Friday, November 30, 2007

If you ever wanted to understand the definition of a "Bogan"




This is great.
I love Drambuie.
And Bogans...well they have their own sense of charm.

Link

No more automatic beacons

Facebook Revamps Beacon Program Amid Protests
by Wendy Davis and Mark Walsh
Facebook capitulated to MoveOn.org protesters late Thursday evening, announcing that it would require users' opt-in consent to the Beacon program. Confronted with growing resistance to its new ad program said it would no longer publish information about users' online purchases without their explicit consent.

Oh look, Facebook is in the news again
MoveOn.Org wins. I heard in any case MoveOn was some movement established by the marketing people at Facebook.
They created a cause in order to create a huge ruckus. Once MoveOn had generated enough swell, they would remove the beacons to demonstrate that Facebook answers the voices of the people.
Clever.
And that's how you use viral and use people.

Next Big Thing On Internet = Logging Off

by Gavin O'Malley
To the agency world, digital is like that stalking cyborg in James Cameron's sequel "Terminator 2: Judgment Day." That's according to Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post. At first, the Terminator seems like a threat to the movie's mother-and-son protagonists, Sarah and John Connor. But, "little by little, [Sarah] realized that it was her only true friend," she says. In other words, just like the Connors survived by embracing the Terminator, Huffington said, "the only agency people who'll succeed are those who fully integrate."

Absolute Poppy cock
This is out of left field. It feels as if the 'rarely demure Huffington', to quote O'Malley, is just throwing something out there because it's been a slow week.
Realistically, people are more connected than ever. Whether it be connecting with their peers and staying in touch, to finding out up to the minute news or getting in touch with the office.
There was that study a couple of months ago by Veronis Suhler Stevenson that people are spending LESS time with media because they are becoming more efficient in filtering what they need to find. Tidbit here and here.
The internet is basically a tool we use to facilitate our lives. I can't imaging those who are completely integrated into the process will log off.
It just doesn't make any sense to go back to a life that wasn't necessarily difficult, but harder to get the information you needed.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Disillusionment

I'm feeling a bit disillusioned today.

No articles are lighting the fire in my belly that makes me think "you're wrong buddy, you're crazy, where did you come up with such a cockamamie idea?"
OR
"Great work, whomever you are. You're really thinking about the consumer and where people want to go, I applaud you."

Everything is just so dreary and reeks of sameness
The same of:
  • What magical features 30 second spots need to work. Link
  • Some social network is worth another 600 billion trillion zillion dollars. Link
  • What marketers wish for- you know, cool, sexy ideas that make customers watch TV so they don't have to do the same old crap that they've been doing. Basically, hoping for some miracle so they can stick to what they have always done. Link
  • Someone bitches about some other media company and piracy and the strike. Link
  • Some other media company taps into some media data which only offers insight to a particular type of isolated audience. Link
  • Bloody Facebook pops up every 3 seconds like the media slut it is. Comparable to the frequent re-entry into trouble by Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan. Link

This isn't keeping it real people. That's what we need to do. Keep it real. Be true to the people, give them what they want.
I even met some audacious sales rep this week who challenged me on the notion that his product was going to save the TV ad industry?!
I had to laugh out loud, as you would, and double check he actually said that. Lofty claim, and I'm actually kind of happy TV ads are dying. No one likes them, unless you need a toilet break or to make a cup of coffee. And once the whole world has DVRs (in a few years, so it won't reflect the current usage audience), then the pause button will be utilised.

Song of the day (C/O DiCarlo)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Verizon steps up to the plate

Verizon To Open Nework to Outside Devices
by Mark Walsh
Adapting to a shifting mobile landscape, Verizon Wireless said Tuesday that it will let customers connect to its network with any device or application that meets minimal technical standards starting next year. The decision to open up its network is driven by a rapidly expanding universe of options for mobile consumers, says Verizon's CEO.


This be what I'm talking about
Good work Verizon. I said it would need to happen in the U.S. sooner or later and Verizon is the first one out of the gates. Maybe they've been reading my blog?

Or it could be that Verizon is connected to Vodafone...now it all makes sense. Vodafone completely shook up the marketplace in Australia with its array of options. Cap plans (pay $49 a month and get $310 worth of calls) were huge and I believe most carriers followed suit soon after. Users can take their phones and their phone number to whatever carrier they want. The internet is open. This is only Australia. Europe and Asia are even more advanced.

I can't wait to see this unfold in the US. While they're at it they should also abolish this rubbish of paying to receive calls. That is a joke.
The cap might not come into effect, but customer freedom definitely will. I can't wait to see AT&T squirm...

Green Google

by Tameka Kee
Google unveiled its Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal, or REC initiative on Tuesday, a set of strategies and investments to back projects aimed at producing electricity from alternative energy sources. REC will work in conjunction with its Google.org philanthropic arm to initially focus on developing solar, wind and geothermal power systems. In the coming months, the company will hire engineers and energy experts, and partner with established renewable resource providers.



I want to marry Google
There is just something about Google. They have this aura around them that they just want to help the World. They don't have problems about making a mean buck. It's almost like all these ad dollars are lying around and they are just collecting them. In return, because they just have too much money, Google gives the surplus back.
Nice.
I love you Google. I'll marry you, just give Sergey a haircut first


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Wiiiisey is siiiicki today

I went to Jack Myers' little conference today. This guy likes to talk.
Lots of issues with the microphone and then the mic guy was going nuts.

I was sitting in the most awful seat possible. Everyone had to put their privates in my face to get past me. I am inclined to say that the mic guy harrassed me almost to the point of sexual harrassment, his privates were that close.

Listening to a lot of the crap coming out of Jack's mouth combined with the bad eggs going into my mouth, I didn't fare too well. I had to jump out of a cab mid trip I was feeling that bad.

Anyhow...

There were some interesting comments made.

Jack: Younger people are obviously more likely to use this new* technology...
Obviously? What do you mean obviously. I know some kids who don't know anything about technology. If you can give me some statistics indicating that the vast majority of younger demographics use this apparent new technology, maybe i'll buy it. You can't make blanket statements like that Jack. What about everyone else??!

*New: who knew what he was talking about, he likes to blanket statement, it could have been anything

And on you Jack, you really love yourself. It's incredible. You just didn't stop talking. Inceredible. I think we went 20 minutes over time. You did one of these: "One last question...and while we're on that topic...let me finish with this..."

Mr David Levy from Turner: You weren't bad. Until you made a blunder. We'll get to the blunder soon. But initially Mr Levy commented that networks are recognising their shows as brands which is great. They really know how to use the digital medium well, because users can sample the content there and then. You can't do that with a tangible product. But credit to the networks, they are really using digital so well.

But then David said because of the 'new era' creative is going to flourish. We will see better creative executions than we have ever seen. I don't know about that. If there aren't any eyeballs to see it, then it won't really be that good. No one likes a self congratulatory creative industry...(hmmm, hang on a second)

And then we asked a question about consumer control, consumers having their say. They hate ads. Ads are being rejected, so don't we think that TV advertising will have less air time but come at a higher premium?

David Levy...he said some marketers did do that for Nascar, for one race. And the results were fantastic, but the marketers didn't want to do that for ALL the races. The marketers???? The MARKETERS!

Marketers need our help David. They are still stuck in the 80's, man. Marketers don't like everything that happens, and yes they have the dollars to put on your network, but consumers have the dollars to buy the product. If consumers don't like it they won't buy it. The channel has changed, get with the program.

NBC pairs with TIVO

Reuters
NBC Universal will begin offering nteractive advertising services and subscribe to a ratings service from TiVo, the companies said on Tuesday. The agreement covers GE's 14 networks -- including NBC, Telemundo and Bravo -- as well as its 10 NBC-owned TV stations.
Advertisers that buy television commercials on those networks and television stations will have the option of adding an interactive component to those spots.

