Archive for May, 2009

New HBO/Gawker campaign gets bitten by critics

Posted by Nanette Marcus on May 29th, 2009 at 12:00 am

Earlier this week a new "blog" called "Bloodcopy" emerged under the Gawker umbrella. Purportedly penned by vampires, Bloodcopy is a somewhat elaborate ad campaign for HBO's upcoming season of its vampire drama, "True Blood." While it's vampires obviously don't exist, Gawker is under fire from readers and even one of its own editors for allowing a campaign that mimics its standarad blogger format so closely.
"Gawker Media has been taken to the media criticism woodshed over this one," wrote Gawker Managing Editor Gabriel Snyder.
In an Associated Press article, Gawker's Vice President of Sales and Marketing Chris Batty noted that Gawker has been working with companies to create messages that resonate more with blog readers than fixed-placed ads.
Bloodcopy also features vampire-targeted ads from Geico, Monster, and Ecko.

Social networking: Wasting marketers' time?

Posted by Lori Luechtefeld on May 29th, 2009 at 12:00 am

In this age of social media worship, in which Twitter and Facebook reign supreme, it's not often that you find someone in the interactive marketing field willing to go on the record as saying social networking isn't the end-all-be-all in growing and promoting a business.
But according to a recent article in Forbes, not all marketers are finding the value that we so often see touted in industry headlines. The creative director of a San Francisco-based digital shop even went so far as to say that his office refers to social networking as "social not-working," not only because such networks distract marketers from other tasks, but also because he believes he's never gotten a single customer out of it. He does concede, however, that Web 2.0 is a useful tool when it comes to spreading information and connecting with current clients.
So what do you think? Is there a distinction to be made between real-world referrals and ones made through online social networks, as suggested by sources in the Forbes article?

iMeem on the brink of bankruptcy finds an unlikely savior

Posted by Mario Sgambelluri on May 28th, 2009 at 12:00 am

"Two months ago, iMeem's founder, Dalton Caldwell, was ready to pull the plug," reports the NY Times. iMeem was suffocating in licensing debt to record labels, and advertising revenue (despite an audience of 26 million) "was nowhere close to covering expenses." 
Instead of celebrating, record labels forgave iMeem's debt and "relaxed the terms of their licensing deals with the site." This is a tremendous sign of maturity for the record industry. They need sites like iMeem as a source of revenue (even if it's less than they originally planned) and a channel for promotion.

Cold War Kids get online interaction right

Posted by Matt Kapko on May 28th, 2009 at 12:00 am

In an industry that continues to flounder and fail to find its way as a whole, Cold War Kids has launched a phenomenal interactive experience that allows the viewer/listener to manipulate the entire mix of its song "I've Seen Enough."
The track, which lasts three minutes and 10 seconds, is off the band's latest full-length release "Loyalty to Loyalty."
The interactive experience admittedly takes some time to load, but once you start tinkering around it becomes obvious why. You'll forget all about the time you spent waiting to get started.
This is by far the coolest online interaction with a band I've seen yet. Hovering over each of the four band members are colored bars that when clicked will change that member's version of the recording. That means fans can create at least 16 different versions of the song with a few simple clicks.
It's even better than it sounds. Fans can also mute band members by clicking on an image of them. And when you change the recording selection for each band member, a new video of them appears within the viewing pane that shows them performing that specific take.
The interactive experience is record mixing, live performance and deep fan engagement all in... Read more

To Google, or to Bing?

Posted by Rich Cherecwich on May 27th, 2009 at 12:00 am

Microsoft's much anticipated new search product now has a name -- Bing -- and it's a lot catchier than "Microsoft Live Search."
"Bing" has pop. It's got pizzazz. It's easy to say -- at just one syllable, it jumps out of your mouth faster than the silly names of those other search engines, like Google, or Yahoo, or even Kumo, Bing's working title.
Google has become part of our cultural lexicon. Noun, verb – it works both ways. I Google things daily, and I Google them on Google. Now, Microsoft wants "Binging" to become an ubiquitous part of the online experience, so much so that its reportedly ready to spend $100 million on a campaign around Bing's launch.
But are silly names all it takes to make a search engine popular? Take a look at It's quite possibly the most logical name for a search engine, and it can't even crack 5 percent of the U.S. search market.
So, what's in a name? The folks at TechCrunch have a video of Google co-founder Sergey Brin discussing Bing. He doesn't know enough to offer an alternate name to the Microsoft folks, but he did offer some insight into how Google got its name.