Friday, May 30, 2008

What If...?

The two most powerful words in the English language are “What If”.

This simple phrase allows for the pontification of the intelligentsia and it creates opportunities from where there were previously none! Beginning a sentence with “what if” allows for the establishment to be questioned and for authority to be thrown out the window. In many cases it allows for common sense to be suspended and disbelief to discarded in favor of daydreams and so much more. I find that asking “what if” is the best way to begin a brainstorm, to inspire creativity and to uncover new ways of doing business, so this week I want to ask “what if” to all of you loyal readers of the Online Spin.

What if Yahoo gets bought by Microsoft? Will this merger dramatically change the landscape of internet advertising? I hardly think that it will, but I do believe that it will give Microsoft a gentle push in the right direction of shifting towards a media business and away from a software business.

What if Google were to purchase AOL? Would anything really change for the consumers? Most likely it would not, however Google would have another area where it could test new portal-like products and continue to shift itself towards a new generation publisher and become more than just a “search business”.

What if Pointcast hadn’t been such a dismal failure? Would the screensaver still be valuable real estate for advertisers and marketers alike? Would the “widget revolution” have started much, much earlier than it did?

What if the acquisition of Abacus by Doubleclick hadn’t resulted in a massive consumer response regarding privacy and consumer safety?

I don’t know – it’s just a topic for a day like today. Something to think about I guess!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Intelligent Data and the Semantic Web

This article was pulled and reprinted from my Mediapost blog...

Last year I started writing about Web 3.0 -the concept of the Semantic Web - and over the last few weeks I’ve seen more and read more on this topic, which leads me to believe that it’s gaining steam.

The Semantic Web refers to a layer of intelligence that could be applied over the internet and tailored in a manner that would deliver to each user a fully customized experience, providing them with what they would want, based on a set of algorithms which hypothesizes what they like, want and need. I’m a huge fan of this concept because if you break it down, the internet is too big for any one person to ever truly use and any given person probably only uses about 5% of the totality of what is available. The Semantic Web would take this experience and flip it on its head, ensuring that what you want and what you need is exactly what you get, but anticipating when what you want or what you need might change into what you will want or what you will need (with me so far?).

The apparent proof for this shift can be seen in the move towards data and such products as search, behavioral targeting and text-based advertising. Search is becoming more fluid and more customized to the content of the query, with results changing based on the detailed taxonomy of the request. In some cases I get maps while in other cases I get links to video or just standard, old-fashioned text results. Type in Mickey Mouse, then type in Mickey Mouse Club and then type in Mickey Mouse Club Disneyland and see all the different results formats you get in return. The difference in the results page is based on a hypothetical engine that anticipates what exactly you are looking for and tries to deliver it exactly.

The movement towards aggregating data and creating behavioral profiles for advertising, or even going one step farther and creating dynamic content based on real-time profiling are examples of early-stage Semantic aspirations. The step further will be for an intelligence engine to be placed on major sites that anticipates what you are looking for and what you might need in the near future, depending on your age, life stage and other information far beyond what sites you’ve been on and what pages you might have viewed. The aggregation of data from the ISP level makes this one step closer, enabling dynamic content profiles to be created and attached to specific users, depending on their log-in info and their past experiences. Reading data on a macro level and understanding all their personalized data on their start page as well as what they’ve purchased in Amazon could theoretically offer insights into what you need and what you want and deliver that content customized only to you!

In-text advertising also leads me to see that the Semantic aspirations are coming. In-text advertising aspires to be a means of linking a consumer through to information they need based on where they are. It ties a hypothetical insight into what they need based on what they want and delivers in a simplistic format now, but with broader opportunities later. Imagine a future when intelligent text can link you to anywhere on the web in just a second by being dynamically linked to an engine that hypothesizes your needs and wants based on that behavioral data I referenced previously. An entire page of content would be clickable and a richer experience for all content would be quite enticing. Of course, that brings us back to my initial point that too much data can create too large of a palette from which to work, so In-text placements would need to become smarter and more intelligent and deliver that customized version of the web directly to you.

