Posts filed under ‘consumer goods’

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.

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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

Listen up, retailers: brands DO matter.

The resurgence of Trademarks and brand names as drivers (rather than set price points): another sign recession receding.

From The Street.com

Retailers Get Push-Back as Brands Disappear

by Jason Notte
Saturday, March 20, 2010
provided byTheStreet.com

As evidenced by Wal-Mart’s (WMT) attempt to streamline its shelf space, even garbage inspires brand loyalty among American consumers.

Earlier this month, Wal-Mart returned Clorox’s (CLX) Glad bags and Pactiv’s (PTV) Hefty bags to its shelves after cutting them in February and carrying only S.C. Johnson and Sons’ Ziploc bags and its Great Value in-house brand. Wal-Mart says the Hefty and Glad bags and hundreds of other items were taken out of the mix as part of a remodeling effort, but the retailer replaced them when it became clear it wasn’t losing only a $4.99 single-item sale, but entire shopping excursions by people seeking specific brands.

“What we found is that you can discontinue items that don’t sell but get you a trip,” said Bill Simon, Wal-Mart’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Consumer Conference last week. “So, we’ve been through the business and put 300 or so of those items back into the stores that were removed. We believe that that’s going to solve some of those issues.”

Other retailers including the SuperValu chain and CVS Caremark (CVS) are pushing ahead and slimming their selection of stock-keeping units. Wal-Mart’s recent retreat may not be enough to mollify manufacturers from Pepsi (PEP) to Kimberly-Clark (KMB), who have the most to lose when stores slash SKUs.

“They would have to be nervous about it,” says Susan Reda, editor of STORES Magazine, which is published by the National Retail Federation. “It’s the manufacturer that has more to lose, and if you’re not a tier 1 or tier 2 company, you’re in a dicey state.”

One of the ripple effects of the economic recession was an almost industry-wide reduction of retail inventory. Wal-Mart, for example, trimmed its U.S. inventory by more than 7.5% last year, in part, to prevent the overstock and price plunges that punished the sector in late 2008. The result for manufacturers varied as widely as their products.

For instance, Colgate-Palmolive’s (CL) sales grew 12% last quarter, including a 5% jump in North America behind the launch of new Colgate products. Procter & Gamble (PG) and its Bounty paper towels, Duracell batteries, Crest toothpaste and Ivory soap, meanwhile, reported a better-than-expected 6% sales increase last quarter as its gross margins and outlook for the fiscal year improved.

“The whole idea of efficient assortment and giving more shelf space to the brands shoppers are looking for the most tends to improve visibility of existing and new items,” says Jennifer Chelune, a Procter & Gamble spokeswoman. “It favors companies that innovate.”

Meanwhile, Kimberly-Clark (KMB) and its Kleenex tissues, Huggies diapers and Scott and Viva paper towels saw sales rise 8.5% in the quarter, but the company reduced its 2010 earnings forecast as sales of core paper products fell 6% when consumers sought cheaper alternatives. Its stock price followed that downward trend. If that’s the pressure being felt by the maker of the tissue that the NRF’s 2009-2010 BIGResearch Consumer Intentions and Actions Surveys say is their favorite brand by an 18% margin, the burden on manufacturers that are lower on the food chain is even heavier.

“Unless you have come up with a product that’s such a standout and so different from the market, you’re not going to make it if you’re just another iteration of ketchup,” STORES Magazine’s Reda says. “If you’re number three or number four in that space, what’s going to set you apart from those other two?”

That fight gets tougher when store brands join in. According to the NPD Group, sales of private-label items increased 8.8% from 2008 to 2009 and nearly 18% during the past decade. Nielsen found that store brands brought in $86 billion in U.S. sales last year, up $14 billion since 2007. With Consumer Reports finding that store brands, on average, cost 27% less than their big-brand counterparts, such a surge can eat away at sales volume for companies like Del Monte (DLM) and Unilever (UN), with the NRF survey reporting that the No. 2 brands of vegetables and ice cream are store/generic products.

However, many retailers still depend on manufacturers to pay for displays at the end of aisles and other prime shelf space, making private-label products a limited option for retailers not named Trader Joe’s. While manufacturers tend to use this knowledge to their advantage and flood the floor with billboard-sized displays of their merchandise, a slimmed-down store selection can be easily expanded through E-commerce. Procter & Gamble, for instance, is using its eStore commerce site as an “online learning lab” to test consumers’ habits and relay that information to online retailers like Wal-Mart and Amazon (AMZN).

“We are a house of brands,” Wal-Mart’s Simon said at the conference. “We prefer to sell national brands because that’s how we can differentiate ourselves in price better.”

Copyrighted, TheStreet.Com. All rights reserved.

2010/03/20 at 17:51 Leave a 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

Snuggies: the 8th Wonder of the Modern World?

