Successive Eras of Business Computing 101

Mobile News Network
To meet the computing needs of 16,300 employees and contractors at Genentech Inc., Pierce took a chance and decided not to rely entirely on business software from Microsoft, IBM or another long-established supplier that would have let Genentech own the technology. Instead, Pierce decided to rent these indispensable products from Google Inc.

The Internet search and advertising leader will run Genentech's e-mail, as well as some word processing, spreadsheet and calendar applications, and it will do it over an online connection - an unconventional approach called "cloud computing."


The dawn of the Cloud Computing Era is upon us. Finally. But we need to be mindful of from whence we came. Simplified, the succession of business computing periods can be described thusly:

1. Mainframe Era - Deployment from "smart" main computer to "dumb" clients
2. Client Server Era - Deployment from smart, nimble servers to smart desktops running Windows
3. Distributed Network Era - Deployment of computing power and applications functionality over the Internet (hint: we're living in this one)
4. Cloud Computing Era - Deployment of computing power via vast server farms and applications functionality "in the cloud" accessible by smart, portable client-side devices that are themselves interconnected, interoperable and interchangable (4G phones, for example)

We'll get to how this affects advertising in another post. Stay tuned.

Publishing Flames Out - Advertisers Slumber ...

End of the book? - Los Angeles Times
His fault, the sap, was acquiring and editing good books. The sort of books that might actually make a modest difference in the universe but will be read by no less modest audiences -- too modest for flailing, failing publishing conglomerates.

My Speech at The Chicago New Media Summit, Sept 2008

Look at These Viral Numbers from AdAge

Book of Tens: Digital Predictions That Didn't Pan Out - Advertising Age - Print Edition
The gaffe-filled interview, which exposed Palin's lack of expertise in foreign policy, became a viral phenomenon and likely the single most damaging blow to the McCain campaign.

2. 'WASSUP 2008'
The web-production studio 60Frames reassembled the cast of the original Budweiser ad for a pro-Obama spoof that went viral.

The McCain campaign's most successful viral ad asked whether there is substance behind Obama's celebrity.

Among the biggest viral ads of the year, the video tapped into at least four disparate groups of enthusiasts: the "Is it real?" crowd, Kobe Bryant fans, Aston Martin fans and Nike basketball-shoe fans.

The band gamed the YouTube generation by casting some of its biggest "stars" in a music video.

An NYPD officer was caught on tape brutalizing a Critical Mass biker. The cop was reassigned to desk duty pending investigation.

Though critically panned, Microsoft's ads with Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates generated conversation and racked up impressive viewing on the web.

One ad-agency couple, a handicam, a "Wii Fit," and a deplorable trend is born.

This brilliant PSA for Transport for London encouraged motorists to start seeing cyclists.

A video from the 1970s of the reunion of a wild lion with the men who raised it got well over 30 million views 30 years after the incident was filmed.

Vindication ... er ... Self-Vindication?!

'Doghouse' Takes Us Down a Rabbit Hole of Monotony - Advertising Age - Garfield's Ad Review
The aspiring viral video from Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, for JCPenney is four minutes and 45 seconds of sloppy, profligate storytelling.


I haven't grown an ego and headcase so outsized to believe my own opinions about everything. As such, when I was showing this work to colleagues at the office last week, I kept saying, "I like this, but it's too darned long." It's gratifying to read Bob Garfield's take on the work. Now I know I'm not blowing smoke up my own chimney.

Meta-blogging about social media (kudos to Scubachris)

A deep dive into digital marketing
Let’s get social

Posted by Chris under Advertising, Chicago, Community, Conference, Google, Social Networking, Twitter

Last week Google, at their Chicago office, hosted an afternoon event on social marketing along with a rawkstar party later that evening.

The event featured two keynote speakers: Jeremiah Owyang, Sr. Analyst Forrester and Paula Drum, VP, marketing, H&R Block. It was great to meet both of them as I’d spoken with them via phone, email and twitter but not met face to face. Both of their presentations were great, as expected.

Prior to Jeremiah’s presentation he sent a tweet that I’d be tweeting the presentation and thanks to Mrs. Naslund’s Freshman typing my typing speed allowed me to keep followers up to date. Interestingly his one tweet added about 30 followers, again showing the power of social networking.

Dick Costello, that’s right of Feedburner hosted a panel discussion, which unfortunately I couldn’t stay for however you can catch the photos of the even here (thanks Kate for posting on Picasso). And in addition to the photo’s Google has also posted PDF’s of the presentation which are here as well.

If you want to see the archive of tweets from the presentations they are here, but you’ll have to go back a few pages as well.

Testimonial to TV's Future

Basics - Who Needs a TV? I’ve Got a Laptop. -
Most Americans still watch shows primarily on their televisions. I’ll concede that point to Mr. Wurtzel. But there is much to suggest that watching shows online is more than just a passing fancy. The Internet has proved to be an excellent promotional vehicle. NBC says 7 out of 10 viewers were spurred to watch some shows on television only after sampling them first online. At ABC, 8 percent of viewers they track — or about one out of every 12 people — watch network shows solely online.

Gee I wish I could go to this ...

Sustainable Festivation Crew (photo: Benko Photographics)
Planet Bluegrass - Colorado Music Festivals
2009 festival tickets go on sale at 9am MST on Wednesday, December 10. We will again be offering special holiday-priced festival passes (a $30 discount) while they last. As always, we charge no handling or shipping fees of any kind. Order your tickets and camping at or 800-624-2422 / 303-823-0848.

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Duh ... Coupon Use Soars in Downturn

"In the Internet, nothing travels faster than a tip on how to score a bargain. Especially in an economic downturn. With online retail sales falling this month for the first time, Internet merchants are offering steep discounts to anyone willing to punch in a secret coupon code or visit a rebate site for a "referral" before loading up their virtual cart. Shoppers obsessed with finding these bargains share the latest intelligence on dozens of sites with quirky names like, and the Budget Fashionista. And more consumers than ever are scanning the listings before making a purchase at their favorite Web site."

What's not said here is that under 30-year-olds -- the so-called Millennials -- have been trending upward for several years in their willingness to use coupons. (They also open direct mail more than Xers and Boomers.)

