A Fad Worth Knowing About -- "Modding"
Although it's far more popular among gamers who primarily use consoles (such as X-Box and PS2) and superfast PCs (such as Alienware), the act of modification (called making a "mod" or "modding") to one's hardware is very cool among young adult techies. It's replaced the SS, Trans Am and 442 ... in it's own way. This article (link above) shows how one enterprising "modder" retrofitted a new Mac Mini inside an old Mac Plus chassis to create "The Mac Minitosh." Nostalgia for geeks over the age of 30! (Does this mean we've reached the point at which you can't trust a geek over 30?!?)
Adrants : Dog's Name Change Likened to Tobacco Company Name Change
Here's a ho-hum review of the new-ish spot from the ongoing anti-tobacco "truth" campaign. Nothing terribly new there. But take a look at where the link to view the spot takes you. (Thought it'd be AdCritic or AgencyCompile, huh?) Nah! It's YouTube ... where pretty much everybody's going for fresh video these days.
Mobizzo service offers content from ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ and ‘Family Guy,’ along with tattoo and poster art for cell phones.
February 27, 2006
News Corporation’s Fox Mobile Entertainment business introduced a service on Monday called Mobizzo that will give mobile phone users a way to download a wide variety of content from Fox movies and TV shows, as well as tattoo art, tabloid gossip, music, and games.
The range of content reflects the rush by Fox and other large media companies to increase entertainment offerings to the fast-growing mobile market.
Search Engines as Leeches on the Web
-- Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox
If you haven't tapped Jakob Nielsen for what this whole convergence thing is all about, then you've been missing a lot!
His summary of this article: Search engines extract too much of the Web's value, leaving too little for the websites that actually create the content. Liberation from search dependency is a strategic imperative for both websites and software vendors.
Publicis Groupe Launches Denuo, a Major New Futures Practice
As reported on AdRants, this new Publicis unit promises to "anticipate and exploit the rapidly changing digital, interactive and mobile communication envirnonment."
Really good use of the medium - Giovanni FCB
Don't we know these people? Anyhow ... when did great advertising ideas stop including both great media and inspired creative? Well, they didn't. Emerging platforms or good old school newspapers ... innovation is when an idea screams, "Brilliant!"
London City to be Wi-Fi-enabled
The city promises to install "The Cloud" via 150 hotspots (the Brits call 'em "beacons") to ensure coverage in central London within "the next few months."
KFC Launches Stealth-TV Marketing Effort
If you haven't heard of this, shame on you! The idea is, like, let's mess with TiVo. If and only if you record and play back the commercial at, like, half speed do you see the "Top Secret Code" embedded in the frames of the spot. Get it?!? Brilliant!
Advertising Through The Nose
Eastman Tenite Cellulosics Encapsulate Coffee Scent
So you put this scented plastic on a shelf strip or a counter display, and consumers are smelling your brand. Another example is a cosmetics jar with a chocolate/vanilla/orange fragrance scent that "encapsulates and disperses" the fragrance that's "identical to that of the cream" within. Why aren't we doing this with packaged goods?!?
Metroblogging.com - Think Global. Blog Local.
Remember when City Guide sites were the rage? Microsoft's Sidewalk, Tribune's Metromix and AOL's Digital Cities were going to make investors billions with their fat (or was it Phat?) IPOs. Ha, ha, ha!
Now ... bloggers are doing what media conglomerates simply couldn't muster: authentically authored city guides that matter.
Atlanta to Bangkok, Chicago to Dublin, Istanbul to London, Melbourne to New Orleans, Orlando to Paris, San Francisco to Tokyo, Vienna to Washington DC. It's a global thing!
advergirl: Eight Warnings for an Ad Exec:
"[Verizon CMO] Onto Stratton’s warnings:
1. Your clients are absolutely in trouble and they are looking for you to save them.
2. What you’ve been selling for the last 50 years no longer works.
3. Major marketing money is going to be in motion in the next decade and no one really yet understands exactly where it will land, if it even will land, or if it will just disappear all together.
4. Before they figure out where to put their money, your marketer clients will hire and fire agency after agency, seeking someone, anyone , who can tell them where they might go next.
5. CMO average tenure, already famously brief, will get even shorter as CEOs begin to recognize how much money they are blowing on antiquated media plans.
6. Your marketer clients are really seeking one thing and one thing only: an audience for the message they are trying to convey to the marketplace.
7. But your clients actually need more than just an audience. One of the consequences of evolution of our media-delivery systems over the last 10 years is that the audience you do ultimately find is much less receptive to the message you’re trying to send. They are absolutely armed and ready to get to the content they want while avoiding the message you are trying to implant within it.
