This, the first of our regional blogs, is authored by the technology and financial journalist Dominic Basulto. Dominic is a New York native, has been a senior editor at Corante since day one and has written for a number of online and offline media companies. Send tips or story ideas to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About this weblog
Here we'll report daily on the latest tech and business developments in New York City. Impossible we concede: comprehensive coverage of the city's every story. What we hope you'll find: tips, tidbits and perspectives you won't find elsewhere. As well as unique insights, original interviews and more that should be of interest to New York's vibrant community of technologists and those who track, invest in and report on them.
Steve Rubel of Micro Persuasion has been linking to five-minute video clips available at AdAge.com from the recent Ad:Tech event which took place November 7-9 in New York. Here's a video clip, for example, featuring (among others) Steve Rubel, Nick Denton of Gawker Media, and Shawn Gold of Weblogs, Inc. Nick, as one might imagine, gets the final word. He describes the love-hate relationship between the editorial side and the advertising side of the blogging business, pointing out how Gawker posts a weekly "thank you" to advertisers that often includes some well-natured jibs and jabs: "...It's like we're all friends and enemies in this together..."
If this doesnt sound like a page ripped from Malcolm Gladwells Blink, Im not sure what would: Wednesday's print edition of the Wall Street Journal has a front-page story on Procter & Gambles efforts to win over the consumer at the FMOT (first moment of truth):
Despite spending billions on traditional advertising, the consumer products giant thinks this instant [the FMOT] is one of its most important marketing opportunities. It created a position 18 months ago, Director of First Moment of Truth, or Director of FMOT, to produce sharper, flashier in-store displays.
Within P&G, FMOT is referred to casually as EFF-mot. Moreover, the Director of FMOT commands a 15-person team to develop the type of store displays that can win over customers in the first three to seven seconds of the shopping experience. Its an all-out war to win the battle for shelf space and convince shoppers to buy ever more Tide, Crest and Pampers. Alas, the article goes on to explain the business of in-store marketing (which has grown to become an $18.6 billion a year industry) without referencing Malcolm Gladwell at all. Instead, the article goes on to explain the importance of Wal-Marts in-store TV network.
Anyway, Malcolm Gladwells book Blink was all about the importance of the first few seconds in making decisions and the value of rapid cognition. Most people claim that the book was nothing more than an apology for snap judgments and intuition. But the book went beyond that it showed that too much information may actually hamper the decision-making process. Snap judgments are only useful if they contain an analysis of the two or three most important facts needed to reach a decision. For example, if doctors are given two or three highly relevant details in an emergency room operating environment, they can make much more effective decisions than if they were flooded with lots of minutiae.
It sounds like P&Gs head of FMOT is actually following some of these ideas. According to the director of FMOT, in-store packaging should interrupt the shopping experience and answer very succinctly three basic questions: Who am I? What am I? Why am I right for you? This is Gladwellian thinking, eh? If the consumer has to think too much, he or she will move on to the next aisle or decide that maybe its not worth the effort to buy toothpaste today.
This may look like a scene from Gitmo, but it's actually a promotion for Fox's new TV show "Prison Break" in midtown Manhattan. Dead Programmer's Cafe explains:
"Right now Fox is promoting a new show, Prison Break. Recently they turned a little raised plaza in front of the Newscorp Building into a "Fox River State Penitentiary", complete with signs, a barbed wire fence, and a whole bunch of dudes in prison jumpsuits handing out nailfiles and fake tattoos with the show's logo. here were also free henna tattoos as well as free buzzcuts. I was very much surprised at how popular the buzzcuts were with the office crowd."
As seen on Ad Rants: the Bangkok subway wrapped in iPod advertisements. Could this ever become a reality for the New York MTA? Instead of History Channel and Snapple deals, maybe Mayor Bloomberg could speak to the folks at Apple?
We like the new Con Edison print ads, as seen in this week's Wall Street Journal. There's a picture of a young female technophile (sorta resembling Devon Aoki, one of the sultry vixens from Sin City) with an MP3 player and a laptop computer, accompanied by the tagline "We made room for the Next Big Thingamajig even before you did."
Apparently, Con Edison is tired of the banal slogon "On It" and is trying to show New Yorkers that the company is not only "on it," it's "with it," too. From the new Con Edison ad:
"Whatever the next thingamabob that's on everybody's ears or shelves, we've been expecting it. Over the next several years, Con Edison is investing billions to keep our system in sync with the growing energy demand, including installing 2,000 miles of new cable to keep New York running 24/7."
