After a long day (Monday) in the exhibit hall, a short trip around the corner to 685 Market Street, brought weary conference attendees to the relaxed, outdoor atrium of Topica's offices. There, one could grab a beer or wine and nibble on scrumptious appetizers. A conversation with Topica Senior Director of Sales Walter Paliska centered on the more serious tone marketers are adopting following the irrational exhuberance of yester-years.
In a rare display of serious mathematics in advertising, Kowalick, Inc.' James Kowalick introduced the Taguchi method of ad testing. The Taguchi method was first invented in the 1950 by a brilliant Japanese electronics engineer who later used it to propel Japanese car manufacturers to the forefront of the automotive industry.
In it's simplest form, the Taguchi methods takes the grunt work and prolonged time out of testing using combinations and permutations of multiple variables in an ad campaign. For example, in an email campaign, the system can test thousands of variables such as subject line, text, price of offer, sender address and images. The method is automated through a software package that manages the pre-determined test variables and automatically determines the optimal combination of variables. The system has been proven to increase campaign success by hundreds to thousands of percent. This is certainly a bold claim but it has been proven many times and in this session, the success was demonstrated by a case study for a computer manufacturer who increase campaign response from 0.1 percent to 3.7 percent.
Currently, Kowalick is conducting an optimization case study for his own company which is using the Google AdWords program. Results are promised by summer.
While AD:TECH attendees stroll the exhibit hall and attend the sessions, there's another part of the Hotel that is teeming with activity and is likely where many of the deals are being made. The Hotel lobby. Just outside the lobby, Looksmart is smartly hosting a Starbucks coffee party where vistitors can get a $3.00 gift certificate for an afternoon boost. After the pick me up, attendees are swarming the lobby and adjacent hallways conversing about business, which parties they went to last night and which they plan to attend tonight.
One attendee commented that, from a strategic viewpoint, the lobby is one of the best places to actually find someone you are looking for by following the "stay in one place long enough and everyone will pass by" strategy.
Walking through the ornate lobby of The Palace Hotel, site of AD:TECH San Francisco and before the throngs of conference attendees descend Monday morning, there is an eerie calm. There are lonely placards on three different floors of the hotel's exhibit area ready to guide the onslaught of those eager to glean online marketing insight and bathe in the vibe generated by connecting to the forefront of this growing medium.
There is a meeting room full of conference planners buzzing about last minute organizational details. The press room is dark but ready for action for those who will spread word of this conference to the world. There are vast piles of registration materials ready to be handed out to eager attendees as they line up early in the morning. And the bar is filled with those already getting ahead start on one of the most important aspects of this event - networking.
The AARP has launched a viral ad that features two piggy banks talking about the social security plan and what we can all do to keep it solvent. It was created by Free Range Graphics, the folks who created the Meatrix spoof.
After having been sidetracked by this blogger's pictures, we finally realized the reason we were at this site was to look at these interesting Apple ads that have been spoofed to look like Iraq-related spoof ads. Now don't you spend too much time looking at her pictures.
In a brilliant promotion for a brilliant television show, HBO has erected a large billboard showing the unfortunate outcome of the poor billboard painter. This one is hanging on Beverly Boulevard.
An ad developed to promote the benefits of choice in European elections shows a newborn trying to decide which of its mother's nipples it will suck from. While a great concept it has proved too much for the increasingly politically correct British to take. British censors have banned the ad from appearing, as planned, in cinemas.
One gas station is "cutting through the clutter" in its advertising of gas prices. Rather than the usual posted prices for various grades of gas, this Mobil station in Georgia has listed its prices as "Arm," "Leg" and "1st Born." Gas station owner Dhiraj Dutta said, "We're the last link in the chain and we'?re losing money while gas companies and OPEC are getting rich. There's something wrong with this picture. It's a shame."
We've heard the rumors. We've seen the fake pictures. This is one rumor that will not die. According to an Adrants source, Playboy's Hugh Hefner was interviewed today by Long Island's WBLI midday jock Reno and revealed, though we've heard it before, Britney Spears to be his fantasy centerfold and that the magazine is in negotiations with Spears for a centerfold appearance.
Unfortunately, the WBLI web site makes no mention of this which does point to this being just another rumor.