Of course I could be overcomplicating things a bit, but I don’t think so. These are all valid concepts given the movement towards data and the valuation of the companies in this space. Watch for the innovations in the next 3 years and tell me whether I’m right or wrong. Or tell me now if you have more insights into this topic by clicking through to the Spin Board and sharing your insights!

On The Way North...

To do a pitch in the healdsburg region of northern California. Gotta
love the golden gate bridge.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I Been RickRolled

This is way too funny, but there is now a trend to reviving Rick Astley and RickRolling internet peeps. Simply put, you change out a hyperlink somewhere on your site and rather than send you to a legitimate site you get sent to the video for Nevr Gonna Give You Up.

For more info, read this piece from the Wikipedia.

Or this one from Time Magazine.

A Lock

I had to try posting a picture too. Whoo hoo!!

Mobile Blogging

If u have not tried mobile blogging yet you just haven't lived a full
life!!

Cory Treffiletti
President, Managing Partner
Catalyst:SF
Sent from my iphone...

I Guess He Liked What I Wrote?

I found this link that mentioned my article last week on the Online Spin and I think he agrees that there is a business here.

Not totally sure.

What do you think?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

It’s the Wiki-Wiki-Round Up!

The Round-Up Volume 1, Issue 5

Just imagine that sound from a DJ scratching and that’s what this edition of the Round Up sounds like! It’s us providing you with some of the basics, some of the fundamentals. It’s us telling you enough information so you can just barely scratch the surface of what’s new and cool and innovative in the online world! This is a short week since I’m taking a day or two off this week in preparation for the much longer and much needed weekend, but I didn’t want to leave you without the Round-Up since I know it’s something you look forward to each and every-other week! So without further ado, let’s jump into it!!

MENTO.INFO (http://www.mento.info/): We came across Mento this week as another way of saving and sharing links with your network. This is a really hot category and has been for many years, but there are rarely services that do a good job while maintaining an efficient user interface. It seems these guys might have done it right, so check it out and start sharing!

ZTAIL (http://www.ztail.com/): I’m a fan of comparison shopping guides and used to use MySimon quite a bit, but now that I found ZTail, my search is over! Think eBay meets your favorite shopping engine but add in the service of the market telling you the price you should be charging or paying. The coolest element is that it will tell you what to charge for your goods, allowing you to enter the marketplace at the correct spot. Plus - get this - they have a monkey on the homepage! I like Monkeys and I like ZTail.

SNIPSHOT (http://snipshot.com/): Ever wish you could edit a photo and take out the red-eye or that glare from the sun or the person standing next to you in the photograph? Then SnipShot is for you. It’s not new – editing photos online has been around a couple of years now – but I think it’s the easiest of the services I’ve seen. Check them out and play with some photos.

MOFUSE (http://www.mofuse.com/): MoFuse makes it possible to mob-ify (yes – it is now a word) or as they refer t it, mobilize, your blog in seconds. If you have a blog, you type in the URL and it spits out a mobile version optimized for WAP or iPhone in seconds. It’s very cool and I’m foreseeing this catch on really quickly. Go there and type your blog in, then paste the code on your HTML so it can be sniffed and show the correct version to your readers!

TELANETIX (http://www.telanetix.com/): I know it’s not a site per se, but I was in a meeting last week and I saw the Telanetix system in place and it’s really cool and really not expensive when compared to other video conferencing systems that I’ve seen. It’s web-based and you don’t need a whole lot of crazy technology to make it work, plus there are no buffers and none of the usual delays that come with standard video conference systems. I don’t know about you, but I am looking into it.

JAMSBIO (http://www.jamsbio.com/): Social Networking can be a little silly sometimes, but one of the “ties that bind” has always been music and JamsBio allows you to write a story and share it with the world about the various moments in your life and the music that is indelibly tied to them. It’s a great way to express yourself plus the site is clean, well organized and very interesting! For the music fan inside of you, it’s worth a little time.

