Late night talk shows are generally known for two things: incentivized celebrity appearances and American ridicule.
Well America, we’ve been made a fool once again. And the culprit this time is none other than Stephen Colbert.
Our media consumption patterns continuously change at an exponentially accelerated pace. For all you kindergarteners out there, here’s a breakdown of the history of media in visual form.
As you can see, shit has hit the fan since the internet came around. Old media principles are just that — old.
Yet, despite all of these so-called technological milestones, infinite means of knowledge and our need for interconnectedness – the chain of media command has halted in its tracks.
In case you missed it, Tuesday’s debut of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on CBS easily beat NBC’s “Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” in early television ratings from the nation’s biggest markets.
According to Nielsen, “The Late Show” averaged a 4.9 rating and a 13 share in 56 major markets, which more than doubled Mr. Fallon’s 2.4 rating and 6 share.
The inaugural episode featured guests George Clooney and Jeb Bush, as well as the first musical performance by an all-star cast of musicians including Ben Folds, Brittany Howard and Aloe Blacc.
Topics included Donald Trump, Clooney’s new movie, and enough brand integration to feed an entire PR agency.
That’s because if all goes well—and the network’s late-night upfront increases this year indicate that it will— CBS will return as a late-night juggernaut among advertisers.
There are two big reasons for Stephen Colbert’s commercial appeal.
1. Advertisers cannot get enough.
Colbert brings a much younger audience than David Letterman possessed, which is more attractive to advertisers. The Colbert Report dominated late-night advertising in both 30-second ad rates and CPMs in adults ages 18-49.
2. He is embracing brand integration with open arms.
Unlike Letterman, Colbert has said that he is very open to working with clients. He has also said that whenever he is looking to do something with a client à la what he did for Wheat Thins when he was at Comedy Central, it would have to be authentic and in his own voice.
Look no further than last night, where Colbert agreed to do an extended product placement segment for Sabra hummus.
Just a few minutes later, Stephen jumped back into the ring with a lengthy bit about Nabisco’s Oreos, comparing their addictiveness to that of Donald Trump jokes.
By the end of the segment, he was literally stuffing his face with them.
If episode one of “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” taught us anything about the future of late night television, it’s this:
Brands have a new late night ally, and his name is Stephen Colbert.
As Tyler Durden put it:
“Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”
It’s no secret that the power of referral from our friends, family and peers helps us make purchasing and viewing decisions.
Yes, the first screen will continue to dominate across all demographics for many years to come. But with websites like Facebook forcing brand integration down the throats of that same screen, the evolution of media has become a convoluted trail of mismanaged money signs pointing in all the wrong directions.
So instead of sitting back and allowing big business to subliminally empty our pockets, take notice of the fallacies all around you.
If not for you, do it for the children.