Archive for the 'advertising' Category

Will “the writer’s” strike kill network television

November 26, 2007

Sometimes innovation is introduced by accident. On other occasions innovation has been purchased. We sometimes see innovative ideas spread through grass roots efforts and on some occasions, we see innovation because of unique opportunistic changes.

Take this writers strike. Many of us are still baffled by the fact that all three major networks and all 1 billion (seems like it anyways) other networks are so radically affected by one group of people. I know that this strike represents the power of unions (the AFLCIO is one of our customers so I know all about unions) and I am all about unions. However, I am not so sure that a strike by this powerful union and the early demise of the 2007 prime time television season is such a good idea.

One of the items that the writers guild is complaining about is that they do not receive fair compensation from the sale of DVD’s and the revenue sharing for shows that are aired over the Internet.

I have spent some quality time with Joost recently (4 days off with friends and family that you have not seen in a while – a long with some late night quality time with friends) and I have to say that I am impressed.  The idea is not all that innovative except that the content is offered exclusively over the Internet.  Essentially, they have “channels” where you can find different content.  They have content ranges from comedy to sports and almost everything else in between.  I am not sure exactly how many channels by they claim to have over 15,000 episodes.  Now granted some of these “episodes” are one minute long and it can be difficult to find quality episodes that last more than 10 minutes but here are a few things me and my family enjoyed over the weekend:

  • 3 full length Snowboard movies
  • several 20 minute extreme sports shows from “MuchMusic” – a content provider for mainstream television
  • Season one episodes of the original Transformers (Mikull – you have to see it)
  • Videos of all the latest songs from MTV and other stations
  • David Letterman’s top 10 lists (great for last call)

If you want to watch last weeks Patriots game or the MLS championship you may not be in luck but the model represents an interesting shift in entertainment.  Much like YouTube but only better quality.  My Joost watching was done on a 27 inch Westinghouse HD LCD TV and at full screen it had no problems.  The shows are “interrupted” with a very small advertisement (about 1/64th of the screen) in the bottom hand corner of the screen.  And since the user can be targeted (hello targeted ads again) the advertisements can be sold for more, they can be more relevant (no more feminine product ads during my viewing time).
Remember when you were a kid (if you grew up in the 70’s and 80’s) and all you had was 4 channels?  You still watched it. I think that this new medium (the Internet – he he) is really in it’s infantile stages. There are new “tools” popping up every day.  I just looked at the new product from Adobe called the Adobe Media Player.  Although the name and interface are lame and the content is lammer, it did have streaming HD and it was very quick – not so good at full screen but pretty good.

Now I can’t say for sure that I will be using Joost every day but I can say that at a time when there will be sparse new content on the old school media (good bye TV) I can say that I will be looking elsewhere for my entertainment.  The Writer’s Guild better be sure that I don’t find something very interesting or they may have walked themselves right of a job.

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Using new media to drive decisions for old media

November 20, 2007

I was in Portland last week talking with a few people who really understand this video:

I saw this video about 6 months ago (maybe longer since I never really know what day it is) but I haven’t seen it in a long time. Since I returned from Portland I have seen the advertisement 4 times (and I have watched a total of 3 hours of television).

Two things I know:

1.) Advertisements often repeat many times in a single segment – Ok cool.

2.) The old media has not caught up with new media this fast – i.e. – The television shows that I watched since I returned are not “aware” that “I” actually watched this video. In fact that would be even more phenomenal since I watched the video in Portland on Thursday and returned to Massachusetts on Saturday. (Somday – but not today)

However, this brings up a good point. What if FedEx was smart. What if FedEx had created a program that could scour social media sites – YouTube, Break.com, VodPod etc… to find all media posted about FedEx. Certainly, they would have to manually massage the list but when they were finished they would have a perfect dataset on how many times their commercials were watched.

