Charlie Demerjian writing in The Inquirer (no, not that one) advocates a tactic that could help increase online ad banner viewership. Not that his method would guarantee increased response nor be welcomed by site visitors, Demerjian says playing with page load timing, forcing banners to load first followed by the rest of the page, would leave visitors with nothing to view, for a period of time, but ads until the rest of the page was programmed to load. It's mischievous, it's wrong and while we're sure someone's doing it already, it would require that ad serving companies deliver banners quickly, as some, unfortunately, do not, thereby hanging the entire page until the called ad is finally delivered.
Already we can't cram existing content through the overworked pipes. We don't need anything else effectively slowing things down further. Our current bandwidth troubles are akin to today's fast food-bellied teenaged girls, stuffed unbecomingly into low riders and tight, cropped belly barring tops, their fat bulging outward like a PointRoll FatBoy ad seeking delivery. Not pretty.
Calling radio "the most effective, least obtrusive and least harmful medium available," industry publication FMBQ thinks a ban on iPods in the workplace will save radio. We'll forgive them for not realizing "effective," "obtrusive" and "harmful" are entirely relative terms to the advertising strategy, and resulting choice of media, at hand. We'll also help say what they really meant which was "a ban on iPods will force people to listen to radio, thereby saving our industry."
So maybe using iPods to steal company secrets as they were last summer at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the topic picked to make the article's point, is not such a good thing. Calling this event a dramatic example of what is possible on a smaller scale, FMBQ states an outright ban on the device would be "much simpler and far less costly" than the creation of policies or technical solutions limiting iPod-like device usage in the workplace.
With iPod-like devices and cell phones likely to dramatically infringe on "mainstream" media, it's not surprising FMBQ would support a ban to save radio. We're sure broadcast TV would love cable to go away but that' not going to happen and a ban on iPods certainly won't be met with gleeful acceptance. We love radio but the cure isn't banning competition; it's ridding the medium of Clear Channel-like homogenization.
Because it can afford to, product placements on HBO are not paid and are their appearance are left entirely up to the show's writers.
"People are skeptical and just think there's got to be dollars for some of those placements," said Mitch Litvak, president of the entertainment marketing firm the L.A. Office. "I think there have been some really great placements on HBO programming, which makes people think they're too good to be true, but at the same time the placements are all very true to the programming and bring more realism to the show."
HBO spokesman Jeff Cusson explains the network's position. "We're commercial-free. Paid product placement is an equivalent business transaction to a commercial. If someone is paying for our service, they are paying for a commercial-free service, so they shouldn't be getting pitched product."
While many of HBO's product placement may have seem staged such as Nissan Exterra's appearance on The Sporanos or TiVo's appearance on Sex And The City, they are purely organic. HBO Executive Producer Ilene Landress says the placement simply mirror real life saying, "Where all this comes from is real life. This is the way people speak. I know nobody wants to believe it's as pure and simple as it is, but it really is that pure and simple."
If only broadcast networks, who go out of their way to hide natural brand placement to protect their business model, were so lucky.