8. They need much more than an audience. They need an audience that cares about what they have to say. They need their message to be relevant to the audience they are saying it to."
[ Source: AdAge.com ]
USATODAY.com - Sony PS3 delays, cost hurt stock
Playstation 3 is promised to be released "on time" (meaning Spring 2006), but industry analysts claim Sony is being far too ambitious. In fact, because of problems with Blu-Ray Disc and the PS3's planned microprocessor, they say it won't hit shelves until at least Summer, if not later. Sony is due to take a bath if that happens.
How To Get Stuff OFF Your iPod
Senuti (That's "iTunes" Backwards ... Get It?)
Okay ... so digital rights management lobbyists forced Apple to prevent consumers from removing files (audio and video) from an iPod except via one-and-only copy of iTunes on one-and-only PC (or Mac). Well, there's always some code writer out there who's got a hack to fix your ills. Enter ... Senuti. Brilliant!
Where the Sopranos bodies are buried...
from Guardian Unlimited
Google Maps made its API (ask me later) open to software developers so that ingenius new uses would emerge. HBO is launching a Sopranos Google Map on Feb 27th that pinpoints the locations of events from the series ... especially whack jobs! This Guardian blurb references a NY Times article that broke the story. (Beware: NY Times content requires registration and doesn't remain free for long.)
FeedTree: collaborative RSS and Atom delivery
FeedTree brings news feed updates to users, instead of the other way around. FeedTree users work together to share the latest Web feed updates. News arrives immediately, instead of on a polling schedule, making RSS as instantaneous as e-mail.
How does this work? The short answer is that new RSS items are distributed using peer-to-peer multicast. For the long answer, including detailed notes on security, incremental deployment, and research topics, consult the introduction to FeedTree (or print out the poster).
Upcoming.org: is a Yahoo! company
Upcoming.org is a social event calendar, completely driven by people like you. Manage your events, share events with friends and family, and syndicate your calendar to your own site.
Matt Galloway’s infatuation with Word-of-Mouth Marketing is now officially his avocation. He recently launched Buzz-o-Phone, an experiment where people can dial 1-800-591-5375 to rant or rave about companies they loath or love. Matt will then package the rants/raves into a podcast. Cool concept as it mixes old school tools with new school rules.
Reprinted verbatim from BRAND AUTOPSY
Olympics Viewers -- TV Down, Web Up!
[ Complete article here ]
NEW YORK - NBC's Olympics Web site, carrying more video of competition than ever before, is seeing increases in usage even as television viewership is down.
The NBC Olympics site already drew more than 167 million page views, surpassing the 145 million page views during the entire 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City with more than a week of competition left in Turin, Italy, according to NBC Universal. And the site broke daily records on Monday when it got 29 million page views. The previous record was 21 million on Aug. 17, 2004, during the Summer Games in Athens, Greece (The site also exceeded the Athens high on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday).
Boing Boing: Miller hunts down people who use throwaway emails on their contests
Miller Brewing gets creepy by snooping updated e-mail addresses of lapsed opt-in consumers and dropping an unsolicited "gotcha" e-mail in their new inboxes. Eek!
Operation Photo Rescue -- OPR Blog
Hey digital camera makers! Here's a great idea that not one category brand has adopted or sponsored. This band of volunteers is helping Hurricane Katrina victims recover their damaged family photos with the latest digital imaging equipment.
First of all, the multi-screen live video Flash movie home page interface widget is awesome (needs some work, but awesome). Second by a hair is the site's service: find and watch video from practically any source in the world.
JCPenney to launch virtual store in Times Square
FEBRUARY 17, 2006 -- Next month, JCPenney Co. Inc., Plano, Texas, will embark on the largest branding campaign in its history, according to CEO and chairman Mike Ullman, including the opening of a JCPenney Experience virtual store in New York's Times Square and its sponsorship of the Academy Awards. Beginning March 3, One Times Square will be transformed into a Big Red Box, modeled after JCPenney's trademark. Shoppers will be able to buy everything in the store at interactive kiosks, which will feature all of the merchandise available on the retailer's Web site. The JCPenney Experience store coincides with the company's sponsorship of the Academy Awards. In addition to unveiling its spring advertising campaign during the Awards, the company will launch an integrated marketing campaign to showcase brands and merchandise available at JCPenney. This will include broadcast and print advertising as well as an online marketing alliance with AOL/Yahoo. [ Link to full article ]
Advertising on RSS Readers
A new download called InClue adds RSS functionality to Microsoft(R) Outlook(R) for Windows only, plus it automatically embeds contextually relevant ads while you're reading blog, news and other headlines.
