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December 2008, Week 3 Marketing Archives

Friday, December 19, 2008

Take A Spin on The Price is Right App for Itunes

price is right wheel

One of America's classic gameshows has become a hit on the AppStore:

The Price is Right,created by Ludia, features the original theme song,thecontestant'srow pricing game,showcase showdown and the showcase.

You can play the one-player version or make it a party game,with up to three friends,in classic mode or three strikes mode for mercy.Once you enter your name and proceed to the game opening, you'll instantly recognize popular games, such as Plinko,where you can drop your earned chips into the board,where it will fall in either the 4), $100,$500 or $1,000 slot. Three of my four landed in the $500 slot. (If only it was real money)

I was fortunate enough to make it the big wheel in the showcase showdown.but I only managed to land on 15 and 10. My competitor scored a 75 first spin. Doh!

Overall,I was thoroughly impressed by the graphics,sound effects,controls and gameplay. The only thing that was missing was Bob Barker. At $2.99, this is a game that lives up to its name. 

contestants row

Take A Spin on The Price is Right App for Itunes By Matt O'Hern at 04:59 PM
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Social Networks and Squatter Cities: One In the Same

squatter city

What do Facebook and Mumbai, India have in common? They're both vivid illustrations of man' innate need to connect. At the TED Conference,Author Stewart Brand explained  the rapid expansion of squatter cities.

During Brand's presentation  he showed why people in the isolated villages of the world are emptying out and headed to heavily populated sectors in metro areas such as Karachi,Mumbai,Sao Paolo,Lagos,Dhaka,Jakarta and Calcutta.

Some people go to Shangahi but most go to the squatter cities, where aesthetics rule. They're not people oppressed by poverty,they're people getting out of poverty. They're the dominant builders and the dominant designers. One/sixth of the GDP of India is coming out of Mumbai.

Some facts to consider about Squatter cities:

  • One billion people live in squatter cities.
  • Two billion more are expected.

What's the allure of the squatter cities?

The chance to join an informal economy and enterprise-which is also offered by social networks,from the major sites such as Myspace and Facebook, to the niche networks such as getreeled, a community for fisherman to share pics of their latest catch. Think of Facebook and Myspace as the prominent,cookie-cutter style condos of the social networking world in Sao Paolo,Brazil,and smaller,niche networks as the thousands of smaller-scale houses.

Squatter cites and social networks are both free and upwardly mobile,and they provide:

  • Rent of undeeded property
  • Construction of undeeded buildings
  • Untaxed services

In summary, more people are searching for a fast and frugal way to advance their progression in life, whether it's social,professional or a mixture of the two.

UPDATE: I asked Wharton Professor Jerry Wind for his take on my analogy, and you can read my post which includes the video interview.

Social Networks and Squatter Cities: One In the Same By Matt O'Hern at 01:50 PM
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Hulu Effect - Youth Want To Watch TV Online, Not Cable

Online Video has killed the TV- at least-the living-room TV-,  for today's youth.

One of the most coveted TV advertising markets, the 14- to 25-year-olds (Generation y or Millenials),watches an average of 10.5 hours of TV a week. .Older generations,"Generation X"  (26-42), baby boomers and seniors, watch five hours more each week

Remember how our parents always told us they never wasted so much time in front of the TV? Times have changed and,according to the latest numbers from Deloitte , the tables have turned: TV viewership increases with age, and parents are becoming the couch potatoes.

Today's youth are devoting less time to TV but MORE time to media overalll, if you factor-in video games, music and the Internet. Another study by Deloitte  "The State of the Media Democracy."  revealed the reasons behind modern youth's shift from the living room box set to online TV,  such as Hulu.

  • Word of mouth is the most common reason for Millennials to visit a Web site, followed by an ad on television. Almost half (48 percent) visit television Web sites in a typical week.
  • The Millennials (age 14-25) surveyed maintain large instant messaging (IM) and texting lists that average 37 people, compared with just 17 for the entire sample.
  • When they find a particular television show or Web site  they enjoy, they tell an average of 18 people, compared with only 10 people for all age groups.

Sound familiar? I mentioned these trends in my post about the decline of user-generated video as entertainment and the rise of ad-supported,premium video.I quoted Arash Amel of Screen Digest and his projections for premium online TV viewership.

