AOL' s new free video service, In2TV will launch Wednesday with premiere advertisers Intel, Kia, Kraft and Hershey. In2TV will host thousands of old Warner Brothers shows hoping to become the first stop on the web for video content. We wish them luck. We have no idea who would want to watch all those old shows and, maddeningly, they had to go and use some video technology that requires Active X rather than a more graceful solution like YouTube or Quicktime. There's also this thing called Hi-Q which, of course, doesn't work with Firefox.
So basically, the service is perfect for all those middle America, late adopter, IE-Suffering couch potatoes who somehow find pleasure in watching reruns of Wonder Woman, Head of the Class and Welcome Back Kotter.
The Web Marketing Association, sponsor of the annual international WebAward competition, today announced the findings of a decade-long study of Web development trends across more than 80 industries. The resulting Internet Standards Assessment Report provides industry benchmarks for Web site development and is based on data collected from nearly 10,000 Web site evaluations.
The report reveals that gaming Web sites dominate the top scores in every category, followed by music, which placed second overall, and automobile and sports Web sites, which tied for third place. The industries with the lowest average Web site scores included radio, public relations and search engines.
Indianapolis radio station WFBQ has launched its own version of the NCAA tournament. Sponsored by Hardee's, Finlandia Vodka, Southern Comfort and Jack Daniels, WFBQ's version of the tournament throws basketball teams out and replaces them with hot models. Now, rather than tracking your team, you can track hotties.
Each division gets it's own set of models to select from. For someone who really doesn't give a crap about college basketball, this contest is way more fun.
If something can attract 60 million to it, there must be something goo about it. We;re thinking that's the thinking behind the USA Network's launch of ShowUsYourCharacter, a site that features character from USA shows but also mimics the social community aspects of MySpace and other similar operations. On ShowUsYourCharacter, visitors can dig deep into the profiles of their favorite characters and then set up a profile of their own to highlight their uniqueness.
While the site is about creating a community, the network is also hoping to collect and identify profiles of unique individuals who, upon submitting a video and statement, will be selected as winners with the Grand Prize winner appearing in an on-air USA campaign. With Tagworld, Facebook, MySpace, Orkut, LinkedIn, Friendster and others, there seems to be no end to people's willingness to place themselves in front of the world for all to see. No doubt, USA will see return on this effort.
Lincoln Mercury, which previously launched a serial Internet-based movie called Meet The Lucky Ones, is launching two new webisodes featuring the Mercury Milan mid-size sedan and the new Zephyr, Lincoln's first entry-luxury sedan. The first installments of the five-week Web series debut today at LovelyBySurprise.com and TheNeverything.com, bringing together stars from Oscar-winning movies and hit television series, including "Grey's Anatomy," "A Beautiful Mind," "Amistad" and "Walk the Line." Written and directed by Kirt Gunn, they tell the story of an author whose fiction overtakes her real life. The two sides of the story are presented on two separate Web sites - one by Lincoln, the other by Mercury.
Our brief review of the work interests us. This isn't your standard web video stuff. This is stuff you'd expect to see on TV or in the movie theater. If this is truly where advertising is going, we're all for it.
What may once have been a one off is now a bonafide ad unit. Late last year, the New York Post emblazoned its Page Size with a Sex and the City watermark. Today, E! News is all over Page Six. We liked the ad unit back then and we still like it. Bucky Turco spotted this one for us.
Completely misunderstanding current culture, NBC, after forcing YouTube to remove several Saturday Night Live clips, has re-released on NBC.com the very same clips it said should not have been freely distributed. Explaining the twisted brilliance of the move, NBC VP of Interactive Stephen Andrade said, "We were concerned about building their corporation instead of ours since it's our video. We would like to make it as easy for people to share as we can, so we're trying to provide as many tools as we can to do that." Gee, if we were NBC.com, we'd be more than happy for YouTube and everyone else to suffer the bandwidth and infrastructure costs to freely publicize our content.
Publicis Dialog has created an Alien Film Competition for HP that lets' people upload a photo that will appear in a canned video. It's supposed to be funny but after watching tha same video over and over with a bunch or irrelevant baby and animal pictures inserted, we tired of the whole thing. But, for those who persevere and are chosen as having created the funniest video by simply slapping an image in a canned video, HP will award a Photosmart printer.
Following Time Magazine's lead, Nationwide Insurance is doing the consumer-generated Times Square billboard thing. Visitors to the Life Comes At You Fast site can submit a "moment" that somehow relates to the whole Life Comes At You Fast thing and, if accepted, it will appear on Natonwide's Time Square billboard. TM Advertising did the work.
We suppose there's a vanity play here and we're sure we're jaded by years of this stuff but...oh screw it...we were going to complain but whet the hell. People love to see their own faces in public places. We're just not the stand behind the GMA camera and wave like an idiot sort of guy.
Screw all those shows that try to make us believe do-it-yourself home repair is easy. To promote Discovery Channel Canada's new show Canada's Worst Handyman, a reality show that follows group of really bad do-it-yourselfers as they attempt to do minor home repairs, Fuel Industries and Karbon Arc created a microsite that let's anyone virtually screw up home repair. There's a chainsaw and a nail gun which, as you can imagine, easily do serious damage.