The Original WHOPPERETTES™ - Have It Your Way?
Please notice the "Bonus Material" button on the main navigation menu. Here's an excellent example of "DVD on Demand" ... the notion that interactivity increasingly means electing a degree of interaction ranging from passive watching to fully-engaged creation (like gaming).
OLD SPICE ::: WHEN SHE'S HOT
Mix/Re-Mix your own Old Spice video. Very rich media experience. (Yeah, yeah, yeah ... Absolut DJ and Coke Music have been doing this for years already. But this one's a P&G brand. Y'know, like packaged goods!)
Put on your seatbelt and prepare for highs, lows and plenty of twists and turns. BMW, in conjunction with Random House, brings you BMW Audio Books, a unique series of specially-commissioned short stories showcasing the work of some of the finest contemporary writing talent. Each gripping tale is yours to download for free and a new book will be available to download every two weeks. Listen to them on your MP3 player, your laptop or ideally, in the car. So sit back, hit play and enjoy the ride.
Faster Than Expected: POP Displays on Electronic Paper
"Teraokaseiko announced a new Point-of-Purchase (POP) advertisement device that is made of electronic paper. It's already available for purchase. The cheapest one costs 3,400 Japanese yen (About US$30). With two standard AA batteries, the device works for about six months."
-- RFID in Japan
MIT Advertising Lab: Mobile Advertising Kiosks
Here they are ... Segway human transporters modded with 9-foot-tall body art.
Wizmark's Voice Messages | Innovative Solutions Oceania
Well, er, it's a, um, urinal thingie that "talks" when you pee on it.
We've heard about time shifted TV viewership. Well, here's a place shifting service that records TV, audio or video, then pushes it to your device of choice (PC, smart phone, PDA, etc.).
The Great iTunes Giveaway
BT (British Telecom) is giving away 500,000 free songs and 10,000 music videos from iTunes -- that's 15,000 songs plus 300 videos a day on a first-come, first-served basis. The promotion runs through March 10th.
....HOW ADVERTISING SPOILED ME....
Playboy has installed unusual out-of-home promotional/advertising floor graphics that veer ... well ... a bit off the conventional scope of most campaigns. Ahem.
ESPN's "Knight School" Reality Show for iTunes Video
Texas Tech coach Bob Knight picks walk-on for team in reality show - NCAAB - Yahoo! Sports
AP - Thu Feb 16, 1:07 AM ET
NEW YORK - The social networking site MySpace, hugely successful among teenagers and twenty-somethings, is about to become more ubiquitous with the launch of a cellular service that will let users read and post to the site for free.
Amazon in talks on digital music service
Reuters - 1 hour, 6 minutes ago
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Online retailer Amazon.com Inc. is in advanced talks with four major music companies on starting a digital music service as early as this summer to compete with Apple, sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
Music, e-mail, TV in focus at cell-phone show
BARCELONA, Spain-- The biggest names in mobile communications unveiled new phones, services and alliances at a major trade show Monday, jostling for a place in the fast-moving world of third-generation telephony.
MySpace.com taking up more space in teens' lives
Just over 2 years old, MySpace now has 2-1/2 times the traffic of Google Inc., and it quickly eclipsed Friendster as the top social-networking site where users build larger and larger circles of friends.
- Toshiba Develops Mobile-Phone Technology
TOKYO - Checking out the Internet buzz about a DVD, book or candy while on the go will become as easy as taking a snapshot of the bar code on a product.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nearly one-third of American Internet users surveyed said they go online just for fun rather than to check e-mail, read news or use a search engine, a sharp increase from a year ago, the Pew Internet & American Life Project said on Wednesday.
[ Talking Points - Vol. I ]
Know "The Long Tail Effect"
You know it from Amazon.com and iTunes. We used to call it the "hive mind." Artificial intelligence that makes helpful recommendations to you based on your shopper behavior.
Here's a good article from The Motley Fool.
MovieBeam offers 1st high-definition movie rentals
Reuters - Tue Feb 14, 7:22 PM ET
NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A video-on-demand company spun out of Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday introduced the first delivery service for high-definition films to U.S. homes, offering some movies on the same day as their DVD releases.
[ Trending in Japan - Not Announced for US ... Yet ]
Nintendo DS Machine to Work As Portable TV
TOKYO - The Nintendo DS handheld video-game machine will work as a portable TV with a card equipped with a tuner and antenna that allows people to watch digital broadcast, the company president said Wednesday. An Internet browser feature is also in the works for the machine, which has two screens, including one touch panel. The machine already comes with a Wi-Fi wireless connection. [ Full article here ]
Virgin Mobile Launches Mobile TV Service
BARCELONA, Spain - Virgin Mobile became the first European cellular network to launch a live digital TV service on mobile phones, in a deal announced Tuesday with BT Group PLC.
