Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mobile Internet Use Surges In U.K.

BBC News: Mobile internet use in the United Kingdom is growing while the number of people going online via a PC is slowing, analyst firm Nielsen Online has found. Some 7.3 million people accessed the net via their mobile phones, during the second and third quarters of 2008. This is an increase of 25% compared to a growth of just 3% for the PC-based net audience -- now more than 35 million.

The survey also found that the mobile net audience was younger and searched for different things. While Google remains the most popular site for those logging on via the desktop in the U.K., on mobile internet BBC News is the most visited site, with nearly a quarter of mobile internet consumers using it. Other popular sites include BBC Weather and Sky Sports.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the mobile net audience is younger than its computer based counterpart. A quarter of the mobile net audience are ages 15-24, compared to 16% for the PC. While 23% of the desk-top based internet population is 55 or over, only 12% of mobile internet audience is.

You can put your sweet petootie on the line for this one
Did someone say year of mobile? I swear I heard it AGAIN!
I don't think there is such a thing as the year of the mobile, it's more an evolutionary thing. BUT, by the end of 2009, thanks to feasible phone rates in the free world; and the iPhone, Storm and whatever other mutha is out there, I think we just may have a sizeable saturation and a usable technology platform that allows mobile to have legs.

Another good point is that as this young audience grows, so will their usage. In a couple of years time, this audience's initial behaviours will be the indicator of how other audiences follow. And dear friend, I honestly think mobile is here to stay.

Just one word of is useful but be realistic when it comes to the application of mobile to a brand. Some categories will work well for mobile, others don't. Think in a right time and right place continuum. For example- finding out traffic updates 5 minutes before you leave the house is perfect- answers some form of human need. But, you wouldn't need an instant update that toilet paper just got softer.
It's a case of different strokes, for different folks. Not a bad thing in this day and age.

Landmark Hulu Ad Discovery: Consumers Like Choice!

Advertising Age: A new test reveals that the vast majority of Hulu users prefer the option of watching a two-minute ad the beginning of a 22-minute program to having four 30-second commercials evenly-spaced throughout the viewing experience. According to the internal study, a whopping 88% of Hulu users prefer the two-minute option. The long-form ads are opt-in; the high opt-in rate suggests that viewers like being able to control which ads they see. They are also more likely to be engaged with the ads they choose.

"The opt-in rate is proving this is something people want," said Christina Lee, a Hulu spokeswoman. "We are trying to break down a lot of these very traditional ways of thinking about advertising, so this is a way to experiment and an example of something you'll see us doing," TriStar, American Express, Hyatt, Paramount Pictures, Sprint and Capital One are among the advertisers buying the longer form ads on Hulu.

According to Lori Schwartz, senior VP and director of the Interpublic Emerging Media Lab, the Hulu data reinforces a couple of commonly held notions by marketers: that consumers aren't averse to ads and they do like choices. "What consumers don't like is being stuck watching long pre-rolls or being forced to participate and being forced to watch stuff that isn't relevant," Ms. Schwartz said. "When you give them a choice, you are thinking about them, and that gets them excited. We are in this culture now where people expect participation and expect to be included and expect two-way communication to happen."

Hulu, ever since I saw Weekend At Bernies on your portal, it's been love
I'm so proud of the networks who created Hulu. They've done a great job.

The only thing I do question about this article is that "because viewers choose the ad, they are more engaged with it." Bollocks.
I think because it's one hit of ad and longer they can physically leave and come back or just go to another site. It also involves the added bonus of not being surprised with 3 other ads during the program.

Who would sit through a 2 min ad? Or even 4 x 30? With a mouse and tabbed browser, it's not many people I know...

I thought that other guy was David Schwimmer for so he just plays Dads in disney movies

Battelle: Social Media And Marketing Do Mix

Amex Open Forum Blog: Search guru John Battelle attacks "the myth" that social media and marketing don't mix, citing a recent article in Advertising Age that uses one P&G digital marketing exec's opinions to conclude that advertising on social networks doesn't work. "Ad Age drew what I must say is an extremely lazy conclusion," Battelle says. "Look, a senior guy from Procter says so!" That senior guy is Ted McConnell, P&G's Manager of Digital Marketing Innovation, who opens the article with the following statement: "Social networks may never find the ad dollars they're hunting for because they don't really have a right to them." Battelle responds: "I'm here to call bull on this myth." The search guru points out that social media "assets" aren't packaged in any way similar to television or magazines, and nor should they be: "You can't barge into the middle of a conversation and yell, 'buy my stuff!' and then leave," he says. "A brand that does that will certainly be remembered -- as a clod." The reason you can't do that is there's no algorithm for understanding the nuance of conversation, and conversations are what drive social media. However, this does not mean there is no future for social media marketing. In fact, "Social media is an extraordinary place to market," Battelle says, "But you have to understand the medium you're a brand, you have to understand how and when to have a conversation." Marketers simply need to adapt, and use the targeting algorithms as tools for finding a more conversational approach, instead of letting targeting alone determine what ad goes where. What does he mean by a more "conversational approach"?

Butt, buttal, rebuttal
Look doof, that guy from P&G was right. Totally right. It's not only about interrupting conversations, it's about the fact that any activity a marketer does on FB - a group, a fan page, an app- is not paid for. It's a free for all in that aspect and no fee is due to the FB.

