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April 2006, Week 4 Marketing Archives

Friday, April 28, 2006

Viral Videos A Good Catch

An entertaining viral video can get advertisers a large audience, but they can also get a guy a job.

While unemployed, Conor Lastowka decided to recreate the infamous Buckner moment (the last inning of Game 6 of the '86 World Series) using an emulator of a Nintendo's low-tech RBI Baseball video game.

His video (which includes the audio from the original TV broadcast -- without the express written consent of MLB!) became a hit on YouTube, and Lastowka used the video to land a job with a film restoration company.

As I've said before, advertisements should be entertaining first and informative second if they are to get people's attention. Viral videos are the first time that others will willingly promote your product for free -- have you ever seen people passing around banner or print ads to their friends?

With YouTube, everyday can be like the Super Bowl as the funniest ads can be seen by millions.

Viral Videos A Good Catch By John Gartner at 12:16 PM
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Disney's Smart Interactive Ads

Disney is being forward-thinking in releasing a new ad system (Reuters) in conjunction with putting its TV shows online. Instead of the normal flurry of short spots, each episode of Desperate Housewives, Lost, etc. will have a single advertiser throughout, and the ads will be interactive.

Disney could take it even further and encourage advertisers to create a series of spots within each program (such as a car chase for BMW), so that viewers would have more incentive to pay attention for each ad.

The ad system enables Disney to target ads to different viewers, which is becoming a requirement anymore. The Mouse already has an all-star lineup of advertisers who will participate in a trial. Although the company doesn't expect "meaningful" revenue from its online content anytime soon, I'll be they'll blow away their revenue from selling shows on iTunes in short order.

Disney's Smart Interactive Ads By Jason Dowdell at 11:50 AM
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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Yahoo DVR Software a Go

Yahoo is countering Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center by posting free software to record TV shows on multimedia PCs.

Yahoo Go for TV requires a TV tuner and includes photo and music organizers. The software itself doesn't have ads today, so Yahoo likely hopes that steering folks to its entertainment section will generate enough revenue to justify creating the software.

This is a niche product for sure since most people aren't going to go through the hassle of equipping their PCs, but it will put further pressure on cable and DVR companies to keep their prices low.

The biggest winner from this is likely to be the hard drive manufacturers. Recording a few dozen shows will chew up hard drive space, and you'd hate to have a system crash because of recording reruns of Seinfeld. A better PC option would be a TV tuner with external hard drive box that simplifies the process.

Yahoo DVR Software a Go By John Gartner at 01:00 PM
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Google Video Extends Search

Google has realized that the cloistered approach to video search isn't working. The company is now indexing videos from across the web, since YouTube and Blinkx have been kicking its butt.

There was no reason for Google or any video search engine to be self contained, so this is a good move for all.

And by the way, did you see that ad for the Da Vinci Code on the Google Video home page? It looks like the ad creep is transitioning from personalized to reg'lar Google pretty quick.

Imagine if Google started selling sponsorships on a daily basis to its home page. The company could make a boatload if they gave a movie premiere a one-day pass. It's coming.

Found via PSFK

Google Video Extends Search By John Gartner at 12:46 PM
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Should the ISPs Decide Which Websites You Visit?

Brace yourself. It is not to far around the corner. With the recent Ben Wallace like rejection of the Net neutrality Markey amendment, which aims to keep protect the free Internet, telcos are one step closer to creating a tiered internet. This type of system will force companies such as Marquee backers, Google, Yahoo, MSN and others to pay ISPs to use their network and allow the ISPs decide which sites you should see based on how much they are paid by the dot coms.

As far fetched as it seems, and believe me, when I first heard about this I was skeptical but a coalition has even been formed about it,

Here is what they have to say:

Net Neutrality allows everyone to compete on a level playing field and is the reason that the Internet is a force for economic innovation, civic participation and free speech. If the public doesn't speak up now, Congress will cave to a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign by telephone and cable companies that want to decide what you do, where you go, and what you watch online.

This isn't just speculation -- we've already seen what happens elsewhere when the Internet's gatekeepers get too much control. Last year, Canada's version of AT&T -- Telus -- blocked their Internet customers from visiting a Web site sympathetic to workers with whom Telus was negotiating. And Shaw, a major Canadian cable company, charges an extra $10 a month to subscribers who dare to use a competing Internet telephone service.

This could have a devistating effect on small startups if they have to pay the ISPs for access, essentially crushing the freedom and creativity that makes the Internet so great.

Does anyone think this could be good?

Should the ISPs Decide Which Websites You Visit? By Jason Dowdell at 11:21 AM
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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Sand Hill Slave - You Go Girl

Keep posting Sand Hill Slave, we'll keep reading.