Then with this data, they could determine which of their expensive (and probably not so expensive) commercials were most successful. Then if they saw a sudden spike in the number of times a particular ad was played in the new medium, then they could return that ad into the rotation in the old medium.

Or, maybe (the more likely story – unfortunately) the writer’s strike is forcing everyone – including commercial makers – to go back to the content that made them successful in the past.

Let the “targeted advertisement” race begin

August 13, 2007

I have been anxiously awaiting this day. My Space has begun a “targeted ad” campaign which if successful, I think will revolutionize the advertising world. The benefits of targeted advertisements is simple:

Deliver more meaningful advertisements

It is a fact of life that quality content must either be paid for (Cable channels) or supplemented through advertisements (Network). We have been living with advertisements on television since it’s inception. Although TV/Cable content providers have become more intelligent about their ad placements (My wife does not understand half of the humor displayed in the advertisements during a Football game on Sunday), there was no real way to determine who was watching television.

Enter “Cookies” – no not your mom’s chocolate chip cookie. Imagine the Nielsen Ratings group – only in EVERY household. Essentially every visitor to a web site can be tracked. And with sites like Facebook and MySpace your content retrieval habits can also be tracked. Imagine watching television and getting an advertisement that said: “Goes great with the new pair of brown pants you just bought last week from the store”. Freaky yes, but I would rather have this ad then a bunch of ads completely unrelated to what I am looking for.

Targeted advertisements hold the key to increased click-through rates and even higher completion rates (someone actually purchases). I know this topic represents a mixed bag – but I think that this is the best thing to happen to the Internet. Among its benefits:

  • Potential for less advertisements – key concept here is that the websites sprinkle a ton of advertisements in hopes that one of them is clicked
  • Advertisements are more successful – no more campaigns with unknown return value
  • Freak the hell out of your Mom – ha- no seriously, though, remember the Minority Report? Imagine an ad directed towards your mom? I know mine would freak out. “How’d they know that I just remodeled my kitchen”?

There are certainly some challenges and I think that the general privacy community will certainly have problems with statements like this:

If someone’s been identified as someone who’s interested in fashion, we target ads to them that have nothing to do with fashion, and then ads that would direct them to say, the MySpace fashion channel.”

How do they determine someone is “interested in fashion”. Do they look at my MySpace messages? At my “Blog” posts? Surely someone will want a public deceleration of the data collection policies used to determine the targeted advertisements.

At any rate – we are on our way, so we shall see!

Open source makes money on lead referals

July 3, 2007

Yesterday one of our inside sales associates noticed an amazing trend in the referals he was receiving. A lot of them were talking about Joomla, an open source CMS which we _rarely_ come up against. CommonSpot plays more in the enterprise space where as Joomla is good for the lower end market since it is an open source solution. So, our sales associate did some digging and discovered this interesting ad on the “Request a demo” portion of the Joomla site:

Small Joomla Ad

The text right above the ad reads:

To register for the Backend Adminstrative area you will need to “Register” from the link on the left and follow directions.

Of course, the “link” on the left is an ad for “Register for demo” – except it is our Demo.

Clicking the ad brings you to our Demo registration form. So, one would have to expect that either the user thought that the links in the middle of the page (the ad is right in the middle of the paragraph on the page) were for Joomla’s registration or, they actually found our web site during their hunt for a CMS and decided to sign up for our Demo as well (or maybe instead).

This is all made possible by Google being intelligent enough to know that the content of the Joomla page is that of Web based content management. Since Joomla placed the adsense ad on the page it did what it was supposed to – and in this case – displays ads for competitors.

Thank you Google (and Joomla). Full Page Joomla ad


The first mention of YouTube on TV and they may not benefit…

June 23, 2007

Apple has begun to advertise on TV and as you may expect it was not what you expect. Instead of touting all of the features on the iPhone, Apple decided to talk about YouTube. At first, I thought it was a commercial about YouTube (I was listening to the ad at the time) and I was all like “cool”, finally an ad about YouTube. The technology that will irronically take advertisements away from TV, is using TV to get out the message. Genius.