Secondly, in regard to those strip ads- no one gives a rats. A person's eye is only interested in the content down the middle and unless it's Jack Myers and his sexy ladies advertising some wanky media party, no one really cares.

mmm, let's get us some of that!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Social Networking Services Growing, Advertising Not So Much

by Mark Walsh: The use of social networking sites will continue to grow, but advertising will not necessarily expand along with it, according to market research firm IDC. Framingham, Mass.-based IDC says in a new study that social networks will face slow ad sales until they can get users to do more than just keep up with friends. That's because members of social networks such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo tend to click on ads less than the U.S. Internet users overall.

It's a no brainer really

"The fact that people use social networking services for communication puts them in a mindset that is less receptive to advertising than when they're using other Web sites like Yahoo or Google," said Karsten Weide, program director for digital media and entertainment at IDC."

I don't think it's that. I think online ad banners are in general shit and continually fail. Could be quite indicative to other forms of advertising- eg tv ads, radio ads, print ads- people just ignore and skim over them.

Maybe it's time to move on?

AT&T's iJustine Web Series Doesn't Exactly Go Viral

DigitalNext: YouTube Stars as Spokesmodels May not Be Such a Great Idea After All - What do you do if you're a big mobile carrier hoping to connect with digital youth? Tap a YouTube "star" and a popular blogger to extol the virtues of AT&T mobile phones. That was the idea behind AT&T's "Lost in America" campaign with iJustine (Justine Ezarik) and blogger Karen Nguyen. But the result is an example of how YouTube fame tends not to translate outside the world of "Fred," "kevjumba" and "sxephil."

Maybe a question of wrong place, not wrong time

They put the main portal on to the AT&T website. Pretty lame. You gotta get it out there people. Interact with the local yokels. Move the digital to the physical world. Allow people to think they can interact with the 'stars' in a real world way. Digital cannot only live in digital, than it falls.

And it's great that AT&T branded it, but they didn't need to put it on their website in such a blatant format. Maybe have a link and a reference that this is also going on- but going out into social media in this way, means that it's subversive, on the edge and you know about it if you're in the know- hence the increase of hits from i-Justine's website when she posted a link to it.

The other problem with this is that there is no need for this AT&T mini website. If they're partnering with i-Justine keep it with i-Justine. You'd assume tapping her would mean AT&T is after her audience. What with-it person wants to go to an AT&T website?!

Good one AT&T. keep the good stuff rolling.'s the same old song. Thanks Wooster for the great snap.

Facebook, MySpace Aren't Making The Marketing Cut

by Karlene Lukovitz: While chief marketing officers are intrigued by social networking sites Facebook and MySpace as potential marketing vehicles, actually using them is another matter, according to the results of a new survey conducted by GfK Roper Public Relations and Media for marketing services firm Epsilon.

I call it close mindedness and not moving with the times
Facebook, MySpace- yes they are vastly populated by the younger demographics, but the younger demographic gets older.

A few things -

  • I once read some study that kids make their brand choices at a young age and tend to stick with those choices throughout life. So it can be a valuable proposition to get kids involved with a brand from early on to motivate in later stages of life
  • Social networking isn't just for kids
  • Why are B2B companies interested in the FB? that doesn't make much sense. Shouldn't they be the group who is anti?
  • Social networks are moving in to the mainstream, but the early adopter proportion is still strong. Isn't that what every marketer loves? The early adopter playing field is also a good way to test and experiment with how the mainstream will adapt. It's silly to throw that away and risk going in to a new channel cold when it does tip into the mainstream.
  • Aren't both of these platforms mainstream by now?

Monday, November 24, 2008

How Subway Nabbed Michael Phelps Olympian Is McDonald's Biggest Fan, so Why Is Swimmer Shilling for the Competition? -- If there was one thing Americans learned about Michael Phelps during his history-making eight-gold-medal run at the Beijing Olympics -- other than that he can swim really, really fast -- it was that he really, really likes McDonald's.

I'll tell you why and it's no secret- Michael Phelps' face isn't only a form of visual abuse, he's a greedy bugger
Michael Phelps and his management, Octagon's Peter Carlisle, have had a plan from the start to earn him $100million. Proof here. So it's no wonder he will take what he can get. 100mil ain't a small feat.

Dumbest website in middle earth

Nokia has made this unloader. You give it your shitty excel/powerpoint/word doc/email or whatever and it scrunches it into a ball, sets it on fire and then apparently recycles it.

3 problems
1. The lame comment at the bottom of the page saying no documents were harmed in the making of the site. Ok, documents aren't real, it's a dumb joke, dumb and dumber kind of unfunny and has no real merit.

2. The idea that you are 'recycling' the document post printing it out, burning it, extingusihing it and then putting it in the recycling bin is insulting. The carbon footprint from that alone is a ridiculous and a frivolous waste. Nor does it annul my feeling of wishing to unload various documents.
I find the delete button a lot more gratifying and it saves a lot more time than having to watch a droid waste energy in doing so.

3. After all that, I'm still not exactly sure what the unloader has to do with phones. What have I missed?

Unloader gets my lame vote of the day

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The greatest story on middle earth

Thanks to Julian Cole for the link to my most favourite story- The Coogee bay Hotel poo saga.
If you don't know, there was an altercation between some patrons and staff at a restaurant in Sydney, so the staff allegedly put poo in their gelato. Yummy.

To all the producers of content out there, keep 'em coming

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's time for a lowdown ho-down

Been a bit of news the last few days, and no real time to write on it. So, going to venture in a vomit news fest.
And why is there all of a sudden so much going on when we've been so quiet for months?
Do you think it's because of the GFC (global financial crisis) and subsequent tightening of belts that has caused such a hoopla?

