ad:tech, which hosts three major national online marketing conferences, is launching a new conference series called IMPACT, a ten city, one day show kicking off February, 28 in Seattle then moving on to Phoenix, LA, Dallas, Atlanta, Denver, Boston, Toronto, Cincinnati and ending with Fort Lauderdale April, 6. The shows, as does the three big shows, will focus on all thing online marketing from planning to buying to analytics to search engine marketing to campaign optimization to ad formats to blogging to consumer generated media to behavioral marketing.
The day's events will consist of keynotes, separate tracks with sessions of differing topics, presentations from service providers/vendors, mini expo session where attendees can explore exhibitor offerings and an ad:tech Connect LIVE! Session, an interactive Q & A jam session. We'll be attending the Seattle and Boston events.
Taking advantage of this generation's mad text messaging, LocaModa has launched technology that takes all that social blather and slaps it up on a screen for all to see. Of course, LocaMode describes it more verbosely calling it the world's first in-location blogging platform for what it calls "The Web Outside" which enables in-location messaging, social networking and blogging along with entertainment applications for use in out of home networks cafes, bars, clubs and other public places. This technology, StreetMessenger, coupled with something called Wifiti (cute) which LocaModa lovingly refers to as "wireless graffiti," takes all this communal socialization and displays in on a large flat panel display at the location and also onto the web for others to vicariously experience whatever's going on at the location.
The NFL has announced it will place all Super Bowl ads airing this weekend on its video on demand NFL Network, on NFL.com and on Sprint phones. Budweiser will optimize its five minutes worth of ads for the iPod and make them downloadable from Budweiser.com. GoDaddy, of course, has been pushing its ads online for years. Pepsi will have BrownandBubbly.com. Burger King will have the Whopperettes. Who needs an actual television anymore?
Using the home shopping network approach to selling an AK-47, the Amnesty International Protect the Human cause has released a humorous but convincing video that claims the world's arms trade is out of control and calls for governments to sign the Arms Trade Agreement. The video was created by Mother London.
A tipster has brought to our attention an odd association between the McKinney Silver-created Pherotones campaign and the release of Stephen King's new novel, Cell. While the Pherotones promotion may have something to do with McKinney Silver telecommunications client Qwuest, Stephen King's new novel most certainly has to do with telecommunication - tones sent through cell phones that turn people into flesh-eating zombies. In fact, King's book is being juiced with a cell phone-related promotion of its own.
Hmm, you say? Perhaps it's just a coincidence. Perhaps McKinney doesn't keep up on all things Stephen King. Or, though an unrealistic but intriguing stretch, the Pherotones campaign is a promotion for King's new novel. Nah.
Mobile entertainment firm Moderati has released its year-end wrap-up of ringtones including an analysis of regional preferences. Without surprise, hip-hop dominated top spots on the list again this year, with 60 percent of the songs from hip-hop artists.
Video game themes (Super Mario Brothers) and evergreen movie themes (Halloween) ranked high as well, with five top finishes. Cracking the top 20, a bit out of left field, was "Scotty Doesn't Know" by Lustra, a song from the 2004 movie Eurotrip.
Benjamin Morgan, director of graffiti documentary Quality of Life, has entered a promotional and grass roots fund raising deal with Start Mobile, a company that provides downlaodable art from emerging and underground artists for use as cell phone wallpaper. The deal calls for StartMobile to offer and promote still images from Quality of Life.
Quality of Life Producer Brant Smith explains the choice of StartMobile as a promotional vehicle saying, "We can't afford billboards or TV spots. But if we can get our stills and promotional materials on thousands of cell phones across the country...we won't need to spend money on ads like Hollywood films do. Our audience doesn't care about print and TV ads. They're on-line and on their mobiles."
He's right. The mobile phone, now and when companies like Apple and Creative along with cell phone makers get beyond initially poor efforts at combining the mobile phone with the MP3 player, will become the single most important medium surpassing even television.
We're told Samsung Mobile has launched AnyFilms.net a site, created and implemented by Margeotes Fertitta Powell and The Barbarian Group, which features serial and interactive videos under the auspices of Ubiquitous Films and exec produced by Broken Flowers and Alexander producer Jon Kilik to highlight the cell phone as a rising video medium. The first serial film section of the site features two films. The first film Across the Hall has been directed by Alex Merkin, starring Entourage actor Adrian Grenier while another, "GiGi" was directed by Mark Dippe, the director of the feature film Spawn. Across the Hall was engaging enough to keep us watching until the end.
The second section of the site is really interesting and provides six icons that can be dragged into different sections of a grid which then reveals portions of previously shot footage, featuring ten characters and a mysterious suitcase, that make up a mystery. The mystery can be solved by sliding the six icons into enough different positions on the grid enough times producing enough different footage to offer clues. We spent a good amount of time with it but didn't want to go through all 11,000 permutations and combinations. Suffice to say, it kept us wanting more.
The site officially launches December, 24 but is live now. While the site purports to be all about dowloadable video, oddly, there seems to be no obvious means to download any of the content. No matter. We'd rather watch it comfortably at home rather than hunched over a cell phone fighting off angry commuters on the MTA. Oh wait. They're on strike.
The site is being seeded and promoted across weblogs by HyperHappen, an agency whose website, in a stamp of approval of the medium, is a weblog itself.
MobilePlay, a company that provides smart phones with free content in exchange for ads, of course, has added Pocket PC to its list of devices through which it can offer its content. Launched in early 2005, MobilePlay currently works with Palm, Blackberry and now Pocket PC phones and PDAs. In return for downloading the MobilePlay software and viewing accompanying ads, users get free content from Business Week, PC World, USA Today The Weather Channel, Gawker, The Sporting News and others. Microsoft and Volvo are charter advertisers on the service.
Wexley School for Girls, in partnership with design firm General Public created The Washington Mutual E-bus, a full size commercial bus, retrofitted as a self-contained, mobile technology center with computer workstations and Internet connectivity through satellite. The E-bus brings the bank to the people and offers access to credit reports and homeowner education
Wexley photographed a house, wrapped the bus on all sides and set a world-record for "Largest Door Mat" which measures 10 feet tall by 36 feet long. The E-bus started rolling two weeks ago, and will operate in Southern California where it will tour over the course of six months.