So ... our clients all say they want to reach the "coveted 18-34" demographic. Wake up, friends. They're all Millennials now!

Beware of the Doghouse

JC Penney has been producing ambitious interactive campaigns for the past year. Here's the holiday 2009 effort. It's funny. Long. Very long. But funny.

Posted using ShareThis

Good, Solid Experiential Markeitng - That'a Way ...

MediaPost Publications - Kraft Takes Stove Top To The Streets, Bus Shelters - 12/03/2008
In the Windy City this month, frozen commuters and holiday shoppers will be treated to heated bus shelters and samples of Stove Top's new Quick Cups instant stuffing, courtesy of Kraft Foods.

In what the Glenview, Ill.-based company is calling a national advertising first, Stove Top Stuffing will heat 10 bus shelters at high-traffic locations during the first three weeks of December.

The effort is part of a larger, integrated campaign that includes print ads in more than 50 bus shelters.

"Stove Top Stuffing is all about warming up families with hot, delicious meals when the temperatures drop," said brand manager Ellen Thompson in a release, "and we wanted a stand-out way to demonstrate this to consumers this holiday season."

A Blog About Digitalism By PR Agency Edelman

Edelman Digital - Authenticities

Every agency needs a blog. It's the only way to differentiate one's point of view versus all the lookalike, soundalike, workalike agencies out there. Clients don't know what makes them different. Honestly, they don't. Edelman Digital AuthenticitiesEdelman Digital Authenticities

YouTube - Nokia N96 - Bruce Lee Ping Pong

Here is the brilliant Nokia viral video depicting Bruce Lee playing table tennis using nunchucks.

This and the post directly below are related ...

TV Viewing and Internet Use Are Complementary, Nielsen Reports | Nielsen Media Research
According to the convergence panel, the heaviest users of the Internet are also among the heaviest viewers of television: the top fifth of Internet users spend more than 250 minutes per day watching television, compared to 220 minutes of television viewing by people who do not use the Internet at all.

Nielsen found that the reverse is true as well - the lowest consumers of television have the lowest usage levels for the Internet.

What Took 'Em So Long To Figure This Out?!

MediaPost Publications - ESPN Unveils Online Vs. TV Scores, Finds It's No 'Zero Sum' Game - 12/04/2008
Seeking to dispel the perception that online usage is rapidly overtaking traditional TV viewing, the two top researchers from Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN unit Wednesday unveiled the results of some new research indicating that multi-platform media usage is not a "zero sum" game, but is actually adding incremental impressions and new opportunities for people to consume media content - and for advertisers to reach them - in different places, and at different times. While that may not seem like a remarkable epiphany, the executives also showed that TV usage continues to grow, not decline, amid the expansion of online and mobile video platforms, and that there still is relatively little concurrent usage of those platforms. Most of it is incremental or additive and Bulgrin said ESPN has internally dubbed the phenomenon as "new markets of time."

Citing a famous prediction by MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte that use of the Internet would have overtaken TV viewership by now, ESPN's chief research executive Artie Bulgrin told attendees at an MPG Collaborative Alliance meeting in New York that was anything but the case.

"What's really happening here, is that the people who are using both is increasing," Bulgrin's ESPN colleague Glenn Enoch echoed. "That's where we are really seeing the increases. And the people who are only using TV, is shrinking down."

Social Media Not Holding Up to Surveys of Brand Managers

Is Social Advertising an Oxymoron? | Epicenter from
In a recent online survey of brand managers, more than half of those responding declared themselves not interested in social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook. The poll, conducted in late October by GfK Roper for Epsilon, a leading marketing consultancy, found that only 35 percent of the marketers surveyed had any interest in using such sites. Blogs drew an almost equally tepid response.

Another study, this one by the research firm IDC, suggested their lack of enthusiasm might be well-placed. More and more users are spending more and more time on social networking sites, but the study found they aren't very responsive to ads there: Clickthrough rates were reported to be far lower than at other sites. On the web in general, nearly 80 percent of users clicked on at least one ad in the past year; on social networking sites, fewer than 60 percent did so.

Location-based advertising: Place trumps traditional targeting

Location-based advertising: Place trumps traditional targeting | The Industry Standard
"It's no secret that online advertising is starting to slow down in response to the economic slump. Display ads, the meat and potatoes for companies like Yahoo, have been hit especially hard. So for companies looking to squeeze every dollar out of their digital ads, it might be time to abandon traditional content and behavioral targeting strategies in favor of a relatively new concept -- location-based advertising."

This banner is creepy ... great ... creepy ... great ... creepygreat! I found it on, but it doesn't click through to anything. It's just a random posting of creepygreatness.

A Phaser Beam in the Foot

Sometimes jumping on the techie bandwagon makes the darned thing backfire. Let\'s take for example CNN\'s election night hologram technology. Over at CNET, columnist Don Rensigner called the CNN hologram \"dumb.\" Yes, Don. It was. These examples of tech overreach have an adverse effect on the advertising community as well. We\'re well aware that all forms of marketing communication are being transformed by interactive media, ideas and experiences. But to embrace this wave of transformation -- after having been burned by the fallout of the dot-com bust earlier this decade -- we need to remain focused on the best and most compelling means, methods and media for delivering interactive experiences. When we see missteps such as CNN\'s glitchy hologram (really, R2D2\'s projector looked better), we\'re reminded that new media technologies and the vast array of emerging platforms carry risks. However, there are an unprecedented number of very real, very tested and very excellent interactive/emerging platforms technologies in the marketplace right now. They\'ve never been more available and cost-effective. And they\'re only getting cheaper and easier to manage. We need to be motivated to embrace them and recommend brilliant new ideas that use them to our clients. CNN deserves kudos for their hologram experiment. But their embarrassing misfire reminds us that exercising good judgement is a key component of the value we bring to our clients\' businesses.