We’re all feeling the recession.  We’ve heard recently in the U.S. that it was over and the markets were stable, employers were just not hiring yet.  Then, it seemed things might not be so rosy.  This week brought rumors and reports that Dubai, Dubai, might be going bankrupt*.  In this increasingly intertwined global economy, every little up or down (or report of one) can have incredible ripple effects.

Imagine my surprise, then as I’ve recently returned to the States after an over-seas, TV-less assignment to see a new and expanded Snuggie infomercial.  At first I thought “ha, ha!  Snuggies in leopard print, just when I thought things could not get tackier!”  And then I started thinking about it: Snuggies are releasing a “designer line” of their product.  Unless it’s a marketing ruse to make the product’s profitability greater than it actually is, this meant something truly scary and of a significance I have yet to figure out: Snuggies are making money.  Making money, and enough to expand their product line.

For those of you that don’t know what a Snuggie is, yet are still here, I’ll try to explain.  In the States, and most English speaking nations, we have infomercials for products that seem to be completely superfluous, useless and usually are so ridiculous in their uselessness to the average consumer that they are laughable.  This particular product has been the latest in a long series of “As Seen On TV” products that have been lampooned and scoffed at in their inanity.

Essentially, It’s a blanket with arm holes, made of fleece.  The original advertisement points out how cumbersome and just plain inconvenient blankets and sweaters can be: you have to move your hands from under a blanket to, say knit, or answer the phone.  The actors seem have their spirits broken by this unfathomable act of uncovering their arms to perform menial tasks.  They can’t believe humanity has made it this far with such a burden.  But then!  Blessings!  Someone has invented a product that looks like a blanket with sleeves.  You can use your arms now!  You can lift the remote control from the couch without having to negotiate that insidious blanket.  A huge weight has been lifted and a milestone in the evolution of man has been reached.

As my 22 year old sister pointed out: it’s a robe you put on backwards.  That you pay a lot of shipping and handling for.

Everyone from news shows to parody programs (like The Soup and Saturday Night Live) and late night talk show hosts (Jay Leno, David Letterman) have all taken potshots at the Snuggie.  It’s just too absurd to believe, but too real not to mention.

Well, look who’s having the last laugh.  They know have leopard print.  And zebra print.  And camel (of course).  And THERE’S EVEN ONE FOR YOUR DOG.**

How can there be a recession, with reports of empty stores on New York’s always busy upper Broadway on Black Friday, and the run away success of a completely useless and superfluous product?  According to their website, they’ve sold over 4 million units in three months.  That means more than one percent of the US population has bought one in the last quarter.  Now, a lot of this is through TV marketing trickery (buying sets, up-selling, confusing ordering practices), but still.

Clearly half of this me joking, but it raises a real point: what in the french are consumers thinking?  We hear about belt tightening and foreclosures and bankruptcy, but the completely unnecessary products of the world go on, and do well.

It’s not marketing.  The ads are too targeted, too cheesy, too insignificant to have the impact they claim to have.  So I ask: what do you think drives consumers to these purchases when they are tightening budgets elsewhere?  It’s not escapist and it’s not essential.

Thoughts?

* Dubai is also a cautionary tale of excess, proof of the adage of location, location, location and bubble budget spending (use it or lose it), but it’s a very serious development.

** I’m not making this up.  Please see the second video below- there’s one that combines both, but then you wouldn’t really be getting the full Snuggie experience.

Designer Snuggie Infomercial here (brings you to youtube)

And for your little dog, too infomercial (youtube)

2009/11/28 at 20:42 Leave a comment

Brand Education: One-man business helps companies understand value of advertising ‘that touches all five senses’

article contributed by Chris Piper, Brand Consultant via LinkedIn (Licensing, Branding & Merchandising Group)
By Andrew Moore / The Bulletin

Published: September 22. 2009 4:00AM PST

In early September 2008, Bend resident Chris Piper launched a new business, unaware, like most, that the economy was days away from drastic decline.

It was a risky move without considering the economy, but Piper felt passionate about what he wanted his business to do: Educate the business community about the value of branded merchandise.

Not just embroidered shirts and printed coffee mugs, but thoughtful consumer products that are unique or useful and effective in complementing a company’s message.

“The big weakness I saw was companies that didn’t understand the value of branded merchandise, other than having some branded pens on their desk or trade show booth,” said Piper. “The businesses that say, ‘I don’t know why I need it but I know I have to have it.’”

Piper, the founder of Breakout Strategic Merchandising, has survived his first year, and is aiming to take a bite of the nation’s $20 billion branded merchandise market. A big part of his efforts remain focused on education, including travel to business conferences and trade shows.

