CheckM8 - Rich Media and Online Ad Technology Sample Rich Media Formats

Content Pusher on
The Content Pusher ad expands and pushes the page content down rather than expanding over it. The Content Pusher remains expanded for several seconds, after which it collapses to a smaller ad size.

click here to see the example

MediaPost Publications - Report: Game Industry Underserves 'Social' Players - 08/30/2006: "According to the study, 'social gamers' (those who play mainly with friends), 'leisure gamers' (who play mainly on casual titles), and 'dormant gamers' (who report enjoying gaming, but have little time because of family, work or school) account for 53 percent of the Internet gamer population but 56 percent of retail revenue. The study also found that hard-core gamers prefer product placement in video games, whereas more casual gamers prefer pre-roll ads."

MTV Goes Broadband - Yahoo! News: "As young people increasingly tune out television and tune into online video and chat, MTV Networks is hoping to win their attention with a new broadband service that appears to be part MTV, part YouTube, and part MySpace.

The service, built around a Web site called Flux, will be launched in Japan later this year and is likely to follow in other countries, said William Roedy, vice chairman of MTV Networks and president of MTV Networks International, at a news conference in Tokyo.
Viacom Responds to Web Threat

The planned service is perhaps the clearest indication yet that MTV's parent company, Viacom International, takes the Internet and the potential threat that it poses to TV viewing seriously."

The preview page for AOL Music Now, a new AOL Music service open to any online visitor and features more than 2.5 million songs and videos. (ScreenGrab/Reuters)
Revamped AOL unveils Web-based music store - Yahoo! News: "AOL on Tuesday unveiled a revamped music product with a Web-based store and subscription service offering audio and video streaming, programmed radio and downloads that can be transferred to compatible digital media players."


SpiralFrog, Universal in free music download deal - Yahoo! News SpiralFrog, a new online music service, on Tuesday said it reached an agreement with Universal Music Group to offer free downloads of its songs and is trying to reach similar deals with other record labels.

The service, to be launched in December, experiments with a new business model that is funded entirely by advertising, as opposed to the pay-per-song model of Apple Computer Inc.'s market-leading iTunes music store.

St. Patrick's Cathedral NYC Dance Crazy

This PSA-esque video was posted four days ago. This is the first embedded posting (aka "link") to it. Let's watch this one to see if it takes off as WOM spreads.

Web 2.0 Banner
Web2.0 Logo Creator by Alex P
Just for fun ...

enVision Marketing Group News: "Chance Schanzlin, vice president of sales and marketing for Envision Marketing Group, holds an example of an “Ads-N-Motion” conveyor belt Wednesday at the company’s manufacturing facility in Rogers. The belts, which are already in use in Kroger grocery stores in Little Rock and Memphis, will make their Northwest Arkansas debut in Harps and Price Cutter stores early next year. Marc F. Henning, The Morning News"

Illustration by Robert Neubecker. Click image to see expanded view.
The seven ways that people search the Web. By Paul Boutin - Slate Magazine: "Using the third-party site, I've parsed the AOL data to create a typology of AOL Search users. Which of the seven types of searcher are you?"

This is great. Must read for planners.

Smirnoff - Tea Partay

This viral video is featured in the WSJ's Advertising column today (Wed, Aug 16). It's another great example of a brand extension having little budget for conventional media/tactics and the agency showing the client that viral video and WOM can do the trick.

MediaPost Publications - IAC Buys Majority Stake In - 08/16/2006: "IAC/INTERACTIVECORP. HAS ACQUIRED A MAJORITY stake in the parent company of comedy Web site College, which offers videos, articles, and jokes aimed at a college-age audience.

CollegeHumor is the first site to be acquired by IAC Programming, the unit formed in January to buy or create online properties that appeal to loyal, well-defined communities.

With the deal, IAC gained a 51 percent share and full voting control of parent Connected Ventures."

Screen shot of the Relakks website
BBC NEWS | Technology | File-sharing 'darknet' unveiled
Ooooo ... this is exceptionally cool. Just when you thought illegal file sharing might quiet down, along comes a new wave that's just so, so, so Star Wars in a dark-side-of-the-force kind of way. Read on ...

"A "darknet" service that allows users to share music files anonymously on the web has been launched in Sweden.

Relakks, as the service is known, allows users to send and receive files through a heavily-encrypted connection.

It is the first commercial example of a darknet, a virtual network set up to share files between trusted users." ... plus ...

"A darknet is a cordoned-off, anonymised section of the net where users can meet, chat and swap data.

Usually darknets are confined to small tight-knit groups such as hackers who use the secure connections to distribute information and hacking tools."

