority on other than the war. Telling the American people that there is no substitute for victory in Iraq and firmness with Iran even to the point of confrontation is exactly the reassurance that serious people need. The president has been doing this for months, but he and his Adminsitration have beeen helped in recent weeks by the appearnce of the left’s venom and its effects on the Democratic leadership. The party is truly unhinged, and a voite for any Democrat will be a vote for defeat, and not just in Iraq.

Suddenly, the debate is back where it ought to be, on the war, judges, taxes, spending and also border security. The 12 words have begun 15:

Win the war.
Confirm the judges.
Cut the taxes.
Control the spending.
Secure the border.

Democrats stand for the opposite of each proposition.

As Larry Kudlow reported on last night’s show after his interview with the president, President Bush is ready for the campaign:

HH: Now Larry Kudlow, there’s always a story behind the story as well, which has to do with temperament, how he looks, how it feels. How’s the President feel to you? Energized or worn down?

LK: I have never seen him better, Hugh, and I’ve known him for over 20 years. In fact, he and I used to room together at a golf outing in California for a couple of years. This goes back to the middle 80’s. And he was relaxed, he was calm, he was optimistic. When I challenged him during this interview, he was more than happy to come back to me and defend his positions. He looked well rested. I mean, I was very, very impressed. I’ve had a bunch of phone calls that people said they’ve never seen him look better. The interesting thing was after the cameras went down, he stayed with me for another 25 minutes in the same chair. And we start taking back and forth. He wants to talk. And we’re talking about goofy Republicans in the Senate, and how they’re departing from first principles. We talked about the war, which he thinks we are winning. We talked about the economy and the tax cut strategy. I mean, he just stayed there and talked when the cameras were off. It was absolutely fascinating. Absolutely fascinating.

The economy is cooking. The government in Iraq is forming. The battle over the judges has begun again. The tax cuts will get to the president’s desk soon. And the immigration debate seemws to have settled on this center-right proposition (long advocated here and in my new book): Fence first. Regularization after the fence is finished.

And just in case the social conservatives were feeling left out (despite two incredible SCOTUS appointments) the Senate Democrats have decided to force a fight over judges just as the California Democrats –the leading edge of the left’s cultural revolution– have decided that the problem with public education is that it doesn’t spend enough time teaching first graders (and all students) about gays and lesbians. (More on SB 1437 Monday, which will quickly become a national story, and which Arnold will have to veto.)

So the corner has been turned.

Celebrate with $10 or $20 contributions to:

Mark Kennedy in Minnesota

Michael Steele in Maryland

Rick Santorum in Pennsylvannia

Lynn Swann in Pennsylvannia

Ken Blackwell in Ohio.

These are the five races where the national political news will be made in November, and where your dollars can help to immediately equip the GOP to stay on the offensive. There is Republican momentum in each race, and although others may join these five campaigns as central to the story of 2006 (watch Florida) here’s where you can make an impact immediately.

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