So, this afternoon I was sitting in building 33 (aka Microsoft's conference center) listening to Donny Deutsch interview Bill Gates and later JayZ for CNBC in front of hundreds of advertising executives. I was sitting in the back row, taking notes. It was an interesting set of interviews. But that isn't what was interesting.
Three guys were sitting next to me. At the end they started saying that hearing Bill talk changed their opinions about him and Microsoft. Heh, he has the same effect on me.
But, then, I ask the three what do they do?
Two were execs at Procter and Gamble. But the third guy was an exec at Discovery Channel.
My jaw dropped. I had just written about Discovery Channel on my blog.
I was so flabbergasted that I forgot to get his name. But, I did ask him about the effect of HDTV on Discovery.
He said it is huge. They invested in the best HDTV equipment of any major cable network, he told me. It totally changed their brand and advertisers love the results they are getting. Why? Because HDTV owners are early adopters. They tend to be more educated, more affluent, more likely to buy new things. Which makes them far more valuable to advertisers, as a group, than others.
"Why isn't all the advertising in HD?" I asked. I noticed this because I usually fast-forward through the advertising. Now, if you have a new HDTV screen you know that non-HD advertising will only display in 4:3 mode, which is narrower than the 16:9 format that HDTV displays in. This makes it really easy to fast forward through. You just stop when you see the wide-screen stuff again. Well, I've found that sometimes I stop and just watch the HD advertising.
The Discovery exec concurred and said that HD advertising was working better than non-HD advertising. He thinks that advertisers are blowing it by not shooting everything in HD.
Anyway, sometimes life just brings weird coincidences. This was one of them.