That’s all for now folks! I hope you’re enjoying these Round-Ups and I hope you’re finding more and more new companies and technologies to check out. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find ways to work with these new companies and demonstrate your support for emerging media!

Have fun!!

A Little Vacation...

Just so you know, and because I know you are reading my blog every single day, I will be away on a little vacation from Thursday May 22 through Monday May 26, so I won't be posting much. Have a great Memorial Day everyone!!

Craigslist Leads The Pack In Mobile (Go Figure)

As always, the simplest ideas are the ones that stick. This article from Silicon Alley Insider states that Craigslist gets lots and lots of traffic from mobile on smart phones. It makes sense because Craigslist is a simple, text heavy site with a great local opportunity. It's still probably one of the best sites on the web and probably the most useful to the average daily American.

It's been awhile and it's remained the same through the years. Bravo to Craig Newmark for continuing to stick to his guns and make one of the best sites online! I shared a cab in Newark once with Craig and I got the chance to tell him how great I thought his site was, but I am sure he doesn't remember as he was doing the same as me - uploading email from a wireless card. Always on, always on!

Anyways - congrats and keep up the good work!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Can You Canoe?

OK, OK. I know it's silly, but I was in an alliterative mood. Anyways, I was learning a little more about Project Canoe which seems to be a very ambitious program to unite the cable companies to become interactive-friendly. If this happens, and I expect it will, this will be a huge opportunity for interactive marketers, so you should read about it here in an article from Mugs Buckley. It's worth a read!

Thanks for coming by!

What About Time Spent?

I was thinking more and more about something that Greg Wilson and I chatted about and that’s the idea that time spent is a very viable metric for measuring engagement and ad effectiveness.

What was really interesting about it is that if you calculate out the time spent with online video and the cost, on a CPM basis, you can come to a cost per minute of exposure. Then, you can compare that to an offline ad or TV ad and their cost per minute and the comparison will show you that online video is way more efficient.

Just imagine what it would cost you on a cost per minute basis to show a customer 30 minutes of advertising and marketing messages online vs. offline?

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Web 2.0 Name Generator

I love this stuff...

Shouldn't We Sweat The Small Stuff?

I was re-re-reading this book recently and something resonated in my head. In sales and marketing “you HAVE to sweat the small stuff”. The small stuff, are the details and as they also say, the “devil’s in the details”. The details are what we need to pay attention to. Trafficking creative. Detailing the CPM vs. flat fee vs. CPC. The flight dates for the campaign are from 4/1 to 5/1, but you only want to run Thursday, Friday and Saturday. These are the sorts of details that can get missed in the fast and furious world that we live in and these are the types of things that get us in trouble!

This is extremely difficult for me as I am very much a 10,000 foot guy! I am horrible with details, just ask my fiancĂ©. She’ll tell you so!! That being said, I also find that when I can take a moment to sit down and relax, the details are a little easier to manage, which funny enough is the actual message of that book in the first place. Maybe that’s why I have to re-re-read this book so many times!!

Well – I guess the point today is to be sure that you are sweating the details (the small stuff). If you are a sales person, be sure to make the extra call to the client and confirm what you think is the buy. If you are a planner, be sure to call the client and review the details. If you are a manager, don’t be afraid to ask questions of the people in your office. You never look dumb asking questions. You only look dumb when you gloss them by!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

3 Ways To Read Traffic

I didn't write this, but i felt it was spot on and logical and I wanted to post if for you. If you're trying to make sense of the digital analytics landscape, this helps quite a bit!

The first is user-focused and based on software installed on user machines. Services like Alexa and Compete get users to install software on their computers and then track surfing habits to come up with best guesses on Internet-wide traffic. It works in theory, but getting enough users to get statistically relevant results has proven challenging. Alexa is famously flawed, and while Compete seems to be somewhat better, it only tracks U.S. users. Comscore is another user-focused metrics company that tends to work well for large sites, not well at all for newcomers (and it is very expensive to access their database).