Reposted from Draftfcblog -

MIT Convergence Culture Consortium: Archives - Futures of Entertainment

This viral video is a parody of how viral videos go viral.

is a viral worth watching

Big Fish Eating Small Fish

Accounts, People, Miscellany -
The George P. Johnson Company, Auburn Hills, Mich., acquired Juxt Interactive, Newport Beach, Calif., an interactive marketing and design agency. Financial terms were not disclosed. Juxt will become a division of Johnson.

Everything is Generational

Teenagers’ Internet Socializing Not a Bad Thing -
“It may look as though kids are wasting a lot of time hanging out with new media, whether it’s on MySpace or sending instant messages,” said Mizuko Ito, lead researcher on the study, “Living and Learning With New Media.” “But their participation is giving them the technological skills and literacy they need to succeed in the contemporary world. They’re learning how to get along with others, how to manage a public identity, how to create a home page.”


New theme for this blog: Generational change and the Boomer Bias against Millennials.

To wit, this article reveals that young peoples' online habits may actually be a positive socializing force, not a one-way ticket to idiocy as often exhorted by over 40 somethings who, btw, were raised with eyeballs locked to the "idiot box."

Post-Election Cyber-Activism Takes Off

CREDO Action
CREDO Mobile Action is a network of activists utilizing the power, convenience and speed of mobile phones to make social change. When urgent actions arise, members of CREDO Mobile Action are text-messaged with simple actions that can be taken immediately to help ensure progressive change.


This is an interesting twist in the social media phenomenon. CREDO asks people to sign up for mobile alerts. It's so, so simple. And potentially very powerful. I'm signing up and I'll report back on what transpires.

Gen X Presents Challenges, eMarketer Says
According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, 83.8 million people were in the 25-44-year-old Generation X age bracket as of July 2007. Gen Xers are in their peak years of product and service consumption and its members view electronic media as a primary tool for conducting research and accomplishing tasks.


Hold on a sec: Look at the bar that says "44-62" ... that's almost a third of all US Internet users. That just about kills the old "young adult male early adopter" myth.

Digital OOH Gets Traction

Advertising - Like a Billboard, but, Oh, So Sleek -

It's taken too long for digital signage to take off. Now it appears that members of the industry are taking matters into their own hands to jump start the space -- waiting for free market demand to accumulate is futile.

Qwitter: Catching Twitter quitters

Qwitter: Catching Twitter quitters

This is just funny. Smart, too. Enter your twitter account and email address, then Qwitter tattles on anyone who stops following you.

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26MM Monthly Unduplicated Audience on What?!?!

MediaPost Publications - Meebo Adds IM Network Partners - 10/14/2008
Instant-messaging site Meebo has added nearly a dozen new partners for the syndicated IM service it plans to launch next month. The new sites include youth-oriented properties FanPop, GlobalGrind, OrangeShark and Zorpia.

Along with existing partners such as DanceJam, Flixster, myYearbook, MTV Networks' Addicting Games, the sites have an unduplicated U.S. audience of 26.2 million.


So you're asking yourself: What the heck is Meebo?! It's a web-based instant messaging aggregator. In other words, if you use more than one IM -- such as AIM, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, Gtalk, etc. -- then you can sign up with Meebo and use them all at the same time, crisscrossing your buddy lists, on the Web. (If you're older than 35 years old, this is a foreign language. Sorry.)

Now ... name one print publication that delivers an audience of 26MM per month.

Right. Now that's (at least partly) why CosmoGirl has gone bye-bye.

Viral Video Marketing Budgets Expected to Increase in 2009

Viral Video Marketing Budgets Expected to Increase in 2009

Blatant self-promotion of the day ... Warning: I am quoted in this press release. And I want YOU to know all about it.

MediaPost Publications - Premier Retail Networks Strikes Ad Deals for Interactive Shopping Carts - 10/10/2008

The first companies to advertise via the shopping cart displays are Unilever, Cadbury Adams, Bush's Baked Beans, American Greetings, and Church & Dwight Co., which includes brands like Arm & Hammer, Aim toothpaste, Arrid deodorants, and Scrub Free.

Their ads will appear on screens in Cabco's TV Karts in Wal-Mart, one of PRN's biggest retail partners.

MediaPost Publications - Premier Retail Networks Strikes Ad Deals for Interactive Shopping Carts - 10/10/2008

Oooo ... Looks like the "radical fringe" of marketing maniacs are adopting insane technologies in a desperate attempt to reach consumers because the death knell of advertising-as-we-knew-it has rung. (That's humor, people.) If we succeed in putting the right offer in front of the right consumer at the right time, our clients win. Growing the client's brand comes from a combination of positive messaging and effective marketing - getting the brand into the consumers' hands.

Sounds easy enough.
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Camera Toss (The Blog)

Camera Toss (The Blog)

The coolest part of growing up in the dot com era has been the incessant invention of new forms of expression. Today, my colleague Martin Serra turned me on to Camera Tossing. It's a form of digital photography in which the photographer sets the camera on auto-timer and tosses it in the air. What happens, happens. The images are wonderful.

The blog is a great resource. But there's a wild world of camera toss images on Flickr as well.

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A 'Virtual' Escape From Economic Pain -

Companies such as Gaia Interactive and Habbo are expecting a boost as consumers reduce spending on real-world goods and luxuries and console themselves with so-called virtual goods--digital copies of products that can cost just pennies, allowing users to indulge their materialistic fantasies without spending much.

"As the 'real world' gets worse, virtual worlds get better," Gaia Chief Executive Craig Sherman told

A 'Virtual' Escape From Economic Pain -
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Study: Mobile Web sites need improvement | News - Wireless - CNET News

Keynote Systems, which provides testing tools to help companies improve their mobile experience, found in a study released Thursday that satisfaction rates of iPhone users using certain sites were low and only a small percentage of users clicked through on advertising. The results suggest that the usability of many mobile Web sites still needs improvement. It also suggests that advertisers might have to adjust their practices on the mobile Web.
Study: Mobile Web sites need improvement | News - Wireless - CNET News
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MediaPost Publications - iPerceptions: 'Old School' Ad Units Fare Better Than Emerging Media - 10/06/2008

"I think the biggest takeaway from the data is that the current ad formats aren't very effective," said Jonathan Levitt, iPerceptions' vice president of marketing. "Brands are going to have to start looking at things like direct content integration and product placement. There's still a place for things like banners and skyscrapers, but it's much more about brand awareness than inducing conversions."
MediaPost Publications - iPerceptions: 'Old School' Ad Units Fare Better Than Emerging Media - 10/06/2008

It's not that banner ads (or as I'd prefer we call them, display ads) are ineffective. In fact, their presence increases brand awareness, recall and perception. The problem is that agencies and clients rely on display ads for clicks, a task they're less and less capable of performing.

