Tech-savvy tactics helped give Barack Obama's presidential campaign an edge. Now, several of the ad-technology companies that powered the campaign's digital push are touting their role in its success, hoping to gain an edge over their own competitors.
Tag: digital media
A new report pegs Amazon’s potential TV set-top box launch for March. Re/Code reports that the ecommerce and digital media giant is indeed still hard at work on a streaming TV device, which has been reported previous, and which was supposedly arriving in time for the holidays last year before those plans were pushed back.
It’s not easy being the Ford Motor of the Internet. And that, in short, is the predicament facing AOL, according to its chief executive, Timothy M. Armstrong, who spoke Tuesday as part of the three-day UBS media conference in New York.
As Rupert Murdoch’s News International prepares to launch the second part of its paywall project in the UK this month, there are signs that apps might be a better way to get people to pay for their news. The Guardian reports today that the Financial Times’ iPad app has generated over £1m in advertising revenue since its launch in May. Also today, the Press Gazette reports that News International’s The Sun is launching a dedicated celebrity news app costing £1.19 for a 30 day subscription, something it wouldn’t try if it didn’t think there was a market for it.
If you were going to pick an epicenter for mainstream media, The Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz would not be a bad place to land. With his running scorecard on Beltway journalists, his interviews of other scorekeepers on his “Reliable Sources” show on CNN, and his ceaseless fascination with network news, Mr. Kurtz embodied the folkways of the traditional press. Until last week, when he announced he was leaving his privileged perch to become the Washington bureau chief for The Daily Beast, a two-year-old toddler of the new digital press conceived by Tina Brown and owned by IAC, run by Barry Diller. Mr. Kurtz’s lane change evinced gasps reminiscent of when Dylan went electric at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965.
Facebook's Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said in New York today that in the next three to five years, a website that isn't tailored to a specific user's interest will be an anachronism, according to coverage from media industry blog PaidContent. "People don't want something targeted to the whole world--they want something that reflects what they want to see and know," Sandberg said at publisher Arianna Huffington's Advertising Week event today. So much for all the news that's fit to print - Sandberg's vision of the future sounds more like all the news that's relevant to your taste profile and social graph. Is that emphasis on personalization, which Facebook is better suited to power than any other company in history, a good or bad thing for media and the democracy it ought to fuel?
Plus: magazines are making a comeback and VCs might be getting desperate.
Despite digital media's virulent growth, it's still TV that drives the billion-dollar advertising budgets for most major corporations, which means planning for those ad dollars is often set well in advance. Online marketing, however, is often up-to-the-minute, steered by vast ad networks and exchanges that broker the buying and selling of page views in a sometimes opaque bidding process. But one company recently unveiled a new system that claims to predict the future prices of page views, which could allow buyers to lock in prices up to 12 months in advance, more akin to TV buying.
We’ve heard a lot about listening over the past several years as marketers have sought to make the most of the social web. But are we really listening? Former President Calvin Coolidge once remarked that, “No one ever listened themselves out of a job.” Customer feedback today is easier than ever to come by, and experts and observers have encouraged companies to engage in a real dialogue with customers instead of just talking customers’ ears off. As Umair Haque of the Havas Media Lab wrote back in 2008, “listening beats talking.” Companies claimed to have gotten the message, unveiling elaborate listening programs, such as Starbucks’ mystarbucksidea website. More recently, the Wall Street Journal has taken note that business “are listening” to customer reviews and other feedback on sites like Yelp, City Search, and Urban Spoon.
That’s what Fake does best: Tend social sparks until they ignite and become full-fledged communities. Connecting people to one another is not just Fake’s hobby — she has made it her career. As the cofounder of Flickr, the landmark photography site, Fake provided a place for shutterbugs to share their work; they have uploaded more than 4 billion pictures. It was a seminal service that helped launch the era of user-generated content, spurring entrepreneurs to build Web sites and businesses based on volunteer contributions.
Borders' new e-book store is now open for business. The bookstore chain officially unveiled its new e-book store on Wednesday, with a million and a half electronic books, both paid and free, in a variety of formats, including ePub, mobile, and PDF. Customers can read the e-books using free software powered by Kobo and designed for different devices, according to Borders. The lineup includes existing applications for the PC, Mac, iPhone, and iPad, and new apps just launched for Android and BlackBerry phones, all of which are available at Borders' Web site. In addition to reading the books through the apps, users can browse or search for e-books, download specific titles, and access and manage their e-book libraries.
In search of new business models, some media and retail companies are treading on each other's turf online. One of the latest examples is Lockerz Inc., a youth-targeted media website that doles out points to members for watching videos with ads, taking surveys, signing up other friends, and completing other social-networking tasks. This week, Lockerz—which says it has amassed 16 million registered users—is launching a shopping component that lets users redeem those points, dubbed PTZ, for discounts from its own online mall from brands including Sony Corp., Ben Sherman Group Ltd. and Nintendo Co.
For a company that has made a big business of indexing third-party websites, a substantial part of Google's display success hinges on its ability to milk YouTube and its other owned and operated properties such as Gmail and Google Finance.
Much virtual ink has been spilled over how the viral potential of online video can be a potent ambush-marketing tool at big events such as the World Cup. But new research from Nielsen on the 2010 FIFA World Cup shows that, while web video can be a potent ambush tool in the run-up period to a major event, it's a lot less effective than an official sponsorship once the games start.
Not long ago, I was presenting along with some folks to the senior executive team at a large division of a massive insurance company. I had the great pleasure of listening to Eileen Naughton of YouTube, when she referred to Google as the operating system for search, Facebook as the operating system for social, Twitter as the operating system for real time and YouTube as the operating system for video. I found her characterization of the services fascinating and useful.
Unilever is doubling its digital investment this year, and part of the impetus behind that has been Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Keith Weed getting 30 of the company's line managers to join him on a trip to Silicon Valley earlier this year to put together deals such as the company's recently announced charter sponsorship on Apple's iAd platform. In an interview during the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, Mr. Weed acknowledged there's a risk in "getting ahead of consumers," as he describes some of Unilever's efforts. But he likens investments in emerging media to those in upstream product development -- a necessary outlay to ensure long-term growth.
In all my years in online analytics, I have been waiting to see an online media placement that is so strong, the consumer converts directly from one exposure (either click or view), without a path of influence. I think most people reading this would agree that it's nearly impossible (because if we all knew the secret formula, wouldn't we all be using it?!). But why then is the last click/view attribution the standard model?
Neiman Marcus will be completely mobile by fall as part of its multichannel contact strategy to drive long-term growth, according to the company’s top executive who keynoted the Luxury Interactive 2010 Conference. During a keynote at the Luxury Branding Conference, the company addressed three key parts of its multichannel integration. The mobile site will let consumers by designer products via their handsets.
A new report by Method – “Place, Space and the Mobile Interface” – surmises some key behavioral and attitudinal shifts that mobile has facilitated, and which brands seeking to engage with – and provide a solution for – consumers should be tracking to. An increasingly hyper-connected world dependent upon our (smart)phones to organize our lives and finances, plan our schedules, connect to others (both digitally and physically) and suggest to us where to go has opened up multiple opportunities for brands, designers and developers.
Invented over a century ago as anonymous pieces of paper that could be traded for discounts, coupons have evolved into tracking devices for companies that want to learn more about the habits of their customers. Although they might look similar to the ones in Sunday newspaper circulars, many of today's digital versions use special bar codes that are packed with information about the life of the coupon: the dates and times it was obtained, viewed and, ultimately, redeemed; the store where it was used; perhaps even the search terms typed to find it.