A second way to determine site usage is to track traffic directly from websites. Quantcast combines user surveys with direct tracking on websites (when they can get it) to estimate traffic. Comscore also does this with certain sites.

The third way is to track surfing behaviors via records from ISPs. Hitwise uses this method to provide web analytics to clients.

Read more here!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Congratulations!!

Congrats to my sister who graduated from college today!

Yes - I know this has nothing to do with marketing or advertising, but it's my blog, right?
:-)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I Am Impractical

I read Guy Kawasaki’s blog because, as his header states, I am impractical. That being said, I also love to have people point out what they are reading and what they think, which is why I am linking you through to this post on his blog.

The post deals with a book that professes to tell you about the impact of advertising and marketing in social media. To me, a book that is published on this topic is probably already outdated, but I’ll still read it. I still want to know what other people think. Even outdated ideas are capable of spurring innovative thought.

Go read about the book and tell Guy what you feel about it, or tell the authors, or tell whoever is sitting immediately to your right. It’s time to practice a little of what we preach, so be social about media!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Right Way To Run A Board Meeting

I have sat in Board meetings before and I have many times been bored in a Board meeting, but last night we had the first Board meeting for my company, Catalyst:SF. Our Board consists of a number of extremely smart, extremely well spoken individuals and there insights into our business are invaluable. I can honestly say, without being biased, that this is the right way to run a Board meeting.

My tips on how to do it right:
  • Don't take advantage of your Board. These people have lives and you are asking them to cut out a part of their day for you, so do not abuse that request. Limit the amount of time you ask of them, be very clear on your requests and try to be respectful of their time.
  • Feed them. It's a simple matter to organize a dinner and feed them, and when people are being fed they are happy to talk. Once again, this proves that you value their time and are not taking advantage of them.
  • Be concise. We provided them with limited documentation and were not asking them to do anything more than react to what we were talking about. No prep work. No home work. once again, being respectful of their time.

All in all, I was really happy. I know that I can't share with all of you what they said, but you should know it was certainly valuable!

Did Winston Churchill Work In Advertising?

Check out this week's piece from Mediapost's Online Spin:

Winston Churchill once said, “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” I think, but I cannot be certain and have seen no confirmation of this point whatsoever, that Winston Churchill started out his career working in advertising. I think he may have been speaking to those people who feel brand advertisers are not spending online in conjunction with the time spent online by their consumers.

There’s much ado about online advertising in the trades and the mainstream press these days, but I read very little that speaks to the difficulties with online advertising. I read about online advertising in Fortune, Forbes and sometimes Time magazine and it’s regularly covered in BusinessWeek as well as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. What they cover is the growth and the proliferation of new technology that’s being applied to the space, but they rarely break down the difference between dollars that are spent against direct response advertisers vs. brand advertisers and the difficulties that still surround brand advertising in this space. The majority of the dollars being spent online are being tracked, optimized and managed to direct response metrics, while many brand advertisers are still afraid to shift money to the Web. In a conversation I had this week with some well-respected industry experts, we identified our hypothesis as to why many brand advertisers are afraid to make the large-scale shift. These reasons were: ease of use and breadth of opportunity.

Brand advertising dollars dramatically outweigh direct response advertisers in the offline world. The primary, and probably the best, reason that brand advertisers have not yet shifted the majority of their dollars to online media is that it’s not easy for them to do so. It’s really quite easy for an advertiser to spend $250 million in television, but an advertiser would have a hard time spending that much online! A budget of that scale would create extremely high frequency levels and utterly blitzkrieg the target audience, pounding them into submission until they just couldn’t take it anymore, never purchasing another product so long as they live! OK, that may be an exaggeration.

