Posts filed under ‘click through’

sometimes the obvious works

Adidas Jersey Switch- US Rugby @ Rugby World Cup, New Zealand 2011.

Absolutely genius ad for Rugby WC 2011, Adidas, US Rugby and, frankly, for getting the female and gay male demographic.  Maybe Adidas has been paying close attention to Bravo’s rather clever strategy.

2010/07/06 at 14:39 Leave a comment

Augmented (Demented?) Reality: Fictional B&B gives tripadvisor.com a huge boost

Quite possibly my favorite media cross-over story of, well, ever.  Proving most Americans do have a sense of humor, and likely, too much free time.  A throw-away joke from NBC’s The Office sitcom boosts tripadvisor.com’s mindshare among the pop-culture obsessed.

As a constant female traveler who prefers to go solo, trips can be made or broken by a lodge/ hotel/ pension; wherever I choose to stay in any given place.  The safety, help, food, security, cleanliness and especially the advice from the proprietors is the most indispensable tool a traveler can have in a far-away, unfamiliar place.  Yet, few people I know (including myself) do more than rate a place by clicking on one to four stars, if they do anything at all.

We’ll spend days obsessing over the possible meaning of a specific article of clothing on LOST, or the many bad days of Jack Bauer on 24, the injustices (and fashion disasters) of the Academy Awards, churning out blog after tweet after Facebook status about any number of things- as long as they’re not real.  Music and books and iPads and bubble tea inspire furious commenting and speculation, but the truly useful information regarding experiences for families, business folk and leisure travelers alike-in numbers or alone inspire less effort, for reasons I don’t quite understand.

I’m not blameless, I do and don’t do the same things.  Though I realize how important accurate, descriptive and diverse-perspective travel advice can be, I rarely take the time post-trip to warn or recommend, to describe or lament missing an event or destination or critical interaction with hotel staff, restaurant owners, local guides, you name it.

But a fictional, thoroughly improbable establishment run by a non-existent ridiculous character (and beet farmer) from what isn’t exactly a hot-spot destination in Pennsylvania?  Well, that warrants a post and a piece in The New York Times, now doesn’t it?

For a B&B That Doesn’t Exist, the Online Reviews Keep Coming

By STUART MILLER
Published: March 28, 2010

One recent TripAdvisor review of the agrotourism destination Schrute Farms awarded four stars, lavishly praising the food, while another yielded just one star, casting aspersions on the owners’ sanity. This wild disparity is especially odd because Schrute Farms doesn’t even exist.

The farm “belongs” to Dwight Schrute of the NBC series “The Office” (and his eccentric cousin Mose). In September 2007, the show asked to use TripAdvisor, a travel Web site, in an episode in which Dwight turns his beet farm into a bed and breakfast. Christine Petersen, the chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor, was thrilled. “We don’t have a big marketing budget and don’t do TV ads,” she said. “This was the big time.”

TripAdvisor set up a review page, thinking it would be good for a quick laugh or two. Paul Lieberstein, who wrote the episode, called “Money,” never even went back to the site afterward. “We thought it would be fun, but then we didn’t think about it anymore,” he said in an interview.

But Schrute Farms is still doing big business — for TripAdvisor. Reruns and DVDs keep inspiring new visits to the site and there are now over 600 reviews (more than for many major Manhattan hotels, Ms. Petersen said).

Many reviewers add their own funny flourishes, enhancing the show’s mythology: Mandy Pyszka from Milwaukee, who stumbled upon the TripAdvisor site while searching Google for Dwight Schrute quotes, raved about the beet pudding.

by Paul Drinkwater/NBC

Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute, beet farmer and agrotourism hotelier.

Carla Harrington of Fredricksburg, Va., was surprised to find 82 percent of reviews recommended Schrute Farms. “I thought about what it would feel like not to know them as TV characters but to really go to this B & B,” she said in an interview. Her one-star slam called Dwight “an overbearing survivalist who appears to have escaped from the local mental asylum.”