Volkwagen's "Fun Theory" campaign won the Cannes Lion for best online advertising campaign of the year. The groundbreaking viral campaign, created by DDB, took home the Cyber Grand Prix at the 57th International Cannes Lions Advertising Festival for its concept (making things fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better), execution (including viral stunts such as the piano staircase, above, which has generated more than 12 million views on YouTube) and results, with sales of Volkswagen's eco-cars up year over year.
Burberry has launched what is being billed as the first interactive extension of a luxury brand. By launching the Autumn-Winter 2010 collection as a fully interactive, motion-responsive experience, users are able to click, drag and control how they view each item of merchandise featured on the ad and seasonal collection – including merchandise, products and models.
Edward Cullen will return to his Volvo XC60 in the upcoming Twilight Saga: Eclipse, and Volvo, in turn, will once again market the tie-in with an online promotion. To promote the film, which premieres June 30, Volvo and agency Euro 4D are launching "Lost in Forks," a contest offering a chance to win the car. A TV spot, set to break this week from Arnold Worldwide, links the safety aspect of a Volvo with the twists and turns of the series’ plot. “There’s more to life than a Volvo. There’s what you can expect: Being kissed, desired, loved, missed,” reads a voiceover as scenes from the movie roll by. “Then there’s everything you can’t expect. So be ready for it. That’s why you drive one.”
The era of eight-figure funding deals for ad networks isn't over -- at least not yet. Brand.net, a San Mateo, Calif., network found by former Yahoo execs, just closed a $14 million funding round led by Focus Ventures. The ad-network space is saturated and the competition for ad dollars and margins is cutthroat. But while most networks are chasing the latest hot sector -- real-time buying and selling of audience and ad impressions -- Brand.net has taken a page from the TV market and created a futures market for online display and video.
My latest Apple-aholic's post. On Apple's relentless revitalisation with the iPhone 4. Video of it here. This will help them grown even further, and challenge RIM/Blackberry for Smartphone leadership. Latest data shows they now have a 28% of the US smartphone market. And in fact, they are already the leader brand in the US in terms of smartphone browser usage (how much time people spend web surfing on their phone).
In January 2009, a disgruntled JetBlue customer was slapped with a $50 fee for checking a box containing a fold-up bicycle, clothes and some cheese. The box met the height and weight requirements to keep it from warranting a baggage fee, but JetBlue's policy for checking a bicycle, no matter the size, called for a $50 charge. The angry passenger called the airline's customer service center but was repeatedly told it was company policy and that no exceptions would be made. After getting back to Portland, Ore., he took his fight public in a blog post on the Bicycle Transportation Alliance's website.
Let’s be honest, shopping isn’t always as fun as it should be. Between long lines, irate shoppers, communal fitting rooms (I’m looking at your Loehmann’s), distracted cashiers (I’m sorry, don’t let my purchase interrupt your texting), and simply having to part with your cold hard cash, it can be exhausting. Plus, you can’t always find what you want.
John Ross, president of the research and development arm of Interpublic Group's Mediabrands, thinks retailers have a big problem. Their circulars, which worked in the offline world for decades, haven't caught up with consumer habits online.
NBC Universal's new Dial Star, a 10-episode Web series sponsored by AT&T, is the latest proof of the media giant's growing commitment to branded entertainment. It also follows on rival moves, such as Orbit’s new DumbDumb campaign from former NBCU entertainment head Ben Silverman and actors Jason Bateman and Will Arnett. Starring Annalynne McCord (above, of 90210 and Nip/Tuck fame), Dial Star aims to build an online following and viral buzz with its mix of Hollywood glitz and glamour, deception and identity theft.
Best Buy is aiming to change the way consumers watch films with the launch of its "Movie Mode" mobile app this week. The free download, which is being released in conjunction with 3-D film Despicable Me (in theaters July 9), provides an interactive interface that unlocks exclusive digital content. During the end credits, viewers who download the app get a translation of the chatter of the minion characters in Despicable Me.
The World Cup has long been a social experience for fans around the world who cheer their teams on at games, bars and other public gatherings. This year, brands are betting on a different kind of social to connect with fans in ways unimaginable just four years ago, when the last Word Cup was held. Coca-Cola, Nike and Anheuser-Busch are just some of the brands that have made YouTube an important component of their World Cup ad campaigns. Others, like Visa, have added Facebook to their efforts, while still others, including Microsoft, are tapping into the still-emerging field of location-based services.
The world’s most widely viewed sporting event, FIFA World Cup 2010, begins today. And for the first time ever, the World Cup is playing in the digital age. During the last World Cup, social media was barely kicking: Twitter hit the field on July 2006; Facebook wasn’t public until September 2006. In 2010, it’s a whole new World Cup.
Unilever may be a global marketer, but it hasn't been able to do many truly global ad deals -- at least not until its multimillion-dollar deal with Apple to be the consumer goods "presenting advertiser" on the new iAd platform was announced June 7. For Unilever, the deal aims at tapping the two biggest, and largely interdependent, trends it sees shaping marketing: globalization and mobile digital media.
One of the things that excites people most about technology is that it is seen as a gateway to the future. So how does that explain the recent glut of lo-fi adverts, software, and user interfaces that seem to be being spewed out by so-called hi-tech companies? Case in point is the recent ad for Google Chrome, released a couple of months after OK Go's sublime take on Rube Goldberg, but tech companies are not merely saluting the art of lo-fi in their advertising campaigns, but in their products too.
Brands beware – you are now subject to consumer rankings on performance and values. Launched in March, Brandkarma.com is the brainchild of Craig Davis, Publicis Mojo Australia chief creative officer and co-chairman. At the heart of the site is the Brandkarma flower, with five petals emblematic of how a brand treats its customers, employees, investors, suppliers and the planet.
When I was in Shanghai a few of weeks ago, I was invited to sit with some of Asia’s top bloggers to listen to an interactive marketing agency explaining their social media marketing strategy. There was much talk about creating conversations through blogger outreach and, I guess, the idea was to be transparent about what they did and how they acted with new media publishers.
Is the Real-Time Web making news consumption better or worse? In a Wired magazine article, book author Nicholas Carr argues that the Internet is reducing our ability to comprehend content on the Web. In a separate blog post, Carr even suggests that websites and blogs should move hyperlinks from the body of an article to the bottom - apparently, links distract readers and cause them to understand an article less. I don't buy that particular argument, but it's clear that we need better strategies to cope with news overload. Particularly as these days we're not only getting more content, but getting it much faster.
AOL is planning to hire hundreds of journalists, editors and videographers in the coming year as it builds out its content-first business model. David Eun, president of AOL's media and studios division, is expected to announce the push in an all-hands meeting of the group in New York today when he lays out his strategy for the unit that will include grouping all the sites into 17 "super-networks."
Despite everything I hear about focus making us more effective, I'm a chronic multitasker. My computer screen flickers incessantly with alerts from Tweetdeck, Skype and Gmail; if something pings or flashes, I simply must investigate. So you can imagine my concern when I read this article from the New York Times about our brains on computers. We're losing all ability to focus, claims Matt Richtel. "While many people say multitasking makes them more productive, research shows otherwise. Heavy multitaskers actually have more trouble focusing and shutting out irrelevant information, scientists say, and they experience more stress. And scientists are discovering that even after the multitasking ends, fractured thinking and lack of focus persist."
