Archive for February, 2010

Marketing the Olympic Meterorologist?

Jeff Renner is one of the local meteorologists here in Seattle.

For the Olympics, KING 5 has been running a promo featuring his appearance at the starting gate of an Olympic downhill event. The skiier, at the last moment, asks him for advice and he immediately explains, without consulting any equipment or charts, that the convergence zone is a couple of gates into the run and she’ll notice a change in the consistency of the snow.

The whole thing rings flat. It’s completely phony, and the station just has to know that. Don’t they?

I’m not sure I understand a certain segment of marketing, and this is a part of it. Very large corporations that normally do business with other companies sometimes run advertisements during sporting events, for example. I recall seeing a General Electric ad for locomotives. I can’t figure out why they show such an ad; there are probably less than one hundred people in the world who are involved in the decision of purchasing a particular locomotive, and those people only have a couple of choices for their business. Why spend the money on advertising during a major sporting event.

There must be some logic for it; it’s a lot of money to spend. How do they measure the return? How do they decide to show the ad during football games instead of during a golf match?

Jeff’s spot runs only on KING 5, of course. So you’re already watching it. The hints at Olympic logos are puzzling. The stone man, for example, seems like it must be covered by the Olympic policy for the logo use. The implication is that Jeff is the official meteorologist for the Olympics. Or the US Ski Team, or at least, for that one skier. The execution is terrible, and the editing is marginal. The premise is simply awful; that Jeff would be hanging around in the start booth, and would be the last person the athelete talks to before taking her run.

Why does the station spend their airtime on this kind of thing, when they could sell the space to a paying customer?

Yahoo! thinks Olympic Math is “complex”

Yahoo! reported that Aya Yasuda was disqualified from her Olympic luge event because her sled was over weight. The story said that there was a “complex formula” to use to calculate the amount of ballast lugers can add to make up the difference between their own body weight and a maximum, which is different for men and women.

This is an equation, not a formula. And there’s nothing complicated about it; I’d expect a third grader to be able to get it right. The article here implies that the athlete is bad at math. Really, it’s just telling us that the reporter is bad at analysis.

If the error was 200 grams, and Yasuda weighs 60 kilos, then her error was only a matter of 0.33%. It’s entirely possible that her scale was off, or the official’s scale was off. Maybe she did the math correctly, but forgot to wear her gloves.

We’ll never know because Trey Kerby thought it was too complex to do the work.