Dial-A-Poem Goes to Web

"The phones are now long gone, but Dial-A-Poem is still out there waiting for you day and night on the Web. Though it isn't exactly what it used to be, it is as close as you can get."
-- NY Times

IAB Releases Online Ad Revenue Report for 2004

"The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) today released the Internet Advertising Revenue Report (pdf) including final numbers for Q3, Q4 and full-year 2004. Overall industry revenues rose nearly 33 percent over 2003 totaling over $9.6 billion and exceeded the previous revenue record in 2000 by nearly 20 percent. Q4 2004 revenues totaled a record $2.69 billion, marking the highest quarter ever reported."
-- press release

Concept: Last Ad Standing

I was thinking how cool it would be if you could vote bad TV commercials off the air - more audience involvement, and even people with TiVo would sit through commercial breaks - and here arrives a del.icio.us RSS bookmark to Craig Newmark's post:

"My suggestion: on the site [of current.tv], create an area for feedback regarding commercials... and allow people to vote commercials off the channel. That is, if there're real signs the commercials are really disliked, get rid of 'em."

Great minds, huh.

Commentary: Internet TV is Weird

"Trouble is, no one is sure yet what Internet TV should be, whether it will have much worth watching or what people might be willing to pay to see that isn't already on television."
-- Leslie Walker at Washington Post

Flat Foldable Speakers

"PNI, a Korean research firm, announced that it has developed a technology for mass production of flat speakers that are as flexible as a piece of fabric. These speakers are thin transparent sheets that move like cloth. They can be hung on walls, draped over an object or hung in a frame. One only needs to cut out a piece of the "cloth" and connect it to an amplifier with a wire. The speakers, however, can only support sounds in the upper end of the register."
--Joongang Daily via Near Future

Video Phone Users Participate in TV Shows

In Italy, viewers call in TV shows with their video-enabled mobile phones and become part of the action. "In the programs, those with a video phone or webcam can interact with the TV hosts, sing songs, tell jokes, provide cinema reviews, etc. The caller's video image is visible on screen, next to or behind the hosts, who sit in a Flash-produced digital studio. The system is now making it to mainstream TV as well."
-- Poynter.org via Unmediated

Related site: Participation TV

The Rise of Remotely Social Television

Screen Clutter Hurts News

"TV screens during news shows are so cluttered with crawls, scrolls, logos, weather boxes and sports scores that viewers are finding it nearly impossible to focus on the anchors, three mass-media researchers said. The researchers concluded that people tend to remember about 10% fewer facts when information on the screen is unrelated to the primary report."
-- Broadcasting & Cable via Lost Remote

How To Block RSS Ads

This is mean. The RSS ads are not even officially out yet, but someone has already put together a guide on how to block them.

Brand an Airplane

Siberia Airlines, one of the largest Russian discount carriers, is selling advertising space, and lots of it. You can put your brand on anything you want - from tickets and towels to the entire airplane. The list of brandable surfaces includes carpeting, seats, tables, in-flight magazines, flight assistants' uniforms, interior walls, shades, trays, napkins, boarding passes, schedules, luggage rafts, bathrooms, the hangar, the walls of the office building, and VIP lounges.

You can also run commercials on the in-flight TV and radio, and organize special onboard events and promotions.
-- Sostav.ru (in Russian)

Closed Spaces: In-Flight Advertising

Video Hotspotting

"The real bleeding-edge technology set to take off this summer is called "hotspotting." [Online video ads] -- designed by upstart interactive agencies such as Deep Focus, eLine Technologies (VideoClix), Klipmart, and MovieBanners -- will embed hyperlinks and pop-up windows in the frames of the movie trailers, turning each character or object into a virtual library of information. Clicking on Batman, for example, could lead you to a bio of actor Christian Bale. Rolling the mouse over a specific War of the Worlds frame might give you a link to a site selling the novel."
-- Business 2.0 via Lost Remote

Scrolling Belt Buckle

At $28.99, this scrolling LED belt buckle displays scrolling text, can be pre-programmed with six messages up to 256 characters each and works with any buckle-style belt.

Not a terribly new concept. Here are some programmable badges with scrolling text, and some bycicle wheels, too.

Wearable Displays

Online Ad Revenue Rivals Traditional Media's

"This year the combined advertising revenues of Google and Yahoo! will rival the combined prime-time ad revenues of America’s three big television networks, ABC, CBS and NBC, predicts Advertising Age." The Economist explores what it may mean for the industry.

Stamp Advertising Is Back

"After an initial test marred by computer pranksters, Stamps.com and the U.S. Postal Service are again offering people a chance to put their personal photos on postage stamps.

A new one-year test period will begin on May 17, the Santa Monica-based company said Tuesday. Stamps have also been redesigned to provide more room for images, with a sheet of 20 first-class stamps selling for $16.99."
-- Business Week

Update: A wonderful article on fake stamps as art, from Stay Free Magazine.