Facebook Steps Up SEO for Brand Pages with Millions of New Indexable Links: In a move that will increase the amount of Page Rank and traffic Google gives to Facebook Pages, Facebook launched a new feature over the weekend that essentially added hundreds of millions of new internal links to Facebook’s brand Pages in users’ public search listings.
Public search listings are Facebook’s way of exposing user information to Google. Before today, the default public search listings included users’ name, profile picture, network, and a few friends’ photos. Now, Facebook has added Pages that users are a fan of to users’ default public search listings.

Interesting, new, potentially annoying. One thing I do know, lots of people will change their public search listing settings...

Everyone's been talking about it, it appears I missed that boat. But I just want you to know I saw it too.
Favourite quote is "What in heaven's name made you think you could monetize the real estate in which somebody is breaking up with their girlfriend?"
The fact that people are breaking up with their girlfriends on Facebook is in itself a bit worrisome.
Death to Facebook!

Comcast Nets Push Digital Product Placements
by Wayne Friedman
Comcast Networks has made a deal with London-based tech company MirriAd for Comcast's cable networks: E!, Style, Versus, Golf Channel and G4. MirriAd will insert digital product placement images into existing video content as if they were included in the original shows.

Sick. Wonder how long this will last.
"A Sophisticated approach for what is an increasingly sophisticated broadcast and advertising environment."
I dunno dude. Sounds like a bit of bastardisation to me. If I was offered a potential placement in this media I believe I would turn it down.

TV Watch: Recession's Upside: Better Ratings From Unhappier Viewers: TV executives should love unhappy TV viewers. In a weakening economy, with advertising dollars slipping away, more TV viewers with sad faces could be the silver lining.

"Through good and bad economic times, our diary studies have consistently found that work is the major activity correlate of higher TV viewing hours," says John Robinson, the co-author of a University of Maryland study on time use. "As people have progressively more time on their hands, viewing hours increase."

This is bullshit in this day and age. The last GEC didn't have internet and youtube. This isn't going to happen so I wouldn't get your hopes up.

As Recession Looms, Marketers Turn To Social Media
: More and more marketers are harnessing the power of social media, using blogs, viral videos, and social networks like Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed and Digg to reach consumers. According to Reuters, the common denominator in their advertising efforts is the high level of engagement that the ads demand from consumers.
Of course, marketing through social media also has its risks. For example, just as companies can generate buzz through a social media or viral campaign, so too can they generate a backlash if users deem their marketing efforts unworthy, intrusive or offensive. Johnson & Johnson recently learned that lesson the hard way with an ad for Motrin, a painkiller brand, which offended so many mothers on Twitter that the company was forced to issue an apology for the ad on Monday.

Yes and as more marketers turn to social networking and the medium is bastardised, consumers will drop off.
And I may as well give my bit on the whole Motrin thing since it's been media marketers have a radar and tracker for ad campaigns that fuck up within social media. I'd be safe to say I'm a prime example of hammering a campaign for going about it the wrong way. What's the funniest thing is that Motrin was live for a few months before anyone even noticed anything. Great. Good work social media peeps, you finally noticed their transgression. Why isn't anyone talking about the lack of awareness to this? Usually the tech geeks are right on the pulse of this stuff. Baffling.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Yang and his teeth step down

Those goddam teeth. They're huge!

'Yahoo said Monday that cofounder Jerry Yang will step down as CEO and return to his former role as Chief Yahoo upon the appointment of his successor. Yahoo Board of Directors has initiated a search for a replacement." Mediapost

Chief Yahoo? I'm sad I missed that. At least there will be plenty of fun in the future.
I wonder what will happen now- any Microhoo or Goohoo...

Elf Yourself Returns for Year 3

Angela at Adrants: While logic for continuing the campaign may be suspect, I guess it speaks to its undying faith that for the third year in a row, OfficeMax is rolling out Elf Yourself (complete with bigger OfficeMax logo!).
Around this time last year, Elf Yourself had spawned over 11 million self-elfers. This year there's new stuff to look forward to.

Once, twice, three times a sale?
Hmm. Where to begin?
I think in these viral thingies you only get one shot. You do the elf once, that's it. No room for extension. If you missed your chance, it's gone.
But Officemax thinks they've got better ideas the third time round? Really? You didn't think the second time was enough? Oh wait, now you have a facebook app. Really great.

That's the thing with this new marketing age, once you do it once (hello Wedding Crashers Crash this Trailer), you have to take it to the next level. Just because it's successful the first time, doesn't imply a repeat.

Let me give you a parody. Seinfeld. People say it ended too early (that's debatable), but they wanted to go out on a bang before it got any shittier. So they ended it and moved on. The notion that people missed it is a positive. It's better than that not again feeling.

A good integration done once is great. Good news. You get a medal. Next step it to take it to a new place. People get bored, there are only so many iterations of elves you can see. AND we live in this new snack culture place. You have to mix things up and all the time. There are other things that are cute besides elves right? There are other ways to personalise, right? And what about getting people in store to buy? Sales?

Linking Customers to Sell More Clothes

CMDGlobal's Idea of the Week: In Japan, Uniqlo Microsite Lets Buyers Find Testimonials
Uniqlo wanted to sell its new Bra Top range and so recruited 300 Japanese women to represent the brand.

The new flavour of the month
Victoria's secret PINK bits has one too. Campus reps they call it.
It's good, it's nice, it's touchy feely.
A nice transferral from the virtual into the tangible world, which is what you need in all this social media cacophony. can venture into jealousy for those who haven't been chosen as reps or the brand voice. There needs to be a gradual crossover and reward system for those who enter into the fold or have a touch point with these recruits.
Otherwise, good work. Me like.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Twitter is not a marketer's playground

Over the weekend I have been confronted with several new Twitter accounts:
4 Leaf clover gifts
no. No .NO!