Interesting move
I remember when Tivo launched the news and the data that they were tracking their users. I have the same question then as I have now, how many people own TiVo? And don't forget, this DVR user is a different type of audience.

It's good, but make sure your brand matches the audience.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Dove Viral Draws Heat From Critics

Bloggers, Others: How Can Marketer of Axe Attack the Beauty Industry's Ad Values?
AdAge
Dove's viral video attack on beauty advertising has produced a surprisingly strong and enduring blowback against Unilever from activists, newspaper op-ed writers, bloggers and videographers who see it as hypocritical coming from the same company that markets Axe.

BIG . DEAL .
Seriously. People are whacked. They waste their time fighting over corporate marketing ethics??
Over the years, Unilever went out and acquired hundreds of different brands in an effort to build their company. A lot of those brands even compete with each other (Sunsilk and Dove as mentioned in the article). And why do they compete? Because each of the different brands speak to different audiences.

In any case what's wrong with having an opinion? Unilever is like a family and each individual product has it's own voice. They don't exist to make whiners happy, they're here to sell product.

And did I mention these people are crying over an ad campaign! Ads! Ads that actually cause people to think and challenge the status quo. If you're wise enough to discern between a conglomerate's different brands, you're wise enough to know when a joke is a joke.

Get over it people.

Facebook "friends" ABC News for channel on U.S. politics

New York Times
Facebook has teamed with ABC News on a "U.S. Politics" channel, through which users can interact with reporters, screen news segments and join discussions about the country's political situation. The arrangement, which is the social networker's first collaboration with a news organization, also includes the joint sponsorship of Democratic and Republican presidential debates on Jan. 5 in New Hampshire.

Nice networkin' Facebook
This is fun. Bringing power back to the people. It's nice to get the kids involved, give them a voice. Although I once tried tagging myself in my local member's pictures. He wouldn't let me and kept deleting me. I also tried giving him a present, it was a bit risque, and he also deleted that! I wasted my one free gift on that guy and look at the selfishness. What about having fun with the people Malcolm? You've got your millions and you're on your way to become Prime Minister. What's the harm in a little fun. That strip club story definitely helped Kevin Rudd's career. He won the election.
...He is going to sever ties with the monarchy, I didn't know that. You know how expensive it will be to change all the money over. There's going to be a new flag too. What a headache.
But Malcolm...Lighten up man!

EU Examines Behavioral Targeting, Privacy

by Wendy Davis
As online advertising comes under greater scrutiny in the United States, European authorities reportedly are also preparing to take a closer look at whether some marketing techniques violate privacy. The Article 29 Working Party, an arm of the European Union that regulates protection of consumer data, is about to begin an investigation of behavioral targeting--the practice of sending ads to people based on their Web-surfing history--according to a Reuters report.

Excellent: Controversy
Behavioural targeting is a touchy subject. Facebook is under immense pressure and about to tumble if they don't do something about their beacons.
I see no problem with behavioural targeting in other areas. It helps to serve better ads, meet a person's needs better.
Although, currently I'm struggling with the whole idea of banner ads. When is an ad actually useful? In the 3 weeks leading up to a specific purchase when consumers are doing research on the product and you can track it? Should targeted ads only involve purchase? What about special interest categories?
We're seeing more and more advertising turn into interest based programs, or nothing involved with actual purchase. So what do you do there? Behavioural targeting will only help so much

Study Analyzes Social Engagement Marketing

by Gavin O'Malley
That social networks are monopolizing an ever greater share of consumers' time is clear. It is less clear exactly how marketers in the United States and abroad can most effectively measure their engagement across these burgeoning channels. JupiterResearch recently analyzed the European market for social and engagement marketing, which highlights key findings about how marketers and their agencies measure the effectiveness of engagement in marketing campaigns

Good to check what the deal actually is
It's true what they say: "click-through rates and impressions. While these metrics can contribute to marketers' understanding of engagement, on their own they are simple and unenlightening direct response metrics"

The metrics we should also be looking at are:
"including interaction rates, ad display time, video play time, click-through rates, and both positive and negative user interactions. Positive interactions can include mouse-overs, banner expands, video plays and average display time.
Negative interactions can include the "click to close" actions. With this Index data, clients can compare their ads' performance against the average performance for each ad format and campaign, as well as compare engagement levels for all ads within a particular industry."

Good one Jupiter.

I think this is the right study.

Welcome back from a great holiday

That was a great 4 days. More countries should have a 4 day holiday.

So, what happened whilst I was away:

Universal's Lawsuit Against MySpace Results In Mashup Site Being KO'd
by Wendy Davis
Universal Media Group's copyright infringement lawsuit against MySpace appears to have caused some collateral damage: A new Nine Inch Nails site where fans could have posted mashups they made using the group's music has been nixed. Universal pulled the plug on the site at the last minute due to fear that users would post clips that violated other musicians' copyrights.


What a shame.
This sounds like it would have been nice. Why can't everyone live in peace and harmony. Don't the artists and the record companies realise this is a trade off?? In a way they are forfeiting their royalties in exchange for free publicity/air time??
Times, they are a changing. Get with the program.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Apparently Gen Y thinks email is dead

Ninemsn
Tech savvy teens reared on a diet of social networking and SMS believe email is boring and its role is fast coming redundant.

More sensationalised crap
Oh my.
Considering this article is written by Ninemsn, with quotes from people from Ninemsn and having met the quotee, I know this whole article is useless.
It's one thing to interview youth in university who don't need email to communicate with their friends, but what about the future??!
Once these kids hit the workforce, email is back on deck! I don't see office email going in to decline. It's a great communication platform.
On the social network increase, they are already making their mark in the office, via network capabilities but, I don't see it overtaking email. Unless corporations begin to have their own hub with email included, then maybe. Otherwise, no. How do you get on email subscriptions, or e-newsletters???
Ninemsn, don't jump on the sensational bandwagon. It does not become you, and once again you only give a portion of the facts.

Yahoo Signs Licensing Deal With Sony BMG

by Mark Walsh
Yahoo has signed a broad new licensing agreement with Sony BMG that allows consumers to add music and video content from the label and its artists to user-generated creations. The agreement marks the first time Yahoo has licensed content from a major record label in connection with user-generated videos. Sony BMG signed a similar licensing deal with Google last year and another struck last month with social networking site MySpace

Bravo Sony
Sony gets it. By moving ad budgets to initiatives more like this one, they can lower their ad costs whilst still getting their music out there and making their user base happy.
An ad is only useful to one party- the advertiser. They hit eyeballs, get frequency, they are performing a typical marketing task.
However typical is the problem. To make both advertiser and consumer happy, you give the consumer something they can use and get value from. If an individual can insert their favourite song into their UGC, the song gets spread through their networks and breaks through the immense clutter. I'm sure, if the user doesn't have Kazaa, it will also lead to purchase!

My song of the day, dedicated to Sondak for giving me the 411


Jargon 2.0

by Mark Walsh
Talk the talk with the latest lingo.
Bitcoms: Branded comedy clips developed by Turner Broadcasting to retain viewer attention going into a commercial break. As a break starts, for example, a stand-up comedian delivers a small set leading into the ads.
Blego: The blogging self (blog + ego). "Increasingly used to describe the out-of-control egos of many bloggers," according to Influential Marketing Blog. It refers to the tendency of some bloggers to be judgmental, narrow-minded and arrogant.