The mobile operator — part of British entrepreneur Richard Branson's Virgin empire — will begin selling handsets equipped to receive the BT Movio digital television and radio services later this year, both companies said.
Virgin and London-based BT also unveiled a new handset designed to deliver the service, offering one-click access to the digital TV and radio tuner. "It's not downloaded, it's not looped," said Graeme Hutchinson, sales and marketing director at Virgin Mobile. "It's real TV just like you get at home." [ Full article here ] [ Virgin Mobile UK press release here ]
2 Workers Have Chips Embedded Into Them
AP - Full article here
CINCINNATI - Tiny silicon [ RFID ]chips were embedded into two workers who volunteered to help test the tagging technology at a surveillance equipment company, an official said Monday.
Note: The company named in the article is CityWatcher.com
This is Viral! 9 out of 10 eMail Readers Pass it Along
A study by Sharpe Partners revealed that 89 % of adult Internet users in America share content with others via email. The recently released study on viral marketing also found that 63 % of the respondents share content at least once a week and as many as 75% of the respondents forward this content to up to six other recipients.
Frequency US Internet Users Share Content
(% of respondents)
Daily or most days
Several times a week
Once a week
Several times a month
Several times a year
Source: Sharpe Partners, Inc, January 2006
Kathy Sharpe, CEO of Sharpe Partners, said("We knew a lot of people were sharing content, but even we didn't expect it to be so pervasive... the real challenge for interactive marketing firms...is developing content that these people will want to consistently share with a wide, yet focused circle of acquaintances."
In addition to highlighting the rampant frequency of content sharing, the study generated some interesting results regarding the type of content that is sent. The most popular content is humorous material, with 88 % forwarding jokes or cartoons.
Content Shared by US Internet Users (%of respondents)
Sexually provocative content
Source: Sharpe Partners, Inc, January 2006
For companies looking to employ a viral marketing program, the study found that adding overt brand messages only slightly reduces the likelihood that the content will be shared.
- 56% of the respondents are less or slightly less likely to forward such content
- 43% said they are more or slightly more likely to send marketing-related messages
- 5% refuse to share content that contains a clear brand message
Impact of Brand Sponsorship on Sharing
(% of respondents)
Source: Sharpe Partners, Inc, January 2006
The study identified several demographics of sharers useful to marketers:
Most likely sharer is a woman in her late 30's/early 40's who resides in the South or Midwest.
- 64% percent of the female respondents share content at least once a week versus 58% of the males
- Residents of the South (68%) and Midwest (66%) are likely to be more frequent forwarders than their counterparts in the West (58%) and East (55%).
- 63% of African-Americans and Caucasians share content at least once a week
- 56% of Hispanic/Latin-American and 46% of Asian-Americans share at least once a week
- 64% of those without a college degree share weekly versus 61% with a college degree.
Finally, 41% of the respondents share with 1-3 people, 34% with 4-6, 13% with 7-9, 9% with 10-20, and 3% share with more than 20 people.
New 'magazine' for iPods set for first down...
by Jennifer Whitehead - Brand Republic 10 Feb 2006 15:00
LONDON - As the last ever issue of Smash Hits appears, a new 'magazine' is being launched that can be downloaded on to iPods. Described as a "digital video magazine", Mooky will be available as a free video download from the iTunes shop, starting Monday February 13.
The timing is ironic because February 13 is also the day the last issue of Smash Hits will be published. The magazine has been closed by Emap after sales dwindled -- a trend that is partly blamed on the rise of teen spending on new media, including downloads. Mooky will have news, gossip, music videos and competitions, and new issues will appear bi-monthly. The magazine has been created by Best Before Media , partly as a demonstration of its content creation tool that transforms text into video at the push of a button.
E-Paper's Killer App: Packaging
The cereal aisle at your local supermarket may soon resemble the Las Vegas strip. Electronics maker Siemens is readying a paper-thin electronic-display technology so cheap it could replace conventional labels on disposable packaging, from milk cartons to boxes of Cheerios. In less than two years, Siemens says, the technology could transform consumer-goods packaging from the fixed, ink-printed images of today to a digital medium of flashing graphics and text that displays prices, special offers or alluring photos, all blinking on miniature flat screens.