This isn't fun. No one wants to be bombarded with shitty gifting messages in their twitter accounts. Not the place nor the place (bc time doesn't really work).

If you don't already know, there is a seismic shift within advertising:
  • Proliferation of media channels allows us to market to people in the right place and the right time. It doesn't mean that everything is fair game.
  • Human beings have shifted to have a pleasant level of respect for marketing when done in the right tone, Vs a large level of hatred to ads that are unwelcome and badly executed
  • The hot new thing isn't right for everyone. It's good to keep an awareness to what's out there, but assess the medium against your brand and category. For example- no, I don't want leg waxing tips on my mobile phone, because there is no relevance or logic to receiving such an update in that channel.
  • Be useful in the new medium. Useful may be entertaining, informational, etc. But relating to the preceding point, I may want a feed that relates to the trains and buses, whether my line is late or on time during peak hour. That would be quite useful me thinks

And City of Sydney, that means no more spruiking in Martin Place. Apparently there is some new marketing installation every day. People are harassed, there is no where for them to eat lunch. It's not very Australian, in fact, I'd call it quite unAustralian.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cable Operators Warned of Weak End-User Experience -- Consumers are no longer satisfied with simply accessing cable company video content; they increasingly want control over the context in which they experience it. That's according to Jeffrey Rayport, speaking at the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) conference in Boston this week. The marketing consultant, textbook author and former Harvard Business School professor, told cable executives that they must reinvent their industry as "Cable 3.0," and create the digital tools needed to empower its end users.

Mr Rayport, you can bang my drum any time
The key takeaway from this snippet is

"Not adjusting fast enough to meet the changing expectations of their digital consumers"

These digital consumers in a couple of years, will be everyone. And the early adopters/early majority who are there now, well, they'll be on to the next thing by then.

And it isn't only about advertising potential, it extends to a person's experience with all forms of entertainment. The rise of home theatre systems has helped to mould that and as more homes integrate computer technologies into their large screen televisions, growth will continue. Implying that the activities a person engages in at home on their TV/computer will continue to change.

So, if the existing cable/network companies don't adjust to the new needs of consumers, other companies will come in to meet consumer demand, steal share and then we'll see the same tears we've seen with the record industry.

If corporations decide to bite the bullet and adjust to these changes, I think you'll actually see more marketing opportunities arise in the long term.

and I say this humbly, and with enormous respect as an outsider. Oh, and best of luck in standing out from the multitude of content that will be present at that time!

Facebook Triples Mobile Traffic

Mark Walsh: Facebook has tripled its mobile audience to 15 million in the last year, according to a recent post on the company blog. The site allows users to receive notifications or update their status with text messages, as well as access applications for devices such as the Treo, BlackBerry and iPhone.

Julie Ask, a JupiterResearch analyst who covers the wireless space, called Facebook's 15 million mobile users "a big milestone," in a blog post. "I think this number will only continue to grow and everyone in the ecosystem will benefit."

I detect smoke. Mirrors.
I'd be careful about this statistic. Facebook photo pervs and chronic status updaters need to check in to the thing every hour or their dicks drop off. I've seen many a person say "Oh, can I just use your iPhone to check my FB". Ugh, sends shivers up and down my spine.

So 15m, yes. Maybe. At one time or other but, I heavily doubt all of them actually have a data phone.

Google Getting Close To Obama

Politico: During Barack Obama's first post-election press conference, Google CEO Eric Schmidt stood alongside the President-elect and didn't say anything. Nor did he have to, says Politico's Eamon Javers, as the mere sight of him alongside the President-to-be should be "enough to send shivers up the spine of Google's competitors."

As one Democratic lobbyist said, "This terrifies Microsoft. There's a reason why people are scared to death of Google." The search giant claims that Schmidt was acting on his own, and that his politics don't reflect those of the company. Even so, Schmidt isn't the only Googler close to Obama. The President-elect is said to be weighing asking either Schmidt or Google's technology evangelist Vint Cerf to become the country's first chief technology officer. Schmidt has said that he would decline the offer, but Cerf has remained quiet.

"From the staff attorney all the way up the line, everybody now knows that Google is close to Obama," the same lobbyist said, suggesting that this could "affect the policy playing field" in Google's favor. Javers points out that Google has several issues pending in Washington, from broadband access and net neutrality to privacy rights, patent reform and copyright policy. Meanwhile, the Mountain View, Calif. giant has been quietly upping its presence in Washington over the last year.

Is my newly found left-wingerness causing me to be naive?
Obama is all happy families. He just wants everyone to be friends. And the reason he likes Google is because they have been such a strong advocate in advancing technology for the benefit of everybody. Yeah, maybe some of their algorithms are a bit crap and the google maps doesn't always give you what you want, but on the whole they've been pretty good in introducing new and friendly tools for all inter-line users.
Is it wrong to appreciate one company over the other for the sake of pure ideaology and philosohpy? Google thinks differently to Microsoft, in a way that could benefit more people rather as opposed to becoming a hindrance. If they're so scared, they should put their hands up too, get themselves on the same advisory board. And if shizz does happen and it looks like things are going google's way, then they can point for the finger and pull a tantrum.
I think everyone should just get over it and look at this as one potential way to advance society and other industries should take a leaf out of the same book.

This video is bloody great.......

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Facebook Launches New Ad Product, Still Lags Behind MySpace

The Wall Street Journal: Facebook may have passed MySpace in terms of worldwide audience, but the social networking giant has struggled to sell ads as effectively as its competitor. Today, the Palo Alto company is unveiling its latest ad format, called "engagement ads" which prompt a user to do something within the ad unit, such as post a comment about a product or RSVP to watch a TV show. Once a user engages with an ad, a message would then be sent through the news feed to his or her friends list.