Advertising on Stamps

P&G to Put Sound Into Print Ads

"The Procter & Gamble haircare brand will be the first in the UK to use sound in a print ad, which will appear in more than 400,000 copies of Marie Claire. The four page glossy tip-on will carry an integrated sound chip. When the card is opened, readers will hear a woman shouting "Yes! Yes! Yes!", as in the brand's TV ads."
-- Brand Republic

Sound Inserts in Print Ads
Talking Packaging
Talking "Post-it" Button
Talking POS: Spy Voice Trap
Musical Greeting Cards (how they work, and more)

The Nose Job

" In January, Seattle-based Impart Technology, which provides mirrors with liquid-crystal displays to upscale stores such as Cartier and Neiman Marcus, unveiled its first scented video mirror. Whenever a customer walks within three feet of the mirror, the device -- equipped with a motion detector -- expels a puff of perfume while also showing a video clip promoting the product."

Business Week runs a terrific piece on the rise of scented marketing, talking about the blockbuster success of P&G's Scentstories, a Scent Dome that helps children learn alphabet by associating letter A with a whiff of apple; a new computer game by Dimension Edge that emits smells, and the future of scented DVD players.

"Already, hotels such as Las Vegas' Bellagio pump certain scents into their lobbies so guests -- it's hoped -- consider their hotels the next time they encounter the smell. Now, British architect Usman Haque is developing ways to set up vertical and horizontal columns of smells that will help people remember which wing of a building they're in, or to create a romantic atmosphere in a corner of a room."

-- Business Week via reBang

AD:TECH Conference Blog

If you are not in San Francisco pilfering freebies at the AD:TECH 2005 conference, you can still follow the action at their blog.

AdSense Coming To RSS

The admin of Longhorn Blogs writes: "So many of you might have already noticed that we have Google AdSense in our RSS feeds. I'm not going to go into detail on the how or why, at least not yet. But I do want to answer a couple of questions that have already come up."

Advertising on RSS

The Battle for Your Living Room

Wall Street Journal writes (free article): "The convergence of computing, communications and entertainment has been promised before, only to evaporate because of consumer indifference and technology that wasn't ready for prime time. But now the pieces are finally coming together. And corporations are scrambling to make sure they aren't left behind."
-- via Lost Remote

Gates Previews Future Tablet PC

Bill Gates, speaking at Microsoft Windows Hardware Engineering Conference, "shared next-generation mobile Tablet PC features and hardware designs from Taiwan-based manufacturers Acer Inc. and ASUSTeK Computer Inc. (ASUS), and a prototype of an "ultra-mobile" Tablet PC."
-- via Lost Remote

You can read off it, you can write on it, you can talk through it, you can watch movies on it, you can carry it anywhere. I only hope they make it affordable enough.

Talking POS: Spy Voice Trap

At $11.95 apiece, this Spy Voice Trap will be a perfect addition to your arsenal of interactive point of sales materials. Sold as a toy, the this recordable motion alarm "has a microphone to record, a playback so you can review your message/warning, a sensor to detect movement, and a speaker to sound the alarm."

Talking "Post-it" Button
Talking Packaging
Sound Inserts in Print Ads
Musical Greeting Cards (how they work, and more)

Study: Carnegie Compares Net to Other News Sources

This report (PowerPoint file) by Merill Brown to Carnegie Corporation has been around for a couple of weeks now. It predicts (predictably) a greater shift of younger audiences towards the Internet as a news source, and it also looks at how the Net compares to other sources accross different factors. Here's an article that discusses the findings in a greater detail.
-- thanks to Les from Trylon

Future: Product Placement in Dreams

A cover of Business Week dated April 18, 2172 considers ethical implications of product placement in dreams. The imaginary magazine covers are part of the advertising campaign by the Magazine Publishers of America (press release). Nevermind that there probably won't be any printed magazines, let alone covers in 2172.

Sony Patents Telepathy
Dream Machine and Subliminal Ads?

MetaAdverse, In-Game Advertising Agency

A couple of days ago, I wrote that perhaps one day we would see advertising agencies run by players in online worlds. Actually, one such agency is already in business. It's called MetaAdverse and exists in Second Life. Quoting Clickable Culture: "Ad fads have come and gone, but a new system is on the horizon, promising a publishing and advertising network modeled after the online banner ad industry. Second Life resident Rathe Underthorn opened the doors to his new venture, the "MetaAdverse," in January, 2005.

MetaAdverse follows a time-tested convention currently in use in web-based online advertising. Publishers offer up ad-space, which is valuated and offered for rent to advertisers at a cost-per "impression." Unlike traditional web-based banner ad systems, the MetaAdverse is open only to advertisements for virtual products or services."

