Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Conan O'Brien's American Express Ad: 2 Minutes, $1 Million

Just in case you weren’t clear on this: Conan O’Brien’s new show starts tonight.

Also, Conan O’Brien has embraced the Internet.

With that out of the way, we can now enjoy O’Brien’s latest digital foray. This American Express ad isn’t technically a new-media event, since you’ll start seeing the spot on good old-fashioned TV today. But given that Amex has bought out the front page of YouTube, odds are very high that you’re going to encounter the clip on Google’s site, or somewhere else on the Web:

Worth noting: While the ad is timed to run in conjunction with O’Brien’s debut on TBS, note that there’s no explicit tie-in. The WSJ reports that Amex paid O’Brien–and not TBS owner Time Warner–”more than $1 million” for his services.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik