Hello. As author and keeper of this blog from 2002 until 2009, I want to thank you and all the other readers who have found it, read it and shared its posts. The convergence is real. And it's profoundly changing advertising and marketing services here and now.
The Future of Media
The IPG Media Lab writes on its blog about five augmented reality programs that everyone should know. I agree. It's important to understand the parameters within which augmented reality contributes to marketing effectiveness.
Consumers aren't idiots (just ask Mr. Ogilvy). They quickly respond positively to useful and relevant branding applications that don't waste their time.
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While a number of resourceful people have converted shipping containers into make-shift shelters at the margin of society for years, architects and green designers are also increasingly turning to the strong, cheap boxes as source building blocks.
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More than ten years into the widespread business adoption of the Web, some managers still fail to grasp the economic implications of cheap and ubiquitous information on and about their business. Hal Varian, professor of information sciences, business, and economics at the University of California at Berkeley, says it’s imperative for managers to gain a keener understanding of the potential for technology to reconfigure their industries. Varian, currently serving as Google's chief economist, compares the current period to previous times of industrialization when new technologies combined to create ever more complex and valuable systems—and thus reshaped the economy.
As advertisers, it’s easy to overlook the importance of telling good stories and creating engaging narratives. Data visualization, a fancy way of presenting large forms of information, is something familiar to most of us when using Google Maps mashups or Flickr but it’s also an excellent way to present engaging narratives. Ad Age summarizes some efforts in the space but there has been dearth of data visualization experiences from advertisers to tell stories.
IBM found that between 2007 and 2008, the proportion of consumers saying they used social-networking tools soared to 60 percent from 33 percent; for online and portable music services it more than doubled to 46 percent; mobile Internet nearly tripled to 41 percent; and access to mobile music and video quadrupled to 35 percent.
In contrast, 80 percent of the ad executives interviewed expect the industry to be at least five years away from being able to deliver cross-platform advertising, encompassing sales, delivery, measurement and analysis.
The number of people who access news and information daily on the mobile Web more than doubled over the last year, according to comScore.
About 22.4 million U.S. mobile users checked their phones for news each day in January 2009, compared to only 10.8 million in the year-earlier period.
Those who visited social networking sites or blogs grew even faster--up to 9.3 million from 1.8 million a year ago. The number of mobile subscribers accessing financial accounts and movie information roughly tripled to more than 3 million, while the number of users accessing business news and directories more than doubled to 2.4 million and 5.5 million, respectively.
The Surprising Economics of Digital Advertising
"A Marketer's Guide to Understanding the Economics of Digital Compared to Traditional Advertising and Media Services" was written by Joe Burton, evp and COO of McCann Worldgroup's San Francisco operation. (It's available at the 4A's Web site, aaaa.org.) Explaining the need for the report, Burton said, "The lack of understanding of the [digital] space is the single biggest friction point between agencies and clients."
More than 80 percent of Americans now have a computer in their homes, and of those, almost 92 percent have internet access, according to a detailed report on home internet access prepared by Nielsen. One year earlier, computer ownership stood at 77.9 percent.
Just hold the special 3D Live card in front of a webcam and watch a three-dimensional avatar spring to life -- rotate the card and the figure rotates in full perspective. The technology provided by Total Immersion also allows collectors to drop the player into simple pitching, batting and catching games using the computer keyboard. Series 1 cards will cost $2 for a 12-pack while a buck snags a fistful of five. The 3D Live series will eventually feature video. Click through for a video demonstration -- trust us, you'll be amazed at what they've done.
Daily Internet usage among nearly all demographic groups is climbing. Average time spent online by US adults shot up to 14 hours per week in 2008, compared with 11 hours in 2007. Nearly two-thirds of adults claim they go online every day, the majority for more than one hour.
Agile software development is a group of software development methodologies that are based on similar principles. Agile methodologies generally promote a project management process that encourages frequent inspection and adaptation, a leadership philosophy that encourages teamwork, self-organization and accountability, a set of engineering best practices that allow for rapid delivery of high-quality software, and a business approach that aligns development with customer needs and company goals. Conceptual foundations of this framework are to be found on modern approaches to operations management and analysis such as Lean manufacturing, Soft Systems Methodology, Speech act Theory (Network of conversations approach), and Six Sigma.
Whether their medium is the written word, the designed image, the produced event, or the software application -- whether their grounding is in science or in art -- great advertising people share a common trait: They know what moves people.
Reactrix Systems, a company specializing in interactive projected advertisements in malls and movie theaters, has folded despite $75 million in venture backing. Last month, the Redwood City, Calif. company spent what remained of a $45 million fourth-round of funding received in 2006, and has so far been unable to sell off its technology and other assets, reports VentureWire.
I found myself recommending solutions by Monster Media and others over Reactrix time and again in both agency and client meetings. I must not have been alone. The Reactrix solutions seemed stuck in "one trick pony" status. Another indie developer SIA Interactive from Argentina with a large US operation out of Miami has produced far more inventive installations for major brands such as Coca-Cola. And Reactrix -- no offense -- never seemed to rise to that bar.
The WindBox will cost about $250 when it arrives in the United States this spring. It will run an Intel Atom processor at 1.6 gigahertz and includes an Intel graphics processor for video and photo playback. It contains 1 gigabyte of RAM and a standard SATA drive port for hard disk expansion. It also has a 3-in-1 card reader and supports wired and wireless networking.
Younger 'Digital Moms' are Old Hands at New Online Technologies, Says Study
By Fred Aun , February 3, 2009
new study shows that social networks and other Web 2.0 services are the
go-to forms of digital communication, interaction and research for
young mothers. It also shows that Internet-savvy moms with children 12
and older take a keen interest in social networks largely so they can
monitor their kids online activities.
The two-part "Digital Mom" report, co-written by Razorfish and CafeMom,
an online community for mothers, purports to give marketers insights
into the most effective ways to engage Web- and mobile-adept mothers.
The first section of the report is based on surveys of 1,500 women with
at least one child in their homes, who tried at least two "emerging
technologies" and who researched or bought something online in the past
90 days. The second part focused on 1,740 active CafeMom members and
included the site's behavioral and usage data.
The study says women with children place high value on social media,
mobile and other digital technologies "as a convenient means to stay
connected, seek advice and information, shop and learn about products,
meet others like themselves and simplify the many dimensions of their
lives." The researchers found that 47 percent of the moms with children
12 and older use social networks to monitor their children.
These mothers are much more likely to watch online video than mothers
with kids under 12, says the study. It also says the age of the mothers
plays a big part in the moms' level of comfort with "newer
communication platforms," including social networks, SMS and mobile
browsing, with those under 35 being significantly more likely to use
the latest technologies. Older mothers, those 45 and beyond, more often
use the Web to access informational tools and sites, such as news sites
and online consumer reviews, says the report.
"Social media and text messaging, instant messaging and gaming, now
used by the majority of digital moms, are no longer niche activities,"
says the report. "It will be necessary for marketers to embrace
channels that engage more than 50 percent of all digital moms,
particularly as mass marketing channels shrink."
For advertisers, the report says the gap between television and digital
channels is narrowing when it comes to creating brand awareness and
affecting product decisions. "Social networks are increasingly
important" along those lines, says the report.
According to Deloitte's State of the Media Democracy survey, three-quarters of Millennials (ages 14 to 25) view the computer as more of an entertainment device than their television. Ed Moran, Deloitte director of product innovation, notes that "This (early-adopter) generation of consumers was the first to be raised on the Internet and is united across borders and cultures by their digital media preferences, so the implications for global marketers are unprecedented."
Across five surveyed countries, Millennials are the most active in gaming, music and Internet use for socializing:
* 80% of Millennials are regularly searching, downloading and listening to music over the Internet
* 73% are also regularly socializing online (via social networking sites, chat rooms or message boards)
* 59% of Millennials use their mobile phone as an entertainment device, versus an average of 33% of all consumers.
* Millenials are spending one-third less time watching their television than are other generations.
I hope I'm not alone in feeling alarmed by these numbers. Don't get me wrong. I'm so pleased to see the convergence finally come to fruition. But I'm afraid that most agencies and clients are completely unprepared to adjust their assumptions and expectations for marketing their goods, services and brands.
Somebody get Rachel Maddow to talk me down ...
This is getting kind of silly. Agency services are going to get hammered in this economy. Clients want turn-key convenience and two-guys-in-a-dorm-room pricing. And the Internet is making it possible. Still not a good idea. But it can be done.
Proud but not arrogant, professional but still fun, Nestlé Purina associates are intelligent, well-rounded, and team-oriented. Associates treat each other with respect.
Apparently, the meme of the "invisible" tattoos done in blacklight reactive ink has gone viral, but there aren't many details about the artist known only as Richie.
If we tattoo Unicode symbols on people, then their friends can take a photo with their mobile phones and download free ringtones off of each other's butts. Think it over.
According to 12 months of proprietary Specific Media Ad Effectiveness data, by comScore, display advertising significantly lifts Online search activity. The study demonstrates that consumers exposed to display advertising were more likely to search for brand terms (i.e. automotive manufacturer), and segment terms (i.e. vehicle class), than unexposed consumers.
More than 140 million U.S. consumers will be paying for mobile broadband services in 2013--up from 46 million in 2008, according to a new study by Parks Associates.
The research firm also predicts in its "Mobile Broadband: Beyond the Cell Phone" report that the number of smartphones sold in five years will more than triple to 60 million as multimedia devices go mainstream.
"Consumers will grow more comfortable with mobile broadband, and the service will become part of their daily lives, as they will be able to surf the Web, play games, share pictures, and connect via social networks from anywhere," said Anton Denissov, a research analyst at Parks Associates.
Scheinman believes that social networking is the most important way for marketers and big media companies to reach consumers. Consumers are using sites such as YouTube and Facebook to share media, like videos, music and pictures. He also believes that media companies can combat piracy by offering fans an interactive experience through their own branded Web sites.
"In many ways digital destroys the value proposition for media," Scheinman said. "Other people can rip off the content and monetize it, aggregate it, and take pennies for it."
"Eos offers the answer to this," he explained. "If media companies allowed people to interact with the music or the video and do some things it with it, it enhances the experience and makes the brand more powerful. Eos won't stop piracy entirely. But at the very least it lets the media companies put up a fight by allowing the audience to participate."
Ever since the dawn of the Internet Age, tech companies have been promising to bring "convergence" of the online and TV universes, but those efforts have failed to take off with consumers who have found such products difficult to use.
The new TVs announced on Wednesday will be in the market as early as the spring and will support widgets -- small Internet applications -- that run alongside broadcast TV content, but not over it.
The applications can be used for a wide array of Web activities, like watching videos on Google Inc's YouTube.com, social networking on News Corp's MySpace.com, tracking stocks and sports teams, buying and selling on eBay, messaging friends using Twitter, or using Yahoo's own photo-sharing website Flickr.
The widgets will allow viewers more interaction with the programs they're watching, Yahoo said. There will also be applications based on Yahoo-branded services such as Yahoo Finance.
The audience for mobile video is growing, but remains limited to only about 5% of all U.S. cell phone subscribers, according to a new report from Nielsen Mobile.
Holding back the spread of mobile video are factors including a lack of consumer awareness, high cost and a dearth of compelling content. So while 109 million subscribers have video-capable devices, only 10.3 million are using them to watch video.
This video shows a Wired reporter using Toshiba's "Minority Report" interface. As he says, it's all based on existing tech. So it's pretty much ready for market. That's been my theme for the past year or so. Ready.