Late last Thursday night, Time-Warner reached an agreement with Google whereby the search giant to soon rule the world would pay $1 billion for a five percent stake in AOL. The deal is a blow to, dare we say, old school, Microsoft which had, for a long time, been in talks with AOL regarding a content deal that would have involved Time-Warner's print, television and online properties and Microsoft's search and ad operations. The deal was sealed during the Time Warner Christmas party with Microsoft's execs in one conference room, Google's in another and Time-Warner execs running between the two.
Florida-based company KOTW has announced a new product that allows for the delivery of video via email and which embeds the video within the body of the email rather than as an attachment. The new service will also provide metrics to advertisers such as number of views, length of views and who did the viewing. There's just one problem. It uses ActiveX which, if a personal firewall such as Norton is in place renders the thing useless and, counter productively, results in the need for a
traditional video download or trip to a webpage where the video can be viewed.
NOTE: In Comments, Michael Murray of KOTW clarifies some misconceptions we had about the product and offers a more detailed explanation of what the technology can do.
"PC Users with Netscape, Mozilla or Firefox: you need to run Internet Explorer to use MTV Overdrive," so says MTV's Broadband Video Channel site. Excuse us, MTV, but no, we don't. Perhaps you haven't heard that Firefox isn't just this little side project that a bunch of geeks work on in their spare time in-between discussing episodes of Battlestar Galactica. It's a full fledged, far superior to Internet Explorer, browser that's gaining some serious market share. Marketers who continue to practice this loyal-to-Microsoft buffoonery are unsmart, unintelligent and losing out on a vast chunk of business.
From Publicis Copenhagen comes this little Christmas time-waster. It's a game where, in order to stop the elves from distracting busy agency workers, you shoot the elves with snowballs while avoiding shooting the employees. Actually, it's a good mental release for anyone who's sick of their boss going to all the Holiday parties while they have to stay strapped to their cube pumping out work for which their boss will take credit. Shoot away.
A new online campaign for the Jennifer Anniston, Kevin Coster movie Rumor Has It has played sweetly into our fluff and puffery-filled world of journalistic nonsense. Online marketing firm Pod Digital Design has created RumorMaker, a site that lets visitors create their own front page tabloid scandal about a friend complete with photograph and snarkish commentary. If there's no photo or snark available, visitors can choose from several provided choices. We couldn't resist temptation and had a bit of fun with Alex Bogusky and his hair.
Following his trip the the recent iMediSummit, Underscore Marketing President Tom Hespos is voicing his frustration with the advertising industry's continued cling to the television nipple. Concerned that many new online video advertising opportunities will amount to "shovelware TV," Hespos reports many industry execs are pleased as punch with the status quo, happy to unnecessarily pay middlemen to serve their precious TV spots and offended at the notion online video should be any different than a :30 spot.
Yesterday at MPG's Media Contacts broadband content summit in Boston, Yahoo Content Operations VP Scott Moore announced Yahoo would launch Wow House, a home makeover reality show which will follow two families as they spend $10,000 to upgrade their homes electronics such as a home theater. Both families receive the upgrade but only one gets to keep it. Viewers vote their choice.
As loyal readers know, it's be a long, long time since we've had reason to cover anything related to Britney Spears what with her recent transformation from pop goddess to tabloid trailer trash. But, perhaps, now there's reason to bring Britney back to the pages of Adrants by noting a group of Spears' fans has launched a site called DivorceKevin, a site calling for Brit to dump dancer/hubby Kevin Federline. Sure to provide gossipists plenty of schadenfruede, SoftPedia reports the front page of the site contains two pictures of Spears, one pre-Kevin and one post-Kevin that clearly illustrate her fall from grace. An opening statement on the site reads, "Welcome to the home of the anti-Kevin movement. Are you sick of seeing the train wreck that is Britney and Kevin? Sign the K-Fed Up Petition, grab your Divorce Kevin gear and help Britney remove the boil that is Kevin from herself and her payroll!"
Having been relentless pummeled with "seriously, our approach is different" press releases, I guess we're just going to resign ourselves to riding this million dollar homepage trend-let to the bitter end. In yet another version of the I-can't-believe-I'm even-writing-about this topic, Will Barden has launched a company called Pixel Banner Ads which move the million dollar homepage concept from website to web banners. Yup, we're now going to see pixel banners all over the web. Pixel Banner Ads act as an intermediary between publishers and advertisers just like any other ad network by providing publishers connection with advertisers and an eighty percent share of ad revenue. Currently pixel ads are selling for $10 which gets an advertiser exposure across seven websites no one's ever heard of.
Product Invasion, the folks behind Subservient Donald are, again, taking on product placement proliferation, this time with Survivor, and have created some spoof footage of Survivor's Jerry Manthey in which producer's urge her to shill for Home Depot, Scope, Dawn, and Pepsi. While it's a bit over the top, it still calls attention to the maddening and overly forced attempts by marketers and networks to shamelessly shill.