Posts Tagged ‘Advertising’

The Internet is Either Bad or Good, Depending on Whether You’re Prince or the Rest of the World

July 12, 2010

The artist currently known as Prince shocked and amazed the world when he said that the “Internet is over” and that computers and digital gadgets ”fill your head with numbers and that can’t be good for you.” The upshot was that he is not releasing any music digitally, only in CD format.  He has banned his music from iTunes, YouTube and even what was formerly known as his web site – there will be no downloads, anywhere, ever, from him.  I’m sure the music industry is overjoyed, and wish that Prince could start a movement, unlikely as that is to happen. He does have a point, as far as payment is concerned, because how artists will make money in the inter web world is still  in question.

Meanwhile, back at Pew’s Internet and American Life Project, the world of the Internet is a good and happy place, bringing joy and fulfillment to all who go there. Almost.  Specifically, a large majority of respondents (85%) agreed that, “In 2020, when I look at the big picture and consider my personal friendships, marriage and other relationships, I see that the Internet has mostly been a positive force on my social world. And this will only grow more true in the future.” As a point of ethics, though, I have to divulge that the respondents to this survey were tech experts and “the highly engaged Internet public.”  I think that rosily colors their point of view somewhat.  Still it’s hard to disagree with the positives that they saw (from the report):

They said humans’ use of the Internet’s capabilities for communication – for creating, cultivating, and continuing social relationships – is undeniable. …

Many of the people who said the Internet is a positive force noted that … it costs less in time spent, allowing them to cultivate many more relationships, including those with both strong and weak ties. They said “geography” is no longer an obstacle to making and maintaining connections; some noted that Internet-based communications removes previously perceived constraints of “space” and not just “place.”

Some respondents observed that as use of the Internet for social networks evolves there is a companion evolution in language and meaning as we redefine social constructs such as “privacy” and “friendship.” Other respondents suggested there will be new “categories of relationships,” a new “art of politics,” the development of some new psychological and medical syndromes that will be “variations of depression caused by the lack of meaningful quality relationships,” and a “new world society.”

The visual difference between editorial content and advertising designed to look like editorial content is miniscule.  Given that it’s difficult to define the spot where news and entertainment separate, this has become a bone of contention.  The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors sent an open letter to the Tribune Company asking them to cease and desist, following a four page wrap ad for the King Kong attraction at Universal Studios which was made to look like the front page of the Times’ breaking news section, describing damage done to the city by a giant ape.


Apple Does Advertising. Take That, Google

April 9, 2010

With the launch of the iPad, there’s a lot of talking going on about how to do advertising on it.  Apple wants to get a piece of that action, and yesterday it announced a system that would deliver ads across all of its mobile devices.  the ad platform will be built into the new OS4 operating system that will be released this summer.  ClickZ says that Apple will sell and serve the ads (surprised?  Of course not) and take 40% of proceeds with the rest going to the app developer. At the unveiling, Steve Jobs said that his aim was to improve the quality of ads that are currently served up on mobile devices, particularly his, and make them more interactive, provided with greater “emotion” and becoming “mini-branded applications in their own right”.  Look out Google. Actually, Google’s purchase of AdMob, which is still going through FTC channels, is going to put them in direct competition.

Digital Ad Revenues Surpass Print

March 19, 2010

Consulting firm Outsell conducted its annual forecast of ad spending, and for the first time found that digital ad revenues are about to surpass print  this year. This is a big milestone in the history of online advertising, as advertisers plan to spend 32.5% ($119.6 billion) on digital, versus 30.3% ($111.5 billion) for print. Not every part of the digital market is buoyant. One surprising prediction in the report has mobile advertising revenues sinking 16% in 2010 compared to 2009. On the television front (combining broadcast and cable), Outsell has total TV ad revenues falling 6.5% to $59.6 billion.

Social Media – Where’s the Money?

February 12, 2010

We all know that social media has changed the landscape for, well, practically everything, significantly.  A persistent question, though, is – where’s the money?  “Advertising,” says a senior analyst for eMarketer “Which some might say has already failed as a business model for social media companies – will not be the primary revenue driver.”  Ad spend on social media in the US vs the rest of the world, according to eMarketer, and will continue to do so.   What will become more important?  First off, location.  As mobile becomes more prevalent, location based ads will go right along with you, wherever you and your smartphone go. TV, as it becomes more social, will continue to play a big role in advertising.  But most of all, there is the chatter, the buzz, the natural occurring conversation that will spur marketers to generate more engagement.  Social media is already starting to change the way that companies either promote or even change their products and services.  This will continue to grow as consumer driven everything becomes the norm.

Still, although more than half of online shoppers use Facebook, half of the top 100 online retailers have minimal or no Facebook presence according to a recent study from ForeSee.  We have seen already that people are looking to build engagement with brands through special offers, discounts and product information. And of shoppers who use social sites, 81% of them are on Facebook.  So what’s the big hold-up?