Oh- I know some of these tools
Blego...
Judgmental - Tick, but I'm meant to have an opinion, that's my job!
Narrow minded - Tick, I hate banner ads and there is nothing that will change my mind.
Arrogant -Tick! It's part of the territory. Except, I'm also funny so it doesn't count.

Exclusive iPhone Model Hits EU Roadblocks

The New York Times
Apple's plan to bring the iPhone to market in Europe using the same exclusive carrier model it deploys in the U.S. has already hit a few roadblocks--although that might not necessarily be a bad thing for Apple. It's far worse for Apple's carrier partners, which earn the bulk of their iPhone revenues from sales of mobile phone subscriptions. Last month, French law prohibited Apple from selling its iPhone through an exclusive agreement with Orange. The company is now being forced to sell so-called "unlocked" iPhones so that users of any mobile carrier can purchase the phone.


Only in the US

That's right. The US cell phone market makes a joke out of their consumers. They lock them into contracts, outrageous rates, on deck internet usage. There is no user freedom. Don't the networks get that? If people have more freedom, they are happier and spend more.
In Germany I predict that more iPhones will be sold because the users have more freedom to choose their network and their plan. If I'm wrong, I'll eat those boots below.

Growing Backlash Over Facebook Social Ads

Silicon Alley Insider
The early verdict is in: Facebook's "social ads" are a bust. Two weeks after Facebook's "groundbreaking" announcement about "a new way of advertising online," more than 2,000 of its own users have joined activist group MoveOn.org in complaining that the new system compromises user privacy. They want the social network to immediately suspend or reform "Beacon," the program that recommends products and services people buy to their friends.
The trade pub says it's "infuriating" that Facebook users have to opt-out of the ad "bombardment" on a case-by-case basis, adding that the company "should immediately make Beacon 100 percent opt-in."
That's absolutely correct. Facebook is messing with its user experience in a dangerous way. It's precisely this kind of meddling that lead to a user revolt a little more than one year ago, when the company launched the mini feed and news feed applications. To its credit, Facebook responded to the privacy concerns, and now both features add tremendous value to the user experience. It looks like Facebook needs to listen to its users once again.

Strike 2 for Facebook
No to ads. They suck.
But big deal on compromising user privacy, they can't get that much out of users anyway. You're using a service and the access is part of the deal. It's only habits and interests, what's the big deal?
I'm more concerned with the user experience. Feeds are completely overrun with ads. People go on facebook to socialise, not to buy products or hear about products. If they do, it's in an organic fashion, not rubbish in a news feed.
Free the Feed!

Great new website

Polyvore:
Simple in design and easy to use, this site is an online forum for aspiring stylists and interior decorators to create scrapbooks of products that serve almost as mini “inspiration boards”.
Care of IG Trend Central

Pretty cool site
But it's more than an inspiration board, it's a shopping network. And a great one.
You can test run an entire outfit, or room and then buy the whole thing in one swoop.
The competition isn't a bad idea either. You rustle up some evangelists running around with your wares. Easy!

If anyone gets an inkling to get me a birthday present, yes it is my birthday on Thanksgiving, my perfect selection is below. Link

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The latest in the Facebook rumour mill: FB buying a network in China

London Times
The hot rumor this week is that Facebook is planning on acquiring its way into the expanding Chinese social networking market by buying Zhanzuo.com. The Web startup, which runs on massive funding provided by Silicon Valley investors and most recently, Microsoft, is reported to have tabled an $85 million offer for the Chinese social network, according to British paper The Guardian.

However, any deal has been refuted. "No offer has been made and no acquisition in China is being considered by Facebook," its director of Communications told TechCrunch "And I don't know who the spokeperson is that they are referring to in the story. The Times never contacted me or my team to confirm the accuracy of this story."

Well someone has to mention Facebook at least once a week
...and it turns out in every conversation too.
It isn't a bad idea and if it does go ahead, it gives FB access to a massive growing market. They should just go out and buy it.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Video sites woo advertisers with TV-like programming

The New York Times
Many top, online video sites and social networks are adding full-length shows to their typical roster of short clips, as a way to draw major marketers away from traditional TV advertising.

Entertainment is content, you don't sell content you sell product
Be very careful about the entertainment category. Various parties (left deliberately nameless) will try and claim the results they see from the media content category is fantastic, whimsical, unbelievable (eg marketing Wedding Crashers online, which they have now taken down). I don't deny the results, but when you try to place an advertiser in a different category, in the same space, it does not compare.
By other categories I mean- Finance, travel, consumer packaged goods, etc. You name it, media content and any other category does not compare.
So even though the article isn't really about that, be careful. Media content will work well in these spaces because the user is already there, they are being entertained.

Analysis: Consumers adjust to ad clutter

Advertising Age
Advertising is pushing into new corners of media, on the front pages of newspaper sections and scrolling across the bottoms of TV screens while a show is in progress. While this offers marketers new advertising territory, some are concerned that consumers are tuning out the ads.

Give me strength...
Are the people who write these articles or do these studies, normal?? Do they even watch television, read a magazine or use the internet?
Ooh, I like the use of those verbs for each of those activities, it indicates the level of engaged behaviour.
Ads are annoying, so, surprise surprise, people don't like ads. They know what they are, they know they are being blatantly sold to and they develop an ability to ignore.
Conversely people love doing something which is fun, gives them an experience and doing something they get value out of. That's when they don't mind being sold to.

So Tonto, you see, your task is simple.


Friday, November 16, 2007

The wonder of viral sharing

Indie film producer thanks pirates for downloading his movie
Posted by Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing
Eric D. Wilkinson, producer of the independent film "Jerome Bixby's The Man From Earth," has written a letter to the editor of Releaselog, a site that reviews leaked movies available on P2P networks. He hasn't written to complain, mind -- he wrote in to say how much promotional value the piracy of his movie on P2P has generated, and how that's turning into real sales for him.

"I am sending you this email after realizing that our website has had nearly 23,000 hits in the last 12 days, much of it coming from your website. In addition, our trailer, both on the www.manfromearth.com site and other sites like YouTube, MySpace and AOL has been watched nearly 20,000 times AND what’s most impressive is our ranking on IMDb went from being the 11,235th most popular movie, to the 5th most popular movie in 2 weeks (we are also the #1 independent film on IMDb & the #1 science fiction film on IMDb). How did this all happen? Two words: Torrent / File Sharing sites (well, four words and a slash). "

Sharing is caring
And it isn't a bad thing. If you have a quality product and aren't afraid to use the power of voices and community, a lot more positive than negative can happen.
A lot of people may pirate, but a lot of people still buy. You may not get all the $600 trillion zillion you intended, but getting half of that still isn't bad. It's almost as if you spent those pirated funds you could have made on your PR efforts, but didn't really, but did...

SMS = a path to purchase

Retailers reach out and text shoppers
The Wall Street Journal
Major department stores are ramping up their mobile-marketing campaigns in a bid to attract more holiday shoppers. Retailers are offering everything from alerts, free downloadable media and discount tips via mobile Web sites. While mobile has yet to catch on as a major advertising medium, marketers look with hope to research that shows around 60% of American cell-phone users engage in text messaging.

Nice work
Even though I can only read half the article (no subscription), it's a nice initiative. It could get a bit spam like if they don't keep a good control on it, but I'm sure they have a handle on it.

And what's this silliness they mention about "Catching on as a major ad medium"- banners on mobile??? I'm shocked.
It's a different platform, users interact with it differently to PC and web browser. You therefore have to take different strategies and processes on mobile. It is a more functional medium, that's why the text messaging is effective.
I'm afraid a banner ad, or pure advertising just won't cut it. People may buy it, it may exist, but we're smarter and I think we can do much better.

