To appeal to men, many soft drink makers have dropped the word "diet" from the name of their products or introduced newly named products. In Coke's case, there's Coke Zero. A clandestine element of the campaign urging men to consume Coke Zero is a weblog, with no mention of Coke's involvement (Note: apparently in reaction to negativity about this effort, the page is now clearly branded with a Coke Zero bottle), named The Zero Movement on which a guy rants about why life is so full of stuff to do and how it would be so much nicer if there was, well, zero to do. It's written in typical character blog prose, devoid of personality and full of whiny banter which comes off like it's a product of a creative brief. There's even fake, supportive comments to go along with it.
While the blog's archives indicate the site's been up since June, 2005, Whois information tells a very different story. Not only does the information reveal the site is a product of Coke, it clearly states the domain for the site was registered November 21, 2005, a full five months after the site, according to its archives, launched. On top of this, blog monitoring service BlogPulse has little to no information on the blog. Had The Zero Movement blog been pumping out posts since June 2005, BlogPulse would have had a sizeable profile for the site. Blog search engine Technorati, aside from some recent referrals, doesn't have much either. In creating The Zero Movement, Coke has lied, misled and misrepresented. Some would call this reprehensible and irresponsible. We'll just call it stupid.
I'm loathe to cover this or anything else million dollar homepage-related but, now doubt, someone else will and Adrants will have missed the boat. So here we go. Yijun Sun has ported the million dollar homepage concept to the weblog format and plans to sell blog posts by the character.
Surely, this is just another lame, stupid attempt to latch onto the one and only true and successful million dollar homepage but there's this thing with blogs. They seem to find their way into search engine results a lot better than flat sites. They seem to more effectively lend themselves to link-love. They are Technorati and RSS friendly which serves to spread the existence of the site even further. It's not that anyone's going to run out an subscribe to the RSS feed of this site but that's not the point. The site's content - advertisers who choose to buy posts - will self populate and automatically find there way into the discourse of the blogoshpere and beyond.
Call me stupid - I have already for even giving consideration to this - but it just might have legs. Either that or everyone can point to it as the dumbest thing the blogoshere offered this year and the stupidest thing Adrants ever covered. You decide.
Gapingvoid blogger Hugh Macleod worked with U.K. wine brand Stormhoek to use blogging as a means to increase sales. It worked. Big time, doubling sales in less than 12 months. The increases didn't come from the hundred or so bottles he sent out to U.K. bloggers who might blog about it and get a few of their friends to buy a bottle. Surely, they did drink the wine and did blog about it but the big increase in sales came from what Macleod calls The Porous Membrane, the wall between internal brand conversations and external consumer conversations.
Macleod posits blogs are a good way to make things happen indirectly and that they are disruptive to the status quo. To double sales inside of a year can't possiblely come from a few more people drinking a couple of bottles of wine. It can, however, come from a vastly improved internal attitude and sales process. The simple fact that the wine was out there and was being blogged about became part of the story telling sales process. As the sales force went out to supermarket buyers and importers, there was a new, different and exciting story to tell. Additionally, a retail outlet is far more likely to take on an increased inventory if it knows the product is getting talked about. The mindset is that if they're talking, they're more likely to buy. That's exactly what happened.
From RocketBoom's rocket boom to Jeff Jarvis' Dell Hell to the growth of podcasting to Forbes' anti-blog article to innovative blog PR and advertising to the exponential growth of the space, Intelliseek CMO Pete Blackshaw takes a detailed look at how weblogs affected the world of marketing and advertising.
MSNBC, today, launched the largest BlogAds buy ever according to BlogAds Founder Henry Copeland. To promote its digital day this Wednesday, MSNBC purchased ads on 800 weblogs, including Adrants, more than the Audi BlogAds buy of 286 last spring. From online affairs to porn to bizarreness caught on tape, MSNBC will take a close look at all things digital.