The figures also  explain the success of shows that make current events more appealing,such as Comedy Central's Daily Show,with John Stewart, the Colbert Report and E! TV's The Soup.

As a quote from the report stated:

Just don't expect them to spend too much time worrying about such things as news and current events.


Hulu Effect - Youth Want To Watch TV Online, Not Cable By Matt O'Hern at 07:50 AM
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Thursday, December 18, 2008

$50 iTunes Gift Card Winner Announced in Christmas Contest

Ben House 4

The first question we thought about when we saw this house was if anyone actually lived in it? How do you sleep with all those bright lights?!? We were told someone indeed is crazy enough to live in this house. Our next question was with how many cats? This house is probably one of the most carefully and best decorated houses in town and people love it. So did we.

Ben House 5

Okay this is a house but no one really lives in but we liked it anyway. We thought in keeping with photographing historic older houses in the area this one qualified as very well decorated. We particularly love the wrap around tree lights and the many animals in front. This house is was decorated by the company the owns the largest water park in the US.

Congratulations goes to Ben Pfeiffer, who once again has won the Christmas contest for the house with the most Clark W. Griswold spirit.  Way to go Ben, wonder if you'll enter again tomorrow ;)  I have no problems with that if you do.

$50 iTunes Gift Card Winner Announced in Christmas Contest By Rick Hoskins at 04:01 PM
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Noah Compton Wins Third Itunes Giftcard Giveaway

NoahNoahCongrats to Noah Compton, winner of our third gift card giveaway. You may recall his entry from our post on Tuesday. The inflatable carousel in the front yard (which blares christmas carols)is almost as tall as the two-story house. We're still waiting for your entries, so send us some pictures of those crazy neighbors!


We stil have two $50 Itunes gift cards to give away, but there are only two days left!!l

To enter, just send your pic, along with name and a description of the house to

Noah Compton Wins Third Itunes Giftcard Giveaway By Matt O'Hern at 05:05 PM
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AMD Fusion Widget Unlocks New Speed for Gamers


AMD has created a handy device for gamers., known as Fusion,  The embeddable widget harnesses the resources you need for optimal speed and support. Fusion suspends all of those pesky and unnecessary programs that hinder performance.
Dirk Meyer, the President and CEO of AMD, explained the inspiration behind the advanced application.

Fusion is what happens when our technology, our partnerships and our customer's dreams collide. It's a natural fit for AMD, because At our core ,we're a collaborative company. It's what's fueled our past and what will drive our people and our future.

Before you download the widget, you can watch an video that offers an  overview of its controls. It was designed with a combination of advanced user interface and simple controls. Fusion offers a variety of profiles for the user to operate from, the basic profile, the advanced profile and the expert profile.

Each profile offers customization options, with more aggresive capabilities in the advanced and expert modes. In the expert profile, you can see every program that will be shut down. You can tweak to suspend or close a specific set of programs.

I'm not an avid gamer,in fact, the last PC game I bought was the latest installment of Sim City Franchise, but the main concept of Fusion could and should be applied to other programs that involve groundbreaking graphics and technology.

AMD Fusion Widget Unlocks New Speed for Gamers By Matt O'Hern at 04:50 PM
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Itunes Tax Headed for New York

itunes tax

 New Yorkers may be forced to pay an extra fee for music and  and other "digitally delivered entertainment services", thanks to a new state budget.

New York's governor David Paterson defended the iTunes fee as one of the "necessary" moves to shrink New York's $15.4 billion budget deficit. He said:


We're going to have to take some extreme measures.This is where we are. Change is unavoidable, and the proposals I have put forward today begin the difficult process of adapting to a new fiscal reality


New York's long list of fees also hits other areas of entertainment,including movie tickets and sporting events. Some notable revenue increases include: A new, additional 18% sales tax on non-diet soft drinks, eliminating the sales tax exemption on clothing and footwear under $110,  imposing a sales tax on cable and satellite TV/Radio and conforming the state sales tax to New York City's practice of taxing personal services, such as barbering, massages, and hair salons, and credit rating services. The New York Daily News conducted an online poll that asked:

Will you still buy iTunes songs if New York State imposes a sales tax on them?

