Archive for the 'YouTube' Category

Advertising Signs of the Times?

It’s no secret that the economic climate of the past 10 months or so has wreaked havoc on some of the world’s most well-known brands. Car companies are filing for bankruptcy, banks are losing their minds, retailers are consolidating or downright closing shop, and restaurants are offering deal menus out the wazoo.

Here’s a look at how some brand marketers are, in one way or another, taking advantage of the recession to prove that less is more to stay afloat in these tough times. Some ads are funny, some are touching and some are outright ridiculous. So ridiculous I couldn’t event include them (i.e., a Victoria’s Secret ad about how less clothing is one good benefit from the down economy…come on!).

Allstate “Back to Basics”

Cap Gemini Ernst & Young “Depressed Economy”

Domino’s “Bailout”

Dunkin’ Donuts “Belt”

Etrade “The Economy”

GM “Reinvention”

iPhone Magic Wallet App

Target “Brand New Day”

— Posted by Melissa Coyle


The Game Changer: My Prayers Have Been Answered


Today, Apple released the second most anticipated product of 2007, the Phoneless iPhone iPod Touch, the device I have really been waiting for. Full touchy iPhone-esque screen, thin-as-nano size and WiFi (yeah WiFi!) for YouTube, surfing the web and iTunes Mobile this thing is amazing. Now, you can have all your songs, video, movies – even contacts and email, all on one device without the pricy phone bill for sub-par service.

And the best part? It’s not too cost prohibitive at $299 for 8 gb and $399 for 16 gb respectively (always worth the extra $100 for twice the storage).

Talk about a game changer. The iPod Touch makes those lusting over an iPhone able to obtain the same looks and most of the great functionality at a fraction of the cost. I’m sure people won’t miss the dropped calls.

Oh yeah, and the house that Steve built also dropped some new mini’s and shuffles on us, as well as an “iPod Classic”, which is basically the same iPod in new skin and more storage. An odd move in my opinion, but to each their own. Check out Gizmodo’s full run-down here.

So consider me in line, on board, or whatever. I’m just left with one question….26” Vizio or iPod Touch? Decisions, decisions.

Make Way for Online Videos

 A recent report from ABI research suggests that the online video market (both pay and ad supported) will be worth $15.6 billion by 2012. What does this mean for marketers? Well, not only do you have a new medium for communicating your brand and commercializing your content, but thanks to innovative reporting tools, you’ll learn more about your audience than you ever could with traditional broadcast TV advertising.

Shameless Plug Alert: If you’re interested in learning more about delivering innovative and interactive video experiences on the Web, check out our client PermissionTV.

— Posted by Melissa Coyle

The Game Changer: The iPhone Cometh

Today is the day.

The day 6 months in the making, the day one small device, saves the world.

Ok, so a bit dramatic, but seriously, – this is a really big deal…right? Sure, other phones have come and gone, toting all new features, music, email, etc – but none have done it like this; and certainly none have done it with this much hype.

Now that the phone has been handed to a select few “chosen ones”, there are several preliminary reviews surfacing, possibly the best came in the form of David Pogue’s iPhone video-blog (sorry Walt). In one scene, he is attacked by an angry mob of coworkers, eager to get their hands on the device. Pogue proceeds to leap up on to the side of a cubicle where he begins preaching on the phone’s shortcomings – mainly complaining about the AT&T network, and EDGE Internet service. A few at a time, they begin to leave, until one man is left. He leans over an asks,

“Does it have an Apple logo?”

Pogue replies, “Yeah, see? Its right on the back.”


Gotta love brand equity. This short exchange sums up the reason for probably 90% of the hype surrounding this thing, its made by Apple and, as the video so poignantly displays, regardless of flaws, the Apple fan-boy will still buy it. The Wall Street Journal’s column warns,

“…an iPhone may yet appear in every pocket now housing an iPod or phone. But if it merely becomes a rich hipster accessory, Apple’s stock would have a long way to fall.”

And that is my exact prediction. To me, the iPhone will become like a Ferrari; coveted by all, but owned by few. Think about it, an unsubsidized phone, with no choice of network at $499 and $599 price points, that doesn’t work with family plans and most certainly will not work with corporate plans because it won’t run the important apps hardcore business users need. The only demographic left IS the rich hipster.

I will use myself as an example. I am far from a rich hipster (though I am probably just as much of a music snob) but love Apple products, and though I don’t currently own a Mac (ask me again in a year or so), my household, like many others, does have 6 iPods. There is one apple sticker on my IBM laptop, and another on my Fender Stratocaster and spend more on iTunes than is deemed healthy by the FDA. I am a huge advocate for what the company does .

I want an iPhone as much as anyone, but the deal just doesn’t seem to work in my favor. I would have to break my Verizon contract, pony up the $600 for the phone (because why get a 4gig when you can have 2x the space for only $100 more) sign a new contract, which would be significantly higher than my Verizon family plan bill, plus data, plus WiFi costs (most aren’t free, right Starbucks?). Oh yeah, and don’t forget, the network is AT&T, meaning I would burn through minutes like crazy, as it seems like everyone in Boston has Verizon.

So, Game Changing? You bet. Revolutionary? Absolutely. But there is something in me that thinks the limits on this device make it not quite ready for prime time. We shall see.

Good luck to everyone braving the malls at 6 p.m., especially this guy.


The Game Changer: A Pirate’s Life for Disney

I am resisting the urge to comment on the goings on
at Ford these past few days as I promised I wouldn’t do a car post for a while (about time for my own Auto Biz blog I think). Check out the stories here and here if you are interested.

