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The new comparison shopping site from IAC/InterActiveCorp offers a Shopping Messenger mini-app that's essentially a browser plug-in for IE and Firefox. Very smart.
Steven Pearlstein - Advertising's New Idea: Don't Push the Product; Pull the Consumer Instead - "Naked's premise is simple: If you go to a coal company looking for an energy supply, you'll get coal as the recommended solution. It's the same with most advertising agencies, which rarely meet a marketing problem that cannot be solved or a sales goal that cannot be met by a TV and radio campaign supported by direct marketing, some pop-up ads on Web sites and a bit of public relations. It's what they do, the way they are organized and how they make their money." - Foodies Love the Net: "For those who live to eat, one of the beauties of the Internet is the wealth of delicious recipes that can be discovered with such ease. According to comScore Media Metrix, 39 million Americans visited food Web sites in July 2006, up 23% from a year earlier."

Glowskin :: Innovation from Safelites: "For decades companies have integrated EL technology into a variety of applications, most notably TIMEX Indiglo® watches and the keypads in the Motorola® RAZR phone. Recent advances make
outdoor applications durable enough to work on snowplows in the harshest conditions."

Disney Sells Films Through iTunes Store: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance: "The Walt Disney Co. has sold 125,000 digital copies of films through Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes store in less than a week, generating $1 million, Disney chief executive Robert Iger said Tuesday."
MediaPost Publications
Incubus' Goes Straight To Download On AOL

"AOL THIS HALLOWEEN WILL DEBUT the movie 'Incubus,' a straight-to-download film, on the teen service AOL RED. 'Incubus,' starring Tara Reid, will be available for online purchase for $7.99 or five-day rental for $3.49." - Online Ad Spending: Not There Yet...: "Not only does TV continue to dominate as an ad spending category, it does so in numbers disproportionate to the amount of time people actually spend on the media, at least compared to the Internet."

AT&T Broadband TV and MobiTV Experience
"Presenting AT&T Broadband TV. Watch TV on any PC!

(Note: System requirements specify Windows XP, so you cannot get this on a Macintosh.)

Access approximately 30 TV channels including Fox News, A&E, Fox Sports, and HGTV. Watch all your favorite music videos, comedy shows, and more!

• Live streaming TV
• No hardware or software to install
• Watch TV on any broadband-connected computer
• Available at all AT&T Wi-Fi hot spots"

FORTUNE Magazine

Viral Ads: It's an Epidemic - October 2, 2006: "Madison Avenue has always tried to create infectious ads. Think of those beer commercials with catch phrases that some of your more tiresome coworkers repeat around the water cooler. But viral marketing truly came of age with the Internet.

Marketers discovered that if they came up with a really good beer ad, consumers would e-mail it to their friends. That was a revolution at the time. Now it seems so Web 1.0. In the age of user-generated content sites like YouTube, MySpace Video, and Google (Charts) Video, consumers and advertisers are able to upload ads that can be shared virally by millions of people.

This means some interesting twists for the business of advertising. A successful viral ad is distributed widely for free - Smirnoff didn't pay YouTube a dime. On the other hand, the advertiser has no control over where the message winds up. (There's always the chance that it might appear next to a Hitler video or a booty clip.)"

Madonna on stage
BBC NEWS | Entertainment | YouTube in 'landmark' music deal: "A royalty-tracking system has been developed by YouTube to detect when videos on the site are using copyrighted material and work out how much Warner is owed in advertising revenue." - Mobile Ad Market on a Roll: "Either way, there are a number of issues that must be addressed before advertisers can effectively grow the mobile channel, including technology (eg, screen size, available bandwidth, interoperability between operators and handsets) and industry regulation ... [plus] ... consumers are currently 'not at all willing' to receive mobile advertising via SMS/MMS. And that is a problem."

Note: If this is "on a roll" ... I wonder what painfully slow growth and consumer adoption must look like. Oh ... wait a minute (or as Shrek would say, "Hold the phone!") ... it looks like this ...

Not in the Real World Anymore - New York Times: "Wednesday’s introduction of Virtual Laguna Beach is the first of three virtual worlds that MTV plans over the next year as part of an effort to steal a march on popular Web sites like MySpace and YouTube that have diverted the attention of the MTV audience. "

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Local Coupon Service Arrives On Cell Phones - Yahoo! News:
"Consumers download a wallet-type application with discounts that resides on the phone. Local coupons get downloaded to the phone based on the consumer's zip code.