[ Details and costs in the article at Wired.com ]
"NTT Communications and Tmsuk will test an RFID-driven shopping assistant robot at a shoping mall in Fukuoka. The pilot test will take place on the 9th of February and lasts till the 15th. The robot can assist in-store shoppers as well as remote shoppers. Home shoppers could use a browser on a personal computer to control the service robot and view the in-store environments through the robot's camera and communicate with (human) sales agents through videoconferencing." -- RFID in Japan
[ Cyber-privacy Issue to Worry About ]
Firms turn cyber sleuths with cell phone technology
By Matthew Jones Mon Feb 6, 7:42 AM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - Advances in mobile phone tracking technology are turning British firms into cyber sleuths as they keep a virtual eye on their staff, vehicles and stock. In the past few years, companies that offer tracking services have seen an explosion in interest from businesses keen to take advantage of technological developments in the name of operational efficiency.
The gains, say the converted, are many, ranging from knowing whether workers have been "held up" in the pub rather than in a traffic jam, to being able to quickly locate staff and reroute them if necessary. Not everybody is happy about being monitored, however, and civil rights group Liberty says the growth of tracking raises data privacy concerns.
[ Read the full article here ]
Internet Expected To Influence Nearly Half Of Total Retail Sales
The amount of money consumers spend online is expected to increase 75 percent by 2010, with the Internet influencing nearly half of all U.S. retail sales, a market research firm said Monday.
U.S. consumers are expected to spend $144 billion in 2010 from $81 billion last year, JupiterResearch said. Spending this year is expected to reach $95 billion. By 2010, 71 percent of online people will use the Internet to shop, compared with 65 percent last year. The small increase indicates that retailers will mostly be dealing with an experienced population of online shoppers who are savvy about finding free shipping and deeper discounts, the research firm said. The Internet is expected to influence nearly half of retail sales in 2010, compared with 27 percent last year. [ Read full story here ]
[ Isn't this how you know a neighborhood's turning? ]
Dubbed OutzoneTV.com, the channel, set to launch next month, will feature video-on-demand content based around the network's series "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," "Boy Meets Boy" and "Gay Weddings," and will also establish blogs and other community activities where viewers can voice opinions and post comments about Bravo programming.
The move follows the launch of TrioTV.com and the future launch of BrilliantButCancelled.com, part of the NBC Universal-owned network's aggressive rollout of broadband channels announced last month.
[ Read full story here ]
[ Must See - Mobile Phone TV Network Test in Finland ]
Trials of Digital Video Broadcast-Handheld (DVB-H) -- an industry standard which allows an unlimited number of handsets to receive broadcast television -- mainly aims to test technical capabilities. Many believe consumer interest is guaranteed.
DVB-H, mobile phone giant Nokia's (NOK1V.HE) chosen standard, is being tested in about 40 pilots worldwide. The trials are run by several different companies and Nokia has said it expects networks to go live in the first half of this year. Nokia's N92 handset, which some analysts say will open this market, is expected to hit the shelves later this year and is designed for TV viewers.
The pioneers of this technology are in South Korea where television on cellphones has been available since May 2005. TU Media's digital media broadcasting (DMB) satellite services -- a rival to DVB-H -- already have 410,000 subscribers who pay 13,000 won (about $14) a month for cable channels. Now, Koreans want more. In January, Korea started terrestrial broadcasting of mobile television services to handsets equipped with special technology. The service is free, and broadcasters make money through advertising.
Another key market is likely to be the United States where trials are underway using two competing broadcast technologies, and a commercial launch of mobile TV services is due this year.
Mobile TV is different from video-on-demand, which is already available from cellphone operators offering real-time football games or the Turin Olympics. Video-on-demand is expensive and can saturate scarce mobile network capacity.
Um, er ... it's a VoIP Handset on a Keyboard. Yup. This is bound to become one of those gadgets that makes you giggle a few years later. Like the Apple(R) Newton(R). It's made by A4 Tech (read a review here) if you want to buy one for your burgeoning Skype, Yahoo, MSN, QQ (Asia) and/or Net2phone habit.
Viral Ideas -- Yellowball and The Yellow Arrow
[ http://www.verbnow.com/yellowball ]
Yellowball is a youth-targeted campaign extension to the CDC's VERB integrated program that challenges kids to pass-along a coded yellow ball and see how far it will travel by tracking it online.
[ http://www.yellowarrow.net ]
Yellow Arrow is a three or four year old collective "art" project that uses the Web, text messaging and mobile phone cameras to "map your world." You send for yellow arrow stickers, then post them at locations you find interesting. Then you take a photo, write a short blurb explaining your posting and send it to Yellowarrow.net. Each yellow arrow is coded, so anyone who sees one simply enters the code via text messaging to read what you think is so freaking fascinating about that particular spot on the map.