For the last two years, unlimited data plans have given app-hungry smartphone users an all-you-can-eat buffet. But will customers react to AT&T’s new, limited menu by simply eating less? Some software developers fear they will, and if that happens, the caps on data use that AT&T has imposed could also make consumers lose their appetite for the latest innovations.
Brand owners looking to drive long-term growth must respond to a range of "megatrends" from the explosion of digital media to the rise of competitors in emerging markets, a study has argued. The Boston Consulting Group has been tracking 78 "megatrends" since 2005, and argued the firms that react most effectively to these shifts will be best placed to increase sales going forward.
The Wall Street Journal is starting to become a big player when it comes to appointment Web video. The company's digital division has launched Opinion Journal Live, a live daily Web series centered on the conservative-leaning newspaper's signature commentary. That show joins the Journal's growing roster of daily originals, which include the news-oriented The News Hub, which debuted along with WSJ.com's new video player last November, as well as the technology-focused Digits, which premiered in February.
Facebook today announced new features to address the criticism that is has faced recently for its privacy settings and processes. In December 2009 and then again in April this year, the site made a number of changes to its privacy options and settings. In essence they opened up more data to users beyond your friends and immediate networks and changed some of the default settings. This led to the situation where users had 50 different settings and 170 options to control the levels of access to and sharing of the data and information on their profiles.
YouTube is looking to ramp up engagement between viewers and content creators through the integration of Google Moderator, the search giant’s crowdsourcing and feedback product. Google Moderator, which launched in 2008, is one of the company’s lesser-known products. It allows a person to manage feedback and questions from large groups of people. Users submit their suggestions or questions via Moderator, and can then vote specific questions or suggestions up or down to bring the best ideas to the top.
We’re still here at the first TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York. Up on stage right now is an interesting group of people discussing how brands can best engage with digital audiences in this day and age. This is an overview of what Judy Hu, Global Executive Director of Advertising & Branding at GE, Brian Pokorny (CEO of dailybooth), Christopher ‘moot’ Poole of 4chan fame and Andrey Ternovskiy, who started Chatroulette, had to say about that.
A few weeks ago, as Steve Case was flying above Sterling, en route to Dulles International Airport, he looked down and saw the sprawling campus that is home to the company he co-founded 25 years ago this month -- the pioneering service that took millions of people online for the first time.
About one-half of online women in the US were fans or followers of a company’s social marketing presence in April 2010, according to a survey from SheSpeaks and iVillage. It was most popular to follow brands, especially in the consumer packaged goods category. Women were less engaged with retail outlets on social sites.
After several years of lying in the weeds, mobile advertising has significantly picked up steam. It finally makes sense to understand how to effectively use and deploy mobile paid search marketing campaigns. In this article, I’ll provide some basic tips related to paid search mobile marketing. In my next article, I’ll suggest several ad copy and landing pages strategies for mobile paid search campaigns.
YouTube has just introduced a new privacy option for videos uploaded to the site, Unlisted Videos. The new option lets users post videos to the site and mark them as “unlisted.” Essentially Unlisted Videos are private videos that anyone can view if, and only if, they have access to the video URL. These videos will not show up on public pages, in search results or on user channels. There’s no limit on the amount of people of who can view the video and anyone can see it, regardless of whether or not they have a YouTubeaccount.
As quickly and extensively as the digital media landscape twists and turns in fashioning its future fortunes, so do the executives holding the reins. Speculation has followed Peter Chernin since he left News Corp after serving under Rupert Murdoch as COO. As with many moguls in that stratosphere, there was no rush to join another big company. Having worked with the best in the business, Chernin now wants his own empire to run.
Now another airline, JetBlue, is introducing a marketing initiative that seeks to convince consumers how much better traveling on JetBlue can be. The campaign is scheduled to begin on Monday as a video-rich online effort — JetBlue is calling it a digital brand experience — whose Web address is meant to say it all: experience.jetblue.com. (It will also be reachable by visiting the JetBlue Web site, jetblue.com, and clicking on “experience.”) The initiative, by a digital agency in New York named Firstborn, is an example of what is known as experiential marketing, which aims to bring brands to life in tangible ways that eschew traditional advertising tactics like television commercials.
CMOs are entering a new period of organizational change as they restructure to minimize costs, maximize flexibility and place digital and social media at the heart of their global strategies. In fact, 75% of chief marketers are either restructuring their marketing organizations now or will do so by the end of 2011, according to a new Forrester Research survey.
While non-profits may not allocate extra funds to stakeholders, charitable organizations still have a bottom line — to spread their message and accomplish their mission. To do this, strategic planning, which includes digital outreach, is involved. That’s why a growing number of non-profits are using social media to draw attention to their goals.
This question was asked recently at LinkedIn: “Is email marketing dead?” How many times have I heard that before or, even worse, the pronouncement of its demise? The first time I recall hearing the statement was at Blog Business Summit in 2005 when Chris Pirillo made it during a session. (He later recanted the statement, to some extent at least.) Certainly, there have been numerous challengers to email marketing’s throne, not the least of which is social media. However, email is still a vibrant, growing medium that has a future for a number of reasons.
There's a battle brewing in the San Francisco Bay Area over how to win over one very important consumer group: moms. MomsLikeMe, a Mclean, Va.-based blogging network for moms across America, announced today plans to team up with the Bay Area News Group, San Francisco's biggest print and digital media company. The mommy blogging site focuses on local communities of moms and launched in 2008 as a unit of newspaper giant Gannett. It will syndicate its content to the News Group's local papers, such as The Contra Costa Times and The San Jose Mercury News, and the two media companies will split the local and national ad revenue they pull in.
Reckitt Benckiser ("RB") made ad trade headlines last week when it announced a record-setting $40 million web video buy for 2010. What shocked everyone wasn't the dollar amount but rather that the company pretty much doesn't care where the ads run. "This kind of strategy echoes planning/buying 101 back in 1970," said a comment on the news article in Advertising Age, "It's a senseless approach that abandons all facets of leveraging for optimization and efficiency." Spoken like a true technonut, I say. At risk of overly analyzing the move I wonder if it heralds a realistic approach to web advertising. Say hello to mass media 2.0?
With their ability to cheaply reach eyeballs, online ad networks have commanded more money and attention from marketers in the past few years, thus edging out content sites in the conversation for ad dollars. A recent study, however, claims content is back. A survey of agencies and marketers revealed that 52% of them plan to spend more on content sites this year, whereas only 35% said they were likely to increase budgets for ad networks. As examples of content destinations, the study cited ESPN and WebMD.
Marketers have always sought that secret sauce, the data that gives them an edge over their competition. And online, where data is generated faster than anyone can make sense of it, that arms race has taken on an extreme dimension.
Away-from-home TV networks at retail, restaurant and transit locations got a boost this week when Nielsen released its first quarterly audience report on the medium. The report detailed the size and demographics of people who saw ads on the "fourth screen" -- fourth following TV, computer and mobile screens -- using standardized Nielsen methodology for the first time.
A dozen broadcasters have joined forces to create a new service for delivering mobile TV. With more and more people watching video on smartphones and other portable gadgets, the newly created venture will let member companies cook up digital TV content including live and on-demand video, news from both print and electronic outlets, and an array of sports and entertainment shows. Potentially, it could also provide U.S. mobile users with information on emergencies and natural disasters.