Cell phone chick: So if you upgrade to this new plan for $10 more a month, we'll give you a totally free phone. $0, free of charge. All you have to do is mail in a $50 rebate form.
Woman: Wait, I thought it was free.
Cell phone chick: It is, you just pay me $50, and then send in the rebate form and they'll mail you a $50 check.
Woman: Wait, but it's not free? My husband will kill me if I spend money on a new phone. What's 50 minus 50?...I went to Syracuse University, I'm a college educated person, and I'm still confused. Is it free?
The New York Times takes a closer look at the makeover of New York Magazine, which will kick off with the magazine's first advertising campaign in almost eight years. The new million-dollar campaign is noteworthy, if for no other reason than it will "change contents almost every day":
"The centerpiece of the campaign, which carries the theme "This is New York," will be posters at five subway stations in Manhattan that are to be replaced each weekday. (The poster pasters will get a break on weekends.) ... Many of the posters, scheduled to appear from Friday through Sept. 30, will be related to events of the day or week they are to run. For instance, as the Red Sox arrive in the Bronx on Sept. 9 to play the Yankees, the posters that day are to present the results of the teams' previous meetings this season - with space to write in the score of the game that night."
In addition to ramping up the subscriber lists, the ad campaign hopes to woo back magazine advertisers, many of whom have embraced the Internet. The changing daily nature of the New York Magazine ads, one supposes, is a way to mimic the ease of changing ads on the Internet. The ads will also highlight a rebranding of the magazine's Web site to newyorkmagazine.com, from newyorkmetro.com. That old URL for New York Magazine was kinda annoying, come to think of it.
Today's New York Post has the story of a recent MBA grad who's trolling for new jobs by wearing a full-length sandwich board and walking up and down 42nd Street. Hey, if this tactic works for midtown strip club promoters and "Going Out of Business" stores, maybe it'll work for an MBA. In an act of mercy, the Post provides readers a URL for contacting the well-intentioned (and apparently, well-qualified) MBA grad.
"It can only be described as the most jaw-dropping collapse of the so-called sacred wall between editorial and advertising in modern magazine history. And it happened this week -- of all places -- at arguably the country's most prestigious magazine, the New Yorker. In the wake of a puff piece by New York Times advertising columnist Stuart Elliott last week announcing Target had cut a deal with the New Yorker to become its sole advertiser for the magazine's Aug. 22 edition, copies of that issue began arriving in mailboxes and hitting newsstands this week. Now we can see exactly what the results of that deal are: A 90-page publication where it is almost impossible to discern any line of demarcation between Target's advertising and the New Yorker editorial product."
Since the Target ads are not on The New Yorker Web site, we turn to Fimoculous for the visuals: the site has a whole collection of full-color pictures from the issue. In addition, Fimoculous tallied up the damage from Target's "advertising chutzpah":
"The NY Times says Target paid around $1.1 million, for which I count 14 full-page spots and 8 one-third pagers. True to the discount retailers motto "Pay Less, Expect More," one observer found 200 Target logos in the first 19 pages of the mag."
On the surface, the new ad campaign from the Magazine Publishers of America is just a way to remind consumers about the relevancy of magazines. Dig deeper, though, and it's clear that magazine publishers are concerned that advertising is drying up as more advertisers move to the Internet. So the campaign has a secondary message as well: stop playing around with online advertising and advertise in magazines, gosh darn it!
There are a number of taglines in the ad campaign, each one emphasizing that magazines are still relevant in an era of high-tech, fast-paced growth (e.g. "In the future, we'll demand up to the nanosecond headlines... and we'll still find the time to slow down with magazines.") Then, to prove how 'with it' magazines are, the campaign has a series of sensational cover stories depicting events 100 years into the future -- "California Island," the "Beaches of Antarctica" and, of course, "Desperate Robots," the break-out TV hit of 2105.
Earlier in the week, we mentioned that Gap and iTunes were collaborating on a unique marketing campaign: try on a pair of Gap jeans, and win a free iTunes download. Well, it turns out that the campaign was not so unique after all: "The Gap's move comes as phone giants, car makers and even drug companies are leveraging the ability to offer free music in marketing campaigns designed to reach young consumers."
According to the New York Post, a host of other companies - including Differin skin cream, Toyota, Wal-Mart and Gillette - have attempted to win over potential customers with free music downloads. The best marketing campaigns, of course, are those that offer iPod shuffles and not just a free song or two...
Happened to see this while passing by a Gap store near Union Square: try on a pair of Gap blue jeans, get a free iTunes download. CNN has more details on this unique offer: "From August 8 to 31, each customer who tries on any pair of Gap's new jean fits -- three new fits for women and one for men -- will get a complimentary song from Apple's iTunes music store."