It was an interesting advertisement either way but I wonder two things:

1.) Of the people that are going to by an iPhone, which of them does not already know that you will be able to run YouTube on your new iPhone.
2.) Was the mention of YouTube inadvertent or, are Google and Apple really working together closer then people think?

The “new AT&T” creates new ad … that won’t close!

June 12, 2007

We all know that AT&T is working on a new marketing campaign but this is a bit ridiculous. Today on the front page of Wired Magazine, there is an AT&T ad which is missing a critical piece – the close button. Funny thing is, this only happens on Firefox. So if you really want to read the main stories today, you need to head on over to IE. Are we ever going to solve this stupid cross browser issue? How long do you think it will take for A.) Wired to realize there is a problem and B.) That the problem is in some browser detection code which is only displaying the ad on Firefox?

Awesome!

Firefox

IE 7

Wired Ad won’t close.. unless your on IE

Where is wis.dm Webisode 2?

March 27, 2007

I have certainly been bitten by the Wis.dm bug lately and so I wanted to share with you a few of the interesting “things” going in the quite creative community which has so nicely developed over at wis.dm. To do so, I am going to introduce you to a “character” that has joined the community.

The first is George Pepper:

Sent to document and report on the pop culture of the early 21st century, I, Commodore George Pepper stepped through the time displacement portal and arrived in the year 2007. Expecting to find a time of peace and prosperity, as had been recorded in my history books, I’ve found a culture mass paranoia, military conflict, and degrading environmental conditions which will lead to mankinds doom.

Faced with customs and beliefs alien to my own, I’ve set forth to change history for the better. My only guide on this journey is Wis.dm, a research assistant from my own time, who appears in the form of an 8-Track player attached to a tripod. And so, I must scour pop culture, striving to find the people, events, and institutions that have corrupted the timeline…hoping to save this era, and my own.

 

In addition to some of his posts he has produced a video which can be seen here:

This was posted some time ago (February 12th) and I am very much looking forward to the second Webisode where I hope to meet some of George’s arch enemies like Dr. Digg and his evil henchman Facebook.

More from this later.

What if Google advertised on Television?

September 26, 2006

So there is this underground marketing current which almost “appears” at will. Think about the explosion of Google, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, Del.icio.us – all of these sites are among the most popular on the web without one thing – Television Advertisements. Heck they really don’t have any mainstream advertisements. When was the last time you saw an ad on CNN.com for Del.icio.us? You didn’t – and that is remarkable.

I have seen a lot of ads on TV lately for Ask.com – you must remember them – they were the site which was previously launched as “Ask Jeeves?” – that corny little butler that was supposed to hunt for your information. Well they are at it again with this whole – “monkey” campaign which compares other search engines -with little or no tools – to Ask.com with their “Binoculars”. The tool allows you to “preview” the page before you navigate to it. In this small 150px by 150px window.

And who could forget slogans from other Internet company’s: “Do you Yahoo!?” “GoDaddy.com” “When I grow up – monster.com”. They all spent millions for 30 second advertisements to help launch their brand.

And then there is Google. Amazing. This little search engine came out of nowhere and stole the stage with it’s simple home page, amazing speed and incredible accuracy. They became the most popular search engine on the planet without a lick of advertising. Heck they have even obtained covenant status similar to that shared by the “Kleenex” brand for its “Kleenex” facial tissue. You don’t find things on the Internet any more and you certainly don’t “Yahoo something” – you “Google” it. For instance, I ‘googled’ that story about the… or I ‘googled’ so and so and returned…

Two questions arise from this 1.) What would happen if Google did create TV (or other mainstream media) ads? and if they did – 2.) What would they say? I can think of a few:

“Google – we are not taking over the world – we are the world”
“You’ve tried oxygen now try Google”
“When your Kitchen sink just has to be a part of your Desktop”