Some big news from Google-Tube this week, it seems Disney could be making some bank off more pirates than the ones played by Jonny Depp and Co.YouTube has struck a deal with Time Warner Inc. and Walt Disney Co. to being testing their video fingerprint technology, in an effort to prevent further lawsuits, like the $1billion in damages Viacom wanted because of reposts of popular MTV and Comedy Central shows on the site. The video ID technology recognizes copyrighted content that is uploaded to YouTube, giving the media giants two options; they can either remove the site, or opt-in to a revenue share program via advertising dollars.

Making money off piracy you say? Unheard of.

But, a fantastic idea, especially for Disney. Imagine the PR fall out the house that Mickey built would endure for suing a 13 year old uploading The Lion King or quality Disney Channel re-runs like Boy Meets World (what ever happened to Topanga anyway?).

As the guys over at CrunchGear said, “everybody wins” and I agree. Kudos to YouTube for figuring out a way to leave the lawyers at home, and actually monetize illegally posted content.

Doings at DEMO

Didn’t make it to DEMO this year? Curious about what some of the most innovative companies and technologies that showed their wares out in Palm Desert? Well, if you are interested in reading an unbiased report of the cooler products, services and sites now available, check back with us over the next few days as we provide a capsule view of a few of the things that caught my eye. There was a lot of talk about whether or not the “next Google or YouTube” happened to be among the 68 companies who got their six minutes of fame on stage at DEMO. I won’t go so far to say that this is likely, but I will go out on a limb and say that at least a few of these companies will either become tech industry house hold names, attractive acquisition targets or at the very least, new additions to the list of “must have” products or services in the coming months.

Turner Broadcasting Blows Up in Boston

While one of our managing partners, Tim Hurley, has been out in sunny Palm Springs, CA, participating in DEMO 2007 and going to extravagant after parties with H to the O-V Jay Z (more from him on that later today I’m sure), the city of Boston has been crippled, frozen in terror by….LiteBrights.

For the benefit of one of our fearless leaders on the West Coast and those of you outside of the Boston area, let’s back track. Early yesterday morning, a suspicious “object” was found underneath a bridge in Boston. Panic ensued, leading to more phone calls about more suspicious objects found throughout the city. The Boston Police, Jack Bauer and Homeland Security were called in to diffuse and disarm a total of 9 “bombs”. As we found out later in the day, the “bombs” were actually magnetic lights being used as a marketing campaign by Turner Broadcasting as a promotion for their upcoming TV Show turned movie, “Aqua Teen Hunger Force”, which was also launched in several major cities including New York, Austin and Seattle.

I’m sure the water cooler debate this morning is to determine if Boston citizens are more vigilant than other major cities, or if Santa didn’t visit their houses enough as children, but I’m going to shoot for the former. In a post 9/11 world, you can’t really blame anyone for calling in a suspicious object. In my high school, we had an evacuation after an automatic flusher broke off and was discovered on the floor by a student. It is easy to see how someone could mistake any type of black box with wires coming out of it to be a bomb. The mess here came in the “snowball effect” as people became more aware of their surroundings thanks to the morning news, the number of objects began to grow and grow, until millions of dollars were sunk into chasing after what were essentially toys. (A big kudos to all police and agents involved with this ordeal, I feel safer in this city than ever before.)

So, marketing disaster? You bet. But the sad thing is, people are going to see this movie in droves now. Before this incident, all I knew about Aqua Teen Hunger Force was that its’ theme song was often quoted on SportsCenter when Manny or Papi hit a bomb over the Monstah- “Makin’ the homies say ho, and the girlies wanna scream”. Now, I, along with most everyone in the region can tell you that the show is about the escapades of various delicious fast food items such as hamburgers, fries and a milkshake (sounds like a masterpiece). I’m sure Turner is sorry, but there really is no such thing as bad publicity, so the company is benefiting from this campaign anyway, as ugly as it has become.

In marketing, especially with guerilla tactics becoming a more mainstream practice, agencies need to proceed with caution. Obviously, in this case, someone missed a step and didn’t look at the entire picture. You can not put black boxes on land marks and bridges just like you can’t say bomb on an airplane (Focker), its just bad business. First and for most, Turner’s marketing department should have thought of the repercussions of what a campaign like this could entail, and, if they did decide to move ahead with it, which they did in this case, the proper authorities should have been notified to carry this thing out legally. I’m assuming by circumventing this last detail, Turner saved a few bucks, and came off as a bit more “legit” to their demographic, but in the end, I’m sure the extra money would have been worth avoiding the mess they’re in now.

It goes without saying that the blame has to fall on someone’s shoulders; however, it’s hard to say who, if anyone, the Boston PD should arrest. Is the starving artist, paid by a huge corporation really to blame? Or is it the huge corporation itself? Or the marketing person behind it all? As Andrew Hampp noted in his AdAge article

“But at least one person found no humor in the outdoor ad campaign gone haywire. U.S. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s telecom panel, said in a statement, “Scaring an entire region, tying up the T and major roadways, and forcing first responders to spend 12 hours chasing down trinkets instead of terrorists is marketing run amok. It would be hard to dream up a more appalling publicity stunt. Whoever thought this up needs to find another job.”

I am sure jobs will be lost over this, but what is the most important punishment, as Massachusetts taxpayers would tell you, is that Turner foots the bill. This operation must have been ridiculously expensive, and I’m sure everyone in this state would rather not have to pay for it, because they already have, spending an entire day worrying about loved ones on the edge of their seats, glued to their computers and televisions waiting for their sigh of relief.

A lesson learned to all of us in the industry….when it comes to guerrilla marketing, tread lightly, just put something up on YouTube.

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