How to make TV ads work

How to Make TV Ads Work? Speak Directly to the Viewer
Ad Club Panel: Tailor Messages to a Niche Channel's Audience
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Here's a new "A" word to replace "accountability" as the catch-all phrase for next year's upfront: addressability. During "What Really Happened in This Year's Upfront," a panel discussion hosted by the Ad Club this morning, Group M Chief Investment Officer Rino Scanzoni said the key to ad effectiveness on TV is making viewers feel like they're being spoken to directly.

Is this guy for real???
Seriously, where has he been? Let's read between the lines:
"Well, our industry is dying. We're OK right now but, we're definitely in decline. I want to say anything which will divert your attention from new technologies, new consumer behaviours and anything that pretty much detracts from the fact that a 30 second spot will no longer be what we knew it to be."

A TV spot does have some affect, I don't think it doesn't. However, for the most part it is still just background noise and a p.a.s.s.i.v.e medium.

CBS offers free internet

CBS Outdoor Gives New Yorkers Free Wi-Fi Zone
by Fern Siegel
CBS Outdoor has a nifty new promotion: It is supplying free Wi-Fi high-speed-data service throughout midtown Manhattan as part of a six-month pilot program

See you guys later, I'm heading into the zone
What the hell am I talking about? I have access to the inter-line right here! But i might go check it out. Sounds cool.
It is an offering within the media content category which is an outlier in terms of a marketing budget's performance on line.
It's content, it's right there, you can experience it with one click. I can't exactly experience a ( random tangible example) box of tissues online.
But CBS will probably do well. Good luck to them

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Imagine the cool things we could do with this!

By Shuyan

It's heat sensitive wall paper


thanks Roni for the Link

Open standards could transform mobile Web

Yahoo!/InfoWorld
The Mobile Internet World conference heard calls from industry leaders for a dramatic shift from proprietary systems to open standards, in order to maximize the potential of mobile Internet. "Open source is a truly powerful development opportunity, and we will have to embrace it wholeheartedly," said Jack Dziak, senior vice president of corporate strategy at Sprint Nextel. "It's an opportunity to create a new economy and open the door to new growth for us and the industry."

Now we're talking my language
Next five years, this will be the state of play. Any service providers who aren't at this point, will fall behind.
That also means cheap and justified call rates!

How ISPs can facilitate ad targeting

MediaPost Communications/Behavioral Insider
In a Q-and-A, NebuAds CEO Bob Dykes explains how advertising can be targeted to Web users by interacting with the infrastructure of Internet service providers. Dykes says: "ISPs have been a neglected aspect of online's evolution over the past several years. But the fact is the depth of aggregated data they have to offer, anonymous data, is an untapped source of incredible power."

Sounds interesting
...until someone cries foul at the link between actual real life data of a person (address, phone number etc) from an ISP to the internet virtual data (behaviours, interests etc).
But if they can do it, good luck to them.

Digi-tal to become primary media

Study: Ad agencies to take biggest hit from digital shift
Ad agencies are likely to feel a greater impact from the digital shift than broadcasters and cable operators, according to a survey of 70 industry leaders by Accenture. The survey showed that half of these industry leaders predict that digital will be the leading content and advertising medium within the next five years.

Great study, but don't get confused
Talk about BS:
"according to Charlie Symmons, senior manager in Accenture's media and entertainment practice. "It used to be content was king; now it's very much context is king," he said."

Context?! Content?! At least I can tick off one person saying something is King for today. Charlie, if you're content is crap, people aren't going to care. They will turn off! Finding where your audience is, that's great but, content is equally as important as context. Although there was that study saying that behaviourally targeted ads OUTPERFORMED contextual ads. I.e. as long as people are interested in something they don't care where it turns up.

Future of video, UGC and the head of the tail

Online Video Will Give Rise To New Semi-Professional Class
by Erik Sass
Hollywood, Calif. -- Will the future of online video be dominated by user-generated or professionally produced content? The answer is "yes," according to a panel of execs talking about performance metrics during the OMMA Video conference in Hollywood on Wednesday. They issued this prediction when asked how online video can accumulate enough inventory to compete with network television.

What, no celebrity?
I don't think the premium content of Movies, TV etc, will ever be diluted into this mass offering of everything. It will always stand out. Can you imagine a world, specifically an America, with no celebrity??
This community craves it. I feel like they need it and there is definitely no decline in the uptake of celeb gossip.
There will be that mid level content, but that kind that lasts for its 15 seconds.
Celebrities and everything they do will continue to flourish...there always has to be an elitist. Someone to be jealous of.

Bravo shouts they see in 4D

Bravo Pushes Shows With 4D Model
by Wayne Friedman
Hollywood, Calif. -- Cable TV-based company Bravo Media says its marketing efforts go beyond being a "360 degree" media company. Bravo breaks its 4D model into four areas: attention, interaction, experience and sharing.

I'm sorry? Excuse me?
What are you talking about?? I thought only birds could see in 4D??
Sounds like Bravo came up with some dumb buzz phrase to get clients excited.
I think this is my favourite part: "The segment was sponsored by Saturn, and featured Gunn driving to the Cloisters in a new Saturn model."
Anything new here?? Umm, no.
I mean I do like the shows. I loved Top Chef but don't patronise me with ad techniques and sponsorship that we're seeing everywhere.
At least you're offering it. Good one.

Another sweet song. I think is this my new shtick. I need to embed a music player thing.

Don't get bogged down under the pressure of WOM

Spread the News: Word of Mouth Worth $1 Billion
AdAge.com
Arguably World's Oldest Form of Marketing Is on the Rise as Advertisers Pour More Into Discipline. What's consumer word-of-mouth advocacy worth to marketers? Try $1 billion.

That doesn't mean put all your money into WOM
I love it when the Trade News writes articles like "Everybody seems to spending on print" or "TV spending down 507,000%, no one is using it, so don't spend on TV".
It's almost as if Marketers dance some little Pied Piper dance and the surge of what everyone else appears to be doing causes the rest of the marketing population to do the same.
It reminds me of people who say "this fashion is 'in' this winter" and it kind of really annoys me. Why do you want to look like everyone else?? Don't you want to find what suits you best, dance to the beat of your own drum and not to mention not wear a uniform that everyone else is wearing??
I thought brands are meant to differentiate themselves on principle? And act in the media spaces that suits them best and delivers the most effectiveness...

WOM is great. However, that doesn't mean you have to be in Blogs and social networks or chat boards. Or even use obvious, blatant seeding which adds no impact. Individuals don't 'live' in online spaces, they only interact with them. Consequently, what WOM means is that you can do things which cause others to be inspired to talk about you.
Cool huh? I thought so too.

This post was written whilst listening to this. Press play if you care to relive the moment.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Google is not evil

Google's Road to Ubiquity
The Washington Post
Google's recent moves-OpenSocial, Android and the Open Handset Alliance, and enhancements to Google Maps and its Gmail email service-indicate the Web giant is on the path to ubiquity. The company wants all Internet users to do everything online, and store everything they do online, from sharing digital pictures to creating spreadsheets.. The company calls it "cloud computing," which refers to the ready accessibility of Google's vast database of information from any device, anywhere across the globe.

Google wants its users to always be connected, so it can constantly send relevant advertisements their way, all day. The so-called "cloud" might seem like a win-win situation, but Yankee Group analyst Jennifer Simpson warns that some users will be leery of handing over so much information to one company.

Ummm, you're missing the point!!
I really and truly believe that Google exists because of the small guy. They want to facilitate the net and make it easy for the regular punter to navigate.
They make a crap-load of money off all the search features which means they can allow themselves to develop in other more fantastical ways.
I don't think Google wants to invade lives, they see what people want and need and they try to help make that happen. The only mistake they've ever made, in my opinion, is not doing the Open social thing earlier. That's where Facebook won and Google was having a nap.