As the Journal points out, Facebook has a lot to prove with the new format, which is being made available to all of its advertisers after four months of testing. According to comScore, Facebook's share of U.S. online display spending was just 1.1% in June. By comparison, News Corp.'s Fox Interactive Media unit, which includes MySpace, was the market leader in display spending with 15.9%.

Some marketers think spending on social networking sites is a waste of money. "I haven't heard of anyone purchasing something off an ad on Facebook," says Angie Tulgetske, vice president of Re/Max Preferred Choice Properties, which resells timeshares. "I wouldn't think any of my marketing dollars would be spent advantageously there." Re/Max spends thousands of dollars a month on search ads but avoids social-networking sites because results show that users are less likely to notice ads on social networking sites than at other content destinations.

Facebook is a dead dog
I've been getting a lot of traffic on my blog via the search term "Facebook Refusenicks" aka, that anti facebook movement. Says a lot. Says people don't need that type of contact with their friend lists.
And word of mouth is one thing, but letting a friend know you've watched an ad or two is weird. This isn't a virtual water cooler. It's a place where the winner activities entail photo perving and the event crashing via rsvp.
Apps have died (or die within a month of launch), relationship status should always be a no go zone and everything else just seems to fall into a peripheral.
There is something weird going on with the Facebook. MySpace has kind of found it's place, but now that people have realised Facebook is an over exposed profile requiring constant update, people don't want to commit. I think in the next few months we will begin to find a shift in social network behaviour.

There's something wrong with this kid's Australian accent.

Monday, November 10, 2008

New Ads Pop Up In Video Blank Spaces

by Mark Walsh: Advertisers favor video pre-roll ads but viewers find them annoying. Overlay ads are less intrusive but haven't caught on with marketers. Now technology startup Keystream is introducing a video ad alternative it believes will prove superior to pre-rolls and overlay ads placed at the bottom of the screen.
Even though potentially intrusive, why do I like it?
Hmm. I'm liking this.
I think it's because you go straight into the content and with the development of banner blindness, this along with that, disappears into peripheral vision.

I do hate those water marky things that were coming up all over TV in the US, but if this is static and contained in that little box, I don't think it's so bad. It's those moving around ones that are the worst.

And how's that MySpace/Viacom thing going? The thing where Myspace is prerolling any Viacom content with an automatic Viacom pre roll. Love that. Nice solution to infringed content.

MTV Sells Spike, Comedy Central Package

Advertising Age:MTV is trying to make it easier for advertisers to find elusive young men on TV, by packaging together programs in its network that deliver that audience.

Comedy Central's "South Park" and Spike's "The Ultimate Fighter," which both air at 10 p.m. Wednesday, are collectively sold as a "man's block." The shows' combined ratings account for a big share of the male 18-to-34 demo.

Electronic Arts and other advertisers are now using the Wednesday man block to customize ads. On Nov. 12, EA will run three theatrical trailers for a new video game on Comedy Central. At the same time, over on Spike, EA will air a 60-second ad with a fourth theatrical trailer for the game. Spike is also creating 15-second EA vignettes to run before and after commercial breaks.

Media buyers meet reps, reps meet media buyers.
MTV has seen the demonstrated consumer behaviour, thought about it, and they've responded accordingly to match a media buyer's needs sensibly and realistically.
It's about time this shizz happened. Step out of that boring box and work to make a sale. Deliver to marketers according to their own specific client.

It reminds me of the time I was working on Amex and a media provider came to meet me to discuss their property. The conversation went like this:
Them: So you guys work on Mastercard right?
Me: Are you joking me? Because if you are that's very funny. Really, very good. If not, uh-uh. Not funny.
Them: Oh. Umm. Is it mastercard?
Me: umm...willis?

Oh, and the property was some online/tv/extreme gaming crap that had no resonance or relevance to my audience. But the numbers were great (if you lived in a vacuum).

Moral of the story is, reps- do the research. Find out who the client is before you go to the meeting. Not too much to ask. Furthermore, come to the meeting with a plausible specific solution for that client, just like MTV is with their manny-pack. Then you might get some traction and maybe a bit of excitement.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Good shizz i've seen in the last 10 minutes

A lovely new site from sprint
Widgets on steroids.

Great Flickr set of behind the scenes with Obama on Election night

Great artwork inspired by 'the morning after' the election. The Party's over

A photographic shoot inspired by all things Roald Dahl
Something called the Billboard Liberation Front. Who managed to sick themselves on Australian audiences. Me like.

Is this type of thing legal? Kids at APN, what's the deal?

Pretty much all care of the Boing Boing

Holy Moly. Princess Leia hologram is reality

During the American election Jessica Yellin was recorded as a hologram and beamed into the studio
But, can that guy in the studio really see her, or is it only projected into the feed?
What ever it is, it brings a new plausibility to conference calls and the like.

It's only a matter a time before we get the T-1000 running around.

Ballmer: Sorry Jerry, We've 'Moved On'

Bloomberg News: Following CEO Jerry Yang's reassertion that Yahoo would sell to Microsoft "at the right price," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer replied that the world's largest software maker has "moved on." Speaking at a conference in Sydney, Australia, Ballmer said, "We're not interested in going back and re-looking at an acquisition," but, "I'm sure there are still opportunities for some kind of partnership around search.' Of course, Ballmer didn't elaborate.