Google has launched a Twitter archive service, giving it a more comprehensive index of tweets over time than even Twitter itself. (See Danny’s Where Have All The Old Tweets Gone?) Meanwhile, Twitter gets a logo presence in Google’s search results, the first time Google’s featured a partner like this. The Google blog has details here. For the time being it apparently works for tweets posted from February, 2010 forward. However soon it will be available for all tweets, from March, 2006 when Twitter first launched.
Madison Avenue is coming up with a digital variation on an Irving Berlin standard: The campaign has ended, but the advertising lingers on. Thanks to Internet staples like YouTube, Facebook and the special Web sites known as microsites, consumers can still see ads after the completion of the campaigns of which they were part — not unlike satellites that remain in space, visible to the eye, long after they have stopped being tracked.
Coca-Cola's Dasani bottled water brand is running a green-hat giveaway to build awareness of its new PlantBottle, 100%-recyclable plastic packaging made up of up to 30% plant-based materials. The limited-edition line of hats was designed by Erica Domesek, founder of the designer do-it-yourself brand "PS-I Made This" and its eponymous Web site. Made from everyday household items such as sweatpants, zippers from sweatshirts, buttons and thread, the hats are meant to promote the recycling benefits of DIY fashion, as well as the PlantBottle.
The Considered Purchase Pattern is a powerful model for a business-to-business website because so many businesses have flaccidly chosen to build their site on the brochure pattern. With the strategies outlined here, you will generate new leads and sales at a fraction of the cost of your competitors. Get these strategies right, and you have the opportunity to dominate your competitors on the Web.
Macy’s has been serving up fashion advice via a series of “irreverent” celebrity-studded Web videos. The department store, which saw same store sales increase 3.7 percent in February, has tapped style gurus like Martha Stewart, Donald Trump, Clinton Kelly, and Rachel Roy to guide consumers through real life challenges—like what to wear when meeting your ex-boyfriend for coffee. (Agencies JWT, New York, and Mediaedge:cia handled creative and media buying duties, respectively.) The goal, said Martine Reardon, Macy’s marketing evp, is to give consumers the confidence and style tips they need to “put it all together.” The effort, she said, stemmed from research that showed consumers wanted more than just “fashion advice from Macy’s.” Reardon recently chatted with Brandweek about why Macy’s is leaning heavily on digital for its spring campaign. Excerpts are below.
Apple Inc.'s iPad appeared to get off to a strong start over the weekend as swarms of buyers flocked to stores after weeks of publicity about the tablet-style computer. But the long lines soon faded, and few stores sold out of the device, which continues to face questions about how broadly demand for it will spread beyond technology enthusiasts.
While many high end lines have been launching their own web-video campaigns, one site is taking it upon themselves to curate some of its favorite people, designers, and trends in one place. FASHIONAIR (which is still in beta form) celebrates fashion in all its forms, and is inspired as much by personal style, as what we see on the runways. The site includes, styling advice, interviews with industry insiders like Margherita Missoni, as well as daily fashion advice, gossip, and styling tips. The page also features a Personal Style section, where visitors can browse buys by body shape or style, upload your own media, or make digital magazine clippings of their favorite looks.
Toyota is turning to digital to generate buzz and create a cool factor for its Scion brand. Add to that all the requisites of a bona fide TV production, and the result is “Reinvent the Wheels,” a six-episode, web-only series, on your computer now @ www.reinventthewheels.com. Targeted to the younger generation, the series has been created, cast, and produced like reality television, replete with trailers, behind-the-scenes interviews, music downloads, explosive graphics, and an episodic time clock countdown.
It didn't take long for Julie Liu -- late 20s, smartphone-addicted, constant Googler -- to get hooked on the online review site Yelp. Where to eat Friday night? Read some reviews by random anonymous diners. Oh, that looks good. Book a table online, show up, eat. But after Liu and her sister opened Scion restaurant in Dupont Circle, they saw Yelp from a different angle. Liu said Yelp's salespeople phoned repeatedly, telling her that if she advertised on the site, negative reviews would move lower on Scion's page and positive reviews would move up.
Last year, those Evian roller babies skated their way into the pages of the Guinness World Records as the most-viewed online advertisement in history, with what the company now claims is more than 100 million views. But one achievement it did not pull off? A boost in U.S. sales. Evian lost market share as sales dropped 28 percent in each of the first two quarters, although it reduced those declines to 26 percent in the third quarter and 19 percent in the fourth, according to Beverage Digest.
Geico outguns it by more than double when it comes to auto insurance ad spending. Progressive outspends it by nearly 40%. And Allstate matches its outlays on auto-insurance ads. Yet State Farm -- the country's leading auto insurer -- gained market share last year despite raising its rates and dwelling as a distant third in ad spending in the category. When rival Allstate raised rates, its policy sales declined, but after State Farm did the same, its share actually advanced due to a small increase (less than 1%) in policies sold during a down market.
One of the classic taglines in marketing today is "Let your fingers do the walking," with the recognizable Yellow Pages 'walking fingers' logo. This is all changing in Canada as the Yellow Pages enter the digital age. There will be "More Yellow, Less Pages" and the new logo will not include an open book. The former Yellow Pages logo is pictured at right, as the new one is unavailable.
This is a nation that builds dams, high-speed rail lines and skyscrapers with abandon. In newly muscular China, sheer force is not just an art, but a bedrock principle of its seemingly unstoppable rise to global prominence. Now China has tightened its grip on the much more variegated world of online information, effectively forcing Google Inc., the world’s premier information provider, to choose between submitting to Chinese censorship and leaving the world’s largest community of Internet users to its rivals. It chose to leave.
Don’t expect an army of web companies to rush to Google’s defense in China v. Google. The lines are drawn but Google will stand alone, according to internet law expert and Harvard Professor Jonathan Zittrain. Other companies, Zittrain argues, are too timid to go toe-to-toe with China, especially with the web’s biggest market at stake. That decision to remain neutral seems like a no brainer — at least from the short-term, dollars and cents perspective — but there’s an argument to be made that Google could eventually emerge as the victor.
In this Brand Innovator Spotlight, Bert DuMars talks about how breaking down the silos and collaborating with consumers is keeping a century old company successful in the digital age. Bert DuMars is VP E-Business & Interactive Marketing for Newell Rubbermaid, a global marketer of consumer and commercial products including Sharpie, Graco and Irwin Industrial Tools. Since 2007, Mr. DuMars has been responsible for directing and coordinating eMarketing, eCommerce and Social Media Marketing initiatives for Newell Rubbermaid’s externally-facing online efforts.
Despite our ongoing fascination and dependence on digital interactions, the point of social media—and perhaps all media—is connectivity. Campaigns like Blu Dot’s experiment in New York, Grill’d in Melbourne, or the T-Mobile dance in Liverpool Street Station demonstrate the power that actual physical events and online channels create when they work together. These campaigns get watched. They get forwarded. They’re viral in every sense of the word. That’s because most of us want to look behind the curtain—maybe even participate.
While Twitter seems to have the market sewn up when it comes to the public sharing of snippets of information, the competition is heating up for offering similar services inside a corporation. Microsoft, for example, is testing OfficeTalk, a microblogging service that's a sort of Twitter for businesses, while Google has been using an inside-the-company version of its Google Buzz feature to allow co-workers to share information with one another.
