LeadsCon Storms Las Vegas. And Why You Need to Leave Your Comfort Zone

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Have you noticed an absence of content here on Adrants? Well it's because yours truly is in Las Vegas for LeadsCon. Taking pictures. Getting interviewed. Doing interviews. And generally getting lost in everything Vegas has to offer. Apologies. But a guy needs a break once in a while, right?

So LeadsCon. It's a conference about lead generation. And it's grown to 2,600 attendees. This year's conference seems to be twice as big as last year's. Held at the Mirage, the exhibit hall was bustling, the session rooms were packed. And the hallways were filled with people networking and doing business.

With the downfall (that's what it is after all) of traditional advertising (and we include traditional online advertising in the statement), the ad industry is begging for new ways to connect with consumers. If you've been asleep for a bit you might not have noticed the meteoric rise of social media, affiliate marketing, content marketing and, yes, lead generation.

For the snarky ones among us, social media is just digitized word of mouth, content marketing is just custom publishing, affiliate marketing is just a form of multilevel marketing and lead generation is just good old cold calling on steroids.

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by Steve Hall    Feb-28-12    
Topic: Industry Events, Opinion



Where is the Accountability in Online Video Advertising?

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This guest article is written by by Brian Mandelbaum, founder of Clearstream

Many major advertisers feel they have more options for video advertising on cable than they do on the Internet. Why is that? In an era of virtually limitless online choices, major commercial cyber-buys typically stay in the "safe zone" of ABC, NBC, CBS and Hulu, with perhaps a few other well-known sites sprinkled in.

It's time that the accountability and transparency of traditional broadcast buys find their equivalent in the online world. It's not impossible; despite its reputation as a murky, unregulated medium, the web has made great strides in rating standards for display advertising. Online venues need a similar organizing element--a commonly held, trusted framework for media decision-making.

The reason, of course, is that online video buys don't exist in a vacuum. As with broadcast networks, programming surrounds each video in the form of adjacent site content. That material may or may not complement the advertiser's content. It may be irrelevant, unsuitable or even objectionable.

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by Steve Hall    Feb-13-12    
Topic: Opinion, Video



TV's Greatest Night of Ads Takes a (Weak) Stab at Getting Social

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This guest article was written by Dave McMullen, partner and lead strategist at redpepper integrated agency.

The $3.5 million Super Bowl ads have all come and gone, and the conversations - supercharged by social media - are in full swing. Or are they? To get true bang for your bucks in the Big Game these days, brands should do more than entertain; they should get people talking and move them to action.

The days when being voted one of the top commercials in the "Ad Bowl" equaled success are ending. Today, ads are expected to be revenue generators - or at least engage viewers and motivate them to DO something. So, were there any big winners this year? I suppose that depends on how you measure success.

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by Steve Hall    Feb- 7-12    
Topic: Opinion, Super Bowl 2012



Is Creating Ads For 3D Technology Worth It?

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This guest article is written by James Stewart who is a director at Geneva Film Co. in Toronto. When not directing "flatties" he's knee deep in the next dimension of advertising.

To 3D or not to 3D? That is the question. Agencies and brands alike continue to second-guess this ever-growing technology as though it was the new Betamax of the digital age. Is it really worth the production complexity and added expense? Will a large enough audience stand in awe of your creation's visual splendor to make it worth your while? The answer is quickly becoming a resounding 'YES'.

Let's face it, 3D is no longer an experience reserved solely for the latest state of the art cinemas. Digital 3D is everywhere. Flat-screen TV's, laptops, tablets, even smartphones like HTC's Evo 3D and LG's 3D Thrill are taking the 3D experience out of the theatre and putting it in the palm of your hand. And, with the advent of autostereoscopic technology (read: glasses-free), gone are the clunky Orbison-like lenses allowing instead for beautiful, full-color, hyper-crisp 3D to be viewed with the naked eye.

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by Steve Hall    Feb- 7-12    
Topic: Opinion



Can't We Just Appreciate the Chrysler Ad For Its Positive Outlook?

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Many are wont to attribute a political agenda to the Clint Eastwood Chrysler Super Bowl message. I didn't see it as political at all. As Americans, it seems, we are all ever so eager to attribute everything to a political agenda that we sometimes forget to appreciate the plain old honest, hard working efforts most Americans put forth every day.