Following Google's decision to walk out of a potentially lucrative search partnership with Yahoo, Yang said he was "open to everything." Following those comments, analysts felt that Yang's options were narrowing and that Yahoo would be forced into some kind of deal with Microsoft. "To this day, I would say that the best thing for Microsoft to do is to buy Yahoo," Yang said Wednesday at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco.

In an interview with Bloomberg News, Yahoo spokesman Brad Williams corroborated Yang's remarks. "We're open to talking to them," Williams said. "We still believe acquiring Yahoo is the best option for Microsoft

Why is Yahoo so shit?
You can smell the desperation off Yahoo. "Open to everything". That's a great vote of confidence. They just want to bin the thing and now no one wants it.
I went perusing through their site, and unless you aren't a fan of information vomited over 3 scrolldowns in a homepage, it's not so bad.
The really great thing is Yahoo answers. That's a winner. Seen some good marketing activity there with the potential for so much more.
I also know that the integration between their TV and mag partner in Australia is crap-ish. But we're speaking to the rep this week and i'll ask them these troubling questions and report back with the answers.
But how did we get to this point? And why doesn't anyone want a bar of Jerry and his big teeth?

RIAA Nemesis Defends Blog

By Wendy Davis: Ray Beckerman has been such a thorn in the side of the RIAA that the organization recently asked a court to sanction him for "vexatious" conduct in defending people the group has sued.

Beckerman's blog, Recording Industry vs. The People, where he posts publicly available motions in lawsuits involving the organization, especially troubled the RIAA. "Defendant's counsel has maintained an anti-recording industry blog during the course of this case and has consistently posted virtually every one of his baseless motions on his blog seeking to bolster his public relations campaign and embarrass plaintiffs," the group wrote in its motion for sanctions.

Today, Beckerman fired back with an answer charging the RIAA with attempting to keep its litigation efforts as secretive as possible. "Plaintiffs' counsel are not candid about their real problem with the blog, which is that its existence interferes with their tactic of attempting to conceal the litigation events and prior inconsistent statements that they don't want others to know about from judges, litigants and law enforcement authorities."

The RIAA has sued or threatened to sue nearly 30,000 individuals for file-sharing. Many agreed to pay around $3,000-$5,000 to settle the allegations rather than risk a potentially ruinous lawsuit. Others chose to fight the charges but without counsel.

Beckerman's blog about the various lawsuits has helped rally an overworked defense bar. By posting information about legal tactics in one central location, Beckerman has made it easier for lawyers across the country to fight accusations of piracy -- some of which have turned out to be unfounded.

With his blog, he's performed a valuable public service -- one that would have been far more difficult even 10 years ago, before the Web 2.0 revolution made it easy for anyone to self-publish online. That the RIAA would think it's okay to ask for sanctions based on a blog shows just how reactionary the record industry has become.

Again, record companies STILL not understanding that it's over
Great work Ray Beckerman. Another tactic used to demonstrate to the record industry and the world, that:
1. The digital community is strong and thriving. People will band together all in favour of the individual and not the 'man'. It's the way of the consumer of today, no longer are corporations in control. Consumers, aka people, have understood their collective power and are utilising it effectively.
2. Another demonstration of how digital technology is again the downfall of traditional record industries. We know the bad news, profits have become a fraction of what they once were. That's it. It's a done deal. Record companies are wasting the little profit they have left on these paltry legal claims.

I'm tired of talking about this. Why can't these industry figureheads take a leaf out of Radiohead's book, or even Amie St Music who delivers "Music in my Inbox" every week....Nice and friendly and sharing the love.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Say Goodbye To Experimental Spending In 2009

by Mark Walsh: Spending on emerging media such as social networking sites, digital out-of-home and mobile is likely to contract next year as marketers tighten ad budgets because of the worsening economy, a group of agency and brand executives said Wednesday. "09 is not the year for testing," warned Donna Speciale, president of investment and activation at MediaVest USA, speaking on a panel at ad:tech New York on media planning and buying in the digital era. "Brands want to stick with areas that are tried and true."

Rubbish and poppycock. If you will, pure hyperbole. Don't be swayed by this rubbish.
Tried and true is no longer true. It's falling, failing and doing both fast. So Donna 'blueplate' Speciale, I don't know why you've made a generalist statement like this.
Sticking to what media peeps have been sticking to for the last 2 decades is not the best way to go in the current consumer landscape. People will still continue to use media in the ways that they have been- looking for efficiencies and finding some form of added utility to their daily lives. By added utility I mean some form of information or benefit, in relation to a product, that allows an individual to function better.
We're all time poor, cash poor but still after the premiums- new styles of marketing can help someone get there, and sometimes with a bit of entertainment along the way.
In honesty, doing what Donna says is the dumbest thing you could ever do! Sticking to boring TV ads and print. Radio! Who wants radio? A boring, one sided strategy. Especially since other, more malleable platforms are much more cost efficient!
And I don't think we can call this 'experimentation' either- consumers have shifted, massively. So has technology. It's relatively new, but we know how people are reacting to this technology and they want it. Not only that, they value it if it meets their needs in the right way. I don't think a 30" TVC really fulfils that.

So kids. Reality. Reality check. That's where I'm coming from. You too should take the time to conduct your own. Beneficial. I recommend.

"The clock's run out, time's up over, bloah!
Snap back to reality, Oh there goes gravity"

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sweet bejesus

I'm a no.38 in the top Aussie ad blogs.

Pretty good effort, but things could be a lot shinier.
Get your butt over here.

Thanks Julian for the shout out.

How Will Obama Affect Tech?