Mr. Lieberstein, who also plays Toby Flenderson, a human resources staff member, on the show, said that “The Office” might someday revisit the farm. TripAdvisor executives said they would love that. “We’ve started many a meeting with Dwight’s quote that TripAdvisor is ‘the lifeblood of agrotourism,’ ” Ms. Petersen said. She has contemplated adding the Bates Motel and “The Shining’s” Overlook Hotel.

But not everyone gets the joke. Recently, TripAdvisor added a caveat explaining that Schrute Farms was fictional, Ms. Petersen said. “We had a complaint from someone who had wanted to go there.”

A version of this article appeared in print on March 29, 2010, on page B4 of the New York edition.

2010/03/31 at 22:35 1 comment

The technology is great, but the content is the key: are there publishers out there determined to use i-education as a base for maximum distribution?

Content is universal, or can be- there are price or border or language barriers for a good story and what we can learn from it.  The increasing use of technology in teaching both current and future educators, as well as students themselves, is obviously inevitable as Technology (all of it) evolves.  It is engaging and allows for more personal, adaptable and variable than traditional static media.

It seems the next challenge is how to level the playing field- all of these apps require devices and devices cost money, which the majority of the world’s schools are unable to afford.  Then there are the splintering and stratifying of content with exclusives and format preclusion for certain devices.

Dennis Duffy may have been onto something when he said “technology is cyclical….”  I think the more accurate statement would be “the advent of new technology inspires and pushes the evolution of existing technologies.”  Into this last category, I would most certainly include the good “old-fashioned” paper-based book.  The framework and methodology that eLearning brings to the world can guide the (r)evolution of existing educational models.

Some insight into mobile education via Fast Company follows.

The $64 million dollar question is: who are the educational publishers progressive and daring enough to look back and forward to make the absolute best and most accessible, successful eLearning titles?

A Is for App: How Smartphones, Handheld Computers Sparked an Educational Revolution

By: Anya KamenetzApril 1, 2010

Kids, education, applications, technologyFrom Left: Angel Taylor, 6, Jose Becerra, 7, and Julissa Munoz, 6. | Photograph by Danielle Levitt

As smartphones and handheld computers move into classrooms worldwide, we may be witnessing the start of an educational revolution. How technology could unleash childhood creativity — and transform the role of the teacher.

Related Content

Gemma and Eliana Singer are big iPhone fans. They love to explore the latest games, flip through photos, and watch YouTube videos while waiting at a restaurant, having their hair done, or between ballet and French lessons. But the Manhattan twins don’t yet have their own phones, which is good, since they probably wouldn’t be able to manage the monthly data plan: In November, they turned 3.

When the Singer sisters were just 6 months old, they already preferred cell phones to almost any other toy, recalls their mom, Fiona Aboud Singer: “They loved to push the buttons and see it light up.” The girls knew most of the alphabet by 18 months and are now starting to read, partly thanks to an iPhone app called First Words, which lets them move tiles along the screen to spell c-o-w and d-o-g. They sing along with the Old MacDonald app too, where they can move a bug-eyed cartoon sheep or rooster inside a corral, and they borrow Mom’s tablet computer and photo-editing software for a 21st-century version of finger painting. “They just don’t have that barrier that technology is hard or that they can’t figure it out,” Singer says.

Gemma and Eliana belong to a generation that has never known a world without ubiquitous handheld and networked technology. American children now spend 7.5 hours a day absorbing and creating media — as much time as they spend in school. Even more remarkably, they multitask across screens to cram 11 hours of content into those 7.5 hours. More and more of these activities are happening on smartphones equipped with audio, video, SMS, and hundreds of thousands of apps.

The new connectedness isn’t just for the rich. Mobile adoption is happening faster worldwide than that of color TV a half-century ago. Mobile-phone subscribers are expected to hit 5 billion during 2010; more than 2 billion of those live in developing countries, with the fastest growth in Africa. Mobile broadband is forecast to top access from desktop computers within five years.