National advertisers spend more than $120 billion on advertising in local markets and Yahoo wants it. This year the Sunnyvale, Calif., company's sales reps are going after big companies with outlets that advertise in local newspapers and on regional radio stations and Web sites. These marketers include Dunkin' Donuts, Burger King, Pizza Hut, State Farm Insurance and Home Depot. The list goes on and Yahoo intends to call every advertiser on it, offering them the opportunity to target regionally and reach millions of people online.
Last Monday night in Austin, about 200 people were milling around the bar at the Driskill Hotel, an unofficial headquarters for the name-badge-infested horde attending the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference. And just after midnight, about 70 people in different parts of the gorgeous relic of a bar stood up and began moving quickly toward the exit. Where were we all going? To the CollegeHumor party around the corner. How did we know it was time to go there? Because our smartphones told us so.
I spent the last 36 hours visiting with various folks at Microsoft, including CMO Mich Matthews and head of MSN/Bing Yusuf Mehdi. I also spoke with a number of senior marketers across the company and had a chance to preview a bunch of recent and percolating thinking in a talk I gave yesterday. All in all, I came away with way more ideas that I started with. The musing below is just one of them.
When marketing retro sneakers, marketers face a challenge: how do you sell them to consumers too young to be nostalgic for bygone eras? Keds, a 94-year-old brand owned by Collective Brands, thinks it has the answer with a new slogan, “the original sneaker,” and a Web site that had its debut on March 9. Created by the Night Agency, a digital marketing firm in Manhattan, TheOriginalSneaker.com features an opening page laid out like a monthly calendar that changes daily and features tidbits about the brand and cultural highlights from the last nine decades.
Apple Inc. is still trying to secure media content for the iPad with just weeks to go before the tablet computer's release, said people familiar with the matter, as the company tempers some of its initial ambitions for the much-hyped device. Since the iPad became available for pre-order last Friday, Apple has seen strong demand and sold hundreds of thousands of units, say people familiar with the matter. One of these people said Apple could sell more iPads in the first three months than it sold iPhones in the three months after the smart phone's debut.
If a flaw existed in CBS’s coverage of the N.C.A.A. men’s basketball tournament, it was the regionalization of games — especially in the first four days. CBS doled out the games it felt met the needs of each market. (It still does.) But there were fans who wanted to see games in other regions. (There still are.) The inability to satisfy everyone’s appetite was a result of a single network trying to present so many games to so many fans, alumni and university constituencies.
Google's likely shutdown of its Chinese-language Google.cn search engine, the main portion of its China operation, isn't good news for marketers and their ad agencies -- but it hasn't fazed them about business opportunities for multinational companies in the mainland, either. "Google came into this country with their eyes wide open and knowing censorship would happen," said Shanghai-based Arto Hampartsoumian, CEO, China at Bartle Bogle Hegarty.
Today, the peanut gallery, digitally enabled by social media, is casting real-time shadows onto the screen of popular culture. As my colleague Brian Stelter wrote in The New York Times recently, the Internet, which was thought to be a TV killer, is turning out to be its wingman, helping build huge, and in some cases record, audiences for large events like the Super Bowl, the Grammys and the Olympics. (How else to explain the baffling ardency for curling?) During the Oscars last week, there were as many as 70,000 posts an hour on Twitter, according to Trendr.
Search engine marketing no longer exists in an online vacuum. In today’s multi-channel world, people search online, visit stores to test out products, return to the internet to compare prices and then complete purchases in-store, online or via a call center. Over $155 billion worth of consumer goods was purchased online in the U.S. in 2009, yet a far larger portion of offline sales were influenced by online research, according to a March report from Forrester Research. Forrester estimates that $917 billion worth of retail sales last year were “web-influenced,” with online and web-influenced offline sales combined accounting for 42% of total retail sales. That percentage will grow to 53% by 2014, when the web will influence $1.4 billion worth of in-store sales.
American Greetings has a new service that transmits a video card chosen from its Web site directly to handsets of nearly all major mobile carriers. It has used a partnership with Mogreet Inc., provider of a multimedia messaging platform, to deliver the full-motion video greeting. Mogreet, based in Venice, Calif., is also working with the National Football League Players Association and other organizations to deliver campaigns directly to cellphones.
So, it's official. The answer to every possible question about the marketplace is a click away and free to one and all. The internet is choked with information and advice. Who is doing what and why. What works and what doesn't. Trends and predictions. 10 steps to this, 6 keys to that, how to, how not to, when to, whether to, and on and on and on.
Today many marketers are tripping over one another to invade social networks in force. There is a social media land grab underway as businesses rush to set up hubs on the "big three:" Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. All at once, businesses large and small recognize that they need to go where the people congregate. And with 100 million Facebook users in the U.S., this movement is understandable. When your local pizzeria is promoting their Facebook page at the register, as mine does, then you know that marketing has changed.
It was a surreal moment for Mr. Westergren, who founded Pandora, the Internet radio station. For most of its 10 years, it has been on the verge of death, struggling to find investors and battling record labels over royalties. Had Pandora died, it would have joined myriad music start-ups in the tech company graveyard, like SpiralFrog and the original Napster. Instead, with a successful iPhone app fueling interest, Pandora is attracting attention from investment bankers who think it could go public, the pinnacle of success for a start-up.
Unilever's creative agencies need to "move past their reliance on the 30-second spot" and focus more on social media efforts to keep up with modern consumers. So said Unilever's vp, personal care Kathy O'Brien today at the American Association of Advertising Agencies' Transformation Conference in San Francisco. "The world has moved on. I think consumers have moved on, and we need to get past [TV spots] to figure out what the next way of talking to consumers" will be, said O'Brien. "I also put the onus on us. We rely heavily on it as well as a company. We've done it well for so long [that] we assume it's at the core of everything we do and it doesn't always need to be."
Magazine executives spent much of last year telling anyone who would listen that they were taking their brands digital. Their message this year: Print rules. Five leading magazine publishers have pitched in on a multimillion-dollar ad campaign touting the "power of print." They say nearly 1,400 pages of the ads will be sprinkled through magazines including People, Vogue and Ladies' Home Journal this year.
While the so-called "Twitter effect" and its impact on a movie's box office remains enigmatic at best for most studios, Lionsgate is hoping its latest social-media marketing milestone will put them one step closer to a solution. Lionsgate will become the first advertiser to sync up its sponsored brand pages on YouTube, Facebook and MySpace under one platform to promote its upcoming comic-book movie "Kick-Ass," out April 16.
Magazine executives spent much of last year telling anyone who would listen that they were taking their brands digital. Their message this year: Print rules. Five leading magazine publishers have pitched in on a multimillion-dollar ad campaign touting the "power of print." They say nearly 1,400 pages of the ads will be sprinkled through magazines including People, Vogue and Ladies' Home Journal this year.
Online newspapers face two seemingly insurmountable challenges: getting customers used to paying for content and getting the industry used to charging for it. But in fact airlines have faced a similar, albeit simpler, situation with respect to baggage.
With the economy tight and ad dollars tighter, the tactic of "going negative" against competitor brands has become more popular. The trend is expected to continue through 2010. One of the more effective current examples is Fedex and its "Brown Bailout" campaign. Brownbailout.com (“brown” referring to how UPS has branded itself) stands in opposition to the government "bailout" of the United Parcel Service (UPS).