The problem I encounter every day is that so many marketing professionals are just embracing foundational interactive tactics - such as banners - at a time in which the interactive sector is undergoing rapid change. So you've got agency people advising their clients to jump in with a mix of tactics - banners and microsites, usually - that don't fit the business problems and marketing outcomes the clients wants to address.

The game of catch up is no fun to play.
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techPresident – Ask Sarah Palin: CA Dems' Interactive Billboard Goes Live [UPDATED]

techPresident – Ask Sarah Palin: CA Dems' Interactive Billboard Goes Live [UPDATED]

This is brilliant. A digital OOH billboard in LA that's posting text messages to VP candidate Palin today while, simultaneously, a live video feed on streams it to the world. This election cycle continues to pave the way for marketing techniques that brand executives and agency wonks don't have the huevos to try.

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Turn On, Tune Out, Click Here -

Complete episodes of about 90% of prime-time network television shows and roughly 20% of cable shows are now available online, according to Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey. There are still notable holdouts, such as Fox's "American Idol" and current seasons of HBO series like "Entourage."
Turn On, Tune Out, Click Here -

Here we go. Another conspiracy theory: When the economy tanks, consumers will cut cable and keep broadband. Most of their favorite shows are online already anyway. Besides, we can't survive without Facebook. Now here comes a far-fetched (but eminently possible) prediction -- once the bad economy doesn't let up, consumers cut broadband and keep their mobile contracts. Why? We can't survive without Facebook. But we've got it on our phones already anyway.

In sum, the bad economy will accelerate the convergence. Discuss.
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Darned You Philips Bodygroom!!!

Philips Bodygroom Manalogues

The third branded-content "hit" for Philips' Body Groom is a smart and entertaining twist on user-generated content in which the consumers need not appear.

MediaPost Publications - ClipBlast Partners With Clearspring For Widget Distribution - 09/29/2008

ClipBlast will use the Clearspring platform to distribute widgets that provide custom video content, channels and playlists. The widgets will feature the ClipBlast Intelligent Index, which enables users to pull video from thousands of sources and play the content from any Web page, social profile, blog or other Web location. Clearspring's real-time analytics tools will track and monetize the widgets and their activity.
MediaPost Publications - ClipBlast Partners With Clearspring For Widget Distribution - 09/29/2008

Note to self: Call them up and see what we can do together. Note to readers: There's absolutely no pain in reaching out to companies you read about in the press to start a conversation about working together. It amazes me how few businesspeople, especially agency people, actually do it. No wonder agencies are lagging behind.
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Texting Outpaces Calling On Mobile Phones

While the number of calls has remained relatively steady, text messages have shot up 450% in the last two years.

Not surprisingly, the biggest gap between calls and text messages is found among teenage mobile customers. Those ages 13 to 17 sent or received on average 1,742 text messages a month, compared to only 231 calls.

For those ages 35 to 44, the ratio was about even at 223 to 236. And for mobile users 45 and over, voice is still the preferred method of communication.

MediaPost Publications - Texting Outpaces Calling On Mobile Phones - 09/23/2008

And, as I beat this drum over and over, here is more evidence of the new generation gap.
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Tug of War - Creative vs. Media

In the continuing tug-of-war between what drives the train--creative or media--a top Unilever executive Thursday came out in favor of creative. While there is an argument that lackluster ads can still deliver a message with shrewd placement, Babs Rangaiah said if the creative does not drive demand, a strong media plan is not likely to save the day. Rangaiah, the director of global communications planning at Unilever, said if the creative appears banal, it's time to yank the media spend and use it somewhere else.
MediaPost Publications - Advertising Week: The Future Belongs To Creative - 09/26/2008

I firmly believe and will continue to believe that the new advertising era that has dawned requires that we embrace complexity, whereas the old advertising era that is lingering beyond its much ballyhooed demise worshiped at the altar of simplicity.

While a great, persuasive message must be "simple" in its singularity of focus and incisiveness, the act of developing that message and disseminating it across the mediasphere will only continue to befuddle and perplex those of us who don't ... again ... embrace complexity.

How each simplified meme is launched into that matrix; and how each grows on its own without negating its brethren in the chaos of an on-demand world, is the work of big brains and fearless intellects.

Ack ... I got on a soap box. Apologies.
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MediaPost Publications - Retailers Search Report: Use a 'Portfolio' of Search Tactics - 09/26/2008

Indeed, just 12% of searchers that converted into buyers had clicked on both branded and non-branded terms. The majority (51%) of conversions stemmed from branded terms alone, while 37% came from non-branded terms. "Most companies pick one or the other," said John McAteer, Google's industry director, retail. "Very few are spending accurately on both their branded terms and the category terms, and I think this info should be surprising to them."
MediaPost Publications - Retailers Search Report: Use a 'Portfolio' of Search Tactics - 09/26/2008

Search is the primordial ooze of advertising's future. Google clearly knows that all TV advertising will be placed dynamically to every household based on contextual and behavioral criteria. The digital changeover will enable the technological underpinnings to be built. That's why the practice of placing ad units based on consumer input is the future of all media planning and buying.
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Ahead of the Curve

File under: Shameless self-promotion. Coverage of the inaugural Chicago New Media Summit including a major mention of this self-effacing blogger, my current employer and client (whose project is called out in the segment). Shout out to Nat Jones, Ryan Page, José Rivera, John Zajac, Jeff Brown and Janet Barker-Evans.

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The Future Of Media: The Internet

"People go online to do many things," says early Internet pioneer Esther Dyson. "One of the reasons they go online is to create a presence. With Geo Cities, you had your presence in one place. With Facebook, you are distributing your presence to anyone who is your friend."