By Anthony Crupi
The Oxygen Network and Applebee’s have teamed up on a video on-demand advertising campaign to promote the restaurant chain’s “Carside To Go” service.
The [ 10 and 15 second ] spots, which appear on Oxygen’s Oh! Baby, a VOD channel for new mothers, feature animated vignettes and will run prior to new segments of the short-formatted advice program, Parentology.
Applebee’s media agency of record, Starcom USA, brokered the partnership, a first for both sides. [ Note: Applebee's partnered with the Oxygen Network to produce the spots. ]
“It is extremely important to our business, as well as the cable industry as a whole, to create an effective model for advertising on all of the new tech products available to consumers today––especially VOD,” said Oxygen president of production, Geoffrey Darby, by way of introducing the campaign.
Built by aQuantive's Avenue A/Razorfish, the site, WhatisPure.com, will debut with polls on issues close to the hearts of the 18- to 24-year-old female target: beauty, fashion, music and Tom Cruise, among others. Visitors will be encouraged to create their own topics, share them with friends and upload personal photos. One thing the site will not do much is hawk products. Instead, it will carry only a small link to product information at the bottom of Web pages.
- FULL ARTICLE HERE
SOME SPAM I'VE COLLECTED
Come join the fun! You have one or more friends waiting for you to
join their Mobile Friends Network at SMS.ac, the most popular mobile
community in the world!
At SMS.ac you can meet new friends, find that special someone to flirt
with or exchange messages via the Web with millions of users worldwide.
Here's who's currently waiting for you:
Click the link below to accept their invitations.
To unsubscribe from this email, visit
SMS.ac, Inc., 255 G Street #723, San Diego, Ca 92101 US
Retail is the Future of Mass Media, Part IV
Documentary TV series focuses on store design from conception through grand opening
FEBRUARY 06, 2006 -- A documentary-style TV series called "Opening Soon: By Design," created by Toronto-based Red Apple Entertainment, brings to cable television the nuts and bolts of retail design, including everything from creating a retail store concept to custom-designing store fixtures through grand opening day. Each episode includes interviews with the designers and architects involved, often following them around as they work on a design project. Episodes include a show about the design of Fendi Rome and of Fila New York. The show airs on Fine Living, with the next episode scheduled for Feb. 9 (visit http://www.fineliving.com/fine/opening_soon_by_design for a complete schedule and for a trailer) and on HGTV Canada (visit http://www.hgtv.ca/fall for more information). For more information on the show's creators, visit www.redapple.com.
CareerBuilder.com's Monk-e-mail is Genius!
[ See for yourself ]
Completely integrated with (if not integral to) the "I work with Monkeys" campaign, Monk-e-mail lets you choose a monkey character then make him SPEAK in your voice. Great use of existing Text-to-Speech and Voice-to-Web technology (developed by Oddcast).
ESPN Stacking Its iTunes Library
'X Games' Available Today; Exclusive Content on the Way
By James Hibberd
With ABC leading the broadcast podcasting vanguard, fellow Disney-owned network ESPN continues to jockey for the pole position among ad-supported cable.
Story continues below...
The sports network will add Winter X Games highlights and its upcoming docu-soap "Knight School" to the iTunes library, and is planning to offer exclusive content downloads of its popular World Series of Poker coverage this summer.
Two weeks ago ABC announced it had sold 1.5 million downloads through Apple's iTunes store-mostly episodes of format headliners "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives." Earlier this month, ESPN and ABC Sports launched their first wave of iTunes programming and have sold 120,000 copies of their college football Bowl Championship Series-the network offered 15-minute condensed versions of key games.
Unlike its scripted broadcast brethren that upload wholesale episodes, however, ESPN is looking to the platform as a vehicle for providing fans with exclusive content.
For the Winter X Games 10, which began last Friday, ESPN will offer next-day downloads of highlight packages and concert performances beginning today.
The network is also readying plans to add World Series of Poker coverage to the digital download mix for iPod, mobile phones and the ESPN 360 broadband site. The WSOP, which begins in June, typically takes several weeks to shoot and edit before highlights coverage begins running on the network. Though plans are still in flux and no announcement has been made, the network hopes to offer highlights for download throughout the six-week event. The network believes the downloads will be popular among fans who chase WSOP coverage on the Internet but must typically wait weeks for ESPN network coverage.
For both the X Games and WSOP, the sports network is banking on its ability to draw fans with rapid-response packages of exclusive content that make the platform a different animal than the linear channel.