Unfortunately, the page the ad points to isn't very clear on exactly what MSNBC is trying to accomplish. There's all kinds of bloggy stuff on the page which is, perhaps, the point but there's not much emphasis given to the shows being promoted. That may be besides the point as MSNBC knows all 300 bloggers will go to the site, perhaps read a few of MSNBC's blogs, write about what they've read, link back to them and, poof, dramatically increase traffic to MSNBC's blogs. Oops, we just took the bait.
Just when you thought the million dollar homepage trendlet had run its course and couldn't be taken any further, University of Maryland Baltimore County graduate Jason Gunther has elevated the game with Smash My Viper. In short, the more an advertiser spends on the page for pixel space, the physical greater damage they can inflict upon Gunther's Viper. Yes, he's letting people pay to destroy his car while offering them ad space in return. Gunther hopes the ongoing saga of the slowly destroyed car, which will be covered in detail on the site and the site's blog, will keep people coming back for more and keep the impression level high for advertisers. Oh, and then there's the eye candy. And we don't just mean the sexy car. Gunther has gathered together some models, likely his friends, to slither all over the viper in typical car model poses all while the car is being slowly destroyed.
Purchasing one ten by ten pixel gets the advertiser a 6 inch key mark on the Viper. Purchasing five ten by ten pixels get the advertiser a hole drilled in the car. A purchase of 25 ten by ten pixels gets a Louisville Slugger bat smash and placement of the advertisers' 12 inch by four inch logo on the car. And, in true media negotiation style, for those advertisers who purchase 50 ten by ten pixels, Gunther will allow the advertiser to come up with their own idea such as placing a pig wearing a sweater with the advertiser's logo on it in the car for a week or have Gunther do a burnout until the tires pop.
This is ingenious. Ingenious as million dollar homepages go, that is. This is consumer created all the way. Content, promotion, sales, everything. And it has a purpose beyond simply making money. Gunther hopes to use the money to launch a business.
After months of rumors and hinting, we've learned AdBumb is being sold and sister sites 92.5 and New Media Reports are being folded. Publisher Pace Media is, on January 6, 2006, launching Adotas, a blog formatted site which will be staffed by writers from the three publications. After spotting an initial design of the site Spunker's Ben Popken writes, "Pace sales guy Ron Cummings the Second told me that if I act now, I can get 400k impressions for only $20,000, a $47,500 value. Furthermore, he said 'Since we are both located in New York let me know what kind of food you like and I can meet you for a lunch meeting.' Ron, my favorite food is green spam and eggs." Ouch. Here's a screenshot if the site has moved.
In a measure of quality versus quantity, RSS search company Feedster has launched its Feed of the year countdown. One finalist will be announced daily beginning today and at midnight on December 31, the "Feed of the Year" will be announced. The new "Feed of the Year" award was created to honor writers who have displayed continued excellence in blogging. A panel of independent judges reviewed each 2005 Feed of the Day and rated them for uniqueness, freshness, presentation, usability, and community. Prizes will be awarded to the "Feed of the Year" recipient and the top two finalists including iPod nanos and the new Video iPod.
Eluded to at a recent ad:tech conference in New York, Word of mouth research and planning firm BuzzMetrics has launched a syndicated service to measure television discussion on blogs, message boards and other social media. Called TV*BuzzMetrics, the ratings service will provide television executives and advertisers "ongoing qualitative insights that help explain key drivers of viewer engagement, and understand potential value of new programs." Making this all possible, BuzzMetrics is a business affiliate of VNU, owner of research brands ACNielsen and Nielsen Media Research.
In support of its upcoming Word of Mouth Basic Training conference in Orlando January 19-20. the Word of Mouth Marketing Association has launched a blog called WOMBAT or Word of Mouth Basic Training. The blog includes a newsletter and podcast as well. In its first week, Ketchum's Paul Rand and Intelliseek's Pete Blackshaw shared tips and advice on word of mouth issues while author Jackie Huba launched the site's podcast series.