Dyson says this extends well beyond the cross-linking aspect of Facebook pages to include widgets and even real-time applications such as Twitter.

"With Twitter, people are distributing their presence incessantly. Personally, I think that is a little obsessive, but what people are really doing is collecting social interactions," she explains. "If we had a biological urge to spread our genes, now people have the means to spread their presence."
So what's the future of the Internet? Well, technology, regulation, business models will surely be important factors, but if you look at what has really been shaping the Internet - both past and present - it is people. And some day, we may even send one over the Internet.
MediaPost Publications - The Future Of Media: The Internet - 09/23/2008

Sometimes I like to post an article just because it's good. This one's awfully good.
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Putting a Price on Digital Production - Advertising Age - Digital

Ever since the first friend-of-a-friend proposed that the first web developer build him a site (for no money), the effort and cost associated with digitally driven creativity has been a misunderstood and, sometimes, thorny issue. Unlike TV-commercial production, where there are some established cost parameters and you can typically see the budget on the screen, it's tough to price innovative web work.
Putting a Price on Digital Production - Advertising Age - Digital

The danger of undervaluing interactive services by agencies is putting downward pricing pressure on the rest of agency services as well.
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Among Mobile Marketing Techniques, Text Messaging Responded to Most Often - Media Buyer Planner

"Some 70 percent of consumers who have responded to a mobile marketing offer say they’ve responded to a marketing text message - compared with 41 percent who’ve responded to a survey and 30 percent to email offers - according to the Direct Marketing Association"

but ...

"One-third (33 percent) of the group that did not respond to any mobile marketing (76 percent) reported that they had never received an offer; lack of interest and cost of airtime was cited as the leading reasons by those who haven’t responded to mobile offers."
Among Mobile Marketing Techniques, Text Messaging Responded to Most Often - Media Buyer Planner

So, 76 percent reported they'd never even *received* an offer. Are we not trying hard enough here?! Practically every time text messaging comes up in a meeting, it dies a swift and sudden death. Maybe that's the problem. We're not trying it, people.
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13 Hours per Minute

Today, 13 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and we believe the volume will continue to grow exponentially.
Official Google Blog: The future of online video
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Porn passed over as Web users become social

Social networking sites are the hottest attraction on the Internet, dethroning pornography and highlighting a major change in how people communicate, according to a web guru.
Porn passed over as Web users become social: author | Technology | Internet | Reuters

Pop the cork and pass the bubbly. I suppose it's safe to say the Web 2.0 era has officially arrived. When they write the history books, Web 1.0 will be remembered for spam, porn and phishing schemes. Yuck. With social media taking the Web 2.0 crown, what does Web 3.0 portend? Video? *.* on Demand?
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How and Why Adults and Youth Share... | Reuters

Adults Depend on Email as Source of Shared Content; Younger Generation Embraces Instant Messaging, Social Networking, Video Sharing and Text Messaging
New Independent Study Highlights Differences in How and Why Adults and Youth Share... | Reuters

Okay. Now this is getting to be way too obvious. There IS a digital generation gap.
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Bob Garfield: Your Data With Destiny

Assume that, in the near future, connections between marketers and consumers will not be principally forged via display advertising but will be otherwise cultivated online. Assume that technology will offer more and more highly refined means for the marketer to learn about the consumer and the consumer to enjoy a real benefit in exchange -- search and widgets being exhibits A and B.

Thank you for so stipulating. But if the lingua franca of our online future is indeed personal information, where will that come from?
Your Data With Destiny - Advertising Age - Digital

I assume most people who see this will be reading Garfield's Ad Age column. That's why I don't repost it here. But every now and then, Bob's got something big and important to say. Today's column fits that bill.
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Entertainment, tech cos. to unify digital media - Yahoo! News

Consumers will be able to use digital products they buy on cell phones, set-top boxes, computers and other devices made by a slew of manufacturers. A virtual locker will store those digital products remotely, and the system will permit some copying onto physical media like DVDs.

The technical details are still being worked out, so consumers aren't likely to see products until at least next year.
Entertainment, tech cos. to unify digital media - Yahoo! News

Well, it's about time. Jeez!
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Notes from the Digital Generation Gap - Mom X vs. Mom Y

A recent study conducted by NewMediaMetrics found a significant difference in the types of digital behavior embraced by the X and Y generations when it comes to child raising. Gen Y is much more attached to media that connects them to other moms (online communities, blogs, video-sharing sites, etc.), while Gen X moms are more likely to embrace the web for task-oriented activities like shopping online and uploading photos. The study concludes that this might signify a shift in the way that marketers should be targeting the next new generation of moms online.
Research Brief » Blog Archive » Y Moms Connect Through The Internet; X Moms Task

More evidence, if you will, for my theory of the new generation gap. The key point is it's all coming to pass very, very quickly. The changes in attitude, media behavior, shopper behavior and general worldview are quick and clearly defined.

What does this mean for marketers? We need to toss our assumptions about how interactive creative works. We need to recalibrate how we judge ideas in the early stages of planning and development. We can't fall back on yesterday's best practices, even though they still feel freshly minted.

And it means that the marketers who persist in clinging to the tried-and-true may find themselves scrambling for new structures as early as first quarter 2009. Could happen.
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Current TV to broadcast `tweets' during debates - Yahoo! News

During the debates, the network bent on viewer-created content will broadcast Twitter messages — or "tweets" — from viewers. In close to real time, Current will display comments on the screen while Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama face off.
Current TV to broadcast `tweets' during debates - Yahoo! News

Didn't see this one coming ...
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BannerBlog : Where Banners Click

Banner Blog: Where banners click
BannerBlog : Where Banners Click

Um. It's a blog. About banners. And it's one of the most useful sites to show people how far online advertising has come.

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Digital Entertainment Consortium Nears Tipping Point

How do you make digital entertainment more entertaining? A sprawling consortium of Hollywood content providers, consumer electronics companies, and Internet players said on Sept. 12 that its members are planning to develop a standard that will let consumers buy movies and other digital content once and play them almost anywhere, on any type of device, without the onerous restrictions that have hobbled the growth of digital downloads.