The results: 91% no, 9% yes.

itunes tax poll

Another poll asked: "Which tax on everyday incomewill hurt you the most?"

Driving fees led with 18%, followed by Soda and Cable TV tied for second at 17%,alcoholic drinks at 14%, internet downloads at 9%, cab rides at 6%, cigars at 3% and sporting events at 1%.

If and when the governor defines what's included in the vague description of "digitally delivered entertainment services "I want to hear how he plans to implement and enforce the the fee for all of the applicable sites. If other states choose to follow a similar model, we could see a notable impact on internet marketing. 

Itunes Tax Headed for New York By Matt O'Hern at 09:50 AM
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Jenna Crawford Wins Second Itunes Gift Card

Tuesday's Tacky Christmas Light Winner was an easy choice for all of us at Labitat. Jenna Crawford's entry- the house on Rock Springs Drive from Melbourne, Florida.crazy christmas decorations

Jenna's entry won for several reasons:

*The incredible amount of lights and decorations

*Her lenghty description

*Several quality photos to showcase the house.


We still have three $50 itunes gift cards to giveaway plus a grand prize $100 Visa gift card before friday at 5 p.m. Just snap some pics of your local crazy Christmas hosue and email them to

We took a quick video on a small digital camera, here's a quick video sample of the house.enjoy.

Jenna Crawford Wins Second Itunes Gift Card By Matt O'Hern at 05:04 PM
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Which will die first - XM Radio or Your Subscription?


XM radio hopes to lure new subscribers with a lifetime subscription offer for $399. For the same rate, Sirius fans can opt for a lifetime subscription for the best of Sirius.
On the surface, these offers seem like a great deal to anyone who's considering a long-term commitment to Sirius-XM, but have you checked out their stock lately?

As of the market's closing today, Sirius-XM Radio Inc. was worth 0.150 per-share,and one of Sirius' biggest names, Howard Stern ( a big draw for subscribers, love him or hate him) has talked about leaving in two years. Sirius-XM 'struggle is hard to analyze, because they don't even have any competition,yet their stock is so low.
In other words, signing a lifetime contract with XM might be as risky as signing a 70-year old smoker to a life-insurance policy.

UPDATE: Sirius XM Radio on brink of bankruptcy.

Which will die first - XM Radio or Your Subscription? By Matt O'Hern at 05:00 PM
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Tuesday's Tacky Christmas Light Entries Raise the Roof

Even in my wildest dreams, I never could have foreseen the astounding examples of Christmas Decoration Obsession Disorder (CDOD) that we received last night.
Our latest contestants not only surpassed my expectations, they raised the bar to such an Everest-like height, that only an upset  on par with the "1980 Miracle on Ice" could top our list for Tuesday.

We'll start with the the sanctum for Saint Nick, located at Rock Springs Drive in Melbourne, Florida. (I'm surprised you can't notice it from the space setting on Google Earth.) I'll let Jenna Crawford of Melbourne describe the temporary tourist attraction that pops up in her subdivision every winter. Her captions are listed below each picture.Entire HouseFirst of all you have a complete picture of the entire house Jenna's Garage Here are all the characters in the garage (which are all animated)They light up and play Christmas music . Right Hand Side You have another picture of the right hand side of the house which is the lighted Christmas trees with the stars on the top. NutcrackerYou also have a picture of the nutcracker type soldiers that line the entire border of the house along with candy cane lights and last is a picture from the side showing that the walls and roof are completely covered with lights, and Santa's helicopter as well.

*On a personal note,I live within 15 minutes of this house, and I had to drive there for visual confirmation. Believe me. these photos don't even give it justice. I hand-counted 175 illuminated  lawn characters and ornaments, ranging from nutcrackers to the nativity scene and lollipops lining the sidewalk. What really amazed me was the winter wonderland in the garage. This show would give any storefront window display a run for its money.