Sand Hill Slave - You Go Girl By Jason Dowdell at 05:29 PM
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Lynyrd Skynyrd Free Bird & Interruptions

Un caveat por favor: Please do not interrupt me when I am listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd. Not sure what it is, I'm sure my dad knows better than I but Skynyrd has special meaning to me. Perhaps it's the fact that my dad listened to it when I was a kid and it freaked me out but now I can relate to the emotions it provokes in me... Lynyrd Skynyrd is a learned taste, like beer, it goes down smooth and has a nice bite. Skynyrd is also good for architecting web applications and loosening up, which is what I'm doing.

Lynyrd Skynyrd Free Bird & Interruptions By Jason Dowdell at 04:40 PM
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Geotargeting Far and Near

Kanoodle has added geotargeting to its ad-serving offerings, and I bet many publishers will start asking for this feature soon.

Geotargeting works both ways, helping local advertisers to reach national audiences, and vice versa. Media companies (newspapers, tv, radio) should be active consumers as they want to grow their audience without diluting the value that they provide to local advertisers.

Similarly, national publishers can customize their offerings so that they can work with local advertisers. Networks should offer aggregate traffic from national media (eg. the desirable NY Times, Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek audience) and deliver ads for financial services companies only to residents in the Houston metro area, for example.

Geotargeting Far and Near By Jason Dowdell at 03:36 PM
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Microsoft Signs Massive Deal

Microsoft is acquiring video game ad network Massive, Inc. for $200 million, according to the Wall Street Journal (via Reuters).

Massive sells ads around a network of more than 135 games including titles from Acclaim Entertainment, Ubisoft, and Vivendi Universal Games.

Massive gives Microsoft a tested in-game program for delivering ads to online games and the Xbox. Massive gamers spend an average of 93 minutes per online game session, and enables Microsoft to reach the attractive 18-34 year old demographic.

Combine this with Microsoft Live, and advertisers are increasingly going to be dialing the 425 area code when trying to reach young folks online. Microsoft got themselves an audience and technology at a bargain, if the reported price is accurate.

Microsoft Signs Massive Deal By John Gartner at 12:13 PM
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Google ClickFraud Settlement Issues

I'm sure most of you noticed MarketingShift now has a new sponsor and as a result of talking with this sponsor I decided to do a bit of research on the landmark Google clickfraud class action lawsuit, especially the settlement portion, to get up to speed. To be quite honest I was shocked at what I found in my own research and in speaking with our own advertiser as well as other industry experts.

Anyone that has ever advertised with Google using AdWords should be made fully aware of the following issues surrounding the clickfraud class action settlement Google has entered into. This stuff is just ridiculous if you ask me.

Google Click Fraud Settlement Facts You Should Know
1.) $90 million is minuscule relative to current estimates of the amount of click fraud over the last four years. In fact, taking the most conservative estimates, over the last four years, click fraud resulted in more than $5 billion of losses to advertisers and probably more like $10 billion. Taking out the $30 million that is being used for attorney fees, Google is going to the figure that this firm believes Google is only going to be liable for $60 million.

2.) Under the terms of the settlement, the fox is left guarding the henhouse – Google decides whether and to what extent an advertiser has been defrauded.

3.) Under the terms of the settlement, advertisers will forever lose their right to claim for their rights if they don’t make a claim within 60 days of the settlement. If they opt-out, they will have a period of years to make a claim.

4.) Under the terms of the settlement, even if an advertiser makes a claim in time and even if Google accepts that claim, the advertiser will only be able to recover 0.05% of the money which they lost. That means that if Google agrees that an advertiser has lost $10,000 to click fraud, that advertiser will only be entitled to receive 5 DOLLARS.

5.) Under the terms of the settlement, Google will not have to pay cash. Instead, the settlement requires that the advertiser continue to advertise with Google in order to receive any benefit. Once Google agrees that an advertiser is owed money, Google will issue a coupon for 0.05% of that amount for future advertising with Google.

I highly recommend going to the AdWords forum and doing some of your own research with other AdWords advertisers and looking at the question / answers Google has already posted on Click Fraud in AdWords and actively monitor your campaign and getting up to speed on their terminology.

Google ClickFraud Settlement Issues By Jason Dowdell at 11:20 AM
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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

High Demand for Video on Demand

Comcast exec Steve Burke says video on demand will bring back some of the ad dollars that have shifted from TV to online. Comcast says it will have programming from all four major networks available on demand soon.

According to Comcast, adults 18-to-34 are the biggest consumers of VOD, and those under 35 comprise 66 percent of the VOD audience. They are also an upscale audience, which will help to lure advertisers.

Some of the VOD will be pay-for AND ad supported, while other content will be free with ads. If cable companies make the best of TV available on demand and keep advertisers happy by not allowing skipping, that makes DVRs' (buh-bye TiVo) future prospects a bit bleaker.

Found via Advertising Age.