Not everything has to be about politics. Not everything has to have an agenda. Why can't we see this as a simple message about America getting its act together again. It's motivational. It's aspirational. Two qualities of key importance to any good ad.

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by Steve Hall    Feb- 6-12    
Topic: Opinion, Super Bowl 2012



How Content Marketing Can Improve Brands' Online Marketing

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This week's Future of Engagement features David Spark who heads up Spark Media Solutions and contributor to Mashable. Spark kicks off the interview explaining why content creation is so important saying, "content is the currency for social media and search."

Spark also says brands can't "market and PR" their way into content creation and social media. He advises brands that are considering content creation to focus on topics of interest related to the brand in question as opposed to simply publishing product information.

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by Steve Hall    Jan-24-12    
Topic: Brands, Opinion, Social, Video



Our Money is on 'Bird of Prey' For Doritos Crash the Super Bowl

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So Doritos has selected its top five contenders for its Crash the Super Bowl contest. Here's one from Joby Harris called Bird of Prey. Joby won $25,000 and a trip to the Super Bowl for his efforts. If you ask us, his work is right in line with what Super Bowl viewers love to see: cute girls, office antics and people smashing into things because they think they can fly.

Nice job on the multiracial inclusion thing too, Joby. So what do you think? Should Joby's entry take the top spot and air during the Super Bowl? You can check out all the finalists here. We're partial to the cleavage-laden Hot Wild Girls but that's been done a million times before. Sling Baby? Funny but it'll get complaints like the HomeAway ad did. Man's Best Friend? Yawn. Dog Park? Nah. Yea, we're going with Bird of Prey.

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by Steve Hall    Jan-18-12    
Topic: Commercials, Opinion, Super Bowl 2012



Shareable, Collectable Content the Next Holy Grail of Advertising

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This guest contribution is written by Dave McMullen, partner and lead strategist at redpepper integrated agency.

Say the word "advertising" at a cocktail party and most people will immediately engage in a conversation about their favorite television spots. To be a part of this conversation used to be the holy grail of advertising.

Then along came the search engine, and along with it came a new holy grail--the top spot in a list of search results.

While the whole world was clamoring for Google's coveted number one, unsponsored search result listing, Facebook and Twitter began not-so-quietly supplanting Google as the central nervous system of the world wide web. These two social media juggernauts gave rise to an engagement era during which the once lauded "impression" began to fall out of favor as a legitimate measure of a return on marketing investment. And, as a result, yet another era in marketing arose. And we're smack dab in the middle of it at this very moment in time.

Welcome to the sharing era--an era in which a company's brand awareness and advertising messages have fallen, quite literally, into the hands of the market.

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by Steve Hall    Jan- 9-12    
Topic: Opinion, Social



SEO Is For Tail Chasers. Brand Awareness Is For Pack Leaders

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Here's an interesting take on SEO versus branding that's sure to stir debate from guest contributor marketing executive Andy Havard.

Search Engine Optimization has been like a marketing drug over the past few years, with businesses, brands and organisations cramming every resource into climbing up the search engine rankings. In fact SEO isn't so much a marketing drug, as a marketing placebo, and not very good one at that.

Focusing on SEO is a sure-fire way to make your brand disappear. It's little more than a strategy that makes marketing moguls chase their tails around every day in the office. Now brand awareness on the other hand is a marketing strategy that separates the tail chasers from the industry pack leaders and the following article explains why.

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by Steve Hall    Dec-14-11    
Topic: Online, Opinion



Silly VW Passat Ad Dubbed Sexist

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Well here's what we had to say about that. After viewing Volkswagen's new Red Urban-created Passat commercial over at AdFreak and the complaints it's generated, we simply could not hold our tongue and left this comment in answer to David Gianatasio's question, "Sexist or just sily?"

"Definitely just silly. Good God, people need to lighten up! Hysteria over such innocuous issue as a silly car commercial who's primary fault (if it even has one) is highlighting the sometimes distractive qualities of a new car is just stupid. There are far more important things to focus on in this world than stupid car ads."

OK? Can we all move on to more important issues now? There's more small towns to Occupy, right? Oh wait...

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by Steve Hall    Dec- 8-11    
Topic: Commercials, Opinion










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