Virtual Goods Trade To Boost In-Game Advertising?
Debate Over Standards for In-Game Ads
NY Times Covers In-Game Ads

Ethnographic Research on Packaging Usage

Packaging Innovation explores how people use product packaging throughout its entire lifecycle. The company has outlined six trends it sees as inevitable. One of them is interactivity: "Future packaging will be forced to evolve to interact much more with the outside environment and consumers in ways it has never done before."
-- Package Design Magazine

keywords: consumption life cycle, lifecycle, packaging, package

Talking Packaging

Fox to Offer Tweakable TV Ads

"In a move that could help redefine broadcast-TV advertising, News Corp.'s Fox teams up with Fox is teaming up with Visible World to offer marketers tweakable ads -- spots that can be digitally altered to contain elements relevant to particular viewers at the time they are seen. By changing voice-overs, scripts, graphic elements or other images, for instance, advertisers could make an ad appeal to teens in one instance and seniors in another.

Tailoring commercials has emerged as a new goal in the ad industry, thanks to a plethora of media outlets and the increasing fragmentation of audiences."
-- Wall Street Journal, reprinted in Lexington Herald-Leader

Also check out Invidi. They equip cable opperators with Advatar technology to serve commercials targeted at household level. The company has recently raised $16M in the second round of VC financing.

Cable Ad Narrowcasting Techs
Comcast Expands Ads-on-Demand Service
Product Displacement: Don't Pay - Don't Play

Flashback: Magnifying Lense to Enlarge Screen Size

An online store in Hong Kong sells a lense to magnify images on the Sony PlayStation Portable screen (left). The first mass-produced Soviet TV set KVN-49-4 (1949) came equipped with a lense to magnify the picture (screen size 10.5 x 14 cm).

Consumers Willing to Pay for Relevant Ads

Yankelovich unveils new marketing receptivity study:

"More than half (55%) of all consumers would be willing to pay a little extra to get only the kinds of marketing they prefer, but marketers aren't listening, according to the 2005 Yankelovich Marketing Receptivity Survey. The study demonstrates that marketers mistakenly believe that the advent of new media will re-engage resistant consumers - but consumers continue to rebel."
-- CRM Today

Google To Roll Out Ads on Demand?

CNet Readers Map Out Future of TV

"Welcome to CNET News.com's Me TV Wiki. Here, you can collaborate with other readers to predict the future of television, collectively writing and editing your own chapter of this special report. A few potential points to address: How do you think people will watch TV in five years? What kind of shows will be available to download, and at what cost? Will 30-second commercials become obsolete? Who will control the TV industry?"

CFO Magazine Bets on Future Technologies

"Which technologies will revolutionize commerce over the next 20 years? Our fearless predictions include 3-D printing, holographic storage, teleimmersion, and more."
-- CFO Magazine

Tasteful Tattoodvertising

Tattoo ads and branded candy come together.
"Here's how Tongue Tickling Tattoos work: The tattoo is made through edible ink technology. So you wet your skin, place the tattoo on the moist area for 10 seconds, and the temporary image - Spider-Man, for example - appears on your skin. You can lick the candy until it's gone or wash it off with soap and water. And, yes, the ink will even transfer to your tongue."

To promote it's new drink, Hi-C, "Coca-Cola placed 2 million edible tattoos on a Hi-C advertisement in a double Teen People magazine issue [last] year."
-- The Enquirer via Cool Business Ideas

You can buy a tongue-tickling tattoo at this Yahoo store.

Concept: Palm Phone

This is not even a product concept, only a billboard art for Nokia on a picture taken by a Flickr user kitten in Kuala Lumpur. But looks definitely doable.

Product Placement Comes to Broadway

"Product placement and endorsement deals have long been staples in television shows, movies and radio programs and even, more recently, on video games. But they have been rare on Broadway. Now, advertisers, casting about for new ways to attract increasingly distracted consumers, have turned their attention to the theater world. And producers, always looking for extra cash to offset rising costs, are receptive.

The deals are for amounts estimated to range from $500,000 to more than $1 million, depending on how long they last and how extensive they are. But just as there are critics of shows, there are critics of branding Broadway, who worry about blurring the line between art and commerce."
-- NY Times, x-posted on Branding Cultures

Theaters To Show Live Ad Performances

One-Third of DVR Users Watch Ads

Cory Bergman on Lost Remote: "A story on a session about DVRs cites a surprising statistic: ABC/ESPN found that one-third of TiVo subscribers who responded to a "limited" survey said they don't skip commercials at all. (I'm very skeptical. The story doesn't give any more details about the survey.)"

What's surprising about that? Just about any report on DVR, including the latest one, says that 60-70% of DVR users skip ads. Which, as Prof. Jenkins likes to point out, leaves 30-40% who have a DVR and still watch the commercials. The big question is, what is it that makes them stay?