Everybody knows digital media's arrival hasn't exactly been easy on magazines. Ad rates on the web couldn't match their levels in print, many magazines struggled to build compelling websites, new competition strove to steal readers' attention, and the web itself engendered an attention-atrophied reading style that undermined readers' very ability to settle down with a good, fat print issue.
Let's get this straight right away: Return on investment in social media is not measured in how many friends you have on Facebook or how many followers you have on Twitter. It's not calculated in trending topics or YouTube comments. It should, in fact, be held to the same criteria other marketing channels are: Did it move your business? It's done just that at Starbucks, which is a digital marketer worth watching.
New Balance is looking to get a foothold into consumers’ daily lives with a new set of 365 short films—one of which will be released every day over the next year. The 15- to 30-second films, which began appearing online at NewBalance365.com on Feb. 22, are a figurative exploration of the theme of balance. One film, for instance, might feature dueling banjo players performing different parts of the same song. Another film could show the proportional relationship between the sun and clouds.
Prilosec OTC has been an official sponsor of everything from Nascar to the Bunco parlor game and represented by the likes of quarterback Brett Favre in NFL promotions. But its latest idea, fueled to this point entirely by digital marketing, is far more ambitious: to be the "Official Sponsor of Everything" and represented by hundreds of ordinary consumers. The idea, simply put, centers around micro-sponsorships of the Procter & Gamble brand's consumers and their passions -– be they sheltering stray pets, entering motorcycle races or sending care packages to soldiers. The hope, at least initially, is to strike around 1,000 deals of around $1,000 each.
No one has seen more changes to the MTV brand than Judy McGrath. The CEO of MTV Networks started with the network in 1981 as a copywriter and eventually ascended the ranks to her current position in 2004, where she has seen many different iterations of the network and its programming even as fellow pioneering executives such as Tom Freston and Robert Pittman have come and gone. One of those changes came as recently as last week, when MTV unveiled the first major on-air update to its logo in its 28-year history. The redesign was met with mixed reaction. "I don't think what they did is wrong," George Lois, creator of the network's historic "I want my MTV" campaign, told Ad Age. "I think what they did is strategic. And it just proves to me that MTV is dead."
Who has time to sit on the couch and watch TV anymore? In the last 10 years, broadcasters have lost 25 percent of their audience. So to win back some viewers, the industry has a plan to grab their attention while they are on the move. Beginning in April, eight television stations in Washington, D.C., will broadcast a signal for a new class of devices that can show programming, even in a car at high speed. In all, 30 stations in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle and Washington have installed the necessary equipment, at a cost of $75,000 to $150,000.
General Electric, for one, still believes in advertising. As the Olympics begin, the company is introducing its biggest campaign ever aimed at consumers. Called Healthymagination, it publicizes G.E.’s role in the world of doctors and hospitals. In the United States alone, G.E. expects to spend more than $80 million this year on the campaign. Its role in health care is technical: G.E. makes and sells medical devices, like machines that measure bone density and perform M.R.I. scans. But the advertising focuses on the personal.
Coca-Cola is accelerating its push to make Sprite the soda of choice among the younger crowd both here and abroad, with the brand's first integrated global campaign. The campaign -- dubbed "The Spark" in reference to the brand's 2009-updated logo -- features hip-hop musician Drake and includes multiple TV spots, online music remixing and movie-creation tools, mobile, outdoor and print elements.
Google and Facebook are on a collision course in the increasingly competitive market for social networking services. On Tuesday, Google introduced a new service called Google Buzz, a way for users of its Gmail service to share updates, photos and videos. The service will compete with sites like Facebook and Twitter, which are capturing an increasing percentage of the time people spend online.
Chances are, a good portion of your target audience is actively engaged in online games. And if they're there, you should be there, too. Gamers are not passive observers; they're active and motivated participants. Brands have a chance to be part of that experience -- often in the very moment when players are willing to give something to get ahead in the game. This is a level of attention that few, if any, other media can offer.
While the reviewers pick apart Apple's iPad, one unassailable argument remains: We are not just living in digital times, but on digital time. From getting news to reading the latest best-selling novel, to watching reruns of Gilligan's Island, most of the content, products, information and entertainment we enjoy is available with a click. Consumers are conditioned to get what they want when they want it. I'm not sure this "double-click mentality" is necessarily a healthy thing, but it's real, and the reality has huge implications for marketing and media executives. People want things that are immediate and convenient. Woe to marketers--even bricks-and-mortar retailers--that don't get this. Double-click gratification is a table stake.
Coke Zero is challenging NCAA Basketball devotees to brainstorm ways to enhance the fan experience. The 64 most-innovative concepts will compete during NCAA March Madness for a chance to win $10,000. Atlanta-based Coke has launched a Department of Fannovation section on the Coke Zero Web site where people can submit creative ideas through March 14 and to see the crazy ideas that others have. The site was created by Miami-based Crispin Porter + Bogusky.
I find myself quoting Randall Rothenberg, Chairman of the IAB, more and more these days. Earlier this month, Randy proclaimed that "the Web has been colonized by the evil aliens of the direct-response planet." In saying this, he acknowledged what others have also felt for some time -- that the precision of online media is a both blessing and a curse for marketers. Left unchecked for way too long, online advertising has been overrun by tactics and success measures that are singularly suited for direct marketers and are not so effective for brand builders. Leads, click-throughs, downloads and/or page views may adequately measure a Netflix campaign, but holding Coke to the same standard just doesn't make sense.
With the widely anticipated introduction of a tablet computer at an event here on Wednesday morning, Apple may be giving the media industry a kind of time machine — a chance to undo mistakes of the past. Almost all media companies have run aground in the Internet Age as they gave away their print and video content on the Web and watched paying customers drift away as a result.
I don’t know if you’ve ever asked yourself the question from the title, but we’re about to get an answer. AFP writes that five French journalists have agreed to lock themselves in a farmhouse in France for five days, where they’ll write news based only on what they read on Twitter and Facebook. The rules are: no smartphones, no web surfing. They will be given cellphones that cannot connect to the internet, but from the story it’s unclear whether they’ll be able to verify the news they see on Facebook and Twitter (probably not, as the experiment would make little sense then).
It took the telephone 45 years to penetrate half the homes in America; radio, less than 20; color TV, 15; computers, 10; cellphones, eight; and the internet, a mere six years. The speed of change is accelerating. Five years ago Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Hulu and the iPhone didn't exist. Today Facebook has 350 million members; Twitter boasts 30 million; and Hulu is the second biggest "channel" in America, having surpassed Time Warner Cable. Technology now has profound impact on consumer behavior. Take brand loyalty, for example. Smartphones enable consumers to comparison shop on the basis of price at the point of sale. The democratization of information may result in commoditization of brands as consumers make purchase decisions by searching for the lowest-priced product. Technology may also alter the purchase cycle and give rise to powerful third-party influencers, counterbalancing paid media's "management" of the purchase cycle. These are transformational shifts for brands.
It happened last year, around the first of July. In my experience, the switch was just about that abrupt. All last spring, most senior business leaders I met shrugged off the business applicability of Web 2.0. Allowing access to social networks in the workplace was something they were willing to consider only if it was absolutely necessary to keep younger employees from complaining. Twitter? What was that? But by summer, the conversations I was having with senior executives about the use of these new technologies took on a very different tone. Recognition grew that 2.0 technologies could be used to change the way work gets done in fundamental ways. Interest in exploring these new ways of working, of sharing information, of collaborating to enhance productivity and meet business goals, was here.