Cnet: Cnet asks how a Barack Obama presidency will affect technology policy, and the answers are both good and bad. On the plus side for independent Web publishers, Obama has a record of supporting network neutrality, which prohibits Internet service providers from charging Web publishers for guaranteeing faster traffic delivery. He is also planning on appointing a sort of "chief technology officer" for the government, and has a long list of promising backers from big tech companies, including Google executives Eric Schmidt and Vint Cerf.

On the controversial issue of copyright, Obama has said, "we need to update and reform our copyright and patent systems to promote civic discourse, innovation, and investment while ensuring that intellectual property owners are fairly treated." However, this is surely not at the top of his priority list, given that the President-elect is inheriting three wars and a financial crisis.

On the negative side, Obama "doesn't have the ideological bias toward free trade that Clinton had," which means that it's hard to tell how he and a solidly Democratic Congress will face the issue. Obama also has a record of promoting aggressive antitrust actions, which could hurt Silicon Valley giants like Google.

Could this be what we've been after all along?
I've noticed a few things from this latest American Presidential election. Some good, some bad. Some journalists just being silly and trying to sound smart as they waste space on my virtual news page, but all leading to some type of learning:
  • As I watched Obama's President elect speech, I thought, fark, this guy is going to be in hot water pretty quick. Numerous corporations will resent what he is doing for the individual. Which, I might add, is where the world has been going for a long while now and why America is so far behind other countries. Signing up Vint Cerf (the coolest guy on the internet and the father of it) would be a real step forward. He knows what this web is capable of and he understands how online behaviour is leading the change of direction people are going towards.
  • Articles entitled The Brand Called Obama (a pretty good read) and How Obama Killed 'Election Day' and Became President (a not so good read) are doing my head in. Yes, Obama had some great campaign strategists who understood the sentiments of the people and spoke to it, strongly. But the conditions for answering these sentiments, ie the developments of online technologies, the swirling of upper crust left wingers and a distaste in the current government were so perfect, that the strategy over delivered.
  • Stories entitled "Media Outlets Say Goodbye to Their Best Story" are false and incorrect. Can we all come back to reality? Things have just begun. Obama will be making headway to change for the better, but I guarantee he is also going to make mistakes like all leaders do. He is a man, not the messiah! Certain groups will dislike various actions he takes and they will all be publicised vociferously. Change is hard and unfamiliar. So get ready for it.
  • I overheard someone mention that Colbert report will suffer, so will David Letterman's funny segments on the past American president's stupidity- but it won't. There will still be plenty of ammo to be had, and you would be pretty idiotic to think it would disappear.
  • And you've always wondered what Australians do on the US presidential election. I know, because someone once asked me what Australian's do on thanksgiving. Well- here it is. We go to the races, get absolutely maggot and middle aged women dance like banshees. The link is here, but I will try to post the video shortly...

Barack "thunderbolt" strikes

If you don't know, Barack in hebrew means thunderbolt.
So mr thunderbolt, congratulations on delivering. I think a lack of victory would have resulted in riots.

At first I was a bit hesitant to go for the Obama, but then I realised that the fact he's a different breed of politician who acknowledges that the old school methods of politicking don't work is a real positive. Hopefully this will filter through to our friends in traditional media, maybe a few of the record industry peeps and marketing dinosaurs in general.

So congrats Obama, this may just save the US, its image and the waning bumper car industry.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

For Trad Media, 2008 Measurement Initiatives Disappoint

by Erik Sass: 2008 was supposed to be the year everything changed for traditional media, as new, more precise measurements yielded more reliable data about their audiences. They were supposed to even the playing field, ultimately winning back advertisers migrating to the Internet. The tech failed to deliver.

Wah wah wah
Really? Do we still need to talk about this?
Bottom line is, traditional media is in a tailspin, the biggest culprit being radio. It's shit. Maybe breakfast and drive dayparts still have some traction, but realistically, for a mainstream audience, forget it. Seen those little mp3/ipod jacks in vehicles?
Mags and TV- they still serve a purpose, but it's time to have some sort of workshop and really nut out what drives eyeballs and whether having 26 minutes of ads to an hour is a viable option.

Most importantly- we have a fair indication of where consumers are going, can we follow these trends without resorting to the same old crap? Solid case of double-u-tee-eff. Models are destroyed, new order of biz-nazz required.

Monday, November 3, 2008

MTV, MySpace Figure Out How to Make Ads Follow Video Deal Lets Social-Network Users Upload Clips With Ads Sold By Either Partner-- Viacom's MTV Networks is giving MySpace what it won't give YouTube. That is, they've licensed the social network to allow users to upload clips or entire episodes of "The Daily Show," "The Colbert Report," "Reno 911" and other shows under a new system that automatically identifies copyrighted video and attaches advertising.

It's time for a fixin'
Lots of news going on now. Everybody is a reacting to the changes. This sounds good. A nice little partnership deal that BENEFITS the CONSUMER. High time something like this was implemented and not a bad deal for the MySpace. May be the only reason I ever go back there.

And in the opposite direction, France is potentially passing a law which disconnects file-sharers from their ISPs. And god help us, Australia is also thinking of doing this crap. "The music industry's latest salvo against piracy involves lobbying for "three strikes" laws that would require ISPs to disconnect users who have shared copyrighted files online." Link.
What bollocks?!
a) it can't be policed.
b) it seems like you're going forwards, but in reality it's ten steps backwards
c) this style of anal-parent-reaction to piracy is not the answer.
It seems, due to the massive population of the world, piracy cannot be controlled. There are just too many people. Find a different answer, a new way to monetise, a new business model and stop wasting energy and funds on flogging a dead horse.