High Demand for Video on Demand By Jason Dowdell at 06:31 PM
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Behavioral Ads Avoid Competition

A study of behavioral marketing shows that ads for products of interest that are displayed on unrelated sites are affective in attracting eyeballs. The study by Next Century Media for Panasonic showed a 50 percent improvement over contextual ads.

When I read previous study about behavioral marketing, I surmised that the ads did well because people who were on a site searching for content are less likely to detour to related ad than that same ad on an unrelated site.

Apparently someone else reached that same conclusion. ".. when in the market for a product and finding an ad for that product in a completely unrelated site, the user might react to the surprise of that unexpected event by looking at the ad," says the report from Next Century Media.

So rather than fighting with other contextual ads, get a better bang by waiting until users jump to another site. Makes sense, yes?

Behavioral Ads Avoid Competition By John Gartner at 06:06 PM
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Monday, April 24, 2006

Google Adwords Abuse via YouTube

A friend of mine sent me this interesting Google Adwords video which is posted on YouTube.

This video goes into explicit detail of a couple different forms of adsense abuse including Made-For-Adsense sites and multiple accounts bidding on the same words both violations of Google Policies.

There has been a recent explosion in abuse of AdWords, Google's PPC (pay per click) advertising platform. It is apparent that the techniques do not follow Google's own clear guidelines. Unfortunately, users and legitimate advertisers pay the price, while Google and the unscrupulous advertisers profit.

Google has always put its users first and one would hope that they will continue to abide by their charter. My aim with this video is to urge them to do something about these issues sooner rather than later.

Please send an email to Google, or to your favorite business or technology publication/blog

It is worth the 5 minutes to watch it, especially if you have an active Adwords account, because these tactics maybe affecting your ROI.

Google Adwords Abuse via YouTube By Evan Roberts at 03:22 PM
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The Targeting Challenge

DoubleClick today introduced a program where publishers can match the ads with audiences more likely to provide higher ROI.

Per DoubleClick: "Media is automatically delivered to best performing audience segments to maximize the value of each ad -- as it is defined by the publisher -- all without impacting ad priority or impression delivery goals."

The service attempts to automating the datamining for finding the best audiences (anonymously of course) to match with advertisers.

The tricky part is finding an audience match that boosts one campaign without taking away from others. Some folks may be interested in cars more than travel, so organizing those people can increase overal ROI. But other folks don't click on much of anything, so eliminating them from one pool can mean that other (perhaps less expensive) campaigns won't do as well. Therein lies the rub of better statistics.

Found via ClickZ.

The Targeting Challenge By John Gartner at 02:00 PM
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Viral Videos You Can't Ignore

The mainstream media is catching up to the power of viral videos. Timemagazine has an interesting feature summarizing the viral video successes and flubs, and a list of the top viral videos on YouTube (great time wasters, btw).

YouTube could sell sponsorships at the end of the ad or around the frame and make a tidy sum.

YouTube delivers more than 40 million videos per day, so getting visibility there would have more reach than most TV buys.

For companies to be successful (like Nike and Honda) with their viral ads, they have to be creative because viewers will see through the cheese. Populism is defining video marketing, and that's not a bad thing.

Viral Videos You Can't Ignore By John Gartner at 11:44 AM
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Google in China, Good News for Google and Yahoo and Local Search Highlights

There are tons of Google links and articles in the blogosphere today but these are the only ones that I've found mildly intereting.

Google's China problem, and China's Google Problem [via Newsvine]

The health of the Internet advertising market shone in the results that Google and Yahoo released and allayed fears the high-flying companies would get stuck in neutral. Shares in both companies rose on the news. [via Reuters]

And for those interested in the Local Search land...

Google Maps err Local, cant make up its mind. Google Maps –> Google Local –> Google Maps [via Greg Sterling]

Greg Sterling looks at 'Local' Search on, should Microsoft be commended or laughed at? [via G. Sterling]

With more businesses other then porn beginning to use MySpace as a free advertising medium, Greg Sterling ask the question, is Myspace the Next Yellow Pages?

Google in China, Good News for Google and Yahoo and Local Search Highlights By Jason Dowdell at 10:22 AM
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Microsoft Campus Search Analytics 98052

MetaMend posted some interesting data about search analytics from zip code 98052, which for those of you that don't know, is Microsoft's Campus in Redmond, Washington. Richard lays out the search engines they use internally which falls in line with pretty much the rest of the world. Google has the lion's share of the market followed by Yahoo and then Microsoft gets the leftovers.

Engine Used
Google Local
Yahoo! Local
Google Maps

Percentage of Traffic

Microsoft Campus Search Analytics 98052 By Jason Dowdell at 10:15 AM
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« April 2006 Week 3 April 2006 Week 5 »

  • Week 1 (19 entries) April 1-8
  • Week 2 (20 entries) April 9-15
  • Week 3 (18 entries) April 16-22
  • Week 4 (17 entries) April 23-29
  • Week 5 (0 entries) April 30-30

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Google ClickFraud Settlement Issues
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