Ads Advance Into Schools

"Advertisements could soon be coming to school gyms or scoreboards if a proposal from parents of athletes at Lakeridge High School prevails. Parents from the Pacer Athletic Club told the school board Monday night that they'd like to sell ads to local companies and even national corporations such as Coca-Cola to raise much-needed cash for school sports teams."
-- The Oregonian via AdRants

Advertising on School Buses

Virtual Goods Trade To Boost In-Game Advertising?

The biggest news of the day is that Sony Online Entertainment, the maker of the wildly popular and massively multiplayer games Everquest and Star War Galaxies (and PlayStation and PlayStationPortable) decided to let players trade virtual game goodies for real cash on Sony's official ebayesque Station Exchange auction site. Wired broke the news, and Terra Nova, the most authoritative blog on gaming theory ran comments by many academics and industry practitioners. In case you are not in the loop, virtual game goods (swords, armor, play money and such artifacts as Glowing Fingers of Might) have been traded by players for a long time on both on ebay and other not-quite-legal sites.

Now that this trade is legalized, we will see more people for whom making virtual goods will become their primary occupation. And as these people begin to compete with each other to peddle their wares, we will see the growth of DIY in-game advertising. The in-game media infrastructure will evolve to accommodate the demand. Who knows, maybe one day there will be in-game ad agencies servicing these businesses. "The unique double-action sword! Kills dragons and skins them, too."

Study: Audience Fragmentation Threat to Broadcast

"The rise of multichannel TV, broadband and personal video recorders is scattering TV audiences, making them harder to reach and eroding broadcasters' profits, according to a new report by Deloitte & Touche. The report says that instead of relying primarily on advertising, the only solution for broadcasters is to extend their business models to include new media channels and formats, offering personalised services to meet clients' specific needs and introducing DVD sales and rentals to generate more revenue."


-- Brand Republic

Making Video Content Searchable

"Imagine a computer system that can automatically search through videos of football matches and pull out all the shots on goal or all the fouls. Creating the elements that make such a system possible is a key result from the IST BUSMAN project. BUSMAN allows the ordinary user equipped with a standard PC or mobile phone easy access to video content."
-- PhysOrg.com

New Study Shows Media Users Multitask

"A new study conducted by Forrester Research and Headlight Vision for Yahoo and Mediaedge:cia indicates that broadband users do not appear to be replacing offline media with online. But the "media Silos are dissolving," says the report. Sixty-four percent of broadband users say they are usually engaged with more than one medium simultaneously. For households that have wireless access, that number jumps to 71 percent."
-- Media Week

Samsung's Speakwrite

"I’ve spent the last four days toying with the Samsung P207, and it has convinced me that soon I will never physically type another text message again." Om Malik reviews new phone's speech-to-text feature.

MIT Forum: Branding Urban Landscapes

If you are in the area on Thursday, come to the MIT Communication Forum session on Branding The Urban Landscape. The three speakers for the evening are Jon Cropper from Y&R Brands, Thomas Ryan from EMI Music North America, and Jesse Shapins, who invented Yellow Arrow.
The event is free and open to the public. Details:

Thursday, April 21, 2005
5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
MIT 6-120

Also, don't forget about the MIT conference on media in transition, May 6-8.

Viewers To Decide, Text Outcome of TV Series

"For the first time in TV history, fans will help decide how a story in a television show will play out by using the text message feature on their Cingular Wireless phones. During the Tuesday, April 19 episode of the Warner Brother's One Tree Hill, Nathan is faced with the dilemma as to whether or not he should kiss his sister-in law, Taylor, while his wife, Haley, performs on a rock music tour. Enter the show's fans who will vote via text messaging and see their choice unfold during the Tuesday, April 26 episode."
-- press release via Lost Remote

The Decade of Online Advertising

DoubleClick just released a retrospective (pdf) of the online advertising decade, which officially started with the AT&T's banner on Wired. Ten years on, DoubleClick's research director predicts: "The new face of advertising is almost certain to be more entertaining, more informative, more timely, more relevant, more authentic and more in tune with customers." For a nostalgic glance back and an optimistic look forward, go here.

Radio Time-Shifting Technology Patented

XM gets approval for a patent for its radio time-shifting technology "for storing broadcast content files for on-demand playback purposes".
-- Orbitcast.com via Unmediated

I've been seeing AdSense ads here for TimeTrax, a company that sells satellite radio time-shifters that work with PCs.

