Making life easier for publishers struggling to keep up with the explosion of ad networks - now numbering over 300 - and the determination of which network will yield the best results, is the Rubicon Project. Launched eight months ago by Frank Addante, the company, today, announced series B finding of $15 million bringing its total to $21 million.
We've seen a demo of Rubicon and its really fascinating. For a publisher trying to best monetize inventory, Rubicon, in a nutshell, does exactly that. A publisher joins with Rubicon, enters relevant information of their site and, poof, relevant ads are selected from the 300 or so ad networks in the system.
If the internet has taught college kids anything, it's that panhandling is a totally stigma-free sport.
With that in mind, Campus Food -- a network of college restaurants that let students order online -- has launched a Facebook app called Food Friendzy. The pitch: "Free food for poor college kids nationwide!" The premise: win free food by playing online games and sharing the app with friends.
Ugh. Whatever happened to the glory days of quiet submissiveness to four years of Ramen? There's nothing wrong with Ramen.
Mandy sent us another video of the dancing yellow robot from those Carnegie Mellon promotions we saw. It's strange in a meet-the-new-cult-on-the-block kind of way, but the story ends in fame, glory and success.
If robots could aspire, we'd call it a robot rags-to-riches parable.
The robot's name is Keepon. You know, like Keepon Auditioning (for Carnegie Mellon)? Yeah.
We love ourselves some SXSW. Expect us there, cameras at the ready, this year.
But this morning when we checked our email we caught a subject line that read, "The TACK: Ted Wants You at SXSW."
The TACK is PayPer-- er, IZEA's online newsletter. Ted is the company's CEO. He gets off on undisclosed paid posts and is always fighting with people about the viability of his business model.
Then we opened the email and saw this. Love pygmies!
And for, like, eight minutes, we were turned-off by the idea of going anywhere, much less SXSW at Ted's behest.
For HBO's new series In Treatment, Deep Focus along with illustrator Bryan Christie have crafted a website, He's Listening, that, like the series, lets you get inside the minds of the five patients features in the show. Visitors can click into the brain of Gabriel Byrne's Paul, the therapist to the patents in the show and see how the five characters relate to each other.
Instead of putting together a slick campaign about the Philippines' wonder and majesty, the Philippine Department of Tourism has done something that we think is risky but probably worthwhile.
It invited HappySlip, a Filipino-American who built a YouTube following with her impersonations of family members, to visit the country on its tab.
Here's HappySlip's arrival video. It includes a link for Experience Philippines; we're guessing that'll appear on all the videos documenting her trip.
In Super Bowl spirit, but really just to promote its spicy crunchy Hot Wings, KFC is donating $260,000 to charity on behalf of the first football player or celebrity to do an end zone Chicken Dance.
That seemingly arbitrary figure, says KFC, is the cost of three seconds of ad time in the Super Bowl. The company gleefully calls this "bucking traditional advertising."
Upload your own chicken dance at Show Us Your Hot Wings. The website includes a promotional pep-talk and dance from the Colonel.
Watching that old man switch on a boombox and clap his hands for charity chicken is unspeakably depressing. Sort of like this was.
Under Armour's advertising in the Super Bowl this year. And it doesn't want to do funny.
The ad teasers take place in Under Armour City. Get a load of the grit-is-gorgeous feel. (The creators bear crosses from previous successes, which include The Matrix and 300.)
The CGI-abusing spots are for The New Prototype (a shoe, though we briefly swore it was a new modem), coming out May 3rd. The first spot will air a week or so before the Super Bowl. We're not clear if that's the same one Under Armour will use during the Super Bowl.
We hope it's got a new one to blow on that overpriced slot, considering the ad of choice marks Under Armour's virgin foray into the football/ad bonanza.
If you play games like WoW or Everquest, then you know there are items you can buy to increase your strength and just generally help you kick ass across the board. Some acquire them fairly, others don't, and still others pay ex-sweatshop workers to play in their place all night long.
In other words, there's a huge market for people willing to part with cash for a little bit of gaming immortality. (Why this is, we're sure we have no fucking idea.)
Alongside our posting about this WoW beer video, our ePage buddy Brad saw this saucy (and grammatically crappy) banner for World of Warcraft gold and power leveling, brought to you by "The fun place for your power."
The girl is cute all right, but it's more than a little jarring to see the ad pop up while we're busy trawling shirtless co-eds in the dark of night.
Get her reflections on sex at Disaboom.
Wethinks the Disaboom campaign is an aggressive effort to de-stigmatize the disabled crowd amongst self-obsessed and totally shallow marketing execs-- er, college students.