Archive for October, 2008

Professional Winners, 2.0

Posted by Michael Leis on October 29th, 2008 at 12:00 am

This post is in response to Jodi Harris' You are entrusting your brand to "idiots" I saw this article about Joel Levinson too, and think it shows how much UGC promos have not changed over time, regardless of the media. In radio, we called these folks "Professional Winners."
Back in the day, there would be guys sitting in rooms with multiple radios and multiple phones; radio stations on speed dial. Eventually, with the local nature of radio, you get to know their voices, and over time, the people. What I learned is that these people live sadly in search of some company to pay their bills, and to give them attention.
But it's not a glamorous life. The Times did a poor job of portraying this side of the situation. Sure, he may have won over $200,000 in prizes. Last time I checked, it's very difficult to pay your mortgage or rent in prizes.
The reality, though, is that it really doesn't matter who won, because brands rarely if ever employ an ongoing strategy that includes giveaways. The whole point of giveaways is to encourage product purchase by giving people a moment to think about what life... Read more

The Real Story Behind Today's WSJ Article

Posted by Jay Friedman on October 28th, 2008 at 12:00 am

The media can sure get folks up in arms.  Read today's Journal article ( and you'd think the ad network world is crashing down.  This article is either written with the intent of sensationalizing the situation or based on a lack of knowledge, neither of which is good for The Journal.  Here's to sorting out fact from sensation:

The article starts by mentioning that there are more than 300 networks, and then mentions two that have gone out of business.  Is that the symbol of death within the network world, or natural attrition of any vertical?  Lots of businesses will be challenged in the coming months and years but when two don't make it within a vertical space which contains more than 300, that's not quite a "shakeout."
AdBrite is mentioned for cutting 40% of its work force.  Not even a week ago I called this out as misleading ( in that AdBrite is having its best month ever.  This isn't bad times, this is their backers calling for fiscal discipline.
AOL is cited as experiencing softened spending in major categories.  Who isn't?  That's what happens in a recession!
The comScore graph shown... Read more

You are entrusting your brand to "idiots"

Posted by Jodi Harris on October 28th, 2008 at 12:00 am

This morning, there was a New York Times profile on Joel Moss Levinson, a seemingly skilled and prolific provider of advertising content.
According to the Times, Mr. Levinson, a college dropout with a long list of odd jobs to his (dis)credit, earns a nice living by winning money and prizes by entering user-generated content contests - you know, the ones, where Doritos offers amateur filmmakers a chance to create a 30-second spot to be aired during the Super Bowl, or Klondike asks fans to compose a musical ode to their love of its ice cream bar.
These campaigns are fun, they are relatively cheap for the companies to make (since most of the labor and production costs fall in the lap of the entrants) and they are taking the place of user-generated efforts that can build brand engagement - and evangelism - beyond that of a gimmicky contest that likely has little to do with the brand's products or benefits.
They are also making Mr. Levinson and his content creating brethren into internet celebrities. 
And Levinson's response to all this: "It's so great to have license to be an idiot."
He said it, I didn't.
Idiot or not, Levinson is... Read more

Email and social networks; mutually exclusive?

Posted by admin on October 28th, 2008 at 12:00 am

I keep getting asked – mostly by nervous database marketers – if the increased adoption of social networks is siphoning off traffic from the email inbox?  Fear not loyalists, email is thriving and still the best way to reach your customers.  But the CRM landscape is changing, and savvy marketers do need to expand their definition of "the inbox" and broaden their scope so they can stay in touch with customers, regardless of the channel. 
Overall time-spent-online continues to surge, and yes, much of that incremental time is spent in the social networks.  But the rising tide is lifting all channels.  After all, whether consumers are in their social media inbox, their email inbox, or their mobile inbox, at the end of the day they are spending more and more time in ‘the inbox’.  And the email marketing industry has already given birth to some of the most sophisticated tools for ‘inbox marketing’, which can be adapted as the devices change.   This broad approach is bringing the integration of email and social media, and is prompting a new discipline of database marketing.  And, some companies (like Datran Media) have begun to help companies apply the marketing and monetization tools typically... Read more

Internet ad spend may eclipse TV in UK next year

Posted by Mario Sgambelluri on October 28th, 2008 at 12:00 am

The latest IAB-UK/PwC study shows internet ad spending pulled within striking distance of TV spending, reports MarketingCharts. Online spending grew 21 percent (to $2.6 billion) during the first half of 2009, and now accounts for 19 percent of all advertising (up four points).  TV is currently at 22 percent of all ad spending.
Search (of course) led the charge with 28 percent growth.
Here in the US, internet ad spending climbed 15 percent during the first half of this year, according to the IAB.