Even Advertisers Think There Are Too Many TV Ads

February 12, 2010

Does it seem to you that there are even more ads on TV than ever?  Do you sometimes feel that you need to have you hand permanently poised over the fast forward button on your DVR? A study by Forrester Research and the Association of national Advertisers found that most advertisers feel that TV ads have lost their effectiveness.  Why?  Mostly because of what they term “clutter”, that spate of ads in each pod that is so thick that it all jumbles together in a big noisy blur.  While the 30 second spot is not necessarily in danger of demise, branded entertainment is getting a bigger chunk of advertiser dollars this year.  And behavioral targeting will certainly be in the next big wave of spend. Says MediaWeek,

“Contributing to dissatisfaction with the medium was a lack of new audience metrics beyond reach and frequency. Eight-two percent of respondents would like individual commercial ratings. Seventy-eight percent would like to more precisely target consumers.
‘As the overall marketing landscape is in the midst of a massive shift, so is the iconic medium of television,” said Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the ANA. “The standard methods of delivery and measurement need to adapt to what marketers today need: more specificity, greater effectiveness, and more detailed measurement. ROI is one of the most crucial aspects of marketing today, and the processes behind TV must be held to the same scrutiny as marketers.’ “

Your Very Own Advertising

January 15, 2010

Advertisers have considered targeted advertising on television to be pretty much the holy grail.  Xerox filed a patent last week, according to the MediaPost, for an “apparatus” that would deliver specific content to specific viewers.  The Xerox patent does not refer to advertising per se; it refers to all kinds of content, but it does see where the money is: “Embedding commercials into broadcasted programming provides marketers another method to get their message out to the public without program interruption and on a customized basis”.  The patent says that people would be less likely to skip ads that were customized to them.  I’m not sure about that – it might up the creepiness factor a few notches, though.

Three Ad Agencies Look to Next Year

December 11, 2009

It’s the end of the year, and all over the place predictions for next year are popping up like little mushrooms after a heavy rain. Most companies cannot wait to bid a fond farewell to this year of strife, and in a usual optimistic way, look to the future for better times.  Interpublic is no exception.  Its Magna unit of MediaBrands predicted that worldwide ad spending would rise close to 6% next year. Other agencies were a bit more hesitant to jump the gun on good news; Group M  and Zenith Optimedia both predict that worldwide spending will rise less than 1% next year.  All three, though, believe that digital media will be the horse that pulls the industry out of the doldrums.  Eventually.  And that emerging markets will be making the revenue.  Magna expects that growth in the US will be 0.2% next year while the other two agencies see next year as a continuation of decline. All told, in the first three quarters of the year, ad spending in the US declined 14.7% over last year, so pulling up some good news, while heartening, might be like pulling a rabbit out of a hat.

Creepy Advertising, the FTC, and stuff

December 11, 2009

The Interactive Advertising Bureau launched a public service ad campaign last week alerting and educating the public about behavioral targeting.  The ads include copy that says that “advertising is creepy” and “This banner ad can tell where you live.”  Internet publishers including Micosoft, YouTube and AOL have committed to donate impressions for the initiative.  YouTube? Really?  Right away one’s hackles rise up.  Because if Google, which after all makes its money from creepy advertising and data collection, is giving to this cause, how much of a public service is this thing?  The FTC has chastised the industry for using unreadable privacy policies to inform consumers about behavioral targeting. The IAB says that it is trying to make it all much clearer to the public, by explaining what cookies do, and what geo-targeting is, for example.  But they are also saying that cookies and IP addresses do not give marketers personal information – a fact that has consistently proved to be erroneous.  The FTC itself said this year in a report about online behavioral targeting that non-personally identifiable information could be used to identify specific users. (via AdAge) (more…)

The Big Idea Becomes the Big Story

December 4, 2009

Contagious Magazine, a UK look at the wonderful world of advertising, had a surprising article this week about the melding of advertising and journalism. Not a union that you would think of, offhand.  But, says John Weich, the Big Idea is giving way to the Big Story.  As advertising moves “towards the type of storytelling that floats seamlessly between online and offline platforms, the industry has unknowingly opened itself up to the influence of professional scribes whose storytelling aptitude rivals and even exceeds the traditional copywriter setup. After all, if the future of advertising is content, which I believe it is, then the industry should welcome the influx of journalists with open arms.” Because, he says, there are few professionals who are as adept as spinning a story as journalists are.   In addition, unlike creatives in the ad business, “they don’t wait for stories to come to them, they actually venture out (outside the office, outside their comfort zones) to find the stories that are actually relevant to both the brand and its target group. With fewer and fewer secure long-term relationships between agencies and brands, proactive pitches may be the difference between landing a gig or not.”