Archive for April, 2010

Don't Become an SEO Dinosaur

Posted by Brian Easter on April 30th, 2010 at 12:00 am

Biologically speaking, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) would be a mutant.  An ever changing species, SEO has undergone an evolution that would require exposure to radiation to duplicate in nature.  Swift changes and adaptations necessitate dedication, and constant development of knowledge, to continually produce effective campaigns.  Initially, the techniques used for SEO were like blunt instruments compared to the subtle and precise skills currently in demand.  Keyword stuffing, link farming, and the implementation of SEO as an afterthought to interactive marketing campaigns were all too commonplace during the development of SEO.  Currently, the skills required are more delicate and exact, but still bear a relation to their pre-evolution counterparts.
If SEO, in its current form, had to be defined by two words, those words would be 'relevant' and 'organic'.  Instead of creating a web page that has the keyword repeated as many times as possible on the page, included in the meta tags, and serving as the anchor text of any links to the page, rich descriptive content that users want to read is in demand.  Naturally occurring keywords are necessary, those that don't appear as though the sentence is written around them.  While focusing on keywords in... Read more

Brand to consumers: Stop being so gullible

Posted by Lori Luechtefeld on April 30th, 2010 at 12:00 am

If you spend any reasonable amount of time as a brand marketer, at some point you're going to find yourself in the position of having to defend your company against a rumor. And sometimes these rumors can be unfounded -- even absurd. But that's not to say people out there don't believe them. After all, they read it -- it must be true.
This is precisely the situation yogurt maker Danone found itself in with regard to its Actimel brand in Argentina. Months ago, a viral email began circulating that pointed readers to a site claiming that Actimel was addictive, destroyed the stomach's natural flora, and could harm children. The story spread online like wildfire.
So what did the brand do? It fought viral with viral -- and spread some rumors of its own, reports Ad Age. In addition to a responsive TV commercial and one-on-one blogger outreach, the company and its local digital agency, Sinus, decided to show people how easy it was to spread rumors online. The brand launched a rumor-creation website that allowed visitors to generate their own fibs in the form of fake news headlines, personalized with photos, and send them to their friends. The takeaway... Read more

Creativing :: Hugo Chavez Tweets, Facebook's Open Graph explained, and the best iPad app yet

Posted by Doug Schumacher on April 30th, 2010 at 12:00 am

Tweet of the Week
Technically, "Twitterer" of the week. This week, Hugo Chavez joined the digerati. And his username roughly translates to 'devil' in many Latin American countries, although in Venezuela, it also means 'rabble-rouser'. Either way, a little nutty coming from the 5th largest oil producing nation in the world.
The Color of Words | Codename: "Cuttlefish"
Copywriters and Art Directors, unite. This is both entertaining and useful for checking people's creative color explorations. Each color is given a name, generally closely tied to the color it brings up. Well worth a few minutes of mousing around.
Facebook Sends Window Decals to Local Businesses
Start looking for this type of thing to be as common on a store window as credit card stickers.
Augmented Reality Billboard Puts Passersby in a Street Fight [VIDEO]
Strong execution using Augmented Reality in a digital billboard.
MobilGlyph: Making Data Tangible – Popwuping
Video demonstrating the use of QR codes as a way to enable data entry in a mobile phone for illiterate people. The final interface is a little like scrolling through the... Read more

Ann Taylor Caught Buying Off Bloggers

Posted by Daniel Flamberg on April 29th, 2010 at 12:00 am

Ann Taylor tried to schmear a bunch of bloggers and almost got busted by the FTC. This is good news because it will force bloggers to shill less and will put lazy PR guys on notice that payola shouldn't be the currency of choice in the blogsphere.
 Here are the facts, as reported by Ad Age:

Ann Taylor invited selected bloggers to preview the Summer 2010 Loft collection
They promised those posting articles would be eligible for a "special gift"
The "mystery card drawing" offered gift cards valued from $50 to $500
To cash in bloggers had to submit their posts to the company within 24 hours
There was a sign at the event reminding bloggers that FTC rules require disclosure

Whoever thought this campaign up clearly believes that "pay for play" is the rule in dealing with bloggers. The on-site signage was a CYA move that didn't really fake out the FTC. This is an effort to get right up to the line and exploit bloggers in ways that are impossible... Read more

Reviewing the Current Online Advertising Economic Models

Posted by Michael Sprouse on April 29th, 2010 at 12:00 am

On the heels of the recent merger of Connexus Corporation (Traffic Marketplace) and Epic Advertising, I would like to discuss the merits of each of the current online advertising pricing models. Years ago, sales teams and media buyers used a simple model where ad inventory for print or broadcast television were normally sold on a Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM) basis, against a rate base and rate card. Once the rate was negotiated, the deal was culminated in the ad being placed. With the recent rapid growth in online advertising, we have entered an era where the "click" and "action" were introduced as an added means of payment and campaign measurement. Let's review how each pricing model is used and our predictions for the future of online advertising pricing models.
Cost Per Action (CPA): Initially, this pricing model was seen as the truest form of online direct response advertising. CPA was the also the closest comparison to direct mail, and therefore attractive to the large number of DR-focused advertisers on the web.  CPA provides little financial risk to advertisers as they only pay the publisher, network or exchange for a quantifiable action (usually in the form of a sale, subscription, download... Read more