The consortium is called the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE). Its members have been working since May to create rules that will let consumers share their purchased content on a number of devices in the home, or stream them over the Internet to laptops, cell phones, or other electronic gear. "No matter where you are in the world, if you previously purchased Spider-Man 3, you should be able to access Spider-Man and stream it," Mitch Singer, the group's president, said in an interview.

BusinessWeek: Digital Content Wherever You Want It
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Museum Of Beauty - A Branded Content Experience

This site is just stunningly lovely. It shows how Konica-Minolta used digitizing instruments to reveal the "secrets" of the Venus de Milo.

Let me restate that: It takes you on an interactive program experience that reveals the secrets of the Venus de Milo through stunning 3D renderings and visual data capture techniques. Underwritten by Konica Minolta to showcase its digitizing instruments that made the experience possible.

The brand touch is just right. Even the music is excellent; sounds like Ryuichi Sakamoto to me. And the interaction design demonstrates what I've long called Depth On Demand.

If you just watch the program straight through, it provides a beautiful experience. If you stop the program here and there -- the first degree of depth -- then you can learn a thing or two that enhance your experience.

But if you click, grab and turn the picture itself, you can control everything you view in a very deep interactive experience. In all cases, you have a wonderful experience that you control. You go as deep as you want and reap the rewards.

3M Beats Everyone to the Micro Projector Business | Popular Science

3M Beats Everyone to the Micro Projector Business | Popular Science

Why get excited over a micro-sized projector? Well it's a portable television - with a cable to our iPod Touch or iPhone (or Zune, I suppose).

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Will New Media Save Television Ads? - Mashable

So what might be a strategy going forward? As an avid watcher of television, particularly political news, complex dramas, and reality shows, I could imagine many scenarios in which incentives are created to watch shows in real time – viewers pose questions for the guest, guide alternative dramatic scenes, or decide what challenge the players have to perform. How cool would it be to watch Donald Trump, Sr. using Twitter on a BlackBerry in the middle of the live Apprentice finale? And the advertising underbelly is that you are statistically more likely to purchase paper towels, basketball sneakers, or a dream vacation cruise.
Will New Media Save Television Ads? - Mashable

What a great, original thought. In order to remain competitive in an increasingly time-shifted environment, TV content developers and the networks themselves will adapt. Of course they will. The audience can be given incentives to watch live. Only some formats will stick. But it's adaptation that drives innovation. Or vice versa.
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The Responsibility Project, Presented by Liberty Mutual


The Responsibility Project, Presented by Liberty Mutual

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Zune Goes Wireless, Sells Music on FM Radio - MarketingVOX

When a Zune owner hears a song on the radio that s/he likes, the user can immediately tag and download that song, or — if not connected to the internet at that moment — queue it for later purchase.
Zune Goes Wireless, Sells Music on FM Radio - MarketingVOX

Clearly the Zune is destined to play second fiddle to iPod for ... well ... forever. But this story along with another recent article about how online TV viewership is working for both more viewership and more-better promotion of viewership on - jeez - the TV itself show that the medium is looking very much like the message.
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HBOlab Rides 'Cewebrity' Coattails in New Online Drama - MarketingVOX

Hoping to win online street cred (and a n ew captive audience), HBO cobbled together a collection of popular online entertainers for a new web series, Hooking Up, which debuts this fall.

Produced by experimental department HBOlab, the first episode goes live on October 1st. It will appear on video portals like YouTube and MySpace, as well as on its own website.

HBOlab Rides 'Cewebrity' Coattails in New Online Drama - MarketingVOX
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BigStage takes the "put myself in a video" thing to several levels above the next.

Want top search results? Tread carefully | News - Digital Media - CNET News

Earlier this year, Matthew Inman had achieved the notable distinction of vaulting a Web site called JustSayHi high into the results for a search on "online dating." But after he expanded his effort to new areas, Google obliterated the site from its search results.

Inman had used an aggressive technique called widget bait to get good search results, but had to scrap a site that had been used for years and start from scratch. He was caught in a gray area in a sometimes-shady industry called search engine optimization (SEO) where it can be tough to distinguish a clever trick from a dirty trick.
Want top search results? Tread carefully | News - Digital Media - CNET News
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Data is Essentially Free

So people use data to inform their decisions. Look at intrade, the prediction market company that only came into being thanks to the Internet.

Of course, you should read Chris Anderson's Wired manifesto on this topic. It's better than mine -

Boomers More Traditional Online - Not into Blogs, Social Networking

People over age 40 participate heavily in word-of-mouth and value personal recommendations and expert opinions, but they have not embraced social networking or blogs despite being heavy users of other online services, according to a ThirdAge/JWT Boom study.
Boomers More Traditional Online - Not into Blogs, Social Networking

Here's the bottom line: 96% of Boomers use Email. So, if you want to reach people age 35 and up, try Email.
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Metrics Insider » Blog Archive » In Praise of Online Advertising

As we develop new ways to dedicate on-screen real estate to delivering captivating, engaging ads, whether via banner, rich media or emerging formats, I fully expect online display advertising to become an increasingly important component of the media mix. We don’t require a click-through from a magazine ad or a TV ad or a newspaper ad or a radio ad, and all these impressions are valued by advertisers. Impressions online should have at least the same value, wholly independent of the direct linkage to a click. The opportunity to generate that action online is a profound value-add, but let’s make sure that we properly value the ad before we overlay the value-add. Advertising can have immediate effect, but it can also have quantifiable mid-term effect, and profoundly valuable long-term branding effect. And that is as true for online advertising as for any other medium.
Metrics Insider » Blog Archive » In Praise of Online Advertising

Amen brother. Click to read this article; it's got loads of great references to various online advertising formats and how well they work for a variety of outcomes: brand awareness, offline sales boosts, etc.
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The Ad Changes With the Shopper In Front of It -

Procter & Gamble is placing radio-frequency identification tags on products at a Metro Extra retail store in Germany so that when a customer pulls the product off the shelf, a digital screen at eye level changes its message.


