Is the golden age of TV advertising over?

Stephen Eastwood
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Reader in Advertising and Digital Media and Director of the Media and...
I don’t think so. I think if you’d asked me a few years ago, I’d probably have said yes to that. But I think TV advertising is undergoing something of a renaissance at the moment, and the money being spent on it is increasing – although it’s still not the same as online. TV advertising is on the rise compared to newspapers or radio. But you also need... Читать далее
24 ноября 2016  · < 100
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Are we really in a “golden age” of beer?

Joseph “Mr Joe” Mohrfeld, Director of Brewing, Pinthouse Pizza Brewpub, Austin...

I’d like to think so. The beer that the industry is producing now is so innovative. We’re also using brewing techniques that nobody was thinking about ten or 15 years ago. People are now taking a lot of big risks in how they make their beers – some are working out, some aren’t – and it’s resulting in a fun time for the beer drinker. 

Those risks and techniques include the barrel-aging of beer; we’re using different yeasts outside of the ones traditionally used to really drive flavours, like Brettanomyces, which are wild or non-domesticated yeasts. As a result, we’re getting beers with intense apricot and pineapple flavours, and really cool characters in beer that we’ve never experienced as brewers. 

"This experimentation has been helped by the fact that consumers are now more open to different tastes."

It’s the same with hops: we’re learning about flavour. Some have a citrus character, such as Cascade, which is found in America. Others are earthy like German tannin, or floral like East Kent Golding and Fuggle from England. This experimentation has been helped by the fact that consumers are now more open to different tastes. I don’t like using the comparison to wine because it’s a very unique beverage, but like wine producers, beer makers are putting more emphasis on the farmer. 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Vbbps1crqjM?wmode=opaque

We’re respecting the product coming off the land, rather than treating it as an intangible ingredient. That’s led to an understanding that the hops they’re giving us are evolving and changing, which means the taste of a beer can evolve and change too. People have been raised to believe that if you drink a certain brand of beer, each glass should taste the same. Now we’re more understanding of the fact that these tastes can vary, in the same way that wines of a certain style made by a certain producer can have a different vintage. 

There are also different growing regions, and we see changes within those regions from year to year, which means that a certain type of beer can evolve and change. We’re a long way from being at the same level as wine in terms of appreciation, but we’re getting there. Meanwhile people are open to trying new things. Consumers aren’t stuck in their ways on what type of beer they like to drink. 

"If customers weren’t willing to spend money and take risks on our creations, I don’t think we could experiment as much as we’re currently able to."

Creativity is high. In regions where there is a lot of art, music and culture, you can usually find good breweries alongside it all. And you’re seeing beer pairings with food as a concept. I remember five years ago I did one of my first beer dinners in Fort Collins, Colorado. They’d been popular in some of the major cities before then, but it wasn’t super common in Colorado and people were blown away by it. We were giving people IPAs with their dark chocolate, and they loved it; likewise more unusual combinations such as a stout with a fruity dessert. 

So consumers have developed diverse taste. They don’t want to go out and drink five pints of the same lager every night. They’re receptive to the creative push that brewers are going for. That’s what’s really driving everything. If customers weren’t willing to spend money and take risks on our creations, I don’t think we could experiment as much as we’re currently able to.

5 декабря 2016  · < 100

How likely is it that the sale of music becomes totally redundant in 100 years?

Editor at Good4Ears

Looking at the extreme changes that the music industry has been experiencing for the last decade, especially from the ‘selling music’ angle, the answer to the above question is still unclear for some. However, personally, sale of music will never become totally redundant. I believe that people will always be willing to buy their favourite albums, whether it is vinyl or digital version.

However, the biggest part of the answer lies in the management and how the music will be presented to the public in the future. It will always be there for us to listen, whether it is soundtracks in the movies, or road trip playlist. Musicians and bands will always be selling their songs and melodies. The question is: are we going to pay for it and if not, who will? The music industry is structured in such a way that someone would have to pay for music, and businessmen would find all the ways to make it happen.

Remember that album you were obsessed with in summer 2015? We all know you would want to listen to it again. And you will. You are willing to pay to listen to it.

For example, Spotify is perfect for users. We have a choice to pay for a subscription, and 42% of application’s users chose to do so. However, with the recent news, Spotify does not look so good for Spotify itself either. More and more artists are refusing to sign contracts with the biggest music application to date. It might be that the platform would not operate in the near future at all. However, the demand would still be there. Remember that album you were obsessed with in summer 2015? We all know you would want to listen to it again. And you will. You are willing to pay to listen to it.

Nevertheless, it does not stop here. If you are one of the 58% of Spotify users and think you are listening to music for free. You are wrong. Whether it is radio, cinema or even café – it is not obvious, but we are all paying for the music we hear! So if I ask you now, do you think that the sale of music will become redundant in 100 years, is the answer still yes? 

  • Kseniya Zinchenko (Editor @Good4Ears)

Read more from Good4Ears here

Will Donald Trump be able to deliver all his campaign promises?

Associate Professor of American History, University of Nottingham. Co-author of...

Anybody who has studied it knows that the idea of building a massive wall all along the US-Mexico border is impractical. There’s a lot of it that is barren and semi-mountainous, there’s parts of it that are rivers, and many of the residents in those areas don’t want it. So the wall is likely to get modified in various ways. 

The two lynchpins of why he put together such an electoral success are trade and immigration. I doubt we’ll see very much happen on trade. I think the balance of the administration’s personnel and policies are going to be towards implementing a classic Republican agenda – the corporate powers that be in the Republican Party don’t want restrictions on trade. I expect that to kind of fall away, even though Trump’s supporters were most energised by that.