... but ... "They have also been used by paedophiles to distribute images of child abuse." ... which is decidely NOT cool.

Consumers more critical of cell carriers than handset makers: "Cingular, the top carrier with 57.3 million customers, had 5.2 million aspiring users, the survey estimates. No. 2 Verizon (54.8 million now) had 4.7 million and Sprint (51 million) 6.9 million. Even here, however, device brands scored better, with Motorola having the most wannabe users at 12.3 million."

Lookit That ... By devising a campaign that specifically targets the wireless subscribers of the top three (Cingular, Verizon and Sprint/Nextel), you reach (potentially) 162 million Americans (minus duplicate subscribers, of course). Okay, so you reach almost 150 million Americans. Ummm, last time I checked the US population is just approaching 300 million. So you can reach about half of all Americans via the top three carriers. That's pretty darned good.

In millions of unique U.S. visitors in July 2006:
Yahoo Video 21.1
MySpace Videos 20.1
YouTube 16.1
MSN Video 14.6
AOL Video 10.5
Heavy Networks 8.3
Google Video 6.8
eBaum's World 5.4
iFilm 3.3
Metacafe 2.0
Source: ComScore Media Metrix

Items like this on the   Home Shopping Network may soon be available for purchase via  a TV remote control. - HSN to offer point and shop by TV remote: "HSN is announcing the nation's first shop-by-remote system for digital TV customers. It will be available in New York City and Hawaii, where it's been tested in some homes. Other major cities will get access in coming months.

'We've been chomping at the bit' to offer the service, says John McDevitt, vice president of finance for HSN, based in St. Petersburg, Fla. 'It's a natural evolution for our industry.'

HSN viewers who have pre-registered credit card information with the company can use the service. No special remote or cable box is needed. Digital TV companies get a cut of the network's sales.

'It's a big deal,' says Thomas Umstead, programming editor for MultiChannel News, a trade publication that covers the cable TV industry. 'Instead of having to pick up the phone to call and order the latest Gucci bag, you just point and click.'"

Pew Internet & American Life Project
Pew Internet: Pew Internet - Bloggers: "A national phone survey of bloggers finds that most are focused on describing their personal experiences to a relatively small audience of readers and that only a small proportion focus their coverage on politics, media, government, or technology. Blogs, the survey finds, are as individual as the people who keep them. However, most bloggers are primarily interested in creative, personal expression – documenting individual experiences, sharing practical knowledge, or just keeping in touch with friends and family."

Credit cards with radio tags speed purchases but track customers, too - The Boston Globe: "Already, 20 million Americans have credit or debit cards that contain radio frequency identification technology chips, or RFID chips. These chips let a cardholder make a purchase by waving the card in front of a contactless card reader, instead of sliding the card through a magnetic reader or handing it to a sales clerk.

Now cellphone makers like Finland's Nokia Corp. are building the chips into their phones. That could transform the cellphone into a universal payment device that could supplant the credit card altogether.

``Some people will say, instead of having five credit cards, I'll have them all in one phone,' said Gerhard Romen, Nokia's head of global market development.

The prospect appeals to many merchants, who hope that the new system will let them ring up sales more quickly and securely than with today's credit cards or with cash.

But not everyone is convinced."

Duran Duran
BBC NEWS | Technology | Duran Duran to give virtual gigs: "British band Duran Duran are to create a virtual island within online game Second Life, on which they will perform actual live concerts.

The band is the first major group to announce a virtual world presence in the game.

Second Life is an online 3D digital world, which is imagined, created and owned by the residents.

More than 370,000 people have Second Life characters, called Avatars, who exist in the world.

Earlier this year, BBC Radio 1 rented a virtual island in Second Life where it held music festivals and BBC Two's Newsnight hosted an interview inside the game."

U2 in SL
U2 in SL - A Virtual Band in Second Life: "Through streaming music technology in the 3D virtual world of Second Life, from time to time, we hold concerts and gigs for the entire SL community. We role-play the real world band using custom made avatars, animations and concert set"

U2 in SL Virtual Concert in Second Life

The world's first virtual tribute band "U2 in SL" has performed a concert in the virtual space of Second Life. This is getting pretty serious.