Most of the experimentation by marketers is being done with the new digital screens that are appearing next to cash registers and in store aisles. Because cameras are embedded in many of these digital screens displaying the ads, marketers are hoping to serve up ads based on the consumer's appearance.
The Ad Changes With the Shopper In Front of It -

Yeah?!? Well a buddy of mine did that two years ago ... Oh. Sorry. Um. Digital screens in public spaces are getting smarter. We like that. But as the second 'graph attest, it's all still "experimentation" and it's hard to find funding for experiments in a down economy. Onward.
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Web TV producers struggle to find formula for success - International Herald Tribune

For big media companies, the revenue raised by Web shows is "not the kind of money they are used to," Herb Scannell, a former president of Nickelodeon, said.
Web TV producers struggle to find formula for success - International Herald Tribune

Everybody's trying to figure out how we're going to make any money at all ... AND THE DEADLINE IS FEB 17, 2009 !!!! (Okay, so I exaggerate a little; but really folks it's all around us.) Now that I'm using at&t's U-Verse IPTV service, I can see even more clearly how the convergence is coming along. But advertising and content development are clearly twisting in the wind.
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Controversial columnist Jay Mariotti resigns from Chicago Sun-Times --

Jay Mariotti, the opinionated and polarizing sports columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, has resigned after 17 years with the paper, he told the Tribune on Tuesday night.

Just back from Beijing, where he covered the Olympics, Mariotti said in a phone interview that he decided to quit after it became clear while in China that sports journalism had become "entirely a Web site business. There were not many newspapers there." He added that most of the journalists covering the Games were "there writing for Web sites."

Mariotti, whose public battles with fellow staffers, team owners, managers, coaches and rival columnists are legendary, didn't disclose any specific plans except to say he will continue doing his regular stint on ESPN's "Around the Horn."

He said he "is talking with a lot of Web sites" and added that the future of his business "sadly is not in newspapers."
Controversial columnist Jay Mariotti resigns from Chicago Sun-Times --

Mark your calendar: Stalwart old media columnist Jay Mariotti of the Chicago Sun-Times quits because he felt surrounded by cyberjournalists while covering the Beijing Games - says he's going to work for a web site.
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Generation BUY ("boomers") keeps consumerism alive

TV Land's "Generation BUY" study also found that 40 and 50-somethings are more open to new brands and less brand loyal than people under 40 making 40-59s "Free Agent Shoppers." Twenty-six percent of Boomers said they are not at all brand loyal versus 21% of Gen X and Millennials. In fact, Gen Y are the most likely to say that once they have made a commitment to a brand, they will stick with it, no matter what. The willingness of 40 and 50 year-olds to buy new brands carries over across virtually every product category including electronics, personal care products, restaurants, automobiles and more. And when compared to the Generation who came before them these "Free Agent Shoppers" have very different spending habits. No longer will this age group buy the same products based on lifelong brand decisions and spend less as they age. This demo is redefining brand loyalty and determining purchase decisions based on the effectiveness of products. Today's 40 and 50-somethings stick with a product for as long as it's good and fulfills their complex needs. They are not afraid to change for something they feel will improve their lives.

Read about this study from the Center for Media Research -

There's a generation gap again. It's a theme of mine, yes. But the evidence keeps flowing in. 40 seems to be the new 30 on many fronts, but none more important to advertisers than media consumption and behavior.
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Diane Mermigas: On Media » Blog Archive » TV’s Salvation: Hyper-Local Cross-Platform Content

With the door on innovation wide open, the government-mandated switch to digital could not have come at a better time. It will prove a saving grace for TV stations that proactively seek to redefine their local agendas and utilize interactivity to benefit consumers and advertisers. KWTV’s Web site is clear in its mission to keep its Oklahoma City constituents safe with its comprehensive storm and tornado education and alerts.

The Feb. 17, 2009 switch will be a make-or-break time for local TV broadcasters that are looking to thrive in a transitioning business. The Federal Communications Commission says 97% of all commercial TV stations are on the air in digital or will be ready by the deadline. Some of the new dollars are siphoned from local-market direct mail, television and newspapers. Some of it is new spending and an infusion of marketing and advertising dollars that would not be spent, particularly in an economic downturn.

Diane Mermigas: On Media » Blog Archive » TV’s Salvation: Hyper-Local Cross-Platform Content

When all media is digital media, then all marketing will be database marketing. "Bold" "Provocative"
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The BBC Says the US is Far Behind. I Have to Agree.

"It's a country whose average broadband speed is 30 times slower than the world's leader. Some say that online video will cause its Internet service to grind to a halt. And its population lives in ignorance of the wide choices available to the rest of the world. Welcome to the United States of America."
MediaPost Publications - [In]Sight: The Great Divide - 09/02/2008

Ouch! The columnist, Graeme Hutton, goes on to temper this harsh assessment. However, anyone who's worked at a large advertising or marketing services agency must acknowledge that the pace of change here in the US is, at its best, slow.
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Super Cool Advergame from Puma

Caught wind of this on Twitter this morning. Here's a review -

MediaPost Publications - TNT Uses Tolls In TV Marketing Ploy - 08/29/2008

TNT is turning to one of the more persuasive promotional techniques to drive tune-in for a new series: a freebie. The network will cover the toll charge for drivers in four metro areas this weekend in support of the premiere of drama "Raising the Bar."

For two-hour periods in the afternoon, drivers in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Atlanta--all top-10 DMAs--and Orlando will be able to go through without having to forage for cash. The promotion runs today in Atlanta and on Monday in the other markets in advance of that night's 10 p.m. Labor Day show debut.

The booths across the toll plazas will be covered in signage. In Atlanta, drivers will sail right through. In the three other markets, they will stop and be handed a card reading, "Your free toll was courtesy of TNT and 'Raising the Bar.' 'Raising the Bar' premieres tonight on TNT."

MediaPost Publications - TNT Uses Tolls In TV Marketing Ploy - 08/29/2008

I can't begin to tell you how many times I personally have been waved off any and all promotional ideas leveraging toll booths. "We can't do it." "The authorities won't let us." "It's too complicated!"

Excuses, excuses, excuses. No more.
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Ugh ...

