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.
Perhaps forcing Nielsen to more quickly move its plans to measure commercial rather than programming, The PreTesting Company has is currently conducting a 2,500 Omaha home test of its MediaCheck Project Wannamaker (nice reference to the 50/50 statement), which measures ad viewership rather than program viewership, found most people tire of a campaign's commercials after just two weeks indicating overexposure and poor creative hurt TV campaigns the most. The study also found that DVR-equipped homes did not skip commercials any more than non-DVR (by changing channel, etc.) homes.
The company has plans to roll out a national, 50,000 home study and is is talks with cable operators to incorporate the measurement technology in set top boxes. Hello? Nielsen? Hello?
Professional services firm Aquent, today, announces the launch of Aquent Inside Marketing, a series of video tutorials designed to address issues facing marketing and creative professionals. The videos will feature expertise and commentary from in-house and outside consultants, analysts, and marketing executives. Aquent promises each will offer" practical, real-world advice and solutions to anyone involved in the marketing and creative services disciplines." The first of four tutorials begins today on the Inside Marketing site. Other videos will be released each month thereafter.
MediaBuys, an online media buying club, has relaunched it Media Store, replacing its Single Buy program to deliver steeply discounted media to buyers within a 24 hour period. For buying members interested in purchasing single placements of television, radio, magazine, newspaper, out of home and interactive - as opposed to full campaigns - media sellers will provide predetermined discount packages from which to choose.
For those of you who have to slog through clip after clip of stock footage just to find the right nugget for your creative inspiration, you'll be happy to hear Thought Equity has released Speed View, a helpful feature on their website that shows full motion previews when the mouse is rolled over a still image in their clip gallery. Roll off the image, the preview stops. Roll back, it starts again. With 12 images per page, that's a lot faster than clicking and waiting for bloated video files to download and play. Check it all out here.
It's time to snoop into the financial status of your cubicle mate. For the sixth year, Aquent and the AIGA, along with Communication Arts magazine, have teamed to offer the AIGA|Aquent Survey of Design Salaries. This year marks the second consecutive year the report is available as a free, online, interactive database.
Based on a return of more than 3,600 respondents from eight geographic regions containing 15 major metropolitan markets, this year’s results indicate an improvement in salary gains for the first time in several years. This annual survey, according to the press release, is "considered a benchmark and valuable compensation gage across the industry and provides a current and specific reflection of what a significant share of those in the design profession are currently earning." Couldn't they have simply said, "the survey tells you what everyone else is making"?
Apparently, everyone's overloading it trying to find out what their boss makes. It refused to tell us what an art director in Boston working at an agency makes.
Replace Meaningless Words
If you write copy, marketing plans or white papers, you know the power of well chosen words. You also know how excruciatingly difficult it can be to come up with those words. A company called ThinkMap feels that pain and has created a thesaurus on steroids.
ThinkMap's Visual Thesaurus uses a graphic interface to animate the English language in a unique way, revealing the meanings, origins, pronunciations and relationships between words. After entering a word it creates a matrix of type, colored dots and floating lines to display the meanings, parts of speech, synonyms, antonyms, and the relationships between 145,000 English words.