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Competition Heats Up For Viral Video Advertisers
Business Week
Advertisers are creating and distributing videos on sites like YouTube and Google Video, hoping they'll be distributed by thousands of Web users, reports Business Week. For that powerful chain of events to take place, marketers have to create something compelling enough for a legion of anonymous users to want to share it with friends. "If you entertain your audience, they will get it, and the viral mechanism will make the audience come to watch you," says Ed Robinson, an ad executive and Web site owner who attracted more than 60,000 people in one week to his Web site with a 12-second spot. Within three months, he had 500,000 visitors. Video could be advertising's holy grail. It reaches millions of consumers without spending millions of dollars. The big lure, according to research estimates--it's a $100 million to $150 million industry. Just think of Crispin Porter + Bogusky's "Subservient Chicken" video for Burger King; it's still one of the most popular viral video ads in history, with 400 million hits. And it didn't cost millions to make. CPB says after that success, it found competition on the Web to be fresh, different, and fierce. After all, advertisers are competing with content created by millions of amateurs, too. Plus, Web users are an ad-saturated audience, so anything that lacks irony or a little sophistication and smacks of cheap marketing ploys won't get very far. To be successful, viral video needs high entertainment value. That's right, advertisers--you're creating content, too. - Read the whole story...


Casual gaming taking places of daily activities - Yahoo! News: "A substantial minority of American adults would rather spend their free time playing casual games -- such online diversions as 'Bejeweled' and 'TextTwist' -- than watch television.

A study by Harris Interactive set for release Monday found that 31 percent of the over-18 set preferred the games to TV for whiling away a spare hour. Watching movies at home fared better, with 21 percent choosing games instead, but going to the movie theater did slightly worse with 35 percent."

Microsoft lets players be designers - Technology - International Herald Tribune: "Microsoft is trying to change that. The company on Monday announced the release this autumn of a product called XNA Game Studio Express, a basic version of the company's game authoring tools that will let aspiring designers write games on a PC and test them on an ordinary Xbox 360. To test games, the designer pays $99 a year to translate the game from the PC into the Xbox format." - Online Video Stats Say It All: "A recent report from technology research firm In-Stat indicates that the potential market for online video content worldwide will grow from 13 million households in 2005 to 131 million households in 2010. One of the drivers behind this growth is the widespread adoption of broadband, and In-stat predicts that by 2010 there will be 413 million broadband households worldwide, up from 194 million in 2005."

Leonard Nimoy, left, and William Shatner pose Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2006, in Los Angeles. TV Land will celebrate the legendary science-fiction series 'Star Trek,' with a 40th anniversary salute Friday, Sept. 8, the very date on which the series first premiered in 1966. This futuristic series, which aired from 1966 to 1969, followed the adventures of the USS Enterprise, commanded by James T. Kirk, played by Shatner, and his first officer and best friend Mr. Spock, played by Nimoy.   (AP Photo/Ric Francis)
Shatner launches online sci-fi contest - Yahoo! News: "Shatner will pick the winner, who will be named spokesperson for the William Shatner Science Fiction DVD Club. The winner also will receive 'a large cash award,' according to the contest announcement.

Entrants must create a short video clip that shows why they have what it takes and submit it to Deadline for entries is Sept. 30.

Aspiring actors, young filmmakers and budding film critics are encouraged to enter.

'This is an opportunity for new faces and new voices in the science fiction world to be seen and heard,' Shatner said in a statement Thursday."

Long view of virtual hotel
First hotel for 'Second Life' | CNET
"Starwood Hotels & Resorts is launching its new Aloft Hotel in the virtual land of Second Life in September, months before the chain of hotels opens in real life. The brick-and-mortar version of the hotel, which caters to active, urban 30- to 50-year-olds, is set to roll out the red carpet sometime in 2008. The folks at Starwood are hoping the hotel attracts a lively bunch of avatars who like to mingle in the lobby and give feedback about the hotel. In this way, Second Life will help guide the earthbound hotel's operations.

Credit: The Electric Sheep Company"

Going to Work for SUBWAY: Part 1

For any of you who've missed it; here's the (an Omnicom interactive shop, btw) pitch "viral" (intentional misuse of quote marks) video on YouTube.

And here are some of our favorite spoofs:

MINI Mail™
Here's a lame Web 2.0 app/site that's nothing more than a Web card wrapped in lots and lots of Flash. Ecchhh. One saving grace is a free font download. That's nice. And ... free.

E-tracking through your cell phone | Perspectives | CNET
Read this for background on how your cell phone is - by default - a device that beams your location to anyone with the technology to track it (namely telecoms and, er, the government). Now, how many brainstorming sessions have YOU attended in which someone offers up the wish to "beam" offers to consumers via their cell phones based on the owner's location (near a store, mall, etc.). Well, the technology certainly exists. But the government has been using it secretly; and the press (and public who aren't living in denial) is creeped out by it. So ... don't plan on tracking consumers via mobile phone anytime soon. It's, um, creepy.