All those Mitchum Man ads plastered on the walls of the subway were surely intended as a way of fostering a bit of existential angst in New York's intellectual class... Am I a Mitchum Man or not? Maybe I really should have given up my seat to that sweet little grandmother on the long ride home?
However, as Gothamist points out, a better question might be: Do I really want to be a Mitchum Man, especially if it means that I have to disobey the MTA's subway rules in the process? As the New York Times also noted, many of the Mitchum Man ads ("If you've ever hurdled anything to get the subway...") are problematic since they encourage behavior that directly contradict many of the MTA's policies. Gothamist calls the ad campaign "unbearably lame." We won't go that far, if only because the Mitchum Man ads remind us of our Maxim-FHM days.
Time Magazine's new graffiti billboard in SoHo is already creating its fair share of controversy, says Gothamist. For example, Peter Vallone, a City Councilmember from Queens, is upset that Time seems to be endorsing urban street graffiti: "Time magazine should have spent its money rewarding legitimate artists, not some punk who's been defacing our city."
The billboard, created by Fernando Carlo (aka "Cope2") for $20,000, is actually a clever ad for Time magazine: "Post-Modernism? Neo-Expressionism? Just Vandalism? Time. Know why." Anyone who watched "The Apprentice" last season can appreciate the appeal of grafitti advertising for mainstream companies trying to appear hip. Anyone remember how Donald Trump rolled up in his limo at a Harlem grafitti billboard site (with hip-hop music blaring) to help a videogame company promote a new game?
Thanks to innovations like TiVO and the popularity of Internet-based voting, the end of traditional media advertising is nigh -- and that means companies are looking for novel ways to involve consumers as they think up new marketing campaigns around consumer products like toothpaste. The New York Times takes a look at companies like Crest, Staples and Crayola that are experimenting with consumer-driven marketing campaigns.
According to a brand consultant in New York, "This [trend] comes with the inherent declining power of traditional media advertising. All marketers today are seeking different ways to market their products."
In the Wall Street Journal, William M. Bulkeley looks at how marketers are taking advantage of new technology solutions to find the "valuable insights" and "useful nuggets" lurking within blogs and other forms of consumer-generated media. There's even an ROI value proposition for these blog tools: "Purveyors of the new methodology and their clients say blog-watching can be cheaper, faster and less biased than such staples of consumer research as focus groups and surveys." As one PR executive explains: "We look at the blogosphere as a focus group with 15 million people going on 24/7 that you can tap into without going behind a one-way mirror."
Some of the folks on Slashdot, though, aren't quite so impressed by these blog-oriented marketing strategies:
"Behold the future of the internet: 50% while be whiny, angsty teens complaining about the world in blogs with poor grammar. The other 50% will be companies data-mining those blogs for insights about what kind of products to market."
Michael Kanellos of CNET has tips for anyone trying to get their company's name mentioned in the local newspaper. It's all a question of getting the media to work for you. A couple of ideas stand out -- like trying to pitch a news story or product before 9 am. It's true -- if it's waiting on my desk in the morning, I'm much more likely to consider it within that 24-hour news cycle. If it limps in after lunch, well, it better be a headline that basically writes itself. Two other tips - "leak like crazy" and "don't make up words."
Game Daily Biz (via The Hollywood Reporter) reports on a new advertising technology ("the Big Picture") from New York-based Klipmart that provides marketers with additional ways to reach consumers with high-bandwidth Internet connections:
"When first encountered, the ad unit -- which automatically begins playing video as soon as the page loads -- looks normal. But when consumers accept the suggestion to roll their cursor over it, the video window expands dramatically and adds full audio."
Upscale athletic gear manufacturer Fila is looking to generate some online buzz for its Filativa brand, which targets younger, hipper consumers. Fila's online campaign, timed to coincide with the launch of a new retail store in New York in July, features blogs from Filativa designers. The company is also working with word-of-mouth marketing firm BzzAgent to get the word out about Filativa. Fila comments on the use of blogs as a powerful marketing tool:
"The blogs play a dual role: they're to introduce the designers to site visitors and foster a sense of affinity, and they're providing a means of customer feedback on products... It's a way for the designers to tell consumers a little bit about themselves, and hopefully, have the consumer feel connected to one or more of the designers. The next generation of product will be influenced by the feedback we receive in the blogs."
Thanks to a tip from Bucky Turco, Ad Rants points out the apparent incongruity of two vodka ads - one for Absolut, one for Stolichnaya - that appear on the same corner of East 14th Street:
"On both sides of the same [bus] stop were vodka ads, one for Absolut, one for Stoli. Not only were both vodka ads, but both we're for their new lines of Peach vodka. And another interesting twist was that both ads had polar-opposite creative: Absolut pushed for a tropical and bright feel, and Stoli for an arctic and monotone feel."
Yet another company exploiting the youth demographic with a pitch involving a FREE iPod Shuffle... This time it's Chase, with an offer for free checking with direct deposit (as seen in the print edition of the New York Times). If you're interested in getting your hands on that free iPod Shuffle, Slick Deals has a scanned image of a young, jeans-clad female "shaking her bank thing" with an iPod Shuffle.
The New York Times stoops to conquer: the paper is making a last desperate grab for advertising dollars with the launch next week of "Marketplace," a free weekly tabloid newspaper stuffed to the gills with classified advertising. The Times plans to hand out 150,000 copies of the free paper every Thursday afternoon, hoping that bored commuters will take pity on a once proud newspaper. Basically, it's the same strategy used by Metro and AM to snag young readers in the 18-to-34 demographic -- lots of photos, a minimum of content, and lots of classified ads for employment, automobiles and real estate. Oh, and did I mention that it's FREE?
The Web is starting to look a lot more like TV, according to The New York Times, and that's great news for marketers who once were afraid to venture online. There will soon be all-video Web sites, a greater concentration of traditional "offline" brands appearing online, and more cases of consumers staying glued to the monitor for 20 minutes, even 1 hour, at a time, as they watch video clips over high-speed broadband connections.
Sittin' in the mornin' sun
I'll be sittin' when the evenin' come
Watching the ships roll in
And then I watch 'em roll away again, yeah
I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Ooo, I'm just sittin' on the dock of the bay
In the New York Daily News (scroll to the end of the page), Neil Steinberg pleads with the advertising industry to get rid of the TV spots where wealthy, relaxed yuppies recline on the dock of the bay with a laptop computer:
"I don't want to sit on a dock. Sitting on docks is uncomfortable. There is nothing to lean against, the wood of the dock is hard. It might be okay to dangle your feet in the water for a moment, but that's it. So why does every single blessed advertisement I see, in print and on TV, for everybody from banks to insurance companies, always show a solitary guy or gal sitting on a dock, pecking at his laptop before a placid lake. As if this were our collective dream, to check our E-mail on a dock at Loon Lake."
"Everything about this Tiffany's billboard at Grand Central is perfect.
No URL. No slogan. No USP or benefits or call to action.
Just a story... worth 1,000 words.
Actually, there might even be a better Tiffany's billboard in the city. Take the 4-5 line to Bowling Green and walk over to the Goldman Sachs building in the heart of the financial district. On the same cobblestone street where Smorgas Chef and Financier Patisserie are, there's a huge Tiffany's sign that faces directly into the Goldman Sachs building. In fact, the sign seems to be created with only that one purpose in mind: to remind bankers to buy diamonds. Imagine that -- every day, thousands of wealthy bankers are slaving away, with only one thought on their mind: gotta...buy... a...Tiffany's....diamond.
"The Cows Are Coming May 12." But what does it all mean? asks Ad Freak. Even Gothamist admits that the NYC cow ads are a mystery:
"If, like Gothamist, you've seen those posters of squeezy toy cows around town, with the words "The Cows Are Coming May 12" and wondered, "Hey, why are the cows coming?" but then forgot about it because, well, you were running ten minutes late or are lazy and didn't want to Google it on your Treo or just wanted to have a Treo but don't and you forgot about Googling "The Cows are Coming May 12" when you got home."
Stuart Elliott of the New York Times previews the upcoming conference of the American Association of Advertising Agencies ("the four A's") in Bermuda, which will unite the "poo-bahs and panjandrums of advertising" as they debate the future of the industry. At least two big issues will be up for discussion by Madison Avenue execs, says Elliott:
"Agencies are still searching for more effective methods to reach increasingly elusive consumers. They are still seeking ways to more accurately measure the return on investment for advertising spending."
It looks like this is a zero-sum game, as traditional advertisers increasingly deal with the loss of advertising dollars to the online upstarts: "Almost half of marketers plan to decrease spending in traditional advertising channels like magazines, direct mail, and newspapers to fund an increase in online ad spending in 2005." In addition, marketers are likely to experiment with new forms of online media as they look for the perfect mix: "64% of respondents are interested in advertising on blogs, 57% through RSS and 52% on mobile devices, including phones and PDAs."
Ad Rants has a summary of the goings-on at the Blogging Goes Mainstream event in midtown yesterday. According to many of the participants, blogs offer an opportunity for marketers to join the conversation about their products and services:
"The largest theme at the seminar was that weblogs create conversations and, to take advantage of these conversations, marketers should join the conversation rather than try to manage it. In a world increasingly filled with consumer created content, created outside the control of big media companies, marketers must subdue their desire to launch the typical top-down, scream from the rooftops marketing campaign. Rather, marketers can leverage consumer created content to listen to what's being said about their brand and join the conversation, just as one would at a cocktail party, rather than attempt to control it."
"Welcome to CoFactors, the research + development crucible for Catalyst Group Design. Here, we expand and codify our observations and experience independent of client-driven situations. Our position as consultants gives us an exceptionally broad view of the Web and interface design issues + culture..."
As well, the blog offers the firm an opportunity to tweak its image. In addition to emphasizing innovation, the firm will also highlight its craftsman-like attention to each detail:
"Specifically, the new brand design reflects the firm's focus not only on innovative design and testing strategies, but also on a craftsman-style approach to each engagement. Every detail, no matter how small, deserves attention as a potential key to a better interface, and our designers and consultants, no matter how senior, are always deeply connected to these details."
"Describing the Internet as 'the most underutilized advertising medium that's out there,' Morgan Stanley managing director Mary Meeker said broadband adoption, mobile device usage and international growth are opening up a variety of opportunities for marketers, entrepreneurs and investors."
Once broadband Internet penetration rates in the U.S. reach 40-50%, watch out. That's when things really get interesting. According to Meeker, the Internet has "nowhere to go but up."
"Mr. Kastner's presentation, "Selling Air: A Real-time 'Mocumentary,'" will present a cohesive e-marketing strategy for fictitious client SkyAwry Inc. in its effort to sell its newly-patented innovation: air! Much like "The Apprentice," this lively session will start off with a bang when a SkyAwry marketing project manager is accused of incompetence, resulting in her firing in the company boardroom. Mr. Kastner will then engage the audience to help develop a fresh cutting edge approach- using the latest in digital technology- to bring the vaporous product to market."
Jaffe was a whirlwind of top-level strategic thinking ("horizontal integration" vs. "vertical integration"), buzzwords ("interconsumpatibility), humor, funky graphics, marketing speak, word games and a load of metaphors. What is the Internet? Is it a medium? A technology? An enabler? An integrator? Or maybe it's Grand Central Station... (think about that one for awhile)
You can check out more of Jaffe's ideas at his Jaffe Juice blog.
ClickZ has details about a new 21-page DoubleClick report that takes a look back at the last decade in online advertising. According to ClickZ, the report highlights two macro trends: "A seller's market is emerging in online advertising and consumer control over media is escalating." The report, which was released at the Digital Marketing Conference & Expo in New York, also includes a look at rich media, search, and the exploding world of blogs.
As seen on AdRants: ZDNet is auctioning off advertising time on podcasts hosted by David Berlind via eBay. The winning bidder will receive a 60 second sponsorship slot on five of the podcasts. It's all for a good cause since proceeds go to tsunami relief.
Alan Meckler weighs in on the advertising "slump" at the Wall Street Journal and New York Times:
"Both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are having a rough go with traditional ad space revenues. Both companies blame less tech and financial ad spending. There is truth in this assertion. But the problem is deeper. The Internet is grabbing more and more ad dollars."
Meckler than explains how a number of trends are creating the perfect storm for traditional newspapers. In response, look for forward-thinking publishers like Rupert Murdoch to shake things up and experiment with new ideas in response to the changing times:
"Newspapers will always be with us, but as more and more people use the Internet, newspapers are going to become smaller and smaller and will have to rely on Web traffic to work in tandem with the print editions in order to be economically viable."
Carat Interactive is planning to launch a new blog practice focused on blog advertising, blog creation and blog monitoring. The national media director at Carat Interactive explains why the firm is turning its attention to the blogosphere:
"We see it as the fastest growing area of the Internet. We're interested in it, our clients are interested in it. We see it as a great opportunity for two-way communication between our clients and their consumers."
From ClickZ: AOL has signed a deal with DoubleClick to use the company's ad management platform (DFP) across all of AOL's online properties, including AOL.com, AOL Instant Messenger, Compuserve, Netscape, Mapquest, Moviefone, Time Inc. Interactive, CNN, CNNMoney, and icq. It's a big win for DoubleClick, says ClickZ, since these AOL properties have a total audience reach of more than 104 million users.
