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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Two quick links: NY Times on CG Animation ... WSJ on Web `Pre-roll' Advertising

- It's official. The NY Times says that the glut of CG-animated films in 2006 is producing "viewer fatigue worthy of Sleeping Beauty." Laura Holson writes:

    Over the last five years, almost every major film studio has sought to make or acquire the type of movies pioneered by Pixar, which was recently acquired by Disney. At the same time, independently financed animators have ratcheted up production.

    But while animation continues to be popular with families, audiences complain it is suffering from too much sameness, with movie plots and characters looking increasingly alike.

    Computer animation is not the novelty it was when introduced a decade ago. Now even actors are animation-savvy. Aside from Mr. Hanks, the popular actor Will Smith has plans to produce an animated film in India. With all the choices, moviegoers are being forced to sift through an increasingly crowded marketplace where quality and brand-name recognition will ultimately reign supreme.

    “I think audiences are saying, ‘I’ve seen a lot of computer animation and it’s not so special anymore,’ ” said Julia Pistor, an executive producer of the recent “Barnyard,” which was a modest performer, bringing in $69 million domestically. “In that case it’s a lot harder for a movie to break through.”

- And in the Journal, a debate about placing `pre-roll' ads before Web videos. Brian Steinberg writes:

    "Over time, users might choose to go to sites which don't have these kinds of ads," says Gokul Rajaram, a director of product management at Google. The search giant decided to eschew pre-rolls after discussions with advertisers and online publishers about the potential for pre-roll ads to drive viewers elsewhere, he says. Google doesn't yet sell video ads on Google Video, but it has tested "post-roll" spots that run at the end of a video.

    ...What makes pre-rolls attractive to advertisers -- but off-putting to viewers -- is that they don't allow fast-forwarding. That is a contrast to the television world where the rise of digital-video recorders makes it easy to speed through commercial breaks. But while most people still don't have DVRs and have to sit through TV ads, Internet users are accustomed to having more control over their Web experience. "They don't have a channel flipper or a mute button, but they do have the ability to just completely ignore it and go to someplace else," says Dorian Sweet, an executive creative director at Omnicom Group's Tribal DDB, an agency specializing in Web advertising.