Heather of Mock On points to yet another contextual advertising oddity, of which there have been many, alongside news coverage of hurricane Katrina. Heather took a screenshot of a CNN story about hurricane refugees living in the New Orleans Superdome being bussed to the Houston Astrodome. Alongside the story appears an ad for price comparison site Nextag with the headline, "New Orleans Superdome - Cheaper Prices." While the ad itself may not be all that offensive, it's not like anyone's going to be using Nextag to travel to New Orleans anytime soon.
Paris communications agency Antonia has launched a trailer for Life Kino, a web based art and design experiment. Basically, it's a music video filled with stills. Those behind Life Kino say their aim is to create a community of users by inviting the public to submit "loops" or filmed snippets of their lives that will be uploaded on a randomly generated basis and viewable by all who visit the site. The idea behind it, says an email from Life Kino, is to create links between people and places that would never have met in the real world. We don't really get it but, then again, we don't get a lot of stuff. But we did announce it first. That's gotta count for something.
YesBut points out Bubblicious bubble gum has added a new feature to it website called Bubblicious Virtual Buddy. It allows you to pick a character, style them, call an 800 number, record a message which is then spoken by the created character. The entire creation can then be emailed to a friend. Similar to Wedding Crashers' Trailer Crashers promotion, this should make for some interesting inter-teen communication.
In a move that seems counter to the online advertising giant's genesis, Google has purchased print ads in technology magazines including PC Magazine and Maximum PC and has resold portions of full page ads to online AdWord advertisers. The ads, which contain five to six advertisers contains a URL which points to an online version of the ad page. The ads do not contain a Google logo but only the descriptive copy on the top of the ad, "Ads by Google" and "Google advertisers offer these products and services" at the bottom.
Leveraging the misery of others, eBay has, according to Animax, purchased hurricane relief-related keywords on Google to hawk hurricane Katrine t-shirts. Like the stereotypically crass car salesmen of old, eBay, in the midst of a search results page full of Katrina hurricane relief fund listings, eBay is shamelessly selling t-shirts.
UPDATE: In comments, it is clarified that this is an affiliate ad placed by a party other than eBay itself. Still, the average consumer would never know that and would clearly see this as an eBay ad thereby placing the company in a less than respectable light. If eBay, or any other company, can't control how their brand is referenced in online advertising, it's clearly indicative something's very wrong with the system.
With the increase in websites that require registration to fill their databases with valuable demographic information which is used to properly target advertising, privacy advocates have increasingly spoken out against the practice and fake registration credentials web service, BugMeNot, continues to grow. Now, a site called Internet Advertiser Wakeup Day has launched a petition which vows to, on November 13th, have all signers register fakes details on sites the have deemed the top ten offending sites: nytimes.com, washingtonpost.com, latimes.com, ajc.com, chicagotribune.com, dallasnews.com, nypost.com, philly.com and mercurynews.com.
While no one likes to be interrupted with registration when all one is trying to do is read a simple article arrived at through another link, there is value to the registration process. In it's current state, though, it's a mess. Much work needs to be done and much explanation of the value of registration to the consumer needs to be done as well along with making the entire process far simpler. Shedding insight on the issues and suggesting a speedier, aggregated process, Underscore Marketing President Tom Hespos offers his opinion on MediaPost.
To promote a new Court TV show, Parco PI, NightAgency has created an engaging, online game, called "Parco's Watching," where visitors can dive into the underbelly of Manhattan and collect clues. To collect clues, players engage a person and either flirt, bribe, or muscle them into giving up the desired clue. Making the right choice progresses the player closer to solving the crime. There's also a chance to win $10,000. We didn't make it all the way to the end so we leave it to you enterprising readers to tell us how it ends.
Placing jokes about digits aside for a moment, lad-mag granddaddy Playboy will launch a digital addition of the magazine with its October issue on September 13th. The digital addition will be powered by Zinio Systems. As with the print edition, the digital version will be available for subscription and single copy sale. While Playboy does have a website with some of the magazine's content, Zinio systems will reproduce the magazine online exactly as it appears in print. Playboy's Lingerie is already produced digitally by Zinio.
Hoping for further worldwide reach, the move is more likely in reaction to the publication's declining numbers. Year-to-date ad pages are down 15 percent, the magazine missed its 3.15 million rate base by 35,002 and newsstand sales are down 23.2 percent. Zino says circulation of digital editions, on average, amount to five percent of print circulation. All other variable being equal, that brings an additional 157,500 readers though, likely, a considerable percentage of digital subscribers will come from canceled print subscriptions lessening the increase.
Following a weekend overhaul to its search engine ad system, Yahoo has been having difficulty allowing marketers to make changes to their ad campaigns and, worse, some ad campaigns have stopped running. Yahoo search spokesperson Gaude Paez told MarketingVOX Wednesday evening that the upgrade caused "unexpected issues," and that their engineers were working around the clock to fix the problem.
MarketingVOX reports the problem seems to be affecting advertisers of all sizes and, when attempting to open an account Wednesday night, was presented with the error message shown in the image.
Here's a fun promotion by NightAgency for the upcoming, Diddy-hosted Video Music Awards airing Sunday, August 28:
"Diddy and Adrants invite you to the biggest party ever. The dress code must be respected! You must wear your finest gear. You must get your hair done! So, Adrants readers, please do not invite the rest of your friends like AdAge & Adweek, this invite is for you only. You have been selected. It's an honor to be part of history in the making. This will go down as the greatest party of all time! So please respect and adhere to all above said rules."
Part of the promotional website allows yo to create a customized invite, indicating who you'd like to invite as well as who not to invite, to send to your friends. All in good fun.