IDC Sees Growth in Mobile Content

"IDC anticipates that by 2009, over 30 million U.S. wireless subscribers will be consuming commercial video/TV content and services over their wireless devices. The total number of minutes of commercial video content consumed will more than double annually between 2004 and 2009. IDC anticipates the total volume of minutes consumed will rise into the tens of billions by the end of the forecast period."
-- press release

Forrester: The Future of Digital Audio

Cell Phones to Get Visual Radio

"Infinity Broadcasting is working with Hewlett-Packard to bring a kind of Net-enabled FM radio to U.S. markets, sending information such as album art, concert dates and buy-this-album buttons alongside broadcasts. The Visual Radio broadcasts will be aimed at a new generation of FM radio-enabled phones, as well as the digital information carried over cellular phone carriers' airwaves, rather than on the one-way FM broadcasts." More pictures here.
-- CNet via Lost Remote

Ericsson Brings iTV to Cell Phones
Satellite Radio on Desktop
Mobile TV Service to Launch in Korea
MSPOT Launches Radio for Cell Phones

Digital Signage and Electronic Paper

The SyncroSign Message Board by Gyricon (and Xerox PARC) uses SmartPaper, an electronic paper technology to provide scheduled content changes to one or multiple signs, across the network. Among its features are 802.11b and wireless interface, auto-sensing power source, and programmable message content.

SmartPaper is reusable display material that has many of the properties of traditional paper. Produced in a roll, like conventional paper, SmartPaper is actually two sheets of thin plastic with millions of tiny bichromal beads embedded in between. Each bead is smaller than a grain of sand and has a different color on each half or “ side ”. The hemispheres are also charged differently (i.e. positive or negative).

Wall-sized E-Ink Electronic Newspaper
E Ink: Digital Price Tags
E Ink: Digital POP Displays
E Ink: Digital Signage & Billboards
E Ink: Librie E-Book Reader
Interactive Wallpaper

Class Project On Future of Video Media

Ji Sun Lee, a grad student at Parsons School of Design is writing a class project exploring the future of the video media. Quote: "I am studying video media in convergent devices [. . .] in order to understand the behavior of using video media in the past and predict the features of it in the future."

Disney, WB Develop Mobile Content for Toddlers

"All the giants in children's entertainment are rushing to develop programming that fits in a pocket and lasts about as long as a child's first steps. Disney and Warner Brothers are both developing mobi-toons for the so-called 3G or third-generation portable phones that can double as mini-televisions."
-- International Herald Tribune

"Future of Advertising" Photoshop Contest

BoingBoing just posted a link to worth1000.com that has challenged readers to Photoshop their vision of advertising's future. Little do they know that much of what they see coming has already arrived:
- Toilet paper ads - done
- Branded spaceships - done
- Branded sky - in the works
- Ads on eyelashes - not yet, but the concept was used in a recent Miller Light TV ad
- Sponsored wedding - done

The coolest idea: underwater advertising.

Google To Roll Out Ads on Demand?

Some time ago I wrote about Google testing a new Adsense feature that allows users to view ads on the topic that interests them and not necessarily relevant to the host page's content. Today on one of the pages on this site, I spotted a search box instead of the usual Google links. It might have been a glitch, since the "go" button, when clicked, led to an empty page (at a Google Adsense address, though).

Toshiba Develops Flatbed 3-D Display

"Toshiba Corporation today announced a new display technology that allows 3-D images to be viewed on a flatbed display without any need for special glasses. Viewing the display from an angle allows the viewer to experience 3-D images that stand out several centimeters from the surface of the display. The new technology opens up new areas of application for 3-D displays, including arcade games, e-learning, simulations of buildings and landscapes, and even 3-D menus in restaurants."
-- press release

More Stereoscopic Ads: ImagePro 3D
3d Advertising: Heliodisplay
Future: Volumetric 3D Display
Sharp Introduces New Stereoscopic 3D Laptop
Stereoscopic Advertising, Part II
Stereoscopic Advertising, Part I

Raytheon Creates 'Minority Report' interface

"A computer interface inspired by the futuristic system portrayed in the movie Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise, could soon help real military personnel deal with information overload. The system under development at Raytheon lets users don a pair of reflective gloves and manipulate images projected on a panoramic screen. A mounted camera keeps track of hand movements and a computer interprets gestures."
-- New Scientist

Earlier, Microsoft developed a similar device - a new kind of touch screen - dubbed MS TouchLight.

Ad Skipping To Hit $27 Billion in Lost Revenue

"Ad skipping and on demand viewing could cost the TV industry $27 billion in lost ad revenue over the next five years, according to new research released today by Accenture. The consultancy reports that 70% of ads are already being skipped by viewers with digital video recorders; that trend will only get worse as DVR penetration grows from the current 8% of homes with DVRs to a projected 40% by 2009."
-- Advertising Age

Click Fraud Scare

"In a survey of marketers taken late last year, the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) found 77% of marketers were concerned about click fraud to some degree."
-- eMarketer

Debate Over Standards for In-Game Ads

"As the nascent medium of video game advertising begins to gain increased attention from marketers, a debate is bubbling up over the lack of standards in the space. At yesterday's well-attended Advertising in Games Forum in Manhattan, there was little consensus on what in-game advertising should look like or how it should be measured. Agencies, marketing vendors and game publishers even disagreed on whether standards are desirable."
-- ClickZ

The Liquid Matrix, 80 proof

A provincial Russian vodka factory sells its "Elite Lux" brand under the label art inspired by Matrix: Reloaded. Left to right: front label with Trinity, the text reads "reloading"; back label with Neo, the text reads "There's always an exit"; licensing and contact info. The maker, "Zolotoi Vek", doesn't seem to have a website, but the back label lists their phone numbers in case you want to order a bottle (add a country code for Russia):
Sales: (3472) 22 18 02
Questions and suggestions: (3472) 29 39 91

No Photoshop involved; click on image to enlarge. Scoop source: advesti.ru (in Russian), image from forum.gdv.ru.