To appreciate the full scale of it, you have to see it up close in person. One thing the photos didn't feature is the full sequence of illuminated wooden arches that span the length of the the front lawn. Two families pulled up with us as we nosed our way through the front yard like buzzards pecking through roadkill. It's difficult for a die-hard Christmas Vacation fan like me to admit, but this house TRULY puts Clark W. Griswold's house to shame.When you factor in the number of entries, the size of the photos, the detailed descriptions and the unbelievable layout. Behold, the second entry (Warning: This may require sunglasses). NoahNoah It was sent by Noah Compton of Sebastian,Florida. Noah noticed this shrine during his commute, which takes him through Grant, Florida. We received his entry about  an hour before Jenna's, and at that point, his entry was head-and-shoulders above the rest- for several reasons.
First of all, notice the immense scale of the inflatable carousel on the left side of the yard. Our best estimates put that monstrosity at 14-feet high, and approximately 21-feet wide.
Noah's entry also scores VERY high in the light pollution category. (Sorry Al Gore, you'll have to let this one house slide)
Notice the incredible amount of light emanating from Santa's sleigh on the rooftop and the blue glow beaming across the wall of neighbor's house on the right. If you focus at the corner of the image, there appears to be a "For Sale" sign in the neighbor's yard, which was just too fitting.
As great as these entries were, we know that America still has plenty to offer. Every town has its special get out there and show us what you've got! There's still three more days (Friday at 5 p.m. Eastern)  to compete for your own $50 iTunes gift card and the $100 grand prize visa gift card. Remember, houses like these keep your state power companies full of the jolly Christmas spirit.

FPL Laughing

Keep sending us your photos for our contest pool. Remember, you can still vote for old entries, because we're rolling the losers from each day into a pool for the entire week. So if you think Noah's house is better than ANY of the entries we list tomorrow, you can still give him a #1 vote tomorrow.

Tuesday's Tacky Christmas Light Entries Raise the Roof By Matt O'Hern at 09:39 AM
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Monday, December 15, 2008

Ben Pfeiffer wins first iTunes giftcard

Ben Pfeiffers winning Christmas Contest Photo Our first winner was an easy call and a unanimous vote, thanks to Ben Pfeiffer's three excellent photos. Of his three entries, we particularly enjoyed house #3, because it included the early 90's Chrysler with the popped hood- which gave it a nice "Cousin Eddie" effect..It also showed negligence of savvy budgeting. The other photos featured nice touches, such as pic 1, which had the full blown A D D theme. Spongebob, nativity scene,gingerbread men and Charlie Brown all in one yard.

Remember, we still have four days, and four cards left, plus the $100 Visa Grand Prize. We appreciate the entries we've received so far, and they'll remain in the competition, but Ben's three photos are a great example of what we're looking for. They're large,clear pics with detailed descriptions and convincing pitches.

Here's a reminder of what we're looking for:
Photos of houses from your local neighborhood that are littered with an excessive amount of tacky Christmas lights and props. Key factors in our evaluation include: Number and size of inflatable characters, quantity of lights, redneck features and light pollution.

Ben Pfeiffer wins first iTunes giftcard By Matt O'Hern at 04:50 PM
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Tacky Christmas Light Entries For Itunes Giftcard Giveaway

The first entries are in for our Itunes Giftcard giveaway, and we want to hear your take on the crop of photos.

Ben Pfeiffer ofNew Braunfels, Texas submitted the following three pics.

ben house 1


Like the melting pot that America is, this particular house has everything you can buy from the Walmart Christmas section and then some more. Not to be outdone by the neighbors, this house comes complete with a ultra creepy oversized Spongebob sneaking through the kid's bedroom window. What this has to do with Christmas decorations I don't know but for some reason it makes this house one of the best we saw all night.

ben house 2


You can barely makeout a house behind all the gigantic animatronic inflatable characters carelessly  swoon around the yard. We immediately wanted to string some extra Christmas lights to help balance out the montage of characters. A few more inflatable animals hanging from the trees and this house would be a ride at Disney. Despite the chaos of characters we had the most fun at this house. The deer in the basketball net in addition to the palm trees really gave us a laugh. The neighbors tell us they decorate this much for every holiday.

ben house 3


Probably our favorite of the night. What house with Christmas decorations is complete without your very own broken down early 90's Chrysler in the driveway? This would make the Griswolds proud. We counted 8 inflatable characters in the yard and also a bit better organized than the last house.  Our end of the night diamond in the rough.