Beyond the potentially painful consumer impact that $250 million in online would have, imagine the pain on the part of the agency or the sorry souls who were tasked to execute a campaign of this size. The promise of the Web is in its accountability, optimization and the amount of data that are available to help your campaigns be optimally effective. Imagine what the trafficking sheet would look like for a campaign of this magnitude, and the volume of creative that would have to be created and rotated just to make the effort seem fresh! It would be a Sisyphisian task, to say the very least.

While spending $250 million online would be an immense undertaking, I could spend that money on television and for a fraction of the time required to manage that campaign. For online to continue to grow at the rate projected over the next 10 years, we need to find economies of scale that will allow for an advertiser to realistically spend large budgets in an efficient manner — and we need to come to terms with the value of said inventory as well.

Which brings us to the second challenge that online advertising faces: the breadth of targeting and options that are available. There are too many choices for advertisers to consider. In direct response marketing there’s a mantra that states, “If you give a consumer too many choices, they will not choose one.” That’s what happens to brand advertisers to some extent. Targeting opportunities and targeted ad placements and sizes and formats and the choices facing planners are so robust that selling through the appropriate plans requires weeks of education — and in some cases, the audience for this education will default to what they know best: TV and print!
As the old adage goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Let’s face it; offline advertising is not broke. It works. It sells products. Until a large packaged goods advertiser sees a decline in sales as a result of the tried and true, they will not make any dramatic changes. Of course that doesn’t mean that they won’t “test” and “allocate opportunistic funds” to online. They will. It just means that until we make it a little easier to understand, they won’t jump in with both feet. Of course if you read my article last week you would know that science is winning in the battle over art, so for this shift to take place media planners will need an MBA and a Ph.D.

Online advertising is not in desperate times, by any means. It is still growing and it will continue to do so for many years to come. The exponential growth we saw five to 10 years ago will not be experienced again, and the dollars allocated to the medium won’t match the time spent with the medium until we solve these two challenges: ease of use and breadth of opportunity.
Just by pointing out these challenges, you might say I am being a pessimist, but in truth I am an optimist. I know these challenges will be met in the coming years and I feel that the automation of much of our business will assist us in doing so. Ad Exchanges, SEM tools, ad servers: all of these platforms exist to help us improve the process behind planning and buying media, and I am 100% convinced that these challenges can be overcome.

As another quote from Winston Churchill noted, “I never worry about action, but only about inaction.” Our business is never one that lacks action! Wouldn’t you agree?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Really? More Money For Facebook?

Looks like Facebook is raising more money, $100 million already beyond what Microsoft gave them. I guess they must be burning through cash for some reason. Check out the article here!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Merry Go-Round Up

I know you’ve missed us and you’ve been chomping at the digital-bit, so once again it’s time for The Round-Up! Just in case you haven’t picked up on it, we’re publishing The Round-Up every other week now. The Round Up is our way of letting you, The Digital Influentials group, know about the coolest, most innovative, most interesting companies we’ve run across over the last 14 days. In our travels as a Marketing Capital Firm at Catalyst:SF, we get to meet some interesting people with ideas on new products and services and this week was no different. Let’s jump right into it, shall we?

There’s definitely a trend towards simplifying the consumer’s day. Sites like NetVibes and iGoogle are taking personalized homepages into the future but we know you’re already aware of them. What about PageOnce (www.pageonce.com)? PageOnce has gone a step further and created a tool for aggregating together your favorite destinations and password protected sites into one customizable page. It’s convenient and it’s pretty easy. I’m not too sure what the business model here is for generating revenue, but I can guess that the data they’re amassing will be valuable to someone!

BuzzLogic (www.buzzlogic.com) is another company we ran across this week. It’s another tool/service for identifying what’s going on in social media and since no-one has really figured out how to make money in social media yet, it makes sense that a number of companies would be working towards this common goal. I like the management team and I like what I’ve seen thus far. They focus their efforts against “Conversation Targeting”, so check out their site and see what you think.

