BlueLithium, TribalFusion, Casale, Tacoda, Claria. To those outside the ad industry, and to some within, these names would lead one to believe we're talking about some new form of drug therapy intervention. In actuality, they are the names of ad serving companies, those wonderful, if difficult to define, operations that help deliver marketers online ads to websites that make sense for the advertiser. With all the buzz words these companies insist upon using, it's a wonder any of us in the industry have a clue as to the real modus operandi of these companies.
With the help of iMediaCommection's Jim Meskauskus, you need not feel like a clueless buffoon any longer. Jim has queried 14 of these companies with a series of questions geared towards helping us all understand just what these companies do, how big they are, who they target, why they're different from their competitors and what kind of ads they serve. So dig in and become an expert on ad serving. Or, at least become an expert at knowing what these companies want you to know versus what you might really want to know.
When we wrote last summer about the test launch of The PreTesting Company's MediaCheck, a passive, digital television commercial viewership measurement service, we knew a new world of television viewership was upon us. Following a test launch in 2,500 Omaha homes, MediaCheck plans to have its measurement service in 35,000 homes in up to seven cities. The company is also in talks with cable operators to embed the system within set top boxes. Bye, bye archaic program ratings measurement systems. Bye, bye Nielsen. Hello commercial viewership metrics that will allow buyers to properly price television buys.
Responding to Strawberry Frog's Scott Goodson who said metrics such as MediaCheck could "rob commercials of edgy creative," AdJab's Chris Thilk took the words right out of our mouths writing, "You're [Goodson] the problem. Advertising is about selling, not entertaining. If you want to entertain go to Hollywood."
Like any inventive new technology, it doesn't take long before the invention is put to use for sex-related purposes. Back in October, 2005, Lexus used 3D video technology to project a moving image of its new model inside a storefront in Times Square. Now, according to The Spunker, a fashion store in
Copenhagen Berlin is using the technology to project a very life-like image of a model stripping in the window-front. Hasn't anyone launched iPorn yet? Oh, yea. They have.
For web designers, Flash animators, computer games developers, video artists and creatives in search of good music for their work can now turn to Premiumbeat, a service that offers royalty-free music. The site is categorized by genre and includes music preview and quick download. We thought you creatives out there would like to know.
For you creative types, Adobe has launched three new product bundles that combine Adobe Creative Suite 2 and Adobe video tools with the just-released Macromedia Flash Professional 8 and Macromedia Studio 8 software. Adobe acquired the Macromedia product line when the company purchased Macromedia, a transaction that formally closed on December 3, 2005.
The new product configurations are: the Adobe Design Bundle that combines Adobe Creative Suite 2 Premium with Flash Professional 8 software; the Adobe Web Bundle that brings together Adobe Creative Suite 2 Premium and Studio 8; and the Adobe Video Bundle that delivers Adobe video solutions coupled with Flash Professional 8. The Adobe Design Bundle and Web Bundle are available for purchase today and the Adobe Video Bundle is expected to ship in early 2006. Go get creative.
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.
Billing itself as the "social marketplace for royalty-free stock images," Fotolia recently launched an online social marketplace for creative digital stock images in four languages, where photographers and designers of all levels can store, share and monetize their photographs and illustrations. Fotolia, which offers free membership, allows graphic artists, web designers, art directors, and consumers to obtain legal, royalty free stock images for use in electronic and print materials for free or starting as low as $1. Start buying.
In an interesting twist, Infinity's "Who's Replacing Howard Stern" campaign, currently gracing every sliver of ad space on Ad Age, may, according to 925M, do more to hurt Infinity than help. The campaign highlights Stern replacements Adam Corolla, David Lee Roth and Penn Jillette, who have received with less than stellar reviews as replacements for the irreplaceable Stern. As 925M indicates, all this campaign may do is say "Hey, we know Stern left. We know the replacements suck. We're trying this kooky FreeFM thing. Just skip it all and go listen to Stern on Sirius."
Picture Marketing, Inc. has created a technology that turns personal photos into an ad medium. Called Picture Marketing In-a-Box, the offering is a combined hardware and online service that enables marketers and event organizers to take pictures of people at sponsored events, trade shows, and retail locations. The online service then combines those photos together with survey information supplied by each person, to build a mini-advertising campaign around each individual's photo.
According to Picture Marketing, the service has many potential applications. For example, automakers at car shows can take pictures of event attendees posed with the latest car models on display, and later mail ads featuring the individual's photo, which, one hopes, the person will show to their friends and family. Sort of a marketer-enabled, word of mouth tactic. Brand advertisers can also use dozens of the service's specialized cameras at stadium events, in order to capture thousands of leads in a single day - assuming people visit the companies marketer-branded survey website after seeing their mug. One has to wonder about the potential misuses that could come from accidental, un-approved pictures.
To help marketers and agencies understand and take advantage of gaming as a medium, has launched a series of Gaming 101 sessions. IGA hopes to educate the marketplace about the current and future videogaming landscape, the changing demographics of gamers, how the hardware platforms differ from each other, and how to run in-game advertising campaigns that get results.
Advertising agencies that have held or are scheduled to hold IGA Partners Gaming 101 sessions include Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, SS+K, Manning Gottlieb OMD, Avenue A | Razorfish.
A typical IGA Gaming 101 session provides an overview of the gaming space and gaming ad formats such as advergaming, product placement/plot-integration, dynamic in-game advertising, and casual gaming. Along with any form of consultant comes buzzwords and IGA's "Metrification," a proprietary in-game advertising quantitative and qualitative measurement and analysis framework.