As with television, many people are wondering about the new technology’s effect on children. “The TV set was pretty much a damned medium back in the ’60s,” says Gary Knell, CEO of Sesame Workshop. But where others railed against the “vast wasteland,” Sesame Street founders Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett saw a new kind of teacher. “They said, Why don’t we use it to teach kids letters and numbers and get them ready for school?” Sesame Street, from its 1969 debut, changed the prevailing mind-set about a new technology’s potential. With its diverse cast and stoop-side urban setting, the show was aimed especially at giving poor kids a head start on education.

Today, handheld and networked devices are at the same turning point, with an important difference: They are tools for expression and connection, not just passive absorption. “You put a kid in front of a TV, they veg out,” says Andrew Shalit, creator of the First Words app and father of a toddler son. “With an iPhone app, the opposite is true. They’re figuring out puzzles, moving things around using fine motor skills. What we try to do with the game is create a very simple universe with simple rules that kids can explore.”

For children born in the past decade, the transformative potential of these new universes is just beginning to be felt. New studies and pilot projects show smartphones can actually make kids smarter. And as the search intensifies for technological solutions to the nation’s and the world’s education woes — “Breakthrough Learning in a Digital Age,” as the title of a summit at Google HQ last fall had it — growing sums of money are flowing into the sector. The U.S. Department of Education has earmarked $5 billion in competitive school-reform grants to scale up pilot programs and evaluate best practices of all kinds. Major foundations are specifically zeroing in on handhelds for preschool and the primary grades. “Young kids and multisensor-touch computing are a huge area of innovation,” says Phoenix Wang, the head of a startup philanthropic venture fund called Startl — funded by the Gates, MacArthur, and Hewlett foundations — that’s entirely focused on educational investing. Google, Nokia, Palm, and Sony have all supplied handheld devices for teaching. Thousands of new mobiles — not just smartphones but also ever-shrinking computers — have come into use at schools in the United States and around the world just in the past year.

Angel Taylor, Jose Becerra, Julissa Muñoz
Photograph by Danielle Levitt
Angel Taylor, Jose Becerra, Julissa Muñoz (Click for slideshow)

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2010/03/26 at 22:04 Leave a comment

Augmented Reality Advertising Is Here

Augmented Reality Advertising Is Here

Augmented reality and geo-location really started to gain steam in 2009, and we expect to see even more developments in 2010. Geo-location in particular has really compelling opportunities when it comes to advertising. Already businesses are discovering the benefits they can gain by engaging and promoting services via Foursquare — it was really only a matter of time before bigger companies would start to take notice.

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2009/12/21 at 18:22 1 comment

Is true democracy happening now, on the web, and succeeding (no, Wikipedia does not count)

Firefox 3.5: The World’s Most Popular Browser

Firefox 3.5 is now the most popular browser worldwide, edging past Internet Explorer 7, according to analytics site StatCounter.

The timing has favored FF3.5, however: IE7 usage has died off as people upgrade to IE8, meaning that Internet Explorer’smarket share is currently spread equally across IE7 and IE8. Add together all versions of IE versus all versions of Firefox, and Microsoft’s browser is still leading the pack by a long way.

Nonetheless, the trend lines favor Firefox in the long run: IE’s market share continues its slow decline while Firefox has sustained steady growth.

One very interesting angle to this development is that Firefox, a product of the Mozilla open source group, is truly a people’s product- developed by, and with, input from various programmers who wanted to seize their browsing destiny from the mega conglomerates with the EURO billion R&D budgets and built it collaboratively and over time.
Wikipedia is a similar collaboration, but is not as pure- the content is often self-serving, and is only as good as the sources who post information- the reliability and knowledge of whom is always in doubt.  By definition, Wikipedia is a cross- cultural “democratic” project.  One we all heavily rely on, but its formula for success is also its achilles heel, especially as content curation (big buzz word for 2010) becomes more the norm and web content is held more and more to the standards of print media that it intends to replace.
Firefox is a gateway- its creators and contributors have their own agendas, but its function largely frees it from the bias and agendas that may bring down or “taint” other web phenomena.
Without budgets or campaigns, through word of mouth only, Firefox has passed Safari (which is backed by one of the worlds best branding and marketing machines) and if current trends continue, it will pass IE as the browser of choice.  The thing about grass roots marketing is that its success is the purest and most accurate to measure against ROI (or any other metric).  If it didn’t work, people wouldn’t use it, rave about it, and influence their friends and colleagues to do the same.

