Advertising on ChatRouletteChatRoulette, the new procrastination destination of the web, has been exploding in popularity since its launch in November 2009 and subsequent features on Good Morning America, New York Times, and Daily Show. In short, upon logging onto ChatRoulette.com, you are automatically paired with a random videochat partner with the ability to move on at any time. This often leads to random, wacky, lude, disturbing, and funny encounters, as well as presenting a challenge of maintaining interesting conversation with a stranger.
Here, Fancy Feast took advantage of the captivated audience (thousands of chatters at any given time) with some product placement [via]:
Warning: IF you have not yet tried CR, just know that it can be a jolting, scarring experience. Not recommended for the young or faint-hearted. Also, my friend once got the Jonas Brothers.
Google Search Stories - Washington Heights
The fact that Google created a TV commercial is huge. The fact that it aired during the Superbowl? How much more so. To me, though, the best part about Google's Search Stories (and specifically, "Parisian Love,") is how easy it is to spoof them. Here's one I made about Washington Heights:
(Story of a girl who moves to Washington Heights, as told through her Search Queries)
Google is going to start selling billboard ad space in its street views portion of Google Maps.
I'm curious... since Google typically specializes in animated internet ads, will the ads on the billboards be static to imitate real life? Or animated, as a continuation of the physical to digital transition/balance? [via PC World]
Ice Cream and Behavioral Targeting
Israeli food giant Tnuva targeted their new chocolate dessert to only the recently single. By signing a deal with JDate, its ads are only showed to those returning to their accounts after an absence of several days. The idea was that people who logged into their profiles after time away had presumably been dating, but the relationship had since ended.
I wonder how many of my friends were served this ad [via].
What expectations, measurements and results do we plan on seeing in 2010? There is a lot of buzz surrounding the way Social Media will shape the business and communication landscape. Addressing these speculations, the panel outlined expectations, measurements and resultswe can hope to see in 2010.
Expectations: "Big companies need to take it seriously."
As explained above, one reason why big companies don't engage in Social Media is because they are scared.
In 2010, the panel unanimously agreed that many more big businesses will realize how valuable of a communication tool Social Media can be. Not only is it challenging, interesting and fun, "but it has the potential to be very lucrative.
Every client wants long-term strategies, and the panel predicts that in order to achieve this, clients will begin investing 5-7 figures into social media campaigns.
Less about what we do, and more about the reason they talk. A good business practice uses social media as means for proliferation, not an improvement to the service/product. It's easy to get carried away, but a successful business model has a truly quality offering, while providing the means with which to share the experience it provides. Social media allows others to talk about how great business-x is.
Measurement: "Social Media should come at the beginning."
Traditional measurement will have to change, as Social Media carries different weight. For instance in the old model, 20 impressions were no big deal. However, now whenever 20 impressions are served through Social Media, they are each an invitation to interact and communicate with one another.
Each social media channel holds different weight. A YouTube video response has different implications than a retweet.
Results: "Social Media should come at the beginning."
Ideally, an increased focus on social media will result in an increase of sales. Howard Greenstein brought up an example of a local barber shop that, through social media, was able to successfully increase its customer base for next to nothing cost.
David Berkowitz explains the 4 major social media necessities for producing results: Goals, Assets, Rules and Volume.
The panel of strong, successful women featured those who, after spending time with traditional and realizing that digital is the future, have found their niche in the digital space. Their entrepreneurial spirits and experience provided insight into the two biggest issues addressed: "Why go social?" and "What is the right way to do it?"
Why: “Bloggers just get it.”
One issue addressed was that of the FCC's new restrictions on bloggers, essentially mandating that they issue full disclosure whenever gifted or paid to create content. The panel agreed that this is completely in line with the informal blogging code: be honest. Bloggers should give full disclosure regardless of the FCC, as they owe it to their readers.
Have fun: Blogging should be a safe, fun space in which like-minded individuals can express themselves.
Whenever a blogger posts about an item, readers can immediately click through and potentially be moved to purchase. This immediate response truly separates traditional from digital, allowing for faster and much more effective ROI.
How: "What is the right way to do it?"