Sometimes those events yield new customers. Thanks to a speaking engagement with the Association of Luxury Suite Directors, Piper recently helped the Buffalo Bills put together a special commemorative edition of The New York Times for last month’s induction of Bills owner Ralph Wilson into the NFL Hall of Fame.

Piper created a 25-page newspaper filled with stories about the Bills from the last 50 years as they originally appeared in The New York Times.

With more than 5,000 product manufacturers he can work with, Piper is limited only by his imagination. For local company G5 Search Marketing, Piper put together a mailer that contained a branded stick of Chapstick. For another company, he created a pen-shaped tube of aerosolized hand sanitizer, capitalizing on the nation’s new focus on battling swine flu infections. For Nike, he had a 3-inch-wide commemorative coin minted that doubled as a ticket to a Nike Super Bowl party.

“Nontraditional advertising is growing, but you have to be methodical when you use it,” said Piper. “You’re not cannibalizing other mediums of advertising but adding value to it, finding other ways to engage your client’s customers.”

Piper, a native of Orinda, Calif., who graduated from the University of Oregon in 1989, moved to Bend roughly 4½ years ago. Like many professionals who relocate to Central Oregon, Piper initially worked from home for his then-employer, drawn to the region for its quality of life.

When the opportunity arose to start his own business and work for himself, Piper jumped at it. Though his company is still young, he is hopeful that he will one day be able to hire employees and grow what he hopes will be an expanding office.

Q: How is Breakout Strategic Merchandising doing?

A: We’re growing, We have clients nationally.

Q: How much of your business is focused on educating clients about the value of branded merchandise?

A: You get a passion for what you do when you are in an industry so long and the promotional products industry hadn’t been doing a good job of educating companies why to use (promotional products), so when I go out, I want people to understand the return on investment and how branded merchandise helps support your advertising campaign, but also gives you a three-dimensional medium that touches all five senses.

Q: What’s your company’s biggest challenge?

A: Getting people to realize the importance of branded merchandise … and keeping customers in the pipeline.

Q: Is it hard to do all that by yourself?

A: Yes, but I have strategic partners, and they become indirect salespeople in a way, and I think that’s a great way for people to grow a business.

Q: How difficult has it been to launch your business?

A: Logistically, getting to clients (outside the region) is difficult, but there is a wealth of people here who can help you with your business. I’ve spent quite a bit of time with my Opportunity Knocks (a local business support organization) group … but Bend, this community, everyone wants you to succeed.

Q: What advice do you have for others interested in starting their own business?

A: Make sure you have savings and be sure you are willing to go out and ask for help.

Andrew Moore can be reached at 541-617-7820 or amoore@bendbulletin.com.

2009/10/08 at 15:49 Leave a comment

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

My beloved Peter Parker has followed my beloved Kermit the Frog into the Vault…Fr

via Playthings:

Disney to Acquire Marvel Entertainment
Deal valued at $4 billion
— Playthings, 8/31/2009 8:22:00 AM
Burbank, CA & New York — The Walt Disney Company has agreed to acquire Marvel Entertainment, Inc. in a stock and cash transaction.

Under the terms of the agreement, Marvel shareholders would receive a total of $30 per share in cash plus approximately 0.745 Disney shares for each Marvel share they own. At closing, the amount of cash and stock will be adjusted if necessary so that the total value of the Disney stock issued as merger consideration based on its trading value at that time is not less than 40 percent of the total merger consideration.

Based on the closing price of Disney stock on Friday, August 28, the transaction value is $50 per Marvel share or approximately $4 billion.

“This transaction combines Marvel’s strong global brand and world-renowned library of characters including Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Fantastic Four and Thor with Disney’s creative skills, unparalleled global portfolio of entertainment properties, and a business structure that maximizes the value of creative properties across multiple platforms and territories,” said Robert A. Iger, president and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company. “Ike Perlmutter and his team have done an impressive job of nurturing these properties and have created significant value. We are pleased to bring this talent and these great assets to Disney.”

“We believe that adding Marvel to Disney’s unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation,” Iger said.

“Disney is the perfect home for Marvel’s fantastic library of characters given its proven ability to expand content creation and licensing businesses,” said Ike Perlmutter, Marvel’s chief executive officer. “This is an unparalleled opportunity for Marvel to build upon its vibrant brand and character properties by accessing Disney’s tremendous global organization and infrastructure around the world.”

Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Marvel including its more than 5,000 Marvel characters. Perlmutter will oversee the Marvel properties, and will work directly with Disney’s global lines of business to build and further integrate Marvel’s properties.

The boards of directors of Disney and Marvel have each approved the transaction, which is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, certain non-United States merger control regulations, effectiveness of a registration statement with respect to Disney shares issued in the transaction and other customary closing conditions. The agreement will require the approval of Marvel shareholders. Marvel was advised on the transaction by BofA Merrill Lynch.

2009/08/31 at 17:19 Leave a comment

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