[ Service provided by Cellfire Inc. ]

Once the application sits on the phone, clicking on the icon lets users scroll and browse through discount offerings. To redeem the coupons, the consumer must press 'Use Now' and show the coupon to the cashier, who types in the code upon checkout at the register.

Some software development is required to enable the retailer's point-of-sale (POS) platform to accept a four- or five-digit code and take reductions at the cash register upon sale of the items."

Minds Hate To Change - "What's going on here? Well, dear readers, these three companies have run up against a basic fact of life: Minds don't change. MTV is something you watch on television. Coupons are something you cut out. And Dell is a business computer that you buy direct. The futility of trying to change minds in the marketplace is a lesson I learned many years ago."

FX channel tries commercial to combat ad-skipping - Yahoo! News: "The advert for its new drama 'Brotherhood' will show a single image on the screen for the entire 30-second slot, and therefore retain its 'sales message' when viewed even at the 12-times speeds enabled by Sky+ and other digital recorders, also known as personal video recorders, or PVRs.

Advertisers have been racing to find ways to get messages through as higher numbers of consumers watch TV programs when they want using such recorders, often skipping the commercials.


MediaPost Publications - Marketers Debate Meaning Of 'IMC,' Begins To Sound Like Communications Planning - 09/14/2006: "TWO DECADES AFTER NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY marketing professor Don Schultz sent marketers and agencies scurrying in search of a new Holy Grail dubbed integrated marketing communications, they are still struggling to define it. And judging by the definitions floated by advertisers and ad agency executives Wednesday during the Association of National Advertisers' annual Agency Relations Forum in New York, the highly touted marketing practice is beginning to sound like another being popularized by media agencies: communications planning." - Mobile Marketing: Follow the Money: "So how do you reach this audience? Which non-voice applications should marketers use?

The answer, of course, is not simple. However, the numbers do point to one strong candidate right now: Text messaging ('texting') is currently the largest single component of non-voice mobile spending, and the 'text to' call to action is understandably becoming increasingly common."

Consumers not ready to pay for video on cell phones: "Consumers are refusing to pay extra to watch video on their tiny mobile screens, according to two studies released in conjunction with a conference hosted by CTIA-The Wireless Association in Los Angeles this week.

Only about 11 percent of mobile phones in the United States can support video, and only 1 percent of mobile subscribers pay for video service, according to a survey by JupiterResearch."

The Wall Street Journal Public Home Page - Surfing the Internet for Spoken Words
[ This article was posted as a Free Feature on 9/14/06 ]
Opening up the audiovisual Web
Advertisers have been holding back from sponsoring Web video and podcasting, because the media lack an effective means to automatically link ads to relevant content, as is the case on search engines. But that may be about to change, as companies like Podzinger, TVEyes and Blinkx roll out tools that allow users to search for video and audio content and perform text searches using voice recognition software.

Apple - QuickTime - Special Event - It's Showtime
Steve Jobs introduced several products and services today including new iPods, the new Nano, a new Shuffle, new iTunes 7.0 which now offers movies ($9.99) and games ($4.99) plus a new home media center computer code-named "iTV." And John Legend performs one song.

Survey: Advertisers Flock to 'Untrustworthy' Media: "Only 21% of consumers trust product information within such social media when mulling a product purchase. Consumers are twice as likely to trust information on a corporate Web site or on a professional review site such as, the research found.

Nevertheless, the survey, which was released Aug. 29 by the New York-based Jupiter, found about 20% of advertisers surveyed planned to use viral marketing next year, mostly for branding purposes.

“New viral marketers will adopt advertising within blogs and social sites just as heavily as experienced viral marketers, and will also place increasing brand awareness ahead of direct-response goals,” according to the survey, which was conducted in April among 273 U.S. advertisers and 4,182 consumers."

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. - TiVo unveils its first high-definition DVR: "Playing a bit of catch-up to rival offerings, TiVo will unveil Tuesday a new high-end digital video recorder that will be the company's first to support high-definition programming.

The long-awaited product will be $800 and available in mid-September, the company said. Subscription fees for the TiVo service are separate.

The TiVo Series3 HD Digital Media Recorder has a 250-gigabyte hard drive — enough to store about 32 hours of high-definition programming or up to 300 hours of standard programming. It also sports two tuners, which will allow subscribers to record two different shows in HD at the same time while watching a third pre-recorded show."

Are You Breaking Up? A Cellphone Original Comedy Is Calling - New York Times: "The series is another example of cellphone service companies looking to attract new subscribers — and draw more money out of existing ones — with original content, especially video. Amp’d Mobile, which began in January 2006 with financing from MTV Networks, Universal Music and other investors, is located in Los Angeles and employs entertainment industry veterans.