Before starting anything, either business, blog, or any other type of venture, it's important to make sure you talk to others. If you have friends who have done this before, ask them for guidance, or "learn the expensive way."
In order to gain traffic to your blog, try getting your name out there. Try guest-posting on a blog that you like. If readers like your style and content, they'll want to read more.
Take calculated risks, and go exploring in the digital realm. "Buying domain names is like a 21st century landgrab."
The Law in Times Square
The FBI has partnered with Clear Channel Outdoor, an outdoor media vendor, to launch an electronic billboard in Times Square to publicize their Most Wanted. This billboard is one of 1,500 billboards in 40 states. Since 2007, the FBI has used billboards to catch criminals and solve ~30 criminals as a result of these publicity efforts.
Since OOH / traditional media is on the decline, donating Billboard space makes sense... but what I don't understand is why they gave up such valuable real estate. Times Square placements go for a a pretty hefty sum, and the intended audience is generally tourists. Is it worth it to give this highly valuable placement to an ephemeral audience, who will barely be in the city long enough to catch / spot these criminals? Or would it be more efficient to donate a spot in a more residential neighborhood?
The Web 2.0 Suicide Machine essentially deletes any Social Media presence you may have. Not only does it sign you out of and change the password to social networks, it also deletes, one by one, all of your connections, claiming to "improve your relationships" and "get rid of stalkers."
"My internet life is dying, my real life is starting."
College Kids and Happiness
A lot of times, advertisers will try to execute guerrilla ad campaigns that don't necessarily align with the brand messaging. Coke, however, recently pulled off a truly integrated and relevant stunt.
Keeping with the theme of Coke's "The Happiness Factory" spot, agency Definition 6 installed a special vending machine on a college campus, basically acting as a "Happiness Factory" in and of itself.
Skip to 1:02, at which point the Coke executives grin widely and declare this a "success." [Via]
As previously noted, traditional media is trying to come up with innovative ways to slow and prevent its impending demise. This particular example is a nontraditional ad placement scanned from USA Today (via copyranter). Aflac's duck is silhouetted in the Stocks page , with a call to action on the bottom. The featured microsite features quasi-deceptive questions about health insurance, proving that "you don't know quack."
It's certainly a genius idea, though I'm not sure if too many people still check stock quotes in the paper. This also strikes me because it comes right after Aflac put its account in review, and is looking for a new agency. Why make such a bold move and fire your agency when you have such big nontraditional on the horizon?
In true Darwinistic form, as our generation spends increasing amounts of time in front of screens, traditional media has either had to evolve or whither away. A few answers have included enabling mobile websites, social media, and "apps."
Recognizing the danger, Hearst Media, the media giant which owns Cosmo, Esquire, and Popular Mechanics, has fused digital with traditional to create its own self-serving version of Amazon's Kindle, called the Skiff E-Reader. In short, it's a Kindle for your Newspapers and Magazines. Now how will it compete with the upcoming Apple Tablet, and everyone else's digital answer to the dying traditional problem?
Advertising can contradict itself. The most common of advertising gone wrong is unfortunate ad placement, seen all over the web and traditional media. However, every now and then an ad's copy can betray its intent.
This ad, featured on a Subway, basically asks passengers not to litter. However, the 'fine print' says "thank you for contributing," as subway litter is recycled. If anything, that little tidbit encourages the litter. Whereas trash in the can generally ends up in a landfill, trash on the ground goes green. Which one do you want?
I find it odd that this museum, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, a Government Agency, is accepting money from outside advertisers. Although this is a genius, innovative media placement idea, it seems to be a slipper slope. If the Government can accept advertising from brands here, does this take away or effect their ability to make policy? What would stop them to opening other doors to sponsorship of other agencies?
Lately, I've noticed that major digital media personalities and brands have started to migrate to traditional media. CollegeHumor went from digital content to two tv shows (1&2), Yelp distributes stickers to relevant businesses, etc. Therefore, it's no surprise that Google, in an attempt to (1) take over the world, and (2) gain more audience (to gain more advertisers), has leaked its digital personality into traditional media, with an integrated, cross-platform twist:
Google's Favorite Places is a hybrid of traditional (stickers) and digital (mobile + QR codes), which brings a whole new aspect to the game (and reminds me of this shirt). Expect to see more migrations and hybrids from advertisers thirsty for audience and innovation.