In all honesty sponsored ads aren't annoying. They're easily ignored and it is just text, nothing flashy and invasive.
So I say to Google- keep it up. Don't worry about these media commentators who really don't know their rear end from their mouth (ooh, that was nasty, I like it!!).

Hanging on to the last threads of the Superbowl...

Media buyer: Super Bowl ad-demand highest since 1999
Optimum Sports' head of sports media, Tom McGovern, explains the enduring demand for Super Bowl ads, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. He notes that demand for this season's game is higher than any year since the dot-com boom, saying, "For mass brands and mega-multibillion-dollar brands, reach is still critical."

Face it, it's time to let go
Oh advertisers, you're so funny.
You remind me of:
  • Movie and cinema distributors when Video came on the scene and then when DVD came on the scene and then when downloads came on the scene
  • Record companies when downloads became the norm
  • Writers striking over DVD release and now downloads (which is pretty fair in any case)
And what happened in the end?? The movie houses lumped it, record companies are being laughed at for their insensitivity to music fans and the writers will have their way.

Don't you guys get it? Things have changed. Just because the Superbowl is the last of the massive reaching broadcast programs out there, doesn't mean it works. Soon, buying on the Superbowl is going to be an auction based system, where the highest bidder sees the results.
It doesn't make any sense at all.
Advertising, TV ads especially, are sexy. The production, the shoots, the catering- it makes for a good day at the office. But in the end, it doesn't really benefit the client and the consumer gets to laugh for 3 seconds after a 30 second spot.

Maybe the Superbowl should also move with the times. Initiate a contest to see what ads should make it on to the Superbowl. It is after all an institution, a global one, so there is no reason why votes can't go global and get even bigger reach, more user participation and a bit of longevity.
The only problem in this mythical world is the network and they're on the way out anyway (internet TV and the like), so better they make a move now rather than getting trapped in the past.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Analysis: What Google vs. Facebook means for social-network ads

CNNmoney.com/Fortune
Google and Facebook are offering very different views of the future of online advertising, with Facebook targeting social-network users within a membership-based "walled garden" and Google adopting a more "run-anywhere" approach to social-network applications and advertising, this article says.

I totally disagree
This could potentially be in my top 10 of ridiculous reads.
This article says Google is scared of Facebook. I don't think that's the learning from this at all.

Facebook opened up their platform, and as a result we learned how powerful and beneficial it is to do so. Google isn't scared of it, they are embracing it. The more minds that work on Android, the better it will be for everybody. It will have the potential to meet every fragmentation and permutation of interests that user bases are having.

The beauty of Google is that it filters information and it does it well. The massive proliferation of so much information has made filtering one of the most important tasks a user performs. Because of that, Google will never drop off consumers' radar. No other platform seems to be able to do it as well as Google can and I don't think anyone in the near future ever will.

A new most awesome diagram

I love having chats. Chats crystallise my thoughts. Thanks Yago.
I have a new thought for today. Actually, better than that. What do planners love more than a thought?- a quality diagram.

How marketers are thinking?
Look at this diagram. It is a representation of the high-school style peer pressure issues that marketers face today. It represents all the typical, unhelpful questions that marketers ask, in that I-don't-even-stop-for-breath way:
"What's this new hot media platform I read about in AdWeek? Why aren't we doing it? Why is a brand, not even in our category doing this hot cool thing and we aren't?"
So that's this diagram. Also known as the "I want to be cool" diagram. Marketers see a platform and want to push it out to users (pushers, Ha Ha. I didn't even see that one coming!), without thinking about strategy, target and aim.
Also remember that whenever anyone OR anything flags that they're "cool" you know straight away, in that instant, that they're not. It's about being like the Fonz. You exude cool without having to tell the world about it.

How marketers should be thinking
This diagram is where we need to head. This is the new, clean approach that we're beginning to see unfold.
"What does my consumer actually need and how do I meet it?"

This diagram, in layman's terms is the "How do I make sales?" model. This is where advertising taps into the needs of consumers and actually meets our strategy, target and aim. It can be both virtual and real world. And offering some real benefit, some value to a person's life.
It does that without having to offer these fancy whizz-bang whatevers that consumers don't care about or get any real product benefit from.

So marketers out there, put down that drug of peer pressure. Look at your product/brand, look at your consumer and really understand how you can extend that product usage in your consumer's day to day life. It's going to be a hard transition, you'll suffer from withdrawal, and you will get envious at what those apparent cool kids are doing.
But, in the end, your bottom line will be secure. You will have a valid future and those other marketers, the ones that took those peer pressure drugs, they'll look like drug addicts do in 20 years time - old, tired, ugly and one foot in the grave.

A detailed explanation on Android and the Google phone platform

Here is a great video from Sergey (great hair) and some other Google peeps, explaining what Android is about.

Reps are finally going to learn how to sell?

Upstream To Launch Nationwide Digital Ad Sales Training Program
by Tameka Kee
Upstream Habitat will offer an "intense, end-to-end training solution for digital salespeople, whether they want to focus on creativity, targeting, strategy, or knowing how to deliver an audience." The company is pegging Upstream Habitat as an avenue for major media brands, digital agencies and independent publishers that want to ensure that their junior sales reps and seasoned vets are crafting the most effective ad buys and strategies.

Let's pray they learn something
Personally, I'm tired of sales reps. They don't understand the difference between a new platform and a new way to advertise. I don't care about new platforms, if it's an iteration of the 300 before it. And if you are a provider with an existing property and work out a new way to advertise that doesn't involve a banner - I wanna hear it!
There is a whole world of sales rep out there who are oblivious to the fact that they need to tailor their properties for individual brands. They don't understand that even if a property is "cool" it may not fit a brand's rationale.
I just hope Upstream takes that into consideration beyond reps merely meeting their sales budgets.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Iteration 1 of the new marketing cycle

I've been thinking about some stuff. As I tend to do. This is the first iteration of this theory. It will probably evolve. For now, draft 1:

Servicing consumers in today’s world

In the diagram there is our little person/consumer. He is into consumerism, he likes having things. He likes to buy products which allow his individual life to function. This is the product element of the cycle. An individual buys in to a product, and this is where actual money changes hands.
However, people today expect more from a product than simply the product they’ve bought into. They expect utility. This is that added service, engagement, interaction which does not depend on money changing hands. The most important part of the utility is that the consumer gets an added value and a benefit from this interaction, regardless of whether they’ve already bought into the product or they’re a prospective customer.
The important part of the Utility component from an Advertiser’s perspective is this now forms part of their ad budget. New media and new marketing means reaching out to consumers in ways that really do mean one-to-one and really create an impact on a person. Furthermore, the custodians of a product (the staff) should be able to interact with people who actually buy into that product.
Messages and messaging just don’t cut it anymore. Advertising is about creating experiences and increasing value in people's lives.

And I'm not talking airy fairy stuff. I don't buy that brand fluff. I'm talking actual user experiences where either a tangible or 'feel good' value is the takeaway from the experience.

So a product purchase may initiate utility usage and involvement. Or utility involvement may initiate purchase. Where that utility is placed in the world is extremely important. The real/virtual world combinations of media as drivers to or from each other ensure marketers reach eyeballs in the right places. And that's where those little arms in the cycle work. That's how you drive audience.

Driving audience, the next piece of the puzzle. That’s what we’re currently grappling with. Getting through the fragmentation and finding audience to impact usage and create sales.

BUT, If you want that part, you're going to have to pay me!