The understatement of the millenia would be to say that the web has changed everything, and leveled so many playing fields.  The success of Mozilla and Firefox, more than anything else out there right now, might indicate how and in what ways going forward.

Will traditional media (read: Apple and Microsoft, ha! what an indication of that massive change) be able to respond?  Will they throw money and campaigns and marketing gurus at the challenge, or will they change their models- working more closely with the net’s “everyman” programmers and creators?

2009/12/21 at 16:48 Leave a comment

10 Rules for Increasing Community Engagement

10 Rules for Increasing Community Engagement

Courtesy Mashable,

10 crucial things you need to do to keep your audience engaged with you and with your business/community.

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2009/12/16 at 18:26 Leave a comment

Measuring Social Media Marketing (positing some metrics- do they satisfy?)

a blog by Chris Brogan listing some metrics.  Some good, concrete answers, but I think Mr. Heisenberg would still be skeptical.

Measuring Social Media Marketing

including:

  • % of online conversation (versus competitor).
  • % of coverage improvement.
  • # of new subscribers/attendees/buyers via tracking links.
  • # of new threads, comments, conversations for engagements.
  • # of actions taken (for instance, on email newsletters).
  • increase in $ per visitor, monthly average.
  • # of leads
  • # of sales call conversions
  • unique visitors (all those basic web metrics)
  • more
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    2009/12/07 at 05:24 1 comment

    ROI is King.*

    * That’s not a cross-lingual pun, (roi meaning king in French) just a coincidence, but now doubly true, I realize.

    As a burgeoning social media executive who comes from the international sales and marketing world (via licensing, brand and account management), I found this blog from Business Week exceedingly interesting. I twitter, I blog, I use Facebook to promote a photographer, a band and a South African safari camp and run a very successful industry group on LinkedIn.

    I look for the “buzz-” the hits, the new members, the retweets, but often wonder how much of that is still just a simple click of a button. Is it the social media equivalent of reading the book jacket of reading a summary of the Odyssey in high school and then recommending it to others? Or is it actual viral promotion. Or: does it matter?

    In my experience, and way of working, return on investment is what matters. Having been a licensing manager at an educational not-for-profit, with a zero dollar (0.00 USD or ZAR, EGP, CNY, RUB, BDT, etc.) marketing budget, I learned at an early stage in my career that return does not always mean revenue. Raising awareness, creating goodwill, gaining mind-share, PR, gaining outreach and ancillary educational partners, raising the perceived value of a brand’s equity, etc. could all be as valuable, or more valuable than immediate monetary return. But the question there, which resounds here, is what is that return? And how do you measure it? What are the statistics? Maybe even: does it matter what the metrics are?

    I would argue that the last question is the 64 million dollar one. How do you know if what you’re doing is worth your investment (time, money, man-hours, tools) when you don’t have a simple, clear way of quantifying results? You may be gaining revenue, word of mouth, elevated goodwill or endless array of positive outcomes for your brand or product, but not be able to tell because it gets mixed in with the measurements from the more traditional methods. True action to outcome metrics really exist- how does one know that part of the spike in earnings during a tv ad push is actually incidental and comes from earlier word-of-mouth or viral efforts that are just now manifesting themselves in purchases?

    Science (say chemistry, biology, mathematics) talks about direct, indirect, causal, related and coincidental relationships. The first three are generally the easiest to prove, but then, with science, it’s actually usually disproving that makes the advances. The Heisenberg Uncertainty principle rules: the more precisely the position of a particle is determined, the less precisely the momentum is known in this instant, and vice versa. It goes on to state (paraphrasing, of course): one can never discover the empirical truth without setting up false or contrived boundaries to measure a thing. Like focus groups, or revenue return during an ad spend (the ad spend period being the contrived boundary- there’s no way to know that it’s advertising that’s the end-all, be-all cause of anything).