Comeback: Advertising in Comics

The creators of the famous online BMW movies that are in their second season have also published two comic books (with four more in the works) inspired by The Hire and authored by some big names in the comics biz. Not only you are watching (reading?) product placement, you are paying for it, too. Full color, 32 pages, $3 each.

I've written about ads in comics some time ago, and now RetroGrafix points out a link to another large collection.

Forrester: The Future of Digital Audio

"According to "The Future Of Digital Audio," a new report from Forrester Research, 20.1 million U.S. households will listen to satellite radio and 12.3 million U.S. households will use their MP3 players to listen to audio podcasts by the end of the decade."
-- press release

I wonder whether the MP3 format along with the players won't become obsolete in five years.

Talking "Post-it" Button

"VoiSec is a tiny button for recording, storing and playing short spoken messages with a good quality of sound." Capacity: 1 minute of playback with good quality. Runtime: over 500 playouts of a 30 sec. message. Power supply: 2 replaceable 1.5 volt batteries. Attaches to any surface with a double-sided adhesive. New messages can be recorded on the top of old ones.

If they are cheap enough (and the site doesn't mention pricing), it is easy to imagine these beauties on posters, POP displays and packaging.

Talking Packaging
Sound Inserts in Print Ads
Musical Greeting Cards (how they work, and more)

The Chaos of Adless Web

Skipping TV commercials is bad enough to prompt an NPR show on the upcoming chaos in the traditional media landscape. Now imagine users switching off all ads they now see on the web. Pop-ups were the early victim and spam is likely to follow, but now there are browser plugins that remove pages from Google search results, or (gasp!) in the near future, the very context-sensitive ads that make up the bulk of Google's (and many bloggers') revenue. Read more.

MSN Messanger to Run Video Ads

"MSN Messenger 7.0 includes a new conversation feature on its instant messaging software that allows users to communicate by video. It will also include advertising, with MSN running 7- to 10-second TV-like Flash ads before users are connected. MSN Messenger boasts 155 million users worldwide."
-- AdWeek

This is incredibly evil, but why stop short of the real wickedness? Video messenger users have webcams, by definition. Throw in some face recognition software a-la EyeToy and have them star in these commercials.

ESPN To Launch Clickable Online Video Ads

"ESPN.com will launch a new online video player next month that will allow users to click within video ads for more information. The video player, built by the Walt Disney Internet Group on proprietary technology, needs to be downloaded to users' computers."
-- AdWeek

Who needs yet another player on their desktop?

Ericsson Brings iTV to Cell Phones

"In the first showcase of this kind, Ericsson is demonstrating how an existing interactive TV format can be fully aligned with mobile devices with multimedia capabilities. Viewers are able to interact with mobile TV shows, via voting or greeting (SMS-to-TV or MMS-to-TV), just by pushing a response key. Mobile TV viewers can also access such additional services as shopping via the mobile TV.

Apart from simultaneously watching and interacting with TV on a mobile device, the new solution also allows the device to be used as an interactive remote control when sitting in front of TV at home."
-- press release via MMM

AOL Launches Pay-Per-Call Ads

"Ingenio this week will begin providing pay-per-call ads on America Online's search results pages. Pay-per-call ads, a recent innovation in online ads, look roughly like the pay-per-click ads that the search world has grown accustomed to--but in place of a referring URL, there is a specially assigned "800" telephone number, which connects the prospective customer to the business, and logs the call for billing. "
--Online Media Daily (free registration)

Other players in the field: Thinking Voice and Ziff Leads.

Advertising Model: Pay-Per-Call

Future: Speech Without Sound

"DARPA, the US Department of Defense's research agency, is working on a project known as Advanced Speech Encoding, aimed at replacing microphones with non-acoustic sensors that detect speech via the speaker's nerve and muscle activity, rather than sound itself."
--New Scientist

New Audience Measurement Model

In case you missed it, NY Times ran a huge story over the weekend on Arbitron and a new system it develops for passive audience measurement that doesn't require the respondents to deal with the awkward diaries. The new portable people-meter is a pager-sized device that picks up special inaudible noise added by the broadcasters into the programming.