Study finds growing demand for product reviews

Adweek
A study by PowerReviews and E-Tail Group found consumers increasingly are consulting consumer-generated reviews of products before making online purchases. The study also reports that 82% of "social researchers" -- frequent online shoppers who habitually seek out customer reviews before making a purchase -- said they found reading reviews more helpful than talking to an in-store employees.

Snap out it!
Ok, this topic has been bashed to death.
Customer referral, conversation around a product, it's the new age. We live it. It's time to start utilising this and stop talking about it.

And another thing...why don't customers find in-store employees helpful? Well, from my experience they are the most disinterested bunch with no motivation, understanding or knowledge of the products that they are selling.
Sales staff seem to require a total overhaul to meet consumer need. Or another option could be to redefine of the term "Sales assistant" to "disinterested body employed to be in store" to reflect their actual status.

Tide awash with new innovations

Tide's 'Washday Miracle': Not Doing Laundry
Brand Uses Pop-Up Store, Web to Get Gen Y Swashing Not Washing
BATAVIA, Ohio (AdAge.com) -- Tide, the brand that brought America the "washday miracle," is experimenting with a new mission: marketing to the great unwashed masses at the country's biggest university.

Who doesn't love a crappy pun??
I kind of like what Tide has done here. They have reformatted their offering for a new audience and delivered it in a way that makes sense to this Gen Y audience.

It's a good case study and a good way to learn at how marketers are changing the way they speak to consumers.
I likey.

Don't fall under the social network spell

Some marketers opting for social nets instead of microsites
Mediaweek
Reflecting the growing popularity of social networking, especially among younger users, some marketers are launching pages on Facebook in lieu of creating dedicated campaign microsites. Sprite, for example, recently rolled out an animated character called Sprite Sips within Facebook's brand pages, where visitors can view videos and listen to music.


Time to use the holywater and the garlic
The spell of the social network gets greater.
A couple of things I'm finding:
  • Social networks are great platforms for marketing an entertainment/content brand. Because, you get to sample the content there and then, so it works
  • Applications and user groups tend to have a limited lifespan. Users add an application, they participate for a bit and then they discard. If you want to create an application, you need to keep it fresh
  • Driving usage to these applications isn't easy. You need an in and that might be from the real world.

Apple's iPhone Lands in U.K., Germany

Will a More Sophisticated Wireless Audience Embrace It?
The iPhone launched in its first two foreign markets, the U.K. and Germany, on Nov. 9. Germany was the first to offer sale figures, with a statement from Deutsche Telecom's T-Mobile saying that more than 10,000 phones were sold the first day. But will Europeans, used to receiving free high-end phones on better networks, embrace the iPhone as their American counterparts did?

Blah blah blah
Apple in the US works well because the mobile phone system is so regimented, that another regimented system makes no real difference.
When we look at other countries' mobile capabilities, telcos are providing valuable, economical services to their customers. Apple coming in with such a restricted offering may not really affect any mobile users, except for those with a pre-existing affinity for the Apple brand.
Considering the realists out there, they are probably also awaiting the next iteration of a Nokia or an Ericsson, or some other fantastic mobile technology developer. They also know it will be better than the service they'll get from Apple/02/T-Mobile and probably cheaper.

OMG. Please. Get serious.

How the Ad World's Dealing With the Decline of the :30
Production Houses and Agencies Are Forced to Slash Costs and Find Unique Ways to Leverage Online Video
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- As marketers continue to embrace unmeasured media and funnel fewer dollars toward TV-production budgets, 2007 will go down as the year the 30-second spot's health took a noticeable downturn. Faced with ever-more-powerful procurement departments, clients clamoring for return on investment and a general consumer movement toward interactive ad environments, agencies can no longer cavalierly bill multimillion-dollar commercial extravaganzas to clients as in years' past.

Snap out of it. Get to reality. The 30 second spot has one foot in the grave
Marketers are sh*t-scared. There is no doubt about it.
Agencies are even more frightened of what's happening. Not to mention lost.
Agencies are scared because they're meant to know what to advise, what medium to use, and they don't. Agencies are so trapped in thinking how they thought, they haven't switched into the new ways of marketing. A square peg, round hole analogy.

In this article, all the agency peeps want to keep this concept of the 30 second alive in the volumes that 30 seconds are trending towards. Networks also have the monetary need to keep it alive. However, the 30 second is going to become a rare component of an ad campaign. I actually think that TV spots will become less frequent with higher premiums.
Look at where the consumer is going- they are shifting away from ads. Without the eyeballs, the ad is useless and ultimately, if an ad is that good, consumers seem to let the viral component into their lives. This is a good thing - ad spend becomes $0 and we focus more of our time on new things and get time away from the office perfecting our top spin.

Maurice don't have a conniption, you're right!

Publicis' Levy Blasts Facebook Deal, Warns Ad Dollars Don't Support Online Investments
by Joe Mandese
Calling Microsoft's $240 million investment in Facebook "insane," and asserting that that there is not enough advertising budgets to support the rapid expansion of online advertising services, Publicis Chairman-CEO Maurice Levy warned that the industry was approaching the kind of hyper inflated economics that led to the so-called dot-com crash in 2000-01. In an address at this weekend's Monaco Media Forum Levy cautioned that the rapid run-up in the valuation of ad-supported online services may turn out to be fool's gold.

Stay away from Facebook
The recent changes in Facebook have damaged my experience. I don't want to see these ads, I don't want to see what friends of friends are doing whom I don't even know.
I have 24 'people' in Facebook purgatory who I neither want to add nor reject. I don't really know them, or I don't want them knowing what I'm up to, OR they're just people who have phased out of my life and they have no need to re-enter. Staying in purgatory means they're stuck there and can't venture further than that point into my virtual life.

Facebook is about narrowing in. It's about focusing in on those you interact with and creating heightened, richer relationships. In a way Facebook was a sanctuary, with occasional annoyance (yes, Zombies, it's time you died) and Facebook showed the way of the future - to create wholly integrated experiences which add value.
Advertising doesn't need to be about 'advertising' as we know it. It can be about creating some vehicle, some offering, anything that isn't some banner ad and some 'voice' yelling at you to buy something.
Advertising today is about integrated experiences and interactions that add value (whether information, entertainment based etc) to somebody's life. So all the media providers out there, creating a platform which offers an integration/sponsorship of takeovers with banners, it won't work. These type of strategies don't speak to our new consumers and frankly, there isn't much point going there.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Verklin brings out the gloves.

An Agency to Manage an Enormous Number of Touch Points
Q&A: Aegis Media Americas CEO David Verklin
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- London-based Aegis Group has bought four marketing companies in the past three months, including Genesis Media, one of Canada's largest independent media agencies, and Implicom, a direct-marketing specialist in France. David Verklin, CEO, Aegis Media Americas, characterizes the company's purchases in recent years as emblematic of its vision for the marketing agency of tomorrow. Here, he talks with Advertising Age about strategy, integration and what Aegis might look like in 10 years.

Ok, whatever Verklin
We know where were going. I think his image of a consumer is a bit warped though. Dave may want to double check on that -a consumer doesn't know the difference between TV and online??? Seriously?
What I'd really like to know is what Carla Hendra has to say about this.
Better yet, bring out the gloves just like you did at MIXX earlier this year.
That's what the punters really want to see

The problems with the new facebook

Well, the cracks are starting to show. The "announcement" was made on the 6th, it's now the 9th. It didn't take too long.

Report: Facebook Ads Break NY Law
Well it turns out that Facebook breaks some privacy laws in New York. Awesome!
The New York Times' Saul Hansell pointed out that "The statute says that “any person whose name, portrait, picture, or voice is used within this state for advertising purposes or for the purposes of trade without the written consent first obtained” can sue for damages. Moreover, such a use is also a criminal misdemeanor."