    Apologies, the nerd in me took the wheel for a bit, but the point is this: true ROI can only be known, or more accurately, felt over time. In current global business, that’s the one commodity that almost no one is willing to spend. Metrics for social media effectiveness as regards business will be developed, refined, thrown out and the process started all over again as technology and consumer habits evolve (or change).

    In the meantime, this week’s article by Steven Baker in Business Week raises some very interesting questions, but does not overtly mention the most important: What is ROI (in any given instance) and how does one measure that?

    Beware Social Media Snake Oil

    Hordes of marketing “experts” are promoting the value of wikis, social networks, and blogs. All the hype may obscure the real potential of these online tools

    By Stephen Baker

    For business, the rising popularity of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media Web sites presents a tantalizing opportunity. As millions of people flock to these online services to chat, flirt, swap photos, and network, companies have the chance to tune in to billions of digital conversations. They can pitch a product, listen to customer feedback, or ask for ideas. If they work it right, customers might even produce companies’ advertising for them and trade the ads with friends for free. Starbucks (SBUX), Dell (DELL), and Ford Motor (F) have all testified to the magic social media can create.

    But the same tools carry risks. Employees encouraged to tap social networking sites can fritter away hours, or worse. They can spill company secrets or harm corporate relationships by denigrating partners. What’s more, with one misstep, one clumsy entrée, companies can quickly find themselves victims of the forces they were trying to master. Thousands of bloggers attacked Motrin last year because of an advertisement from the Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) brand they found demeaning to mothers.

    Over the past five years, an entire industry of consultants has arisen to help companies navigate the world of social networks, blogs, and wikis. The self-proclaimed experts range from legions of wannabes, many of them refugees from the real estate bust, to industry superstars such as Chris Brogan and Gary Vaynerchuk. They produce best-selling books and dole out advice or lead workshops at companies for thousands of dollars a day. The consultants evangelize the transformative power of social media and often cast themselves as triumphant case studies of successful networking and self-branding.

    The problem, according to a growing chorus of critics, is that many would-be guides are leading clients astray. Consultants often use buzz as their dominant currency, and success is defined more often by numbers of Twitter followers, blog mentions, or YouTube (GOOG) hits than by traditional measures, such as return on investment. This approach could sour companies on social media and the rich opportunities it represents. “It’s a bit of a Wild West scenario,” blogs David Armano, a consultant with the Dachis Group of Austin, Tex. Without naming names, he compares some consultants to “snake oil salesmen.”

    Critics complain that many of the new experts have adopted an orthodoxy that provides little flexibility for differing situations—or outcomes. Their pronouncements follow a rigid gospel: Be transparent, engage with your customers, break down silos. Yet these strictures don’t always make business sense. Adam Kmiec, director of interactive marketing at Marc USA in Pittsburgh, tells of a company he met with that got much of its revenue from the Defense Dept. and had allocated $4 million for social media. “What do you hope to get?” he asked them. Ultimately, the client decided the privacy-obsessed Pentagon may not be thrilled with a supplier publicizing itself through Twitter.

    FURY VS. BUZZ

    Scrutiny of the hype merchants is picking up. Rob Spencer, senior research fellow for idea management at drug giant Pfizer (PFE), mingles frequently with social media vendors and consultants as he looks for ways to amplify the company’s brainpower. He urges caution. “You have to tread your way carefully and have your B.S. sensors up,” he says. “I call them innovation hippies. ‘Here’s my book for free. Won’t you hire me for $500 to run some workshops?'”