“Donald Trump is a narcissist who is mostly about Donald Trump. He’s the least prepared and least competent president we’ll have had in office”

The main emphasis is likely to be a tightening of immigration policy, and I do think we will see something there. Whether we will see a deportation force trying to get 20 million people out of the country by going into homes and breaking up families… it remains to be seen how draconian they want to be about that, and how disruptive, and how it could potentially unleash a lot of resistance.

I think they’ll scrap Obamacare. That’s something that Republicans have waited six years to try to do. Trump is a climate change denier, and I expect him to pull out of the Paris Accords and let the fossil fuel industry loose, probably marking the point of no return.

His instincts on foreign policy are isolationist. We saw that with his scepticism about NATO, we see that with his desire to let Putin be, and we see that on trade and immigration. There’s a distrust of the foreign, full stop, across the board. But he’s now President of the United States, which means that he’s going to be briefed by the Pentagon, the NSA, the CIA and so forth. The whole national security establishment will be bringing its expertise and judgement to bear. Foreign policy is where we tend to see the least dramatic swerves between administrations, because of that very powerful and entrenched bureaucracy. But I would be a fool to predict what Trump’s foreign policy is going to be like.

“The people around Trump are either Republican power-players or far-right ideologues. The centre of gravity for policy is going to be very far to the right”

Donald Trump is a narcissist who is mostly about Donald Trump at any given moment. I expect him to vacillate and contradict himself. He doesn’t read books. He doesn’t know that much. He’s the least prepared and least competent president we’ll have had in office. He’s mercurial and bizarre. On the other hand, the people around him are either Republican power-players or far-right ideologues. The range of policy outcomes might be slightly unpredictable, unstable or whimsical, but the centre of gravity for policy is going to be very far to the right.

15 ноября 2016  · < 100

My Russian friends say that no one says "nazdrovye" when drinking together, but it's in all the films. Why?

Пользователь TheQuestion

Hello, you are probably a bit wrong about pronunciation, usually at the feast, russian people says "za zdorovye" not an "na zdorovye". The difference between that two sentences is when russian people says "na zdorovye" they want to show their gratitude for gratitude. "Na zdorovye" means "You're welcome".

Example:
— Can you give me a glass please, I want to pour vodka.

*Apply glass*

— Spasibo!

— Na zdorovye!

So, let's talk about "za zdorovye". This is the usual toast, which says Russian people. Actually thats looks pretty strange because "za zdorovye" means "I want to propose a toast to health and prosperity". I mean alcohol negatively affects the health, how can we drink for it? But this is absolutely normal in Russia and no one gives it value. :)

17 июля 2016  · 1,1 K
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Is the Nativity really just a fairy story?

Dr. Mark Hocknull, Canon Chancellor of Lincoln Cathedral and Visiting Senior...

Only two Gospels actually have the Nativity story: Matthew and Luke. John starts right at the beginning of time – "In the beginning was the Word" – and in Mark, Jesus first appears as an adult, being baptized. Those early Christian writers all locate the start of Jesus’s life in different ways. 

A Christian doesn’t have to be committed to a literal view of the birth narrative stories. The version that we have now at carol services and you see in schools is really a combination of the accounts in Matthew and Luke and various traditional elements. That’s how we came by the Nativity scene that we are all so familiar with. 

"The version that we have now at carol services and you see in schools is really a combination of the accounts in Matthew and Luke and various traditional elements."

I think the Nativity is a literary attempt to depict the uniqueness of Jesus. The important thing is the fact that God comes down to Earth and embraces the human condition – and does it not with the rich and powerful but with ordinary, poor people. God is right with us, which is unique amongst religions. In most religions, God is distant from us. 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/DVSAHUL-2LM?wmode=opaque

Occasionally churchmen have expressed doubts whether the Nativity actually happened. In 1963 the Bishop of Woolwich, John Robinson, did so in a book called Honest to God, which generated a stir. Then in the 1980s, David Jenkins, who was the Bishop of Durham, said that he doubted the virgin birth had happened. It caused quite a media backlash –as it still would if a bishop said it today. I’m certainly not going to say it now!

There are obviously Christians in the popular devotion who take the Nativity story entirely literally. Matthew and Luke were certainly at pains to locate the story historically and place it right after the census. One reason that evangelical churches are doing so well at the moment is that they offer believers certainty – this is the truth, this is what happened, the virgin birth is a fact. 

The Nativity can read like a fairy story because of some of the elements within it, such as the Three Wise Men bearing gifts. In actual fact, the New Testament just says there were wise men, bearing three gifts, which is less specific. And the gifts are symbolic – gold for a king, incense for a deity – and tell us in a coded way who the writer thinks Jesus is. 

"The Nativity can read like a fairy story because of some of the elements within it, such as the Three Wise Men bearing gifts. In actual fact, the New Testament just says there were wise men, bearing three gifts, which is less specific."

That’s what the Nativity is – writers in the early Church trying to express who Jesus is, in a language that they could understand and their readers could understand. It says that Jesus was born, and that is the only narrative that counts. 

At the end of the day, who is to say that the Nativity didn’t happen? Who is to say that Mary and Joseph weren’t travelling from Nazareth to Bethlehem because of the census? The Nativity is like a lot of legends – there is often a kernel of historical truth at the heart of them. 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/r28nGjFG8hc?wmode=opaque

If I were preaching on Christmas Day, I would talk about the Nativity in terms of God’s gift of himself to us. I would also draw attention to the fact that a couple of days after Jesus was born he became a refugee. Mostly I would emphasise the point of the story: that the Nativity identifies Jesus as the Son of God, coming into the world as a human being. It is God amongst us– and if we want to find God in the world today, that is where we need to look.