AdReady (www.adready.com) is another company professing to give its customers a way to quickly and easily build templatized online ads. I recently wrote an article in Mediapost about how in the age-old battle between Art and Science in advertising, it appears that Science is winning (to read the article check out this looong URL at http://treffiletti.blogspot.com/2008/05/art-vs-science-science-is-winning.html). I wish Art would come back, but for many direct response marketers, these sorts of tools are extremely valuable because it’s all about the offer for them. There’s definitely a place for these kinds of companies and AdReady will have a spot there.

Have you been dying for a new Search Engine strategy? Then look no further than Surchur (www.surchur.com). Search is a battle that was won, but may yet be fought again. Google is still the 800 pound gorilla in the room, but companies like SearchMe (www.searchme.com) and Surchur are coming up with some new and exciting ways to provide results to consumers. I’m sure Google will change at some point, but in the meantime this is a great place to gather information. I typed in “pearl jam” like I do in every other search engine and I liked what I got!

What if you’re only searching for information that you’d find in the classifieds? What if you’re looking for a car, a vacation rental, or a new home? Well, if any of these suit your needs then check out Vast (www.vast.com). It certainly ain’t sexy, but it’s effective. They’re focusing their attention on a small, yet efficient, portion of the net and this might be a great business model for them!

On a more casual, fun note, check out Super Hero Hype (www.superherohype.com). With the world of comic books becoming such an important feeding ground for Hollywood, it’s no wonder that a site featuring movie news on comic books and graphic novels is growing! Its part of Crave Online and I visit it every day, so maybe that makes me a geek. Who knew!

And just in case you didn’t have your fill yet, I wanted to leave you one of our own. A long time ago in a city far, far away a great Media Professional told me something. He said that if you want to be great in marketing, learn all you can about popular culture. You need to see what the masses are doing and you need to read what the masses are reading (if they read). To that end, we’ve been running a new blog that highlights the best of the best in popular culture! From videos to articles, you can find it at the Culture Catalyst Blog (http://culturecatalyst.blogspot.com/). Bookmark it and see what everyone else is seeing!

Thanks again for your time and please don’t forget to let us what you think!

Thanks!

The Twitter Pitch?

I was reading, or rather I was discovering, Search Engine Land and I came across this article that discusses how brands can use Twitter and other social media to reach their audience. I was amazed at the idea and I believe it has merits! Why not use Twitter for pitching press releases, albeit REALLY short ones?

It's simple and brilliant at the same time, so read on!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Have Some Fun And Create Some New Campaigns!

If you run out of ideas all by yourself, you can always use the Ad Generator!

Art vs. Science: Science Is Winning

This is what my Mediapost article from Wednesday was all about, so read on!

In our world there’s an ongoing debate over the concept of art vs. science in advertising. I’ve commented on it before, but it’s becoming fast apparent to me that science is winning — and I want to explain why this makes me a little nervous.

I feel the best advertising has always been heavy on art, with a balanced dose of science to ensure the right people are watching, but these days it’s all about the science and the art is taking a back seat.

In order to become a media planner these days, it feels like you need a Ph.D. I’m exaggerating slightly, but it used to be a simple matter of reach, frequency and your negotiation skills. Now it’s becoming a more complex, more engineering-centric marketplace!

Media planners and media buyers used to be the same person and were responsible for the ongoing management of the clients’ campaign. These days the business is becoming more fragmented, more specialized and more focused on targeting: ISP-level targeting, behavioral targeting, profile targeting, etc. There are numerous technologies that layer over one another and are intended to reduce waste in your media budgets. Media planners must learn about these technologies and prioritize how they may affect their customer’s campaigns; in many cases, these campaigns are being tracked through to a customer acquisition or some other direct response metric.

It feels like every new company that’s being funded is basing their business on these targeting needs and the ability to deliver a more targeted audience. I see these companies as fulfilling the goals of science. Where’s the art in all of this? Where’s the consideration of impact and the creativity of the messaging?