On Advertising: Putting Tube in the picture - Technology - International Herald Tribune: "Viacom Outdoor, a billboard operator, is preparing what it calls the biggest deployment yet of digital video technology in the service of 'out of home' advertising, investing 72 million pounds, or $136 million, over the next two and a half years to install 2,200 screens in the subway network.

The screens will be placed alongside escalators and in hallways and other high-traffic areas of the Underground. Starting next year, Viacom plans to install devices that can project billboard-size moving video onto the curved walls of the 'Tube,' so passengers will be able to see the ads as they wait for their trains."

Girls Just Want to Be Plugged In -- to Everything - Los Angeles Times: "Julia's voracious appetite for all types of entertainment — and the tech-savvy ways she consumes it — is typical of girls her age, according to a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll that surveyed the habits of 12- to 24-year-olds. Girls ages 12 to 14 are the most deeply motivated by TV: 65% say they are influenced by a TV show or network, are more likely to multi-task than boys of their age group and are easily bored — 41% say there are too few choices of entertainment."

Read on ... girls are also very, very much using instant messaging, e-mail, their iPods and ... yes ... even the Web. While they track with their boy peers in turning "multimedia" into "polymedia," they're still into the ol' idiot box. Worth the time to read ...

R.I.P. "Easy Tech/Gadget Shop for 'Mom'"
Best Buy to Close Studio D: "Best Buy Co., Richfield, Minn., plans to close its Studio D concept store in Naperville, Ill., when the lease expires at the end of the month, according to the Chicago Tribune. Best Buy opened the 5,000-sq.-ft. specialty store in 2004 in an attempt to capture middle-income to upper-income female customers. The female-friendly environment was created to educate its customers on how to use everyday gadgets like camcorders, digital cameras and MP3 players, or how to enhance photos with digital scrapbooking. It was the only such store in the country."

A Wake Up Call ... or Click?!?
MediaPost Publications - Web Spending In U.K. Surpasses Magazines, Outdoor - 08/14/2006: "ONLINE AD SPENDING IN THE United Kingdom came to approximately ?1.3 billion pounds (or $2.5 billion) last year, according to Ofcom, which regulates the U.K. communications industries. The agency also reported that Web spending surpassed outdoor advertising and consumer and business magazines last year, coming in fourth to newspapers, TV and direct mail."

Spiked Soul album
Macworld: Music video made entirely from 16,000 digital pics
"Over 16,000 digital photographs were taken in the making of this stop animation music video. The video was shot entirely on a Canon EOS 5D digital stills camera. The result is an intriguing and strange fairy tale where nothing is what it seems. Tale of life, death and the infinite." - Australian singer-songwriter-digital artist Yunyu

Tiny screens
No Big Demand for Small Screen - Los Angeles Times: "Entertainment purveyors may be scrambling to package their content into mobisodes, video downloads and podcasts, but a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll found that teens and young adults — the generation most likely to be the early adopters of this new technology — have yet to fully embrace it.

About half of young adults and 4 in 10 teenagers said they were uninterested in watching television shows or movies on computers, cellphones or hand-held devices such as video iPods, the poll found.

While more than 2 out of 5 teens and young adults indicated they were open to viewing this kind of content online, only 14% of teenagers said they wanted to watch television on a cellphone, and 17% said they would view programs on an iPod.

The findings suggest that networks are rushing to package content for these new platforms before even tech-savvy young consumers are hankering for the 'third screen' experience."

A screen grab of Atom Films' web site. Viacom Inc.'s MTV Networks on Wednesday said it would buy Internet video and games company Atom Entertainment Inc. for $200 million amid a rush by big media companies to compete with upstart online video leader (
Viacom to buy Atom Entertainment - Yahoo! News: "Viacom Inc.'s MTV Networks on Wednesday said it would buy Internet video and games company Atom Entertainment Inc. for $200 million as big media companies move to compete with online upstarts such as video leader"

MediaPost Publications - Oneupweb Launches Podcast Tracking - 08/08/2006: "Oneupweb on Monday unveiled a new podcast tracking service that will run on its servers rather than through metering technology linked to a panel of users.

Geared toward the corporate market, the PodTractor technology will provide data such as the top podcasts and episodes, the top referring podcast directories, and subscriber versus non-subscriber downloads. It will also include weekly and monthly trend graphs and audience loyalty tracking."

Vodafone Mobile Viral - Coolz0r - Marketing Thoughts
Almost forgot this one. It's a great site, but it's NOT viral. It's video. Word of mouth is in effect. But this is a great Web site with great Web site content. Viral means content that engages people by entertaining them and persuading them to pass that content along to others who trust them.