The New York Times considers how something as simple and unassuming as a Google text ad can lead to "sublime justice" for white-collar criminals. One example is disgraced Enron chairman Ken Lay, who is paying Google about $25 a day to be able to serve up text ads telling his side of the Enron scandal. The only problem for Mr. Lay, though, is that disgruntled Enron employees and shareholders now have a way literally to "nickle-and-dime" him to death by clicking repeatedly on these Google ads:
"For some former Enron workers, who had nothing to do with the shenanigans at the top but who saw their nest egg of company stock destroyed, the invitation to make Mr. Lay pay, even a little, was too good to pass up. A former executive of the company acknowledges that when he first heard about the AdWords arrangement, "I just clicked three or four times, you know; Ka-ching! Ka-ching! Ka-ching!"
Buried in the middle of a story about a CIA recruiting session at NYU that was broken up by anti-war protestors: "The event which was scheduled to include speakers from the CIA, a dinner, and a raffle for prizes such as an iPod Shuffle was organized by students in an NYU marketing class whose classwork for the semester is to market the CIA to their peers at NYU."
One takeaway lesson, of course, is that the CIA is having such a hard time marketing itself to students that it has turned over the future of its marketing campaign to a bunch of B-school marketing types. (Each project team at NYU had a $2,500 budget) The other lesson, sadly, is that people will do just about anything for an iPod...
If you're a PR flack looking for a surefire way to attract the attention of a journalist, why not try for the completely gratuitous iPod press release. At this week's New York Auto Show at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, Mercedes-Benz must have felt a bit underappreciated -- it looks like they whipped up an iPod-related press release with just 48 hours remaining in the auto show:
"Mercedes-Benz USA is testing their first iPod-compatible Audio Books at the New York Auto Show... Designed to brief potential Mercedes buyers about new car features, Audio Books provide in-depth digital "walk-around" narrations through the familiar, easy-to-use iPod unit. Interested consumers at the show can download Mercedes-Benz Audio Books to their own iPod for $2.95 each, or they can experience the walk-around narrations without charge on loaner iPods."
EBay has canned its longtime advertising agency, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners of San Francisco, replacing them with New York-based BBDO. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, BBDO will now be responsible for integrating eBay's Internet marketing, direct marketing, and print and television advertising efforts. Other BBDO clients include Campbell's, GE, Gillette, Pepsi, Visa, Masterfoods and Frito Lay.
We hope this isn't an April Fool's Day prank... (it's from a blog called Poo-Poo Platter and it's April 1, so be forewarned). Levi's is looking for some rugged, handsome programmers and/or 3D animators who look good in a pair of jeans for a photo shoot in NYC on April 14:
INSTRUCTIONS FOR SUBMISSION:
Please submit the following materials and mail them overnight to:
Barbara Bersell Casting
2698 Greenfield Ave
LA, CA 90064
OR EMAIL: email@example.com
1. Please have all applicant dress themselves in jeans and a t-shirt and take 4 photos. 2 face shots and 2 full length shots. It is best to take the full lengths against a blank wall. NO HATS OR SUNGLASSES, NO OTHER PEOPLE OR ANIMALS IN PHOTOS. PLEASE WEAR A SHIRT.
2. Please write a short bio about about your experience as a programmer or 3D animator. Print out two copies.
Any further questions contact: 310-470-1670
***WE ARE LOOKING FOR MALES ONLY. DEADLINE TO SUBMIT IS FRIDAY APRIL 1ST***
Just a day after we linked to Tom Watson's post about AdSense NonSense, the Wall Street Journal publishes an article ("Automated Ads Serve Up Nonsense") pointing out the glitches in Google's contextual advertising service. "Behold the bloopers of hyper-automation" -- like links to "Dead Bodies, New and Used" and "Great Deals on Sewage." The bottom line, says the WSJ, is that "such ads highlight how search-engine advertising is still immature, and not always the super-targeted media it is touted to be."
Tom Watson shares some of his experiences with Google's AdSense program and walks away unimpressed. So-called contextual advertising rarely delivers as planned -- especially when it comes to making sense of politically-charged blog postings:
"AdSense delivers little value, certainly doesn't pay the bills (as per my buddy Pamela Parker), and is fast becoming a humor meme in the blogosphere for its insane matching algorithms. Say it again folks: good advertising takes the mind of a human."