Gators House

Angela Root of Orlando sent us these pics of a house with a Florida Gators' theme. (As a Seminoles fan, I consider this a tacky choice.) gators housegators house 2gator house 3 This picture was taken in an area of Orlando called Belle Isle. Its one of my most favorite areas in Orlando, it has some of the most beautiful houses and on either side of the road there is a lake hence being called "isle." I'd like to think I deserve this gift card because I took a picture of a house that goes against the norm when it comes to Christmas lights. Granted I know the mission was to photograph a house with tacky lighting, I chose to photograph the house with a theme being the University of Florida. This house isn't only illuminated in blue and orange, they have also gone the extra by also having Tebow's jersey number illuminated in the yard, football players throwing balls, gators opening and closing their mouths, and their SUVS all decked out in gator paraphernalia. This is my plea, hope you buy it. griswold house 2

Drew Anema of Merritt Island took these two pics.

I got ya some Griswalds here. Here are two Merritt Island examples.The first of which should be a winner because Im taking pictures in a car with Iowa tags in Florida like a hillbilly when the neighbor starts walking up to us to find out what in the world we are doing. We hopped in the car and burned out like we're the wet bandits casing the joint.


The second of the pictures should win because the lights are on the roof (like christmas vacation) and the sheer size of the the fact it has a stone castle like turret!

Vote for your favorite house, and we'll announce a winner at five. Keep sending us your photos for a chance at a $50 Itunes gift card and a $100 Visa gift card.

Tacky Christmas Light Entries For Itunes Giftcard Giveaway By Matt O'Hern at 12:37 PM
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Starbucks Defies Economic Logic With Late Rally


Despite the sluggish economy and Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) has made a comeback. For some inexplicable reason, Starbucks' cash-strapped consumers are returning to the high-priced coffee. Perhaps it's partially related to the number of Target stores that offer Starbucks in their cafe and more shoppers during the Christmas season. Whatever the reason, they're visiting more often and spending more at the national chain.

Geezeo consumer data,the Main Street Market Report, showed a resurgence in customer spending and loyalty.Geezeo's report predicted  Starbuck’s growth to continue as people treat themselves to smaller items like fresh brewed coffee, and cut back on larger ticket items like dining out.


The average customer visited Starbucks 3.7 times a month in November compared to 2.9 times a month last November 2007. In addition to visiting more, Starbucks customers spend more per visit.  Starbucks customers spent $6.36 per visit compared to $5.92 per visit at Dunkin Donuts.   In November 2007, Starbucks customers spent  $5.97 a month, while Dunkin Donuts customers spent 5.00.This leads to an average monthly spend of $23.37 for Starbucks customers, a 29% increase over the $18.09 Dunkin Donuts customers are spending per month.


The only stat that didn't surprise me in Geezeo's breakdown was the amount spent per visit. Starbucks' is priced more than Dunkin Donuts, so it's only natural to assume the customer will spend more each visit.

Smartmoney's 3-month graph reflects the recent upswing for Starbucks.The shift is a reversal of fortune for Starbucks, because it comes only a few months after the gourmet coffee company  announced it was closing 600 U.S. stores- including 200  closures in the fourth quarter. Coincidently, Starbucks just announced its plans to sell several of its brands- Seattle's Best Coffee, Henry's Blend and 6th Avenue Bistro Blend in 1,900 Subway sandwich stores next month.

coffee matePersonally, I've started to make my own flavored coffee with Nestle Coffee-Mate Creamer. It's not as as good as Starbucks, but for the price of a medium latte at Starbucks, I can get a pint worth of Coffee Mate for at least a dozen cups.
We're curious if the economy has affected your coffee preference, so tell us if you're still loyal to the nation's most popular coffee company.

Starbucks Defies Economic Logic With Late Rally By Matt O'Hern at 10:35 AM
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« December 2008 Week 2 December 2008 Week 4 »

  • Week 1 (16 entries) December 1-6
  • Week 2 (16 entries) December 7-13
  • Week 3 (13 entries) December 14-20
  • Week 4 (11 entries) December 21-27
  • Week 5 (6 entries) December 28-31

Itunes Tax Headed for New York
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by saina
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