DDI LogoPoor Customer Service Drives Consumers Elsewhere: "Retailers suffered the greatest number of customer service defections due to poor service, which was selected by 18 percent of respondents, followed by Internet service providers (15 percent), banks (14 percent), home telephone service providers (12 percent), wireless/cell phone companies (11 percent) and cable/satellite TV companies (10 percent). Utility companies and life insurers suffered the least at 3 percent. Other interesting findings showed that 57 percent of consumers said customer service technologies such as automated phone service and live online chat had not done anything to improve service levels. Satisfaction was lowest for automated phone service and highest for in-person services. Additionally, women were more likely than men to ask to speak with a supervisor when dealing with a bad customer service experience over the phone, while men were more likely to hang up the phone and call back. Consumers were most frustrated by being kept on hold too long (72 percent), having to repeat information to multiple service representatives (70 percent), the inability of agents to answer questions (66 percent) and customer service representatives marketing more services or products (60 percent). Younger consumers--those under 40--were the least loyal and significantly more likely to change providers because of poor service (54 percent versus 37 percent)."

San Francisco Chronicle
Bram Cohen's BitTorrent has revolutionized online file sh...
Founder of BitTorrent unlocks the secrets of online file sharing / He figured out how to break up video into small pieces that can quickly be sent over the Net: "BitTorrent has become the most popular peer-to-peer tool on the Web, more so than the music file-sharing site Napster in its heyday, according to BigChampagne, a research firm. It has nearly 70 million users and takes up 30 to 40 percent of the world's Internet traffic, according to CacheLogic, a technology company that measures bandwidth use."

MediaPost Publications - Online Video Market To Surge Tenfold by 2010 - 08/03/2006: "THE GLOBAL MARKET FOR ONLINE video content will expand tenfold by 2010--topping 130 million households, according to a new report released Wednesday by market research company In-Stat.

The report, titled 'Online Content Aggregators--AOL, Google, Yahoo!, MSN, Apple--Slowly Defining the Future of Television,' asserts that consumers will very soon be able to access on demand a vast store of video programs. In-Stat predicts that this consumer-controlled delivery will be dominated by major content aggregators like AOL, Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Apple."

Toyota Readies Comedy Series for Mobile Phones: "Toyota is spending more than $10 million to create and promote a comedy series designed specifically for multimedia mobile phones. "
How the Web Was Won: "While dot-coms came and went, and the Internet passed through periods of boom, bust and rebirth, the trends I wrote about in 1998 are surprisingly alive and intact today. The Web is still empowering individuals to be more creative , spawning new electronic middlemen and struggling to make advertising more personal."

This is a MUST read article !!!

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ADFLOW Networks - Digital Signage - Dynamic P.O.P. With Zero I.T: "ADFLOW Networks provides dynamic digital signage solutions that leading retailers are using to deliver messaging to their customers where it matters most: right at the point-of-purchase."

DVR Users Watch More TV: Nielsen - 08/02/2006: "A NEW NIELSEN CLIENT ADVISORY on DVR usage gives some credence to the broadcast networks' contention that DVR users watch more television, perhaps as much as 29 percent more in prime time among the key 18-to-49 demo.

Adults with a DVR in the demo watched on average 6 hours and 14 minutes of live prime-time content per week, and an additional 1 hour and 49 minutes in playback mode with the device--a 29 percent increase. In total-day viewing, the Nielsen report shows that 18- to-49-year-olds averaged 25 hours and 9 minutes a week of live viewing, and an additional 3 hours and 54 minutes in time-shifted mode--a 16 percent increase."

MarketWatch: More companies trying to profit from online video - MarketWatch: "There is no doubt that 2006 will become known as the year online video became a hit."


Study: Women like tech toys more than shoes - Yahoo! News: "An Oxygen Network survey released Tuesday found that more than three out of four women said they'd choose the TV over a diamond solitaire necklace. Women preferred a top-of-the-line cellphone to designer shoes by a similar margin. And a little white iPod narrowly trumped a little black dress.

These are among the results of the Girls Gone Wired survey by market researcher TRU for Oxygen. TRU surveyed 1,400 women and 700 men 15 to 49 years old to compare tech attitudes among the sexes.

The findings suggest advertisers need to address a broad audience and not talk down to women. Advertisers are best served communicating lifestyle benefits of tech products by showing what's useful about them, rather than focusing on specifications, Oxygen says."

About VoiceIndigo: "If they exist as a podcast, you can use VoiceIndigo to organize them into your own personal channels, listen on your Mobile Phone or PC, and share them with your Friends."