I typically don’t jump on the annual prediction bandwagon since too many cycles are spent defending some of the crazy things I come up with. However, I will go out on a limb and predict that 2010 will be the year of global search marketing. I have been advocating the use of the internet to reach overseas markets since 1994 when professors and students laughed at me while defending my business school thesis on that topic. A year later, an international marketing journal published an updated version of that paper. This time I was even more out there advocating the pure craziness of using search engines as the mode of entry.
Recently, my agency has been putting a lot of time and resources into the ad exchange space. For those of you paid search folks with SEM blinders on, let me elaborate because the opportunity here for those with paid search experience is about to open up tremendously in the next few years.
Subway and MTV Networks have forged a partnership to bring emerging artists, comedians and musicians to a wider audience through a digital marketing program being promoted as "Subway Fresh Buzz." The program, which will feature profiles, performances and exclusive content from 20 performers, will be anchored by SubwayFreshBuzz. MTVIggy.com and will be promoted through the MTV Network of Web sites and digital properties, including social media platforms.
As Internet video becomes more popular and a standard marketing, branding and communication tool, traditional TV broadcasters find themselves moving from the television screen to the computer screen. The same holds true for radio. The growth of Internet radio has sparked a desire to stream not only audio from radio stations, but video content as well. More and more stations are installing television production equipment into their studios to broadcast their morning shows not just to car or Internet radios, but to flat-screen computer monitors in cubicles and offices all over the country.
Once the darling of the proprietary online services industry, AOL was fresh with promise, offering an ever-changing array of content, features and services to eager users. Looking back, its early days were marked by system outages, usability nightmares, functionality break downs, and bugs. As both a business and personal user of AOL, I remember clearly that many of the early features offered to businesses were immature, insufficient and frustrating to use. This improved over time but posed many short-term hassles for those in the Digital Marketplace for years. This is where we are with Facebook today.
Five major magazine and newspaper publishers on Tuesday announced plans to build an industry-standard platform to present their work on the Web, phones and e-readers in a richer, more flexible and more lucrative form than is possible today. The consortium of Time Inc., Conde Nast, the Hearst Corporation, Meredith and the News Corporation does not lack for ambition, hoping to design software primarily for devices that do not yet exist – cellphones more advanced than anything now on the market and e-readers far more sophisticated than today’s mostly static, black-and-white devices.
In digital media, as in fortune-telling, the future is pretty much treated as part of the present. "What is the next big thing?" is a question everyone who works with the internet asks continually. But after several years of boom, the question of what comes after social platforms is no longer so remote. Luckily, some experts just gave us answers. On Monday evening, the Said Business School in Oxford had invited some very bright and successful entrepreneurs who spoke in front of a packed alumni audience as Silicon Valley came to Oxford for the ninth year. The event was chaired by the very lively and assertive Frances Cairncross, rector of Exeter college.
All the incessant chanting of new media's Greek chorus notwithstanding, 2009 revealed two emergent facts about the promise of social media: first, it's not really "social," and second, "media" is its least important quality. Instead, the opportunities it presents arise from what goes into it, and what comes out of it. Ignoring these inputs and outputs are its downside, too.
The ink had barely dried on Google’s $750 million deal to buy mobile ad network AdMob before some were saying it heralds “the year of mobile.” Of course, the year of mobile has been predicted virtually annually for the past decade. There is compelling evidence that this time it’s different. Overall, there are now more mobile phones in the world than personal computers. There are more than 4.6 billion mobile subscribers worldwide, according to eMarketer. Yet mobile advertising remains a tiny market. eMarketer expects it to generate just $416 million in U.S. ad spending this year, about the same amount spent on search marketing in two weeks. This will undoubtedly change, although perhaps not as quickly as mobile’s biggest boosters hope, according to agency executives, analysts and mobile veterans. Here are the key reasons why:
One of the reason why public relations firms are ill equipped to deal with bloggers and new media is that they were built to deal with traditional or mainstream media. Many agencies are still stuck in pushy mode. Don't be so quick to deny it, I get dozens of poorly targeted press releases a day - and from big name agencies, too. Those that set up listening posts and target the outreach still fail in coming through with the follow up.
There's no question these four revolutionary developments have forever changed the marketing function. Word-of-mouth has now become word of finger. A key difference: Word-of-mouth leaves an invisible trail in the ether. Word-of-finger leaves an electronic trail on the internet. In the past, nobody paid much attention to word of mouth, even though by some estimates it accounted for a majority of brand impressions. Today, however, the visibility of word of finger has mesmerized the marketing world.
Welch's is gearing up to promote its grapes and the vineyards they come from. Today (Wednesday), it launches its "Real. Grape. Goodness" campaign across television and digital, and will be rolling out print ads beginning in December. The effort will focus on the natural qualities of Welch's 100% Grape Juice and the farmers who grow the grapes. Food Network star Alton Brown continues in his role as brand spokesperson.
Websites are social creatures. Or rather, their users are. In turn, the websites you visit are tempered by the users that interact with them. Your experience with a website, say facebook.com, is directly linked to the people with which you interact on that website. But this introduces an interesting challenge for a user experience designer: do you design for the intial experience or the resulting experience?
Bing and Google recently announced partnerships with Twitter and Facebook to provide elements of real-time and social search to their respective search engine results. On the surface, this probably blew past most business owners and marketers as not much in the way of being important. If the information is online, aren’t Bing and Google supposed to find it? And, frankly, the partnership has some interesting implications, but isn’t phenomenally noteworthy … yet.
Looking ahead to 2010, marketers will be facing Olympic hurdles that will require steadfast agility just to stay in the game, much less to hit the finish line ahead of the competition. Here are 10 ideas, wrapped in Olympic glory that should deliver the gold.
Any news organization’s web site can get a story picked up by popular sites such as Drudge Report, Huffington Post, Digg, or even Fark, resulting in a bump in page views. But that’s a traffic anomaly. A key metric media companies want to grow is their local audience, because local traffic is where the money is. “Local advertising pays the bills in most cases and local advertisers want to reach people who can actually come to their stores,” said Serra Media CEO Mark Briggs, author of “Journalism 2.0,” and the upcoming book “Journalism Next,” in an e-mail interview. “And, as national news has become a commodity, local news is the differentiating factor most local news operations are emphasizing these days. Or, at least they should be.”
On Monday, Burberry introduced a social networking site, artofthetrench.com, to encourage people to share their own trench coat stories. It is the latest step by Ms. Ahrendts and her creative director, Christopher Bailey, to build on the brand’s British heritage and trademark plaid with a more modern twist. “It’s our differentiator,” Ms. Ahrendts said. “It’s not so different from what competitors do. Maybe one was born from shoes and another from luggage; we come from a coat. It’s our job to keep that category hot and cool and relevant for all ages.” The step reflects a broader move by luxury goods companies, which have generally failed to figure out how to sell their wares online. Indeed, many have shunned the Web, seeing it as mostly a place for bargain hunters to search for knock-offs or counterfeits.