It all started with Google and the “textification” of the creative messages. As a result of Google AdWords and Google AdSense, I feel as though the art is getting lost and is getting squeezed out by the science. As much as 40% of all online dollars are spent against search, and search constrains the creativity and the impact of the messages offered up to the consumer.

What is happening to the old-school focus on creative and the development of messaging that has impact and can affect purchase consideration? What happened to identifying the needs of brand advertisers and affecting consumer views on products and services? What happened to paying a premium for highly targeted, highly sought-after content? The majority of the discussions these days are about the commoditization of media and the development of the marketplace model, but I see very few people talking about the art of online creative. I’ve sat through presentations at conferences and in boardrooms, but more often than not the ideas are gimmicky and are not deeply rooted in strategy. Strategy is the art, and the art is rapidly being pushed out of the business by the metrics.

Wenda Harris Millard’s recent comments comparing media buying (unfortunately) to trading pork-bellies is what originally got me thinking on this topic — because she’s right! The prices are being pushed downward due to the direct response marketplace and at some point we will see a “correction” where prices will bottom out, with some premium inventory becoming more valued and supply decreasing, with more creativity being applied to the business. In this type of a marketplace, creative should again become valued — I hope! The premium placements should command more creativity in messaging to the consumer, and the art should be brought back to the space.

Maybe it’s partially my fault (and those of the other agency people in the marketplace) for being so focused on the numbers for so many years or maybe it’s society’s need for immediate gratification, but I feel the push for immediate metrics is affecting our ability to blend art into advertising .and I’m hoping that this will change soon. The closest thing I’ve seen online to art in recent months was the Apple placement on the Vista page of CNET. The media person who bought that placement (where there were live-action ads touting users to “Give Up On Vista” on the actual Vista page of CNet) should be commended for his/her effective coup. This was art applied to media and creative at the same time. I know those ads ran in other locations, but this was the perfect marriage of the two.

Rarely have I seen anything so effective in recent years. IPod advertising and Mini advertising also are focused on art, as Altoids used to be and some other perky, younger brands, but when I find their ads online I find ads that are less artful than those in other major media.

I love advertising and I want to see the art come back. The emerging media platforms — online video, mobile, social media, gaming, widgets — offer an opportunity for art once again without losing the science, primarily because these are fragmented media as well and have not reached critical mass as of yet. For them to be considered effective you need a big idea. You need a strategic reason to try them out and strategy breeds creativity, which demonstrates art. So here’s to the art coming back into advertising, and the science becoming integrated once again!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Some Good News

I liked this article, and I thought you would too!

There's definitely lots of doom and gloom in the marketplace right now, but this piece talks about the fact that not everything is bad with the economy and there are still some areas where optimism is finding its place!

Have fun!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Will AT&T Save Internet TV?

Maybe this is what will drive Online Video?

AT&T's Internet Mobile TV product is launching soon.

ARRRR - The Pirate Bay

I always hear bits and pieces about the Pirate Bay, but I wanted to find out a little more about it. First off, I have to be upfront in stating that I stopped downloading music for free about 5 years ago when all the services had Adware packaged in with them. I focus my efforts on iTunes and the occasional website which is passed along to me (generally for Pearl Jam stuff). Soooo, don't sue me for looking into it, ok?

The Pirate Bay fascinates me. How does this site stay in business? You go to the site and you search for bit torrent files for any music and video you want. How is it all there? How do they get away with it?

I guess they don't always get away with it because the more you research the more you find they are being shut down from time to time, but since they are based in Sweden it becomes hard to file litigation against them. What's more is that they appear to be ad-supported now and I imagine they are sharing that revenue with record labels and artists at this point, sort of like ASCAP does with radio stations.

That brings up the point that P2P sites are trying to find way to go legit. I wrote on this topic a few months back when I spoke at Digital Hollywood (find that article here).

It is inevitable that sites like The Pirate Bay will go legit - how long can they really be fought?

I don't know - that's really as far as I got and then I fell asleep, soooo... maybe there will be more to come on this topic? What do you think about it?