In addition to phone service, the company offers live television channels such as Fox Sports and Spike, original programming, video games and 99-cent music downloads.

This content is streamed directly onto Amp’d phones; service plans range from $30 to $150 a month and include prepaid options that do not require a contract."

The AT&T logo in an undated photo. REUTERS/Handout
AT&T launches live broadband TV service - Yahoo! News: "The AT&T Broadband TV service announced Tuesday features about 20 channels of live and made-for-broadband content. The channel lineup includes the History Channel, the Weather Channel, the Food Network, Bloomberg and Oxygen. Additional channels will be added soon, the company said without elaborating.

The content is being provided by MobiTV Inc., a company that has specialized in delivering live cable channels to cell phones through wireless carriers such as Sprint Nextel Corp. and Cingular Wireless, which is majority owned by AT&T."

Plastic Logic
The latest look at ePaper (as you must know by now, it's one of my pet obsessions) is less than stellar. For the first time an ePaper maker is showing demo videos. And, truthfully, it looks awfully clunky to me. It's like watching late-80s movies with actors using cell phones the size of their own shoes. Judge for yourself.

Advertising Age - MediaWorks - Viral Video Marketing Under Scrutiny By Watchdog Groups: "As YouTube moves to monetize its traffic through paid advertising and consumer advocacy groups start to circle the wagons, the days of the viral video universe as marketers' playground could soon be over. "

Marketing to Kids Where They Live: "Advertising on social networks is still a small portion of overall online advertising, but it's poised to grow. 'Marketers are just now getting their arms around what social network marketing is,' says Debra Aho Williamson, senior analyst at eMarketer. The researcher estimates that marketers will spend $280 million on social network advertising in the U.S. this year, about 1.7% of the projected $16.7 billion due to be spent on U.S. online advertising in 2006. The social networking ad tally will reach $1.9 billion in 2010, making up 6.3% of the total."

- Also see the CEO Guide to Social Networking

Evian Launches Pop-Up Spa: "Evian brand will operate a temporary spa in Manhattan Sept. 6-28, according to Women's Wear Daily. The 1,500-sq.-ft. space located at 521 Fifth Ave., was designed by Matthew David Events and will be open Tuesday through Saturday, from 11:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. 'Evian-les-Bains has always been a pristine place where those in the know have gone to renew their health,' said Marc Jacheet, chief marketing officer for Evian North America.

Evian North America has done three previous pop-up spas in the United States, most recently in Los Angeles. Jacheet also said there is talk of expanding the pop-up spa concept globally."

- Images from the opening here


Video-Game Analytics Track Players' Behavior - Yahoo! News: "Sound Orwellian? Some privacy advocates may think so, but the data revealed could help developers and publishers make better games.

Emergent Game Technologies is working on analytics software that will let video game developers and publishers glean information on peoples' behavioral patterns as they play, a company executive said Friday.

More than 15 years in development, Metrics Element, a tool to collect, analyze and distribute game data within a Web-based user interface, will ship around the first of the year."

MyStrands : Company Overview:
Here's a new "Web 2.0" online service/site that makes intelligent recommendations based on its user-base's behavior. In this case ... music. We already know about Pandora, which does the same thing (sort of) but in the guise of a "radio" player. MyStrands asks you to download a stand-alone app to track your music choices then make recommendations as you go along. (The app requires a root-level install that our corporate machines disallow, btw.)

"MyStrands helps us discover new music that we might never think of on our own, such as linking one artist in a genre to another, somebody famous to someone less so but equally deserving. By interconnecting listeners around the world, we build lists that connect us to one another. And in so doing, we not only expand our musical horizons but obtain greater enjoyment from the music we already love."

- Article in BusinessWeek


Gas-line broadband a pipe dream? - Yahoo! News: "Now the relentless pursuit for faster, cheaper broadband is leading to perhaps the last unclaimed conduit to your house: natural gas pipes.

Nethercomm, a San Diego-area start-up, says it has developed technology to send lightning-fast broadband and TV services via wireless signals through the pipes that deliver the fuel used to heat homes and fire up stoves.

Gas pipes serve 62% of U.S. households, says the American Gas Association. Broadband in Gas, or BIG, could give consumers a third high-speed option at low costs and speeds that far surpass today's phone and cable offerings. It also could bring fast Internet to unserved rural areas." - Downloading TV

MediaPost Publications - Young Americans Driving Online Video Surge - 09/08/2006: "AMERICANS AGES 18-34 ARE ROUGHLY twice as likely to have downloaded television programs from the Web as the population at large, according to a new study by research firm Ipsos Insight.