Social Networking Is Good For Business

Reuters: A new study from a British think tank says that managers shouldn't stop their staff from using sites like MySpace and Facebook, as social networking helps employees build closer links to colleagues and customers. The report from Demos' Peter Bradwell claims that online social networking helps foster productivity, innovation and democratic working environments.

However, despite the benefits, Bradwell said companies should also implement practical guidelines for non-work usage of social networks. "Bans on Facebook or YouTube are in any case almost impossible to enforce; firms may as well try to put a time limit on the numbers of minutes allowed each day for gossiping," he wrote. "We argue that we need to understand how, once we accept the implications of social networks, we can manage the new challenges and trade-offs."

Bradwell's research showed that banning social networks from the workplace is actually counter-productive. "Allowing workers to have more freedom and flexibility might seem counterintuitive, but it appears to create business more capable of maintaining stability," he wrote. Robert Ainger, corporate director of Orange Business, which co-produced the report, added that during an economic downturn, "the value of perhaps more important than ever and I believe it could mean the difference between a business collapsing or capitalizing on the tricky conditions."

It's a shame that social networking is in the process of jumping the shark!
In my opinion it's jumped. It jumped when the FB implemented the 'new' whizzbang facebook and it's only going downhill from there. Plus, I hear more often than not, the hate for social networks over the love for them. A lot of people I know, my early adopter friends, feel that this thing is a chore. And actually a hindrance. Once you're on there, you become a lifer.

Scott Brown wrote a great article in Wired last week - Facebook Friendonomics. It's about reconnecting coming in second place to the inability to disconnect. It's sad in a way- society will never really be the same again. If you decide to lose touch with someone in your facebook list, you can never completely let go of that connection, even if you go for the defriend.
Sometimes you just don't want every tom, harry and dick to know what you're doing. It's almost as if each and every individual has become a mini celebrity. Their gossip style, celeb inspired 'news feed' is fed through to all their friends, giving them an up to the minute, unnecessary commentary.

Combine your social with your work community, and I think it's a recipe for disaster. There is a large need to keep these 2 realms seperate. Do you really want that associate perving on your photos from that debaucherous stag night you had last weekend? Or when you're new squeeze decides to check out a one dimensional view of your personality on the FB? Or the killer is when people decide to announce they're in a relationship and then the relationship ends?....never a pretty update.

It's just all too much. There is a time and a place for everything. In the long run, a professional relationship has the potential to be tarnished by social network uploads.

We like Roy

Roy Lichtenstein is one of my muy favourite artists. He talks here about his interest in advertising and pop culture. A nice commentary on mass production, consumption and society back in ad hey-day.
Where are the artists like him today?

Care of the boingboing

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Looking Beyond Ratings For Top TV Shows

Forbes: Everything you know about what's hot on television may be wrong. Start-up Networked Insights released a study this week challenging Nielsen's ratings system. Instead of counting households, it measures online interactions, such as people posting videos clips about a TV show and inviting friends to online fan groups.

One example of the discrepancy: In late September, Nielsen rated the sitcom "Two and a Half Men" as the fifth-most-popular show on TV. Online, however, Networked says the show was No. 1, with over 65 million interactions.

This information is just a "piece of the puzzle that advertisers didn't quantify before," something important to an advertiser that wants a show's cool to rub off on its brand, says John Lowell, SMG media buyer. "But Nielsen data is still going to be valuable."

Nice, verry niiice
Lovely Nielsen. Lovely. Acknowledging the massive engagements and interactions online, looking at those figures and quantifying them into real value is great.

However..."John Lowell, a vice president in charge of analytics at Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest Group media buyer. "It's not a black and white," he says. "It's a piece of the puzzle we didn't quantify before, so Nielsen is still going to be valuable." "
w.t.f? (pronouced double-u-tee-eff)
Not black and white?
The only thing that's screwed is the banners and crap around the content. But the content itself, gold!

hmm, and whilst we battle this conundrum, best of luck to the US presidential candidates!

Where There Are Fat People, There's Opportunity

Food Navigator USA: Although consumers take a great deal of responsibility themselves for weight gain, about three quarters believe that advertising encourages them to eat less-healthy food and that food companies should provide healthier fare, according to a new Nielsen Consumer Insight report. But fast-food companies "get off surprisingly easy," the report says, "and are not seen as nearly as important a player in the obesity blame game as food companies."

The Holy Cow revelation of this story is the shift in attitude since the last study in 2006. Way back then, 82% of American adults acknowledged an individual's responsibility in weight gain but only 2% placed the biggest blame on food companies and 6% on fast food restaurants. How we got from 2% to 75% of American placing culpability on food companies is not explained. It's probably a simple process that just seems murky, like how we can suddenly gain 20 pounds overnight.

The upside to all this, Sarah Hills reports, is that there's a "clear opportunity" for marketers to effectively target overweight or obese people with messaging that speaks to their mindset, as well as educating them. Hills also cites a recent Credit Suisse report that estimates that revenue related to obesity products in the consumer staples sector will reach $1.4 trillion globally by 2012, with average annual growth of 9.3% from 2008.

OMG, fat people are fat.
I used to think that the indiviudual deserved all the blame, not able to shut their pie hole for even a second, but now not so much.
Food companies exploit poor and lazier individuals. They create low cost product to sell, sell, sell and in the process forget nutrition and plain good values. People need to eat and they often buy the cheapest option which is teeming with chemicals and crap.
It's a shame what's happened. Over time people have learned such bad eating habits and food companies have taught it.

The fact that the individual now thinks 75% of food companies are to blame for the problem as opposed to 2% is a massive jump, and I think it's just the realisation from the individual that if a lot of their supply is crap then they aren't totally to blame.