While we think Google might have some trademark name concerns over this new advertising platform, Penn Media has announced Vidsense, a program, similar to Google's AdSense for text ads, that delivers video from Penn Media's EVTV1 video portal to websites based on a site's content. To use the product, website publisher place a chunk of code on their site and Vidsense will deliver contextual video clips, each preceded with 15 to 30 second commercials. Penn Media will share ad revenue with publishers just as Google does with its AdSense advertisers. Nifty idea. There's more info on Vidsense here.
UPDATE: Penn Media CEO Jaffer Ali contacted us to clarify that Vidsense is a contextual video content network, not a contextual video ad network. Ali clarifies, "The advertising that will soon precede the content clips will be national brand advertisers. The advertising may or may not have anything to do with the website content."
Nationwide Insurance has launched humorous website, Life Comes At You Fast, which challenges visitors to view 30 videos in 30 days, spot a hidden Nationwide frame, then be entered into a drawing for a Sony Handycam and G5 Mac. The videos, some of which you have, undoubtedly seen before, are amateur clips "America's Funniest Video" style such as the cheerleader who gets tossed too far, the fat woman who falls off the trampoline and the wedding attendees who collapse a dock. It's an intriguing tie in of life's unsuspected moments with an insurance company's ability to help you get back on your feet.
A Salt Lake City teaser billboard campaign for, it is assumed, a children's orthodontist containing the URL www.uglykids.info was taken down by Reagan Outdoor after many people, who typed in www.uglykids.com by mistake, were whisked to a page full of porn links. Sexually frustrated Utah resident jokes aside, the campaign, while pulled by Reagan, is still running on competing billboard company boards. The proper link leads to a site containing a video of children, filmed in shadows, confessing to the distress experience because of their ugly teeth.
We Want You On Top
While we had great fun highlighting the SEO Inc. booth babes at the San Francisco AD:TECH conference this week, a recent press release reminds us that, wait, SEO Inc. doesn't just hire hot booth babes wearing tight t-shirts emblazoned with "Wanna Be On Top?", they actually provide the tools to help climb right on up. The company has introduced the Medallion Partner Program, a search engine optimization service agencies can resell to their clients so they, too, can enjoy the fruits of top search engine placement.
According to the press release, the program offers ad agencies, web developers and marketing firms search engine optimization services which can be resold to their clients. CEO CEO explained, "Unlike other programs, which simply provide referrals or loose affiliations, the Medallion Partner Program is designed to be a significant and reoccurring revenue stream for our partners (the agencies, developers and marketing firms)and exceptional SEO services for their customers (the clients). Meanwhile, it will allow us as a company to create alliances with qualified and effective partners to market our services to their top clients."
While we wrote earlier upon seeing the booth babe "Wanna Be On Top" slogan and, dutifully, resisted the urge to reply, "Well, of course we do," we don't feel so bad saying that now that what SEO has to offer appears to be a nice way for agencies to get their clients on top (of search engines, silly) and make a little money while doing so.
Beginning with cosmopolitan line drawings of New York City which then wisk you away, first by taxi, then by airplane, to the lush Polynesian tropics of Tahiti, Air Tahiti, beginning service from New York July 9th, envelopes you with a new, very engaging microsite. After the long intro, which, of course, you can skip but won't really want to as it leads you deeper into tropical vacation paradise, the site, created by Saatchi & Saatchi, provides information on the culture, exquisitely beautiful photos of the destination and vacation packages. The experience is beautifully executed and compels you to mentally linger, dreaming up your perfect vacation.
UPDATE: Gawker covers the launch party in NYC.
At San Francisco AD:TECH Monday afternoon, there were two sessions covering RSS or Really Simple Syndication. The first session, led by Forrester Research Principal Analyst Charlene with panelists Royal Farros, CEO of Messagecast; Chris Henger, VP Marketing and Product Development for Performics; Catherine Paschkewitz, Director of Consumer Marketing for hpshopping.com. The session concentrated of the definition and technologies behind RSS and the ease, according to panelists, with which marketers can very quickly set up and use RSS to distribute opt in information, such as, coupons, specials, special events, news, to customers. All the panelists agreed setting up and publishing weblog is the easiest method of producing an RSS feed.
Seemingly to give more choice to its advertiser base, Google, today, began testing a new service that allows advertisers to place non-contextual, cpm-based graphical ads on sites of their choosing. It's a marked change from its history as contextual text ad giant. Publishers can opt in or out of this program if they choose. Explaining the new program succinctly is Google Product Management Director Susan Wojcicki who said, "Now our system takes things very literally. If you are on a wine site, we show ads for wine. Now we will let you advertise your cheese on wine sites." Wine and cheese. Nothing wrong with that.
Dannon has launched two online adver-items. The first, called Fusion Breakfast Brawl, is a game promoting the breakfast smoothie and is modelled after the old Nintendo game Mike Tyson's Punch-Out. The second is a downloadable desktop application called the Dannon Recipe Box, which contains Dannon-supplied recipes, but also allows users to create and organize their own culinary creations.
Following a NYTimes.com press release touting its own content as the reason behind "record-breaking" traffic increases during the month of March, Jason Kottke wonders if content is really the reason for the increase. Kottke cites site design tweaks, general increases in traffic to news sites, RSS and blog referrals as points to consider as well, even though the press release makes no mention of those variables.
Ypulse points us to a movie promotion that's co-branded with Sears. Warner Brothers is releasing a movie called The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants which is tied to Sears ads promoting the Levis jeans which will appear in the movie. The promotion, apparently leveraging the uncontrollable urge of 14 year old boys to stare at girl's butts, will likely insure those same boys invite their girlfriends on a date to see the movie. Seems everybody wins on this one.
UPDATE: There's a viral that goes along with the campaign as well.