People Get More Spam, But Care Less

- 28% of users with a personal email account say they are getting more spam than a year ago, while 22% say they are getting less.
- 22% of email users say that spam has reduced their overall use of email, compared to 29% a year ago.
- 67% of email users say spam has made being online unpleasant or annoying, compared to 77% a year ago.
--Pew Internet & American Life Project

Satellite Radio on Desktop

Under the new partnership between XM and AOL, "20 XM and 130 AOL radio stations will be available for free, with a “premium” radio service making 70 XM channels available for an as yet undetermined monthly fee. Existing subscribers to AOL will automatically be privy to the premium XM content."

Which, I guess, means that if you have a laptop and a wireless connection, then you don't really need all that expensive equipment, right?

MSPOT Launches Radio for Cell Phones

CNet on The Future of TV

"Imagine your television set and the way you have viewed TV shows since you were a kid. Now forget about it." CNet runs a three-day feature exploring the future of TV production, consumption and emerging business models.

NY Times Covers In-Game Ads

When does something become news? When New York Times says so. The newspaper runs an interview with the chief of Massive Incorporated, a company that helps advertisers peddle their wares in game worlds.

CBS Searches for New Ad Models

"Are viewers more tolerant of ads as a whole if a commercial break is a) entertaining and b) only a minute, consistently?" That's what CBS with its Masters coverage is about to find out.
-- Everything Alabama via AdJab

Commercials: Beyond 30 Seconds

Reebok Offers TV Advertising On Demand

"Reebok International is taking a step into interactive TV advertising, offering exclusive video-on-demand (VOD) content featuring interviews with NBA star Allen Iverson, along with hip-hop musicians Jay-Z and 50 Cent. The interactive video content will be available to Comcast's digital subscribers in the Philadelphia market, where Iverson plays for the 76ers. It's designed to promote Reebok's urban-oriented brand, Rbk, which it launched in 2002."

Comcast Expands Ads-on-Demand Service
Google Tests Advertising on Demand

Mobile TV Service to Launch in Korea

Three Korean companies will begin TV broadcasts to cellphones in May after the government has handed out licences for land-based Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) technology. "Through DMB, users can tune into regular TV programming or watch content-on-demand through portable terminals that include mobile telephone handsets and mini-TVs installed in their cars. Various data services based on two-way communication capability are also available."
-- AFP through Lost Remote

MIT Conference on Media in Transition

MIT is putting together a conference on Media in Transition, and it's not an event you want to miss if you are around Cambridge. This year's dates are May 6-8. Lots of people, and lots of topics covering changes in television, radio, games, mobile technology and yes, advertising. The entire event is free and open to the public, but pre-registration assures you a seat.

Commercials: Beyond 30 Seconds

"Commercials longer than 30 seconds are intended to attract attention by giving marketers more time to tell stories that would appeal to viewers. Those shorter than 30 seconds are meant to have surprise value: they are usually over before commercial-haters can zap or zip past them."
--New York Times

Sony Patents Telepathy

"Sony Corp. has been granted a patent for beaming sensory information directly into the brain."
-- Reuters

Can't wait.

More Price Tags on Electronic Paper

Bridgestone, better known for its tyres, is developing and marketing Quick Response Liquid Power Displays, first made as electronic price tags. Another company working in this direction is SiPix; they also develop displays for smart cards, toys and mugs.

It's funny how blogs work. None of this is news, but since Engadget picked it up today (from this forum), there's this fear that somehow it may be important and who I am to argue anyway. Standing on the shoulders of giants can take you in unexpected directions sometimes.

E Ink: Digital Price Tags

Commentary: Mobiles to Replace TV

"Mobile telephones and other wireless communication devices will soon become the most important medium for advertisers to reach technology-savvy consumers, says BBDO chief.

The agency asked nearly 3,000 typical consumers in 15 countries to choose the communications device they would most want to keep. Forty-five per cent said their home computers, 31 per cent their mobile phones and 12 per cent their televisions. In China, 61 per cent opted for mobile phones, compared with 30 per cent for home computers and 4 per cent for televisions."
--Financial Times

Comcast, TiVo to Insert Updated Ads in Old Shows

"Comcast is working with TiVo on an advertising system that will insert new, updated commercials into already-recorded programs, the company said. Comcast Chief Executive Roberts told cable executives late Monday that under such a system, programs that were recorded weeks ago on a TiVo digital video recorder would have their old commercials replaced with new ones."
--BellevilleNewsDemocrat.com via Engadget

Product Displacement: Don't Pay - Don't Play
Comcast Expands Ads-on-Demand Service

Latest eBay Craze: Brand Names

One woman sold her legal name to, who else, Golden Palace casino for $15,199 and will now be called Mrs. GoldenCasino.com. The Register quotes casino's chief: "We hope that the money spent will go a long way in helping GoldenPalace.com's family. Anyone that has kids knows the enormous expense that it requires to provide for them. We are happy to help GoldenPalace.com make ends meet." (found on AdJab).