Based on an executive survey, research firm Jupiter Research reports that most marketers are still wary of making the transition from search engine marketing to RSS-based marketing. The bottom line: "Most marketers remain skeptical of using RSS as a mechanism to supplement their e-mail marketing newsletter content." According to Jupiter, 45% of marketers have no plans to deploy RSS to supplement e-mail, with only 5% of marketers having current RSS-related marketing plans. That being said, Jupiter notes that "RSS is ideal for media firms and publishers that use e-mail as a broadcast tool."
As seen on the Gawker web site... a flashing banner ad for The Captain's Blog: Drink Captain Morgan's Puerto Rican rum and "blog with the captain." This is genius - check out the "blog party starter kit."
Adam Penenberg, an assistant professor of journalism at NYU, weighs in on the problem of click fraud, in which pay-per-click advertisers end up footing the bill for thousands of dollars in clicks from illegitimate sources (i.e. bots or competitors) who have absolutely no intention of buying anything. At the Search Engine Strategies Conference in New York, Penenberg served on the "Click Fraud: Problem or Paranoia" panel, where he had a first-hand chance to hear stories from the trenches about click fraud. According to Penenberg, some small business owners can report losses anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000, with one victim even abused for as much as $300,000.
Jeff Jarvis of BuzzMachine calls for open source ad tags as a way to "enable advertising across citizens' media, to support our new medium, and to serve marketers more efficiently than we possibly can today." The idea builds on some notions of Sell Side Advertising discussed by, among others, John Battelle of Searchblog and Dave Morgan of ClickZ.
PR blogger Steve Rubel of Micro Persuasion is offering a unique opportunity for large New York-area companies to learn more about blogging: "If you work in corporate communications or marketing for a New York Metro Fortune 1000 company and you're curious about blogs, podcasting, RSS and/or citizen marketing, I'd be happy to come in for an informal chat with your team gratis..."
SiliconValleyWatcher breaks some news about Yahoo that could be good news for small publishers everywhere: "Yahoo, through its advertising network Overture, is testing "YPN" a competitor to Google Adsense -- the hugely profitable advertising network."
According to Paid Content, YPN stands for "Yahoo! Publisher Network". A link found on the Yahoo site explains: "To support the publishing community, Yahoo! will be introducing new products and services-including publishing tools, advertising products and access to our Yahoo! audience. Our products will leverage the Yahoo! network to provide the most value for small publishers..."
After six months of testing, New York-based search advertising firm Kanoodle is rolling out a new product offering to help small online publishers (e.g. bloggers) make some money. Kanoodles new product offering, BrightAds RSS, searches RSS feeds for key words and then uses its proprietary keyword advertising system to match relevant ads to the content. In order to make the product widely available to smaller publishers, Kanoodle will partner with Moreover Technologies to deliver RSS feeds (and sponsored links) to a Web sites readers.
The CEO of Moreover, Jim Pitkow, encouraged by early test results, is calling the new RSS-based advertising system the democratization of content" since "small publishers now have a choice as to if and how they make money from their content.
New York-based Poindexter Systems, which helps advertisers improve the profitability of their online marketing investments by analyzing consumer behavior, announced that Dr. Andreas Weigend would become the company's new chief scientist. Weigend, a former business school professor at NYU, was also the chief scientist at Amazon.com, where he "ran hundreds of simultaneous experiments to gather and analyze information to predict user behavior." By analyzing this behavior, Amazon was able to develop predictive models for recommendations and cross-selling.
If you're a New York blogger looking to get paid for your thoughts, you might want to check out BlogAds, which is developing a NYC-centric BlogAds network: "Reach 300,000 New York blog readers each week by advertising on the NYC Blogads network. Order them all, or pick and choose. Readers come for the New Yorkers' take on restaurants, nightlife, college life, religion, politics, sports, travel, local news and celebrity gossip." And, of course, tech news. (Hat tip: NewYorkology)
"Public relations specialists are scrambling to adjust to a time in which the Internet revolution and a boom in alternative media sources are rewriting the parameters of the communications industry and challenging traditional sources of authority. So, despite an avalanche of freely available information, the truth is becoming harder to discern..."
Apparently, Gawker was tipped off by an unnamed source that Levi's is doing a casting call for New York bloggers who look good in a pair of jeans:
"Hello, I am doing a casting for Levis, the 2005 Brand campaign be shot in NY March 4, 5th and 6th and need bloggers to appear as themselves to model. It is part of a branding campaign called A Style for Every Story. See ad attached. If we use you, you will get $10,000 and your name will appear next to it. I need your photo if you are interested . My email is [redacted] or I can be reached at [redacted]. I look forward to your response. Thank you."
