Hello? Purveyors of contextual advertising? Are you there? Do you care? Hasn't your technology been around long enough to cease the endless contextual mishaps that keep popping up? Do we really need killer values from supermarkets offered next to articles about Amish killings? Do we need turpentine ads next to bits about a teen drinking turpentine to abort a pregnancy? How about putting Anna Nicole Smith's dead son up for sale? Or "card shark" credit card copy next to an article about a woman jilled by a shark? Haven't we seen enough of these to realize a tune up is needed? Apparently not. Here's another one sent to us by The Consumerist.
We do not profess to be an expert of any kind on contextual advertising. We do not believe any of this is done maliciously either. We know there are very reputable contextual advertising companies out there who are above board and provide a great service to marketers. We don't know if these "misplacements" can ever be stopped but we'd love to see if anyone can try. On second thought, maybe not because then we'd have nothing to write about on this topic.
Maybe some of you remember that thing called CueCat which made it's appearance about seven years ago. The purpose of the device, a plastic, cat-shaped object that plugged into your computer, was to scan bar codes in ads and, if connected to the Internet, take you to a page that would deliver more information about the advertised product. It failed. Miserably. Now, we have AdLink, a service that does the same thing yet without that cumbersome plastic cat. We predict it will have about as much success at the CueCat did.
We are no fans of in-text advertising from the likes of IntelliTXT and others but this new offering from Microsoft and Answers.com, 1-Click Answers, is user initiated and offers more than just advertising. With 1-Click Answers, which is a recommended add-on in Microsoft's IE7, people who Alt-click on any word will be presented an "AnswerTip" information bubble providing relevant information relating to the selected word or phrase. Clicking a "more" button in the bubble will take the person to the Answers.com site. 1-Click's advertising angle is the presentation of contextual text ads, currently provided by Google, at the bottom of the bubble. Broadening the use of the application - and reach for advertisers - 1-Click Answers will also work within any text-based desktop application. We probably wouldn't use it but we don't hate it.
- DigiCast Media has launched a video training program for busimesses that aims to improve the quality of of all the crap on YouTube.
- Instant Karma Films has hooked up with Carbonfung.org to assess carbon emissions from producing commercials and to work towards reducing them.
- Dairy company Hood placed an ad thanking Beverly, MA residents for putting up with the company's unexpected visit to theri town in the form of a crash.
- Broadband jukebox company Ecast reports that during the first five-weeks of a Jeep Compass campaign, users have demonstrated an 8.3 percent click-through rate from the end of their paid song-selection sessions into Jeep's promotional "mini-site."
A couple years ago, we told you about a technology that mounted TV's on people so they could walk around and sell stuff. Now, everyone's doing it including Nivea who contracted with AdWalkers, trained street walking marketers who wear TV's and hand out stuff, to promote the company's "Nivea Touches New York" Exhibit.
Nivea deployed eight Adwalkers in its first week of operation and four during its second week. The Adwalkers fanned out around Chelsea, Union Square, Gramercy Park, and Herald Square on a Wednesday through Saturday basis. Of the people exposed to the AdWalkers, a total of 6,600 took a virtual tour of the Nivea exhibit and got a printout reminder/invitation to visit the West 19th Street installation.
If you're involved with search engine marketing, MarketingSherpa has just released its new 2007 Search Marketing Benchmark Guide which analyzes 3,944 search engine marketing company efforts including what they spent and how their campaigns worked. The study also includes eyetracking heatmaps which indicate how ads are seen on a page and reams of data on pay per click paid search programs. Yes, MarketingSherpa advertises on this site.
Following all the hubbub over online ratings, log files, metrics firms, discrepancies and other good online measurement mania, comScore CEO Magid Abraham drafted a letter in respons to the hubbub which we'll reprint here:
An Open Letter to the Industry
A recent article in Media Week and Ad Week discusses a recurring theme in the online industry, asserting that panel-based audience metrics are inaccurate because they do not match Web server logs. Since Web logs record a site's every visit, visitor and page request, it makes intuitive sense that those metrics might be viewed as the gold standard. When third party estimates do not match Web logs, it is easy to view this as a reflection of weaknesses in panel-based measurement.
However, as always, the devil is in the details. When you scrutinize the details, the answer to the question about why Web log and panel-based data don't always match up is ... "it depends." In fact, the reasons for discrepancies depend on a number of factors: the panel data could be wrong, the Web log data could be wrong - or more often - they are both right given the exact definition of what they measure. But, those definitions could be vastly different.
With this new patented invention from Colin Davies, the marketers vs. DVR ad skippers war continues to heat up. Davies' system allows for full frame, still images to be placed on screen while a person is fast forwarding through ads. This is almost kind of funny. It's so amusing to see what each side of this battle comes up with to usurp the other side's efforts. TiVo already does something similar to this during its fast forward process. Although we don't mind watching a still ad while fast forwarding, sometimes we actually do want to see what we're fast forwarding past so we hope this system allows for some method of accomodating that.
- If you're interested in what other people make for a salary, here's
yet another place to find out.
- CBS is piloting several billboards that beam information about its prime-time lineup to Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices.
- Commercial Alert isn't happy with PBS's decision to solicit ads for its kid-focused websites. The group's director, Gary Ruskin says, "This is a betrayal of parents and children across the country. PBS has forgotten its mission, and is selling our children to the highest bidder. PBS President Paula Kerger should be fired immediately."
- Design Observer lauds design guru Helmut Krone.
- Here's an interesting map showing the global domination of the Starbucks and McDonald's brands.
- Japan has un-banned a nude/pregnant poster of Britney Spears from Tokyo's subway system. Officials originally thought it was "too stimulating" for young people.
- Oh please. Can we just stop with the slap a log on the baby's head thing?
- Fridge maker (and wine storage maker) Sub-Zero has launched a weblog which focuses on wine.
- A reader writes, "Just read on Candyaddict.com that Altoids is coming out with "chocolate dipped mints." Any truth to the rumor that they bagged Leo Burnett after that awful sour challenge campaign? That's the word..."
- Getty Images made licensing images easier (or so they say) with their new rights-ready licensing service.
- Nokia has a couple of new spots, created by Lowe Singapore, that do the whole individuality is cool, mind/body/spirit thing. (1, 2)
- In the "huh?" and "WTF" categories comes this weblog called Shoot My Blog which exists for no other reason that to solicit from people pipcture of the Shoot My Blog blog.