    Social media consultants’ own promotions can collide, on occasion, with those of their customers. Take the case of James Andrews, who was working early this year at the PR firm Ketchum (OMC). As a consultant, he helped companies such as Newell Rubbermaid (NWL), Monster Worldwide (MWW), and FedEx (FDX) work out their strategies for blogs and the microblogging service Twitter. On landing in Memphis for FedEx meetings, he says he had an ugly run-in with a racist at the airport and twittered that he would “die if he had to live” in the city. The tweet produced an outpouring of blogged fury from FedEx employees and a fast apology from an embarrassed Ketchum. But for Andrews, the tweet generated buzz and may even have boosted his brand. “It helps me today,” he says. “I use it as a case study. It creates authenticity.” In June, Andrews left Ketchum to launch a boutique consultancy, Everywhere. He helps Macy’s (M), CNN (TWX), and Jane Fonda promote their brands and monitor their audiences on Facebook, blogs, and Twitter.

    Skeptics can draw from plenty of examples of social media experiments run amok. Consider Saatchi & Saatchi’s ill-fated promotion for the Toyota (TM) Matrix. Targeting young men, a demographic known to resist traditional advertising, Saatchi’s social media team last year created a campaign based on the pranks of the popular MTV (VIA.B) show Punk’d. According to the plan, a prospective buyer of a Matrix would single out a friend to be the target of a prank. The promise: a bit of fear, a lot of laughs, and perhaps a groundswell of free marketing across Facebook, MySpace (NWS), and Twitter.

    Amber Duick, one of the targets in the short-lived campaign, says she received a series of e-mails from a fictitious British soccer hooligan named Sebastian Bowler. He said he was coming to visit her and bringing along his pit bull. He had a MySpace page where he bragged about “drinking alcohol to excess” and participating in riots. One e-mail Duick received was a fake bill for damage to a hotel room wrecked by Bowler. He had left her e-mail address, the message explained, as his contact info. Duick filed a $10 million lawsuit in October and says that to protect herself from the oncoming Bowler, she slept with a machete by her bed. “She was terrified,” says her lawyer, Nicholas Tepper.

    In a statement, Saatchi and Toyota wrote that they would “vigorously defend against the claim,” which is “entirely without merit.” They said the plaintiff had granted “her permission to receive campaign e-mails and other communications from Toyota.”

    CAN CHAGRIN BE GOOD?

    James Cooper, Saatchi’s digital creative director, says social media, by their nature, are unpredictable, which makes them an easy target for critics. “Anyone who says ‘This is going to work’ is either lying or deranged,” he says. He compares the risk model with venture capital, where one bet out of 10 might pay off richly, while the others struggle or even bomb. And he stresses the difficulty of measuring results. “If something’s got 20 million hits on YouTube, that’s a good thing,” he says. “But what if half the comments are negative? I don’t think anyone’s got a long-term case study yet.”

    Baker is a senior writer for BusinessWeek in New York.

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    2009/12/04 at 18:19 1 comment

    Be careful watch you wish for: what happens when your marketing campaign is *too* successful?

    A really interesting post from Wired’s Epicenter and blogger Peter Kirwin about the problem everyone “wants to have:” a wildly successful marketing campaign that has taken on a life of its own.  Do you trade dollars for eyeballs- and is that just a short-term question?

     

    Epicenter The Business of Tech

    Wired-o-Nomics: Mad Men, Media, Marketing and a Fine Mess

    Suppose they gave a marketing campaign, and everybody came?

    Back in September, Hasbro launched Monopoly City Streets, a massive multiplayer online game that transforms Google Maps into a globalized version of the well-known board game. In the run-up to Christmas, the online game was supposed to promote a boxed version of the game that Hasbro sells for $40 list.

    Three months on, however, Hasbro’s MMOG – constructed by ad agency Tribal DDB working alongside engineers from Google Maps – achieved something unexpected. It became vastly more popular than anyone expected. Monopoly City Streets now ranks as the world’s 12th-largest example of the genre, according to Matt Ross of Tribal DDB, attracting 15 billion page views a month.

    Presenting his agency’s campaign at last week’s Creativity and Technology conference in London, Ross announced: “We’re trying to invent things that are useful to people. We never know if our stuff is going to work.”

    “Now Hasbro don’t know what to do with it,” Ross said. “They have a kind of new product on their hands.”