Does Twitter have a T.M.I. problem? And, no, I don’t just mean the Twitter users who share too much information about their lives, social, medical or otherwise. Simply put, there is way too much information on Twitter — lately, it defies navigation. In January, there were 2.4 million tweets a day, according to Alessio Signorini, a researcher at the University of Iowa. By October, he reports, there were 26 million tweets a day. Why should we care about information overload at Twitter? Isn’t Twitter about the individual experiences — a Tweeter and her followers — not the totality of millions of Tweeters around the world?
As more and more brands are moving all of their ad spend online, defining how influence affects their return on investment is necessary and must be done as soon as possible. While some are making inroads to define these calculations many are overlooking the fact that influence affects everything. Without factoring in the real issue of different types of influence you run into a number of problems, for instance focusing on one group of influencers over another or getting broad sweeping numbers instead of knowing exactly how effective your time and money has been spent on the proper target. One thing that usually doesn’t sync up here is that these online influencers with large followings are not the offline influencers.
To combat a slow sales forecast, many online retailers will be looking to boost their digital presence this holiday season, per Shop.org's annual eHoliday Study conducted by BIGresearch. A majority (60.3 percent) of retailers have already made enhancements this year to their Facebook pages, as well as Twitter pages (58.7 percent). Another 65.5 percent have incorporated updates to their blogs and RSS feeds.
Volkswagen of America is launching the newest-generation GTI exclusively on an iPhone app, a cost-efficient approach the automaker said is a first for the industry. How cost efficient? When the marketer introduced the GTI in 2006, it spent $60 million on a big-budget blitz with lots of network TV. By comparison, an executive familiar with the matter estimates the annual budget for mobile AOR services is $500,000. And while an iPhone-only strategy may seem limiting, consider this: In September, Apple reported there are more than 50 million iPhone and iPod touch customers worldwide. By comparison, CBS' "NCIS," the most-watched show for week ending Oct. 18, reached 21 million viewers and commands an average price of $130,000 for a single 30-second spot.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Walt Disney Company is close to unveiling new technology to allow entertainment companies to distribute media to consumers using computers and cell phones, rather than on DVD and television. The technology is code-named Keychest and sounds like its the for-pay web service that Disney CEO Bob Iger announced back in July. The service would basically let consumers pay one price for permanent access to content from a number of different devices — like set-top boxes and mobile phones.
Even for Hollywood, where long odds and high stakes are staples of storytelling, the plotline is a doozy: A couple of old business rivals facing the threat of a lifetime agree to put aside their differences and join forces on a half-baked experiment that makes them laughingstocks. (We're thinking Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty.) And who do they put in charge? A young guy, a newbie to the biz. He promptly cleans house and hires an even younger guy who's halfway around the globe. These renegades throw out the rule book -- and they pull it off. Their idea kills. The naysayers feast on crow. This pitch meeting would not end well. Cue Ari Gold: Nobody'll believe it, not in a million years. Are you nuts? Get the %*#$ out of my office! Yet this is the tale of Jason Kilar and a company called Hulu, costarring the heads of NBC and Fox, with guest appearances by Andy Samberg, Tina Fey, Jeff Bezos, and Walt Disney.
Could airlines use digital media to help get themselves out of a rough spot? This past week I traveled to two different destinations with two different airlines - the contrast couldn’t have been starker. What was the difference? One airline uses digital media to its advantage, the other one is still stuck in analog mode. While the first trip went without a glitch - we even got to destination earlier both ways - the second one started horribly - with what turned out to be a 5 hour wait, time none of the passengers will ever get back. As I was waiting in line and meeting others who were in my same predicament, I thought about the many ways in which digital media can help this ailing and tired industry.
Sure, 2009 has been tough so far, with most trend lines pointing way, way down. But for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Here at Ad Age, we decided to find some media properties that are actually moving the needle northward this year to see what's working in these difficult times. So what is working? First up, great, must-have editorial and entertainment is a common thread. Know your audience. Help marketers tailor ads for that audience. And constantly revamp a trusted brand to stay relevant and indispensable. Easy, right?
Does Rupert Murdoch have one more revolution in him? The man who took over newspapering in Australia and Britain, and upended the cable news business here, planted a new flag last week, pronouncing that, contrary to popular reports, information does not want to be free; it actually wants to be paid for.
While speaking at the intimate and immensely valuable Zappos Insights event (Zappos Live), I shared thoughts of how the culture of any company or brand is as strong as the individual personification of it. Everything starts and fortifies with you. Your actions and words online are indeed extensions to how people interpret, perceive, and react to the brand your represent. Concurrently, you also represent your personal brand – the digital identity that’s established through the collection of digital shadows you cast across the social web.
Colleen Padilla, a 33-year-old mother of two who lives in suburban Philadelphia, has reviewed nearly 1,500 products, including baby clothes, microwave dinners and the Nintendo Wii, on her popular Web site Classymommy.com. Her site attracts 60,000 unique visitors every month, and Ms. Padilla attracts something else: free items from companies eager to promote their products to her readers.
People trust peers, even if they don’t know them. This is the observation behind the success of online communities from TripAdvisor to reviews on Amazon or indeed any one of the many examples of online communities that are growing and flourishing. We trust these strangers-cum-peers with important decisions in our live - from which hotel to book for our annual holiday, to support on medical or financial decisions. And some trust these strangers-cum-peers so much that they even lend money to them.
The Internet was always fast. Google made a point during its rise to prominence to detail -- to the millisecond -- just how quickly it delivered a search result. And, as we all know, the Web has gotten even faster.
The web gave us the perfect “nowhere.” A Star Trek fan in Houlton, Maine can talk with another fan from Reykjavík, Iceland, without thinking a thing about it. We can be anywhere, and if you follow through, anywhen, and thus, we don’t need proximity to build relationships (or customers, or much of anything). The first web, the brochure web, gave way to the second web, the two-way web. What if the third web is about the relationship of things and places between the physical world and the placeless, timeless world? I’m calling this vplaces (more in a bit).
Print is not aging well. Or, rather, its readers are aging rapidly. That's been suspected and alleged since digital media was born, of course, but the latest round of industrywide research revealed just how much has changed in the past five years.
From Gatorade's "Replay" of two high school football rival teams to Pepsi's "Dear Mr. President" viral video campaign, PepsiCo is making a big splash in social and digital media. Pepsi's point man on these efforts has been Bonin Bough, who oversees all things tweet, blog and YouTube-related at the company. Since joining Pepsi last fall, Bough has pushed for brand initiatives that drive and create meaningful conversations with consumers.
Madison Avenue has come a long way. Since the emergence of modern advertising in the 1920s, defined by the shift from text-based to visual advertising and the use of psychologically sophisticated messages, ads began to resonate powerfully with consumers. Madison Avenue represented the new and the modern (until the emergence of social networks and media), and ads helped consumers figure out what they needed to live a certain lifestyle. Consumers were eager to embrace the cultural authority of Madison Avenue. But by the late 1950s, they were feeling differently.
The Greek Chorus of technologists and the digerati continue to belittle marketers for their slowness in shifting ad budgets online.
Thoughts upon the venerable Seattle daily becoming a Web-only operation.
If they haven't already, your CEO will join Facebook this year. That's according to a new digital outlook report to be released today by the marketing specialists at Razorfish. "Executives are responding to social media and the real impact it's having on their brands," said Terri Walter, vice president of emerging media at Razorfish.
Max Kalehoff, vice president of marketing at online ad firm Clickable, speaking at the Brite conference on digital media at Columbia University this week, says the trend in online marketing is away from what might be called brand enhancement.