Based on its survey of 1,143 Web users, Ipsos estimates that 10 percent of U.S. adults under 35 have downloaded a show, compared to 5 percent of the overall population."

Real-Life RSS Marketing: "Not only is RSS being used as an ad medium by companies ranging from Google to Pheedo, it's now an official marketing tool. "

A very helpful, down-to-earth POV on using RSS here and now. Worth the read. And it's quick.

MediaPost Publications - Clear Channel Bows Mobile Service - 09/06/2006: "CLEAR CHANNEL RADIO'S FLAGSHIP STATION in New York, Z100, today will launch a new mobile radio service for cell phones. The service will allow users to receive streams of radio shows on their mobile phones, and also listen to tracks on demand.

The subscription service, available to Cingular cell phone users across the country for $2.99 a month, is the first step in a planned rollout of streaming and on-demand programming from about 100 stations nationwide over the next year. It's not yet clear when the service will be available to mobile users who are customers of companies other than Cingular.

The service allows users to find song titles and artist names for the most recent 10 songs, make requests via phone, receive text messages when a request is about to be played, and listen to podcasts of celebrity interviews"

The front screen from's new video download website,, is shown Thursday, Sept. 7, 2006 shortly after it went live. The Seattle-based internet retailer launched a digital video downloading service Thursday, ending months of speculation that the company would be getting into the online TV and movie business.  (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) launches TV, movie service - Yahoo! News: " launched a video download service Thursday, ending months of speculation that the Internet retailer would be getting into the online TV and movie business.

TV shows will cost $1.99 per episode, and most movies will go for $7.99 to $14.99; movies can also be rented for $3.99.

Amazon Unbox will offer shows from CBS, Fox, MTV, Nickelodeon, PBS, BBC, A&E, Discovery Channel, Comedy Central and The History Channel, among others. NBC and ABC were noticeably absent on the list of participating networks."

SPoral Frog
Spiral Frog
Watch out for Spiral Frog. It's the pre-launch music download service that the media predicts will (finally) rival iTunes. Why? Becuase the songs are free. The catch ... you're going to have to listen to ads!

Major music publishers including EMI and UMG have recently signed agreements to offer songs. You may already know the CEO; he's Robin Kent, former head of Universal McCann.

- USA Today article
- Motley Fool article

Home - Bud.TV set to tap beer drinkers on the Web: "Top U.S. brewer Anheuser-Busch (BUD) will launch its own Web entertainment network, Bud.TV, in February.

The seven-channel operation, costing an estimated $30 million to start, is an attempt to develop a new way to reach consumers ages 21 to 27, who increasingly favor customized content over mass media — and distilled spirits over beer.

The money is being redirected from the budget for cable and late-night TV ads and, along with what A-B spends on its sites and ads on other sites, will bring the Internet share of its $600 million annual ad budget to about 10% in 2007."

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Sprint to offer full-length movies over national wireless network - The Wireless Report: "The 'Sprint Movies' service will be powered by mSpot, which will take control over the entire delivery and display logistics over the Sprint Nextel nationwide wireless network. First up will be a title list of 45 titles, including recent hits such as 'National Treasure,' 'Spider-Man 2' and 'Scarface.'"

Bon-Ton to Close Carson Pirie Scott Store: "The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., York, Pa., announced plans to close its Carson Pirie Scott store at One South State Street in Chicago by March 2007."

Another Chicago landmark bites the dust.

MediaPost Publications - CBS Promo Brings Billboards To Life On Cell Phones - 08/25/2006: "MOVING CLOSER TO THE WORLD of 'Minority Report,' CBS will now add video and audio into the two-dimensional world of outdoor advertising with Bluetooth wireless technology.

Pedestrians walking by five outdoor billboards that tout CBS' new fall programs in New York's Grand Central Station can instantly see video clips on their cell phones."

Quick footnote: Bluetooth wireless technology was first used in a billboard in London over a year ago. Passersby in London's main railway station could instantly hear a then-new song by Coldplay, the chart-topping rock band, on their cell phones. This CBS effort is the first major "blu-casting" implementation in the USA.

Electronic Arts signs video game ad deals
Electronic Arts Inc. , the world's biggest video game publisher,
said on Thursday it had struck deals with two in-game advertising
providers, taking its first steps into the online advertising business.