Kinda a variation on the IBM ThinkPad commercials: Where do you do your best thinking? where they profile hip entrepreneur-types. Gawker calls the rumored Levi's blogger branding campaign "jumping the shark" -- but we like the idea. Hey, if IBM was able to make people like planetary scientist Jill Tarter (director of the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence Institute) and Jesse Sheidlower, principal North America editor for the Oxford English Dictionary, look cool using their ThinkPads, I don't think Levi's will have too much trouble with some hepcat bloggers.
Mega-publisher Conde Nast is making "its largest effort ever to promote the power of print as a medium," according to the New York Times. Concerned that advertisers are forgetting about print magazines at a time of renewed hoopla about Internet advertising, Conde Nast Media Group is launching a $3.5 million advertising campaign to "promote the ability of magazines to forge strong emotional bonds with readers, and by extension, of magazine ads to form similarly potent connections with consumers." At a time when more and more consumers can be found online, the move is a curious, even reactionary, one. Look for lots of ads showing readers "hugging, cuddling and snuggling with their Conde Nast favorites."
Well, looks like those two-headed dog advertisements popping up all over town were for MTV2... The New York Post explains that the two-headed dog is "the new logo for MTV2 and the creature behind MTV's viral-marketing campaign to create all-important buzz for MTV2's new look and programming." Look for more buzz about MTV2 during the Super Bowl, when "all secrets will be revealed."
Business 2.0 thinks the double-headed dog advertisements popping up around the city are part of a fake viral marketing campaign: "Big expensive billboards going up with this logo on it and on an expensive Website, which can only mean a company with big money behind it is trying to act like a little one with a hip viral campaign. Yawn. That works so well. Remember Microsoft and its butterflies painted all over NYC sidewalks? Consumers are so dumb, those marketing guys must think." Who knows? Could be the re-launch of MTV2.
It's a sad day indeed when the MTA is so desperate for cash that it needs to sell naming rights to the subway: "In a bid to slam the brakes on future fare and toll hikes, the MTA has hired two marketing firms to help the cash-strapped agency generate revenue by selling naming rights to subway stations and other property." Check out Gothamist for pictures of the "Subway" subway.
In the New York Times, Randall Stross points out the "transcendent greatness" of the Apple iPod commercials: "Their shimmying and shaking have firmly established the iPod as the icon of the dawning digital lifestyle and sped 10 million units out the door. Without saying a word, the commercials present viewers with a choice: orgiastic boogaloo-ing with the in crowd, or standing forlornly out of the picture..." The phenomenal success of the iPod means that Apple "has an absolute monopoly on the asset that is the most difficult for competitors to copy: cool."
Steve Rubel of Micro Persuasion is launching a new Manhattan Project: "Next Wednesday, January 19, I am going to hit the streets of Manhattan for an hour or so to ask as many consumers as time allows three basic questions: 1) do you know what a blog is, 2) if yes, do you read blogs, and 3) which blogs, if any do you, read." The goal of the project, says Rubel, is to address the "gap between the media hype about blogs and the actual awareness of what they are." Most Internet users take blogs for granted, but there's a big slice of the population that still doesn't get it, according to Rubel: "When I talk about blogs to people who aren't heavy online users, they look at me with a blank stare like I have nine heads."
Using Verizon as a case in point, marketing guru Seth Godin declares that the position of CMO is nothing but a myth: "The myth of the CMO is the C part. They don't get to be the chief of the stuff that is really what marketing is all about today. CAO, maybe (Chief Advertising Officer) but not CMO... the CEO is the CMO."
And what would Seth Godin do if he were captain of the USS Verizon? "If I were the CMO of Verizon, I'd fix the call centers. I'd fire people with a lousy attitude who aren't afraid to share it with a customer. I'd reward the great ones (like the installer who came to my new office last week) and figure out how to get every one of their thousands of people to understand that THEY are the marketing department. And I'd shut down the outbound phone spam center immediately."
Gaping Void has some interesting observations on how the world of advertising is changing: "The future of advertising is clients increasingly asking their agencies to help re-invent not just their brands, but their actual companies. The future is agencies being increasingly unable to deliver on this. Out of this wreckage a new industry will emerge..."
Interestingly, the same dynamic appears to be at work in the PR industry, says David Parmet: "There's a similar model in the PR world. We're the gatekeepers between the media and the body corporate. But with blogging it's becoming increasingly impossible to tell where one starts and the other ends... Clients want the results - the media hits from us, the ads from you - not talk. Suits are incapable of giving them results."
According to Crain's New York, BBDO New York has won the advertising account for E*Trade Financial. In 2005, E*Trade may spend as much as $60 million across all media as it overhauls its current Join the E*volution campaign.