"Most sports have a very ephemeral period; you're not going to see people downloading most games in five years-you have to capture and strike while there's a value proposition," said Sean Bratches, executive VP of affiliate sales and marketing for ESPN. "Plus we want to afford the platform the unique opportunity to get something fans won't get on the linear network."
As part of its next wave, ESPN will also add more traditional full-episode downloads of upcoming "Knight School," in which coach Bob Knight gives 16 unsigned basketball players the chance to compete for a walk-on position with the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The network is also posting its humorous "SportsCenter" commercials as well as condensed versions of its award-winning "SportsCentury" series.
[ Metablogging ... from AdRants.com ]
Eggs to Become Billboard Space For Advertisers
While we've seen food-engraving advertising before, Advertising For Peanuts points us to EggFusion, a company which hopes to etch millions of messages on millions of eggs for millions of advertisers for millions of dollars to reach millions of consumers. It won't be long before PETA does a roadblock buy and every egg in the country is emblazoned with "Murderer! Don't Eat This Egg!"
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- With media content and distribution busily remaking themselves every day, MTV is reorganizing to keep up.
The new order for MTV will divide operations into two integrated camps. One will create short-form video, music and news content for traditional TV as well as the Web, video on demand, wireless and other emerging venues; the other will stay focused on long-term network franchises like "TRL" or "The Real World."
|The new order for MTV will divide operations into two integrated camps, one to create short-form content for emerging venues; the other will stay focused on long-term network franchises like "TRL" or "The Real World." |
The idea is to elevate new-model functions -- like developing content for delivery to cellphones -- to the plane now occupied by the usual programming functions of a cable TV franchise. And it takes place as VH1, another unit of MTV Networks within Viacom, is building content designed to suit a variety of platforms under the direction of Michael Hirschorn, exec VP-original programming and production.
Both MTV and VH1 are under pressure to deliver notable growth now that "Old Viacom" has split into the new Viacom and CBS Corp., with Viacom expected to deliver the most expansion. Nickelodeon, another MTV Networks unit, faces a new pressure of its own: the threat of a $1 billion lawsuit from consumer groups and two Boston-area parents accusing the kids’ network of unfair and deceptive junk-food marketing. Nickelodeon has said that it is an acknowledged leader in encouraging children to live healthfully.
"We realized that the business dynamics of television, which is very linear-focused and ratings-focused, may well be different than the business and creative models of some of these emerging platforms," said Brian Graden, president-entertainment, MTV Networks Music Group, and president, MTV Networks' Logo channel.
"TRL," the long-running daily TV program, performs very well for MTV, Mr. Graden said, but its live performances receive huge attention as individual on-demand segments on MTV Overdrive, the network’s broadband Web site. "How you succeed has turned out to be different in each universe," he said.
MTV’s new short-form operations will report to Dave Sirulnick, who was named exec VP-MTV multiplatform production, news and music; he had been exec VP-news and production. The linear-TV operations, devoted primarily to half-hour and one-hour shows, will report to Lois Curren, who was named exec VP-MTV series entertainment and programming; she had been exec VP-sales development and oversaw West Coast TV development only. Both report to Mr. Graden.
UK Test of Cellphone Opt-In Video Ads
[ WSJ Free Article Here ]
During a recent two-week test, of 87,000 phones discovered by the transmitters at the railway stations, 13,000 people agreed to download clips. That 15% response rate is high by advertising-industry standards.
COLUMBUS, Oh. (AdAge.com) -- Top marketers including Coca-Cola Co., Colgate-Palmolive Co., Kraft Food’s Maxwell House, Bush Bros. and Tyson Foods have signed on to test a new in-store marketing device that automatically turns on a 10-second video ad on shelf as a consumer walks by.
|ShelfAds are tiny digital video players that detect movement and start playing an ad when consumers pass by. |
POP Broadcasting’s ShelfAds device aims to tackle two of the biggest criticisms lobbed against existing in-store media networks -- that shoppers must look up to view ads on giant, expensive plasma screens and that the ads never stop. “We wanted to take everything that was wrong with in-store marketing and not go to market until we got it right,” said Earl Littman, 79, founder and chairman of POP Broadcasting, based in Dallas and backed by $1.3 million in venture capital funds. “We weren’t going to do it until you didn’t need a plug.”
The small devices cost just $300 to manufacture, are battery operated, attachable to store shelves and operated by a remote server the size of a cigar box, according to John McGinnis, senior VP at AVIDWireless, which developed the technology behind the patent-pending system.