But another storm in a tea cup. All facebook has to do is change some words in their online consent forms and they're all set.

Facebook users are potentially a bunch of losers!
Ha ha. Love this.
In another New York times article, Laura Holson alludes to that fine line between dorkdom and coolness whilst discussing the damage to trust that the new Facebook ad network will have.

If there is some loser on Facebook who has more friends then they can handle, let's say over 500, they are not offering a friendship of substance. I sincerely believe you cannot have 500 friends. 500 acquaintances maybe, but not friends.
Those with more friends actually lessen the value of these relationships. They aren't of quality, but that good old value of quantity.

And on the cool V dork debate- well it's similar to Gladwell's Tipping Point Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen. If you are a salesman, and respected as an 'expert' in a particular field by your friends, then your recommendations will have clout.
But if you are some dork, from beauty and the geek, recommending the latest beauty regimen, no one is going to be interested.

Hot stuff

Look at this hot stuff.
The kids could have a lot of fun with this one!
Link

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Yahoo and Google go into battle

Yahoo! to use mobile as distribution platform
CNET/Reuters
Rather than try to create an operating system for mobile devices, Yahoo! is looking to provide content and Web services like maps, e-mail and search in partnership with handset makers and wireless carriers.

A battle of mights
This will prove interesting. No doubt.
Yahoo is making alliances with carriers, Google with technology.

A couple of points:
Since banners are background, we'll focus this debate on search-
  • Who often always gets it right and subsequently wins? Google
  • No matter what happens, if Google continues the way they are, they will always be at the forefront of search. Whether it be on mobile, net or TV internet a user who is a Google advocate will always subscribe to Google. So, I guess another Google win here.
  • If wireless access continues to remain slow, most users will just use what they've got- ie stick with the default page for a Yahoo win.
  • Yahoo has gone global with this which is interesting. They haven't even touched the US market. Probably because America is the only country that I know of, where carriers have such a hold on the market. In most other markets the consumer always wins (the way it should be in my opinion) and as most models have already trended towards this, I feel like the carrier leadership will at some point drop off and focus on technology. i.e Another Google win
  • VoIP- if VoIP takes over traditional telecommunications and shatters the current telcom companies in operation, it will all be about technology and Yahoo will have lost out. So Google
  • Phone carriers in the States continue to dominate. If they fix their strangle hold - Yahoo could win if users continue to stay on deck.
So we'll see how it pans out. Search is definitely a key platform within mobile. But, everything is iffy, we're still in transition phases. There is no doubt in my mind that within 3 years, a mobile phone will be a mobile computer with fully integrated internet.

Google brings search to the gas pump

New York Times
Starting in December, Google will provide its mapping service for motorists at 3,500 gas pumps across the U.S. The service initially will offer directions to local landmarks, hotels, restaurants and hospitals, but eventually the pumps may accommodate requests for specific addresses, according to pump manufacturer Gilbarco Veeder-Root.


Interesting strategy. I wonder if they can set up Google Map consoles at advertisers' offices so that they can help them find directions to their consumers?

Everyscape: Something hot for a cold afternoon

Everyscape
A new website that takes the Google Earth concept a step further, EveryScape is a virtual world that enables users to check out popular places, hotels, restaurants and shopping from a three-dimensional, first-person viewpoint.

I'm all tingly with excitement
That was fun! A great user experience.
It lets you experience locations. For example if I'm a tourist and I can't decide where to stay, I can get a better feeling for the locale, even the proximity of public transport, shops and restaurants.
I like this...there's room for us to grow here.

Marketers are beginning to catch on

It's Not About New Media, It's About New Marketing
A Brand Is No Longer 'Ownable'
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- To Nick Brien, worldwide CEO of Universal McCann, the notion of new media is almost irrelevant. "When clients say, 'Talk to me about new media,' I say, 'No I am not going to talk to you about new media, I am going to talk to you about new marketing,'" he said.

I dance to the beat of this drum
This is something I've been saying for a while. Ad budgets need to dedicate funds beyond traditional ad buys. Consumers are willing to be engaged and wooed by brands, if and only if the brand offers some value in return for the consumer's time. We're noticing consumers actually embrace the attention.
If we use our funds to specifically target audiences, with minimal wastage, we can then focus efforts on allowing our campaigns to activate in the real world. In turn, causing more WOM and shake up in the virtual.
Begin to realise that real and virtual worlds need to interact together to ensure campaign success.

Tivo goes to the next level

Who's skipping ads?
TiVo is amping up its research business with an offering dubbed PowerWatch, which uses information on 20,000 participating TiVo-equipped homes to provide a detailed demographic picture of DVR users, including the characteristics of the ad-skipping viewer.

Richer data...richer cake?
Yummy!
One can never have enough data, especially if it offers insight into a nice affluent segment.
However, considering the data subscriptions we currently own, selecting "do you use and own a DVR" as a filter, we'll pretty much establish the Tivo data as redundant...

Facebook, Facebook, Facebook

Facebook Opens the Doors and Media Flocks In
CBS, CondeNet, NYT Rush to Set Up Pages
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Facebook users love to "poke" friends they have linked to on the site, an electronic way to tap a pal on the shoulder, even if they are miles away in a classroom or office. Now aficionados of the popular social-networking site will have just as much opportunity to do the same to advertisers and media outlets who want to vie for their attention and disposable income.

Will we ever stop talking about Facebook??
I got an email from CondeNet announcing their partnerships with Facebook. They're happy little vegemites on that one.
CBS seems happy too. So does the NYT.
BUT- a caveat- these brands offer content. Whether information based or on an entertainment level.
These categories tend to exist very well in this space, entertainment even more so.

We have to think carefully about whether our consumers, the people who interact with our product, really want to acknowledge their brand advocacy amongst a social network.
Some elements fit, some don't. Just don't get involved because all the other kids in the neighbourhood are.

There is also a New York Times article here

Ad exchanges and the web giants

Oversight A Must For Continued Growth Of Ad Exchanges
by Tameka Kee
Earlier this year, Web giants like Microsoft, Yahoo and Google took part in an online feeding frenzy, gobbling up independent ad exchanges. As it turns out, concerns about marketplace competition, transparency and regulation were valid. "The three largest exchanges are now owned by the three largest sellers of online media," noted one ad:tech attendee. "Should there be some kind of auditing or regulation?"

Problems with your ad tracking???
Those shifty web giants*!
At least the IAB is getting on board to ensure results will be properly tracked without the worry of fudged results.
What perplexes me further is the mention of Imran Khan. He is cricket player turned politician! I don't recall any online analyst career.

*by 'web giant' I imply bastards

Doritos didn't pay a cent to be Colbert's election sponsor!

Doritos "chips in" to Colbert campaign
The Hollywood Reporter
Comic Stephen Colbert's mock effort to get on the presidential ballot in South Carolina may have done more to bolster Doritos than democracy. The host of "The Colbert Report" was filmed munching on Doritos and mentioned the brand on his show while discussing his campaign. The brand integration, arranged by media shop OMD, was unusual because the PepsiCo-owned Doritos brand was prohibited under election law from paying for the placements, according to this article.



Oh Colbert...you so funny!
So even though illegal for an advertiser to sponsor a presidential candidate, Doritos paid something, for sure. They just found some fantastic legal loophole.
Great integration.

And now, how does this tie in to the digital/interactive space- if you just watched the video embedded here, you're contributing.
Channels are merging, they're no longer confined to their traditional boundaries. Mobile is also part of this new equation. Think how to blend the potential of the 3 screens into your next campaign.
This is the wonder of the inter-web.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Apparently internet users watch tv

by Erik Sass
People who use the Internet are increasingly layering their online time with other kinds of media consumption, according to an online survey of 2,700 Web users ages 18 and up conducted by Burst Media in October.
Study

Who would have thunk it?
Now that the facebook announcement is over, we can all step back into reality. I've learned my lesson re Hype. I'm never falling for that AGAIN.

