Nate Silver Trashes New York Times Sales Force

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For a man who has the ability to predict presidential elections, Nate Silver's recent comment about the sales staff at The New York Times was shortsighted and displayed a surprising lack of understanding of the tectonic shifts that are occurring in publishing and advertising. It's as if he hasn't realized that the disintermediation of the ad sales process through trading desks, RTB and other forms of ad tech has had a decimating effect on CPMs and, hence, the ability of a publisher and its sales force to generate healthy revenue.

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by Steve Hall    Aug- 9-13    
Topic: Online, Opinion, Publishing



Samsung Does Survivor With 'SOS Island'

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It's not the first time Survivor has been copied nor will it be the last. After all, who doesn't love watching a collection of hot and not, smart and dumb, strong and weak compete with one another for our own vicarious pleasure?

TV star and "survival expert" Les Stroud will train 16 contestants to compete in SOS Island: Survival of the Smartest, an online video series sponsored by Samsung. It will be shot and live-streamed from the remote SOS Island in the Caribbean. Viewers will vote for a winner with the last remaining contestant winning the grand prize: their own island.

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by Steve Hall    Aug- 6-13    
Topic: Online, Social



Google Ads Favicons to AdSense Ad Units

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- Google has added favicons to its AdSense ad units.

- Awesome advice for those looking to become a social media guru:)

- Here's more data that support Apple's latest ad campaign is a failure.

- Seems a couple of ad ladies are miffed over the fact Nike doesn't sell shoes in women's sizes and aren't designed appropriately for women. Need more pink, we guess.

- AOL plans to launch an ad-tech upfront with a focus on programmatic. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong says,"It's essentially a machine upfront. We believe you will have an upfront commitment cycle that will rival TV."

- Not everyone is a fan of the Dove Real Beauty campaign. Predictably, it's a fashion form founder who has become a vocal critic of the campaign.

by Steve Hall    Jul-24-13    
Topic: Online, Research, Social



Google Introduces Extension Enabling Brands to Add Images to Search Ads

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Google, today, announce the beta launch of an extension that will allow businesses to add images alongside AdWords search ads. Up until now, Google's search ads have been text only.

Noting that one in sex searches on Google provide results with images, the search giant concludes people want a richer experience and images will do just that. However, the beauty of Google has always been its bare bones simplicity.

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by Steve Hall    Jun- 5-13    
Topic: Online



How to Ensure Your Sponsored Content Adheres to Google's Guidelines

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If you're a marketer placing sponsored content (also known as native advertising) with a publisher -- or a publisher accepting sponsored content -- there are a few things you should know about how Google News, and Google in general, views this particular form of content.

In a recent blog post, Google Senior Director of News and Social Products Richard Gingras wrote:

"Credibility and trust are longstanding journalistic values, and ones which we all regard as crucial attributes of a great news site. It's difficult to be trusted when one is being paid by the subject of an article, or selling or monetizing links within an article. Google News is not a marketing service, and we consider articles that employ these types of promotional tactics to be in violation of our quality guidelines ... if we learn of promotional content mixed with news content, we may exclude your entire publication from Google News."

Hmm...

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by Steve Hall    Jun- 1-13    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Online, Policy, Social



JWT Amsterdam's Creative Use of Retargeting Rejuvenates Ad Banner

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Here's one of the most interesting uses of retargeting technology we've seen in a while. For those who don't know, in a nutshell, retargeting allows marketers to, in essence, "tag" you when you visit a particular site (on which they have placed an ad banner) and then show you another banner (retarget you) on another. Most marketers simply show you the same banner over and over again.

JWT Amsterdam approached retargeting a bit more intelligently and used the technology to tell a story.

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by Steve Hall    May-23-13    
Topic: Online



54 Examples of Brilliant Homepage Design

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You never get a second chance to make a first impression. That's why your homepage is undoubtedly one of the most important pages on your website.

For any given company, the homepage is its virtual front door -- and face to the world. If a new visitor doesn't like what they see, their knee-jerk reaction is to hit the "back" button. Despite mom's best advice, unfortunately, a lot of people still judge a book by its cover.

Don't let that happen. Flip through these 54 examples of brilliant homepage design to inspire your own homepage design strategy.

by Steve Hall    May-13-13    
Topic: Online



Native Advertising is Broken: Six Steps to Fix It

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Writing for HubSpot, I've explored what's wrong with current iterations of native advertising and what we can do to fix it. Native advertising, of course, all the rage these days. Companies like BuzzFeed and ShareThrough have based their business models on the notion that in-stream, organic-like content will save the day and finally allow everyone to retire those tired and underperforming banner ads to a nice tropical island far, far away.

In its current form, however, native advertising is destined to fail just like the banner ad failed. Why? Because most native advertising placements -- just like most banner ad placements -- are not structured with inbound marketing strategies that treat native advertising content creation as a starting point. Rather, the content is treated as the end point. In essence, most native advertising today is basically a branding play.

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by Steve Hall    Mar-29-13    
Topic: Online, Opinion



Saatchi Aims to Curb Cyber-Bullying With Browser Plug-In

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BBR Saatchi&Saatchi met with 15 teenagers from the StartupSeeds organization -- a program for nurturing technology -- oriented youth, in order to try and find a solution to a national (Israel) and worldwide problem -- cyber-bullying. Boycotts, harassments and offensive messages have caused many children emotional damage which in many cases has pushed them to end their lives tragically.

Out of dozens of ideas, the agency chose to focus on the cyber bully just before they write an offensive message on platforms like Facebook, blogs and forum. The agency created a Chrome browser plug-in that detects offensive words, and replaces them with positive ones.

Hmm. Getting an actual bully to install an actual plug-in that actually stops a bully from bullying is, well, a bit of wishful thinking. Just saying.

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by Steve Hall    Feb-18-13    
Topic: Online



Why 'Programmatic Premium' Media Buying Doesn't Work Today

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There's been a lot of discussion lately about "programmatic premium"- using machines to fully automate the purchase of premium advertising inventory. It seems like every conference lately has someone from Kellogg's on a panel saying programmatic premium is GR-R-REAT with very impressive statistics to support their claims.

The Ad Exchanges, DSPs, DMPs, SSPs, and various other TLAs (three letter acronyms) you see on Terry Kawaja's Display Lumascape have certainly been successful at automating the buying and selling of remnant inventory. But remnant inventory represents only a small slice of advertising spending. According to Mike Leo, CEO of Operative, only 18% of digital media advertising budget is spent through exchanges.

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by Steve Hall    Jan-29-13    
Topic: Online, Opinion, Tools








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