Smell of success
Mr. McGinnis said the system has also been built to integrate RFID technologies and could one day dispense aromas as well. “If you are in the bread aisle, you could release the aroma of fresh-baked bread,” he said.
Although brands participating in the pilot test are getting the ads for free, Mr. Littman said rates will be just $4 per day, no matter how many times a shopper steps into the infrared zone that kicks off a signal for an ad to play. That means an entire year would cost $1,460, compared to thousands for an ad on PRN’s Wal-Mart TV, which runs ads simultaneously throughout the entire store, instead of on an aisle-by-aisle basis.
While the test is currently only in one store, Mr. Littman said he plans to roll out a larger pilot test in partnership with Fiesta Mart, a retailer with 50 stores in Texas, later this year and expects marketers to begin paying to run their ads during that study. Mr. Littman is eager to get a return on a $500,000 personal investment in the system and also to finally find a measurable ad medium.
“I know I spent years spending clients’ money on TV advertising and not knowing whether half of it worked,” said Mr. Littman, who was the chairman of independent Dallas-based advertising agency GDL&W until it was sold to Saatchi & Saatchi in 1993. “This is the Holy Grail, the last eight seconds of the buying decision, this is where advertising could really work.”
Though in-store marketing spending is estimated at more than $17 billion a year, measurement of the medium has been elusive and criticism of its effectiveness fierce. “Brands and marketers are desperate to reach shoppers at the shelf,” said Gwen Morrison, president, The Store in Chicago, a part of WPP’s Global Retail Practice. “Many of these systems have gravitated to these large screens and it’s always been hard for shoppers to look up. It’s been an ergonomic issue almost.”
Ms. Morrison said store employees often turn off volume on in-store networks and shoppers have “zoned out” tuning out the noise from ads. ShelfAds ”might catch your attention and create more of a speed bump in the aisle since the sound is not going on constantly,” she said.
The POP Broadcasting system, despite being cheaper, might have a tough time gaining distribution in retail stores. After all, the two largest grocery store chains in the U.S., Wal-Mart Stores and Kroger Co., have already committed to in-store media network companies. Wal-Mart partners with Premier Retail Networks and Kroger Co., the nation’s No. 2 grocer, is rolling out a similar system in partnership with IBN, In-Store Broadcasting Network, in its 2,500 stores.
But Ms. Morrison said she does not expect Kroger and Wal-Mart to limit themselves. “I don’t think any one format is locked out,” she said. “They are still on a learning curve.”
Indeed, in the race to create an in-store marketing model, marketers are eager to find a system that links transactional data to marketing expenditures. Toward that aim, the Association of National Advertisers in partnership with the Point-of-Purchase Advertising International is launching an extensive, half-million dollar pilot study.
New Net Poised to Make Multiplatform Deals
ADWEEK -- It would seem to be a no-brainer. A new broadcast network aimed directly at the tech-savvy 18-34 demographic and built around video-iPod-appropriate shows like Smallville and Veronica Mars would be ideally positioned to make a big play in the increasingly time-shifted, multiplatform media world.
While it's early, observers are already speculating that CW is likely to be aggressive in striking alternative deals to deliver its content. Just a few months ago, the WB was reportedly talking with Apple about distributing its shows through the iTunes music store. And Les Moonves, CBS chairman and new CW partner, who has publicly stated that he is interested in all sorts of digital distribution deals, recently began selling CBS shows through the new Google Video Store.
Now, both options would seem to be on the table for CW (Google has already streamed an episode of UPN's Everybody Hates Chris). Plus, other players like Yahoo, AOL and even MySpace would be interested in partnering with the new network.
Greg Smith, executive vice president and director of insights, planning and data analysis at Carat Fusion, pointed to CBS' willingness to test everything from selling episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation through Comcast to running podcasts of 60 Minutes as evidence that CW execs will follow suit. "Unless they are complete idiots, they're going to want to do this [with CW]," said Smith. "If you look at media usage [for this demographic], can you afford to run just once a week on TV?" CW's sheer newness may make it the ideal proving ground for new digital distribution options, he said, adding, "Why not experiment with CW?"
One such experiment might be an MTV Overdrive-like broadband platform, which would allow CW to deliver supplemental footage of shows like Beauty and the Geek or alternate endings for serialized dramas like Veronica Mars - all of which could provide advertisers with more sponsorship opportunities.
However, some say CW's newness may work against it. Todd Chanko, an analyst at Jupiter Research, says CW executives "have to move slowly. Are they going to start a new network by first launching a direct-to-consumer business? They can't risk alienating all these new affiliates." Viewers need time to become acquainted with the network, he said, and "a digital component will make it more confusing."