Consumer-Written Product Reviews Increase in Importance
More Online Shoppers Demand Them; Analysts Cite Their Growing Marketing

Commentary: Marketing to YouTube Nation
Well, it's official. YouTube has finally revealed how they are going to
monetize their audience. Last week, it announced a new advertising
paradigm using "brand channels" and participatory video ads (PVAs) to
give big-name brands a shot at connecting to this wild and wooly
community of users.

How to Drive Traffic to Your Online Video
Online video growth is causing marketers such as Anheuser-Busch to
contemplate producing video content for online audiences only.
Meanwhile, video content owners like Disney, CBS, and Fox are testing
new ways to distribute it.

Marketers get their mascots in on action at MySpace
By all accounts, brand mascots should have a profile page on MySpace.
And marketers should deploy their most creative people to come up with
something kitschy and fresh to put on it. Wendy's mascot "Smart," for
example, has more than 81,000 friends who've linked to his page and
posted notes that say "I luv u." Rival Burger King also has a page for
its "king." Columbia Pictures posted a profile for Will Ferrell's
character "Ricky Bobby," the fictional NASCAR racer from the movie
"Talladega Nights."

Wendy's icon Smart, who represents the chain's square hamburger patties, has a MySpace profile. - Marketers get their mascots in on action at MySpace: "On, Wendy's (WEN) cartoon marketing mascot Smart has more than 81,000 'friends' who've linked to his page and posted notes such as, 'i luv u.'

In his profile, the Wendy's burger-patty-shaped icon lists metal music, Angelina Jolie and TV show 24 as interests. Favorite nosh: Wendy's bacon mushroom melt. Hero: Wendy's founder Dave Thomas, of course.

Smart is an example of how marketers are riding the online community craze: seeding social-networking sites with faux profiles to connect with consumers.

Sites such as MySpace let users build free profile pages typically filled with their photos and personal information. They can network their profile to another member's by asking to become a 'friend.' Once linked, friends can post comments on each other's pages."

Phones and headsets at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, February 14, 2006. Global mobile operators and device makers are betting that the next level of transmission technology will ramp up mobile phone usage in a way that third-generation technology has so far failed to do. (Albert Gea/Reuters)
Mobile companies develop new, faster 4G technology - Yahoo! News: "So-called fourth-generation (4G) mobile technology, now being developed, would allow two-way communication in voice, video and data on a scale that was previously impossible, companies said at a Samsung 4G Forum mobile conference.

4G would allow mobile users on the go to enjoy services that they can now get through personal computers with high-speed broadband connections.

'4G is to deliver high-speed broadband for data- and visual- centric information. Everything before 4G is voice-centric,' said Ali Tabassi, Sprint Nextel Corp. vice president for innovative technology."

Poll: Online viewers shun lengthy videos - Yahoo! News: "Only one in five online video viewers has watched or downloaded a full-length movie or television show, according to a new AP-AOL Video poll.

Overall, more than half of Internet users have watched or downloaded video. News clips were the most popular, seen by 72 percent of online video viewers, followed by short movie and TV clips, music videos, sports highlights and user-generated amateur videos."

EyeWonder, Inc.
Rich Media Ads, Video Ads, Flash Ads, Online Advertising
EyeWonder is a "rich media vendor" that produces a myriad of online video-enabled advertising units. All sizes and shapes are represented. Some are quite stunning. Check the "Products" section for what's available. See the "Success Showcase" for a long list of working demos.

Advergaming Update
The advergaming category has been taking a dive lately. Small audience. Hard to manage. Uncertain ROI. As the channel matures these issues will subside. Meanwhile, incremental steps continue to appear. To wit:

MediaPost Publications - Electronic Arts To Serve In-Game Ads - 09/01/2006: "ELECTRONIC ARTS, THE WORLD'S LARGEST video game publisher, will begin serving ads to players while their games are in progress, thanks to new deals with two ad networks, Massive Inc. and IGA Worldwide.

Massive Inc.--purchased by Microsoft in May--will give Electronic Arts access to Microsoft's popular gaming console, the Xbox 360. That product is the first of the next-generation gaming consoles on the market, ahead of Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii. The other network, IGA Worldwide, will serve ads from its stable of advertisers on one of Electronic Arts' popular PC titles."

Designing Your Applications for Usability: "Dr. Jakob Nielsen tackles the issues of designing for usability and how to maximize usability in the apps you build. In this interview, he discusses everything from the proper attitude for programmers (why being smart might be bad for your code), to the importance of prototyping in design, to the reasons why PDF, Flash and local search engines can hurt more than they help."