January 17, 2011
By, Dave Morgan
It was strangely appropriate that the movie shown to cross-country fliers to CES — thousands of them from the ad industry — on American, Continental and United was “Moneyball,” the story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane‘s use of computerized data-crunching to help his small-market team compete with the likes of the New York Yankees and their 300% bigger payroll. “Moneyball” was all about how smart use of data and statistics transformed baseball, a 150-year-old business long managed according to gut, instinct and near-mythical truisms, and brought it into the digital age and modern data-driven management.
As an ad entrepreneur trying to help bring the television ad industry into the digital age, I couldn’t help but enjoy the irony of so many ad-industry execs watching “Moneyball” on their way to see the latest consumer electronics and, in particular, all of the new smart, internet-connected TVs and companion devices which will be so disruptive to the future of their businesses and jobs. Not only will these new TV’s connect directly to the internet, but they will run web-based apps, link new cloud-based streaming services and also produce a treasure-trove of data and direct consumer-viewing measurements, which will open up TV advertising to Billy Beane-like transformation.