    Unexpected popularity has had unintended consequences for Hasbro. If it scraps the game next month, as planned, it risks alienating 1.5 million registered users. If it allows it to continue, it will need to find a way of monetizing all of those eyeballs that may cannibalize buyers of the game they want to sell who are happy enough with the online version it was supposed to promote.

    Oh yeah — Ross also noted that his agency’s wildly successful campaign was achieved with “precisely zero media spend.”

    Interesting things happen when advertising slips the moorings that have traditionally bound it to Big Media. In particular, Hasbro’s dilemma underlines the fact that the message-carrying capacity of traditional media has always been constrained. As a result, media owners have always carried promotional messages to audiences on a time-limited basis.

    The cost of traditional media doesn’t decline appreciably during a campaign. Accordingly, the cost of reaching new consumers increases exponentially as a campaign proceeds. The risk of over-exposure increases, too.

    Hence the advertising industry’s traditional ability to take pride in brilliantly crafted, but transient, promotional efforts.

    So what happens when scarcity-based constraints disappear? What happens when advertisers and their agencies produce their own campaigns and distribute them on the web?

    Attitudes change. As permanence becomes a possibility, pride in transience starts to look questionable. The ad campaign that Hasbro thought it was buying from Tribal DDB may yet turn into an enduring product. In a similar vein, Anders Gustafsson of Crispin Porter Bogusky Europe told last week’s conference: “The stuff we’re doing should last for years, not months.”

    Several years after adland produced its first throwaway virals, this suggests that something much larger than frustration with search engines lurks on the horizon for Big Media.

    For a century or more, the advertising industry and Big Media have operated on the basis of mutual dependence. Big Media offered unusually broad reach and attracted big budget creatives as a result. In adland, watching your creatives play out across major media was always a mark of high seriousness.

    Now this historic pact is coming under pressure. In places, it has started to unravel. The crude appeal of banners and buttons remains important, but long ago ceased to be at the center of the digital action. For marketers who need to engage massive audiences, the web offers a genuine alternative to press and TV, one that allows advertisers to create their own content.

    With no small sense of irony, last week’s conference of digital creatives took place at the galleries constructed by Charles Saatchi out of the elegant hulk of the Duke Of York’s barracks in Chelsea.

    Yet the Big Media outlets that carried Saatchi’s inspired advertising copy three decades ago merited barely a mention. Among other things, delegates were asked to consider what might start to happen when we, our devices and the built environment become seamlessly networked.

    Adam Greenfield, head of design direction at Nokia, describes one possible outcome:  an urban landscape filled with “dynamic advertising that covers every surface and knows everything about us”. He talks of a “shroud of awareness” surrounding shoppers and pedestrians with “dynamic advertising” constructed on the basis of “sensor readings that record place, time and event”.

    The future of outdoor advertising has rarely looked so full of potential. The future of Big Media has rarely looked so marginal.

    Kevin Slavin, another speaker at last week’s conference, lectures alongside Greenfield at New York University. He is also the co-founder of Area/Code, a New York-based hotshop that develops games on behalf of agencies and advertisers.

    According to Slavin, “the idea of being able to see the value of everything all at once” is “grinding down” the price that retailers in particular can charge their customers. “Meaning,” he claims, is shifting from physical products to the “informatic layer” embodied in devices and networks.

    This isn’t a particularly controversial notion. What is controversial is the conclusion drawn by Slavin: “If you’re in the consumer packaging and branding business, you’re fucked.”

    Perhaps. But ubiquitous computing also represents a further threat to the historic pact between adland and Big Media. In the not-too-distant future, the cereal packets that contain my daughter’s Coco Pops may carry a cheap screen, wirelessly connected to the web, that plays cartoons across the breakfast table. As a result, BSkyB, the BBC and ITV will lose access to eyeballs.

    Disintermediation of this kind is already a reality in some shopping malls, where retailers have started sending promotions to handsets carried by approaching shoppers. According to one analyst firm, 35 start-ups and established companies across Europe are developing technology for use in such digital proximity campaigns.