No despair, there are quite a few more names for sale: here's one, here's another, and another, and one more, for one year (for those on a budget), for two years, or forever (does it include gravestone?).

Advertising on School Buses

The debate whether to let advertisers ride the orange buses marches across the nation, with most recent stops in Tennessee, Colorado, and Pennsylvania. You will notice that the arguments are mostly about the ad sizes, too. Anyway, here's one company - Ad Company - that is already in the business.

Space Ads: Fools Rush In

Offtopic, sort of.

"SAN FRANCISCO, April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- ZEDO, Inc., the Intergalactic leader in ad serving, today pioneered space-age ad delivery by launching the first ad in space. A first in the ad serving industry, this feat catapults ZEDO into a territory that has so far been out of the reach of its competitors. With this new capability, ZEDO will now be able to serve ads anywhere in the universe. You are requested to direct all queries relating to ZEDO's interplanetary ad serving to foolsrushin@zedo.com."

Fools don't rush in, they put out silly press releases while others are busy launching the real space ads.

ATM Advertising

AdJab says that Finextra says that Fox Home Entertainment is launching an advertising campaign for its "Garfield - The Movie" on ATM machines, courtesy of ATM:ad. "Each ad will feature snippets of live video from the movie, as well as a take-away reminder of the price promotion via the dynamically printed receipt."

Do you see where context advertising is going? "Heh, Bob, it looks like you've got some extra cash here, $2452.11 to be precise. Why not spend a measly $15 on a new DVD?"

Virtual Tour Guide

Dug out this month-old Engadget post on GPS-enabled virtual tour guides working on Japanese buses. An opportunity ripe for product placement: "And to your left, you see a coffee shop that makes the best brew in town." More pics here. I'd love to know more about the displays, but can't find anything.

Context-Sensitive Taxi Advertising

None of this is really new, but I just looked out of the window, saw a cab equipped with an electronic billboard displaying the Celtics-Wizards score (116-108) and thought this had to be included. So these mobile electronic billboards (pictured on the left) are made by Adapt Media and have been around since early 2001. The service is called Ad Runner, uses "embedded GPS, ad server, and wireless web technologies to enable electronic taxi-top billboards to receive and display messages based on the exact time and a cab's exact location" (m-pulse).

The other service (smaller picture on the right) is called Interactive Taxi by Targeted Media Partners. The service pairs GPS units already installed in the cabs with Internet-based and location-sensitive information. "The information appears on display units mounted behind the driver's seat in the cab. It is updated regularly on servers in Interactive Taxi's offices in the various cities and is downloaded to the units in the cabs" (eWeek).

Closed Spaces: Taxi

MSPOT Launches Radio for Cell Phones

"Start-up MSpot hopes to take on the fledgling satellite radio industry with a new service that delivers streaming news, talk and music programming to mobile phones. The service will start out with 13 channels of live and on-demand programming, including feeds from National Public Radio. All programming is delivered as a streaming media feed over the Web, making it accessible by just about any Web-ready phone with an all-you-can-eat data plan. MSpot will charge $5.95 a month for the service. Virgin Radio recently introduced a similar free service for select 3G handsets."

VidLit: New Channel For Book Marketing

"Until recently, the opportunity for using the web's multimedia capabilities for book promotion has been limited. Now that is changing. With the advent of services like VidLit, which produces short, humorous, animated Flash films about books, authors have a new way to reach online readers. Because of the viral quality of online videos, some writers are finding success at the end of the broadband pipe. Pictured above: a VidLit for "Yiddish with Dick and Jane", a book by Ellis Weiner and Barbara Davilman."

Viacom Launches Digital Posters

Viacom Outdoor is launching digital escalator posters on the London Underground - the first time the technology has been used in such locations.The 66 Digital Escalator Panels (D-EPs) are to be trailed on escalators at Tottenham Court Road station and will enable advertisers to create animated posters with changing text and images. Companies can refresh messages daily and even hourly, in contrast to the paper-poster system that requires at least two weeks of preparation. The sites will be linked together, allowing advertisers to use images that move from screen to screen.
-- International Herald Tribune, Intellagencia

Advertising on Monorail in Vegas
iDopt a Subway
Closed Spaces: Trains
Wireless Video Advertising in Subway
Subway Tunnel Advertising

Voice-Activated Remote Control

"At least two companies, the OneVideo Technology Corp. and Agile TV, are developing speech-recognition products (OneListener and Promptu, respectively) that will let viewers change channels with voice prompts like "search" and "find." Though a voice-activated channel changer is not a new idea, the current incarnation has been prompted as much by advertising as by convenience. The device would make it easier for consumers to order a movie, a pizza or a car dealer's brochure, eliminating the need to dial toll-free numbers or to scroll through menus on the television."
-- NY Times

Wireless Digital TV by Visart

Roll this wireless TV set by Visart anywhere you want. Comes as a 17" TFT screen equipped with a 802.11a transmitter / receiver.