Competitive Media Placement
Apple and Microsoft ("PC") have been at each others' throats for a while. Whenever I hear about their tiffs, though, it's usually through trade pubs, and never through first-hand experience.
This morning, though, after browsing PCMag, I came across this homepage takeover, and realized the extent to which this war raged on.
When I Grow Up
This circulated my community a few years ago. It's interesting to watch it now because I have a much, much better idea of how the industry works than when I first saw it. I understand and appreciate it a lot more, now.
It's also funny because I used to desperately want to be in Account Services (1:53), but now I want to be a Media Director (:24) ... which, please note, is the only position without anything miserable attached to it. Thank goodness.
Fav part (1:07): "When I grow up, I want to be a Copywriter ... and lie awake at night writing the great American novel that will never get published."
A company at a German trade show attached tiny banner advertisements to flies and set them loose on unsuspecting visitors, in a bizarre yet effective marketing stunt.
"One marketing creative's stroke of genius is another person's animal cruelty."
The banners, measuring only centimeters across, seemed weigh the flies down. This forced them to rest more often, which is a stroke of genius on the part of the marketing creatives: the flies end up at about eye level, and whenever a fly is forced to land and recover, the banner is clearly visible. What's more, the zig-zagging of the fly naturally attracts the attention because of its rapid movement. (via Kottke)
All Digital, All the Time
Southern Comfort has announced that in order to reach its target market of 21-29 year olds, they will be spending all of their budget online.
The ads began airing on Hulu, which allows viewers to choose their method of advertising -- pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll. Spots are also running on Break.com, CBS.com, Comedy.com, Fox.com, FX.com, MyDamnChannel.com, NBC.com, Playboy.com, TheFader.com and Pitchfork.tv, as well as at Southern Comfort's Facebook fan page. (via AdWeek)
I have a feeling this campaign is directed mostly towards men... (I've never heard of MyDamnChannel, TheFader or Pitchfork...?) I'm also impressed Hulu has given the consumer the choice of how to take their advertisement.
Overall, this shift really excited me because as a Digital Media hopeful, media plans like this mean I will have a job for a very long time. Thank goodness!
UT Speed Networking
Professor Gene Kincaid of The University of Texas, along with his Digital Media Class, is coordinating an Advertising/PR networking event as a fun initiative to connect the Department's alumni and students.
All are welcome to come Thursday, November 12, 6-8p at the Pickle Research Campus - 3925 West Braker Lane in Austin, TX. For more information and to rsvp, please visit the Facebook Page.
Fruits of My Labor ... Sorda
While interning at Mindshare New York this past summer, I worked on several accounts including Lufthansa and Wisk. Even though I left in August, I still feel very much connected to my team when I see the plans we worked on come to fruition and hit the blogosphere.
I'd like to say I had a direct hand in these two campaigns:
Both of these are ingenious uses of social media and relevant brand integration, and have gathered a lot of press coverage in the blogosphere. Way to go Mindshare (and specifically, my team on floor 2).
One of digital media's biggest keypoints is the aggregation and distribution of content. Until recently, in order to get information online, users had to go to specific websites and browse around for new information.
Even though I've only been utilizing this feature for about 4 months, I am a huge advocate of RSS feeds. Basically, it saves you time, energy and patience by bringing web updates to you.
*At 3:20, the narrator says, "It's addictive, so be careful."
I'll say... My Google Reader subscribes to 68 different feeds... (and that's after narrowing it down).
Happy Birthday, DigiMed!
Today, October 27, is the 15th anniversary of the industry's first digital media / display campaign.
This ad for AT&T:
appeared on this site (Hotwired.com):
...And supposedly got a 78% Click Through Rate. That's incredible, considering nowadays we're lucky if we get a 1% Click Through Rate. We've come a long way since 1994... but in which direction? (viaAdAge)