    This won’t result in the death of retail advertising in the weekend editions of national newspapers any time soon. But there’s more to come. The next steps involve the gradual splicing together of three separate disciplines: mobile advertising technology, real-time search and the long-established science of retail footfall analysis.

    Coincidentally, Twitter this week released its long-awaited geolocation API into the wild. In this context, one statistic is worth noting: according to the digital ad agency Razorfish, 44 per cent of US consumers who follow a specific brand on Twitter say they do so in order to gain access to special offers.

    Campaigns that cut out Big Media with a mix of gaming, location awareness and social networking aren’t yet an established fixture in adland. But we might not have to wait too long. The iPhone’s crystalline screen was made for opportunities like these.

    The fallout could make Rupert Murdoch’s dispute with Google look like the proverbial storm in a teacup.

    Among the digital creatives who gathered together last week, a few are already looking toward the future. “Now that we’ve been invited to the party and have money, influence and power,” said Ian Tait of Poke London, “I worry we are like a bunch of kids with the keys to the sweet shop.”

    Judging by the heady optimism on display at CaT last week, Tait’s concerns aren’t yet widely shared by his peers. But they will be – and soon enough. As Google knows all too well, disruptive power brings serious responsibilities in its wake.

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    2009/11/30 at 22:47 2 comments

    do you have to press a lot of buttons? because I like buttons*

    * not really

    from Chickita/ CrunchBase

    Study: Mobile (And Particularly iPhone) Users Not Keen On Clicking Ads
    by Robin Wauters on September 12, 2009

    New research performed by online search advertising company Chitika suggests mobile users are far less likely to click on ads than non-mobile Internet users. In fact, they’re about half as likely, the study shows based on a sample of 92 million impressions.

    Could that be true? Wasn’t it the other way around?

    First, we should note right off the bat that Chitika is an Internet advertising company that’s decidedly not into mobile advertising according to its own website, so that brings along a large truck carrying bags filled with grains of salt. That said, it’s worth taking a look at how they got to the conclusion, so we can reach our own.

    Chitika claims to power advertising for over 55,000 sites, serving ads based on 2 billion monthly impressions. Of the 92 million impressions cited in the study, approximately 1.3 million or 1.5% of the lot came from mobile browsing. The ads that were shown on mobile devices were exactly the same as the ones displayed to non-mobile users, rather than comparing standard online advertising with mobile-oriented ads.

    Ad click-through of mobile as a whole pulled only 0.48% according to analysis of the sample, with non-mobile holding steady with a 0.83% clickthrough rate. That would mean mobile commanded just over half of the average.

    Of the five major smartphone operating systems – Android, iPhone OS, Windows Mobile, Palm OS and BlackBerry OS – Apple’s iPhone ranked worst for ad click-throughs representing a mere 0.30% rate. The “Other” group, comprised mainly of BlackBerry users and a handful of other operating systems (including Symbian, Nokia, and HTC) saw the highest ad click-through rate.

    Personally, I’m a bit hesitant to believe the outcome of the study – much like Chitika’s earlier one about Bing ads’ click-through rate being twice as big as Google ads – considering the self-serving aspect and the apparent desire to come to controversial conclusions in order to draw attention.

    On the flip side, there hasn’t been that much independent research for mobile ad click-through rates yet, and I’m equally keen not to blatantly believe studies that show mobile advertising commands spectacularly high click-through rates compared to web advertising. In my opinion it’s conceivable that click-through rates would be rather similar and largely dependent on context, type of advertising, how well the message fits the medium etc.

    In short: more neutral research wanted.

    Chitika image
    Website: chitika.com
    Location: Marlborough, Massachusetts, United States
    Founded: May, 2003

    Chitika, Inc. (www.chitika.com) is one of the largest search-targeted advertising networks, serving millions of search driven impressions per month, and growing. For result-driven advertisers and media buyers, Chitika offers a keyword-targeted… Learn More

    Information provided by CrunchBase

    2009/09/15 at 00:26 Leave a comment


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