So internet users watch TV? Is there anyone out there, besides the Amish and Ultra Orthodox Jews that don't watch TV?
Anyone...?
Anyone...?
...Bueller?

They do make an important point, that users are fragmenting their media consumption. I've come to the conclusion that any person participating in this new media fragmented culture has some form of ADHD. Getting restless for 2 seconds when a page is loading? You know what I'm talking about. We should all be on mild form of Ritalin. Maybe that's what they put in the milk?

The observation from this is that people aren't paying too much attention to ads. It's background noise. That's why we need to create advertising that isn't advertising as we once knew it. The advertising needs to be interactive, beneficial and nothing like a hard sell.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Commentary: The ad pool could be drying up

The Guardian (London)
It appears that readers are unwilling to pay for even premium online content, writes media blogger and journalism professor Jeff Jarvis, and he argues that it won't be long before advertisers follow suit, forging direct relationships with consumers rather than rely on ad-supported media.

Some good points
Jeff Jarvis makes some good points. Ad spend is most probably going to go into decline. That's because advertising these days, has transformed into managing the services you give new and existing customers. Banner ads are the support message. Most of the focus these days should be developing programs that (potential/existing) customers can get value from.

Honey from the honeyshed

Droga Seeks to Give King Content a Throne With Honeyshed Launch
Wondering what the heck Honeyshed is? Creativity's Teressa Iezzi has the rundown on David Droga's online branded-content portal.

Droga makes some moves
Droga has a good idea. I like this.
No beating around the bush. It's just a shopping channel. Hopefully a less annoying one.

Facebook announcement

YAWN...................

Update 7th Nov: Nothing too exciting: SMH

Web 2.0 needs users to be successful

With So Many Start-Ups, Only You Can Save Web 2.0
Just as Social Security won't allow every baby born this year to retire in 2072, the harsh reality is that there will not be enough ad dollars to go around, writes Steve Rubel.

Don't forget: Web 2.0 is in test phase
This article is good. It makes you realise just how vast the internet is. Some sites get 10 hits, some get 25 million. All of them seek monetisation through advertising as the seed to make money.
It's time these people woke up.

Advertising i-s-n-t working like it used to. We have to be more creative, more solid and more real with what we do.
We really have to understand the market. And that doesn't mean in the online space, it means in their real world interactions as well.

If you want to audit your current campaigns, or even think about how to do something better, come ask me. I don't bite (well I do, but it depends on my mood)

The Google phoneapp is nothing too exciting...yet

Google Unveils 'gPhone' (aka Android)
Does Google's big phone announcement yesterday equal a non-event or a potential mobile revolution?

Again, more of the same
So why am I blogging it? Because one day it will be important and you should be aware of the hype just in case someone who is somewhat important, asks!

Are your Sales Reps more a hindrance than a help?

I've seen a lot of sales reps. Some are better looking than others, some give better gifts than others, which does help the process.

But, I do love dance we dance: Reps want to schmooze you in return for your $.
However, it doesn't really help when all they tell you is how cool they are and where they're taking you for lunch, instead of giving you a media offering you can actually buy into.

I have had instances where reps have said the following:

"I know your client does online marketing"
Good one, guy! I work in an online agency

"Who is your client again??"
Are you kidding me?? You have come to a meeting and you don't know who my client is??
I can tell you've prepared for this meeting and you're going to have some great ideas for me...

"X may be a fit for you client, sign here!"
Why? What? Why is it a fit? How will it help me? How do you reach that conclusion?

"You can buy banner ads"
Thanks bucko. I can always buy a banner ad. I'm meeting you because I want to know if we can further the relationship and create deeper engagement and interaction for the user. I want to actually offer my target consumer some value beyond a banner ad.

So, the time has come and I have put my foot down.
No more meetings with Sales Reps who cannot step up to the plate.
No more meetings with Sales Reps who have not done their research on my client.
No more meetings with Sales Reps who cannot back up their ideas with data and support information.

Sales reps are getting slack. They just want your dollars on their medium. They forget the playing field has changed and things aren't as simple as they once were.
Yes we need banner ads to support any ad program we do, but the publishers/providers need to think about how their product can benefit ours further than before.

Let your reps know this (maybe not in such sarcastic language) and hopefully we'll be able to work better together in the future.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Or is Facebook gonna do this??

Project Beacon or Pandemic?

Who wants to place some bets?
This is getting a little too ridiculous. I think I've even been swept up in the hype.
Some of the theories that have people have come up with have actually been pretty good ideas. Facebook and everyone else should do them all. It can't hurt.
But let's wait and see what the Facebook says before we get out our Excel and put a media plan together.

Verizon cozies up to Google

Verizon: If This Is Anything Like the IPhone, We Want In
Wireless Giant Puts Aside Feud With Google for a Chance to Use Its Mobile Operating System
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Shifting business models make for strange bedfellows -- and nowhere is that so clear as Google's potential linkup with Verizon, which is said to be negotiating with the search giant to carry phones equipped with Google's mobile operating system.

When will the mobile carriers learn??
Mobile carriers are stuck in the past. They think their stranglehold on the market is infallible. Our world is changing at an incredible pace. Just think 10 years ago, there was no Google.
New technologies being developed, are not far away. The onset of VoIP, faster internet speeds and the ability to bypass the traditional means of telecommunication are on the horizon.

Phone companies are on the precipice of where record companies were. They can change with the consumer and be a more customer friendly service and product. Or, they can fall behind and begin to go into decline.
As soon as one company enters the market and shakes it up, it's all over!

The facebook hoopla is about shopping?

Facebook to Add Shopping Service to Its Menu
A shopping program is part of larger strategy that will be unveiled to marketers this week:
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Lots of people find the next books they plan to read by browsing the New York Times or Amazon best-seller lists. Others count on referrals from friends and colleagues. But what if you could eye a hot title as it began to climb the best-seller list within your Facebook network?

All the fuss is about this...?
I saw the little invite. It's a swanky piece of plastic. But now that the cat's out of the bag, this is all you really need to know.

There is no denying that Facebook has a massive hold on a desirable target in the market. The way the application is designed, it's so easy to seed information from a few core influencers and reach the masses.

But the question still remains on how to integrate brands effectively without being blatant?

Move over Hulu, the Google Phone hits the press

It's D-Day For Google's GPhone
by Laurie Petersen
In the wake of mounting pre-launch news coverage, Google is expected to go public with its Google Phone plans this morning.
NY Times article

We still have to wait 8 months!
Hype, pure hype.
There is still so long to go on this.
Now marketers are going to get into a flurry "what are we going to do on the Google phone" and we don't even understand how it will affect anyone. Nor do we know how it will actually work, the cost price or whether it's actually worth it (well not now, but it will be).
Companies just do this to make agency life hell!

In the meantime, Yahoo has some deal with Rogers in Canada. Who knew?

Friday, November 2, 2007

A good critical mass figure

Comstock: We're Experiencing Media Golden Age
Beth Comstock, president of NBC Universal Integrated Media, said this a "golden age" of media. "It's a great thing to be a content company in the digital age," she said. "Content is always going to win."

Mass me, mass you
Comstock mentions some interesting ideas. One of them being media technologies can be considered mainstream once 40% of houses adopt them.
That's great.
But you should really be active before you hit that mass. Trialling how audiences interact with these new technologies is really important. And you don't want to screw up your advertising tactic when most of the population is on board!