Teens would seemingly be the prime target for mobile advertising, be it via text messages or the mobile Web, but research from comScore reveals that while U.S. kids ages 12-17 are cell phone-savvy, they are not particularly receptive to mobile ads. In fact, the relative simplicity of their phones and the fact that nearly 70% of teens need their parents to pay the bill (and thus, green-light extras like data plans) makes them poor campaign targets.
MediaPost Publications - Mobile Teens: Savvy, Chatty And Don't Like Ads - 08/29/2008

Articles like this one make me unhappy. I want and want and want to sell mobile campaigns to my agency clients because I genuinely believe the platform can make an impact. But the metrics make it tough. How much to spend? What's going to be the ROI? How to test the most effective messaging? Interestingly, if teens aren't exactly the best target, maybe Mom is.
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TV's Future Looks Like Web's Present

TV advertising is poised to change dramatically over the next decade, embracing the kind of targeting and user control already common on the Web, according to a new report by Forrester Research.
Forrester lays out a decade-long evolution that will ultimately result in most programming delivered on-demand with targeted ad messages based on location and behavior, along with community functions.
This "Personal TV," as Forrester calls it, would also deliver a Web-like experience for consumers, with a portal-like menu of programming options and search functions.
TV's Future Looks Like Web's Present

More evidence for one of my favorite media conspiracy theories -- "mass" media out of home while "personal" media moves indoors.
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TV's Future Looks Like Web's Present

TV advertising is poised to change dramatically over the next decade, embracing the kind of targeting and user control already common on the Web, according to a new report by Forrester Research.
Forrester lays out a decade-long evolution that will ultimately result in most programming delivered on-demand with targeted ad messages based on location and behavior, along with community functions.
This "Personal TV," as Forrester calls it, would also deliver a Web-like experience for consumers, with a portal-like menu of programming options and search functions.
TV's Future Looks Like Web's Present

More evidence for one of my favorite media conspiracy theories -- "mass" media out of home while "personal" media
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Mall Advertising Goes Digital


It’s not unusual to hear those in the business compare the growth of out-of-home digital with the growth of the Internet. “We’re starting to get past the point where the Internet was circa 1995, where we had a new set of technologies introduced to the marketplace,” says Mike Ribero, CEO of Reactrix Systems, a six-year-old interactive OOH media company. “We have technology now that engages a consumer in a way that allows that last impression, that last line of offense, to be as persuasive, if not even more so, than other kinds of media.”
Mall Advertising Goes Digital

If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I believe all mass media will migrate OOH while all personal media will migrate indoors. Eventually the only way to reach a large audience with a single "broadcast" will be to roll video at a large stadium or massive public event. Otherwise the rest of our screens will be completely under our "on demand" control. This ought to be common sense by now.
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Drilling Down - Preferring the Web Over Watching TV -

For children ages 10 to 14 who use the Internet, the computer is a bigger draw than the TV set, according to a study recently released by DoubleClick Performics, a search marketing company. The study found that 83 percent of Internet users in that age bracket spent an hour or more online a day, but only 68 percent devoted that much time to television.

The study found that the children often did research online before making a purchase (or bugging their parents to make one). The big exception to this rule was apparel: like many grown-ups, the children said they preferred to choose their clothes at a store.

Drilling Down - Preferring the Web Over Watching TV -

Another way of looking at this is -- we've got four years until today's 14 year old becomes most marketers' "coveted" 18 year old demographic target. So let's mark our calendars for the year 2012 with a red dot for the demise of the :30 commercial.
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Fox to stream premieres for dorms

In a first, Fox will stream the premiere of "Fringe" and season opener of "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" online at the same time as they bow on TV.

But there's a catch: Only computer users on college campuses will be able to log in to watch the simul-stream.

Move helps Fox expose the trend-setting college audience -- who are more likely to have computers than TVs in their dorm rooms -- to the shows. 

Computers logging into from a college-based .edu domain will be given full streaming access to "Terminator" on Sept. 8, the same night it returns on Fox, and the series premiere of "Fringe" Sept. 9, when it launches on the net.

Fox to stream premieres for dorms - Entertainment News, TV News, Media - Variety

This is great. Audience segmentation has been greatly enabled by the roll out of client-server database technology. We can apply segmentation to nearly every form of communication we design. Why not!?!?
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U.S. on Track to Top Mobile Web Market, Study Says


After years of lagging behind European countries, the U.S. is poised to take the top spot for mobile Web usage by month's end, according to data collected by technology firm Bango, which provides mobile Internet access platforms to 100,000 Web sites worldwide.

In July, Bango reported the U.K. was top ranked in mobile Web usage, accounting for almost 19.4 percent of the worldwide total, just ahead of the U.S., which collected about 18.9 percent of total usage. Rounding out the top five were India (10.8 percent), South Africa (8.8 percent) and Indonesia (4.1 percent).
U.S. on Track to Top Mobile Web Market, Study Says

But can we trust Bango's numbers?! Don't get me wrong, I really want to. In fact, I want to sing the mobile gospel in every meeting and brainstorm.
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Olympics set the stage for emerging Web tech fight | Technology | Internet | Reuters


Microsoft's Silverlight technology and rival Adobe's Flash format are currently locked in a race over who delivers the world's online video, but the ultimate prize may be who powers the next generation of Web software.

Using Silverlight, the NBC site offers a glimpse of what is possible with future Web applications because viewers are able to watch up to four videos at once or follow the action with an online commentary that runs alongside the video.

Olympics set the stage for emerging Web tech fight | Technology | Internet | Reuters
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Monetizing Twitter - Experimentation

Twitter / Bandsintown

So far there are a few companies experimenting with using Twitter to drive word-of-mouth (WOM) action and reaction to their offerings. Bands In Town offers (in its Twitter bio) "Win free tickets by following us! Get concert reminders and discover local shows by signing up." Okay. That's a start.

My Official Pet Theme™ Roster, v00b01

1. All marketing will be database marketing (or already is, but we live in denial)
2. Interactive media use is the new generation gap (over/under age 35)
3. The HD Day conspiracy theory (expiration date: Feb 17, 2009)