-- Media Post, press release
Turning Off In-Game Advertising
-- Plastic Bag
"This Memory Stick Pro Duo Video Recorder records video from your tuner or VCR straight to a Memory Stick, which you can then insert in your Sony PSP and watch."
In related news, Reebok has created a site (rbk.com/psp) specifically for users with a new PSP browser.
-- via Moco News
Ringtone Advertising - Check
Advertising on Ringtones
"Freefone is a public courtesy telephone and digital video advertising system with a full range of motion and sound. Freefone allows users to make free local and toll free calls. Advertisements appear in a continuous loop, with the sound muted during phone conversations."
There used to be a company that provided free calls to everybody willing to listen to a short ad before the call. They went belly up in about a year.
Advertising on Calling Cards
"Stolichnaya is using broadband-connected Ecast jukeboxes in bars to survey vodka drinkers. The spirits marketer has launched a high-tech campaign of polling ads within the digital-music-playing machines in seven major markets. The company believes the method may be more effective than Internet ads in reaching its target audience of males ages 21 to 29."
-- Ad Age
"EMS-TV from Michigan-based Emergency Medical Systems offers a satellite-controlled network with many of the usual features of a regular digital-signage application including full-motion video advertising, public-service content, and interactive programming specific to the host venue.
It also acts as a first-aid device, incorporating an automated external defibrillator (AED) and a direct link to a paramedic on 24-hour standby to give medical advice via a live two-way link."
Add this to your arsenal of bathroom advertising tools. A British company Addirect is selling mirrors that display built-in images, visible when activated. Aka.tv writes: "Working exactly like a regular mirror until electronically activated, the AddMirror uses two-way glass and intelligent lighting to reveal up to six A4-sized still advertisements, displayed from inside the device using preset lighting sequences. When switched off, the AddMirror reverts back to being a standard mirror."
-- via Billboardom
Mirror with LED Messages
Mirror as Intelligent Computer Display
Shadow advertising comes back into focus with an article in The Philadelphia Inquirer (use name/password: email@example.com/realcities to read) and a long post at Editors Weblog. Nothing new, really; it's mostly about the discussion on crossing the thin line between content and ads, and such. The good news is that editors are becoming more receptive to shadow deals.
-- Image credit: AdRants.
CNN talks to the CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi UK Lee Daley about how the changing technology is shaping the future of advertising. He considers: "How can we create a brand relationship with consumers, on behalf of our clients, in this new digitally-enabled universe? How does that affect the kind of narrative structure we can build around brands, the nature of interactivity is going to impact on the richness and deepness of consumer relationships."
"The tactility of the clickwheel can not only be used to navigate your music or photo collection; it can also support the illusion of movement based on the same principles as traditional flick book animations." Meaning, download a bunch of sequenced stills on your iPod and flick through them with the clickwheel. Welcome iPod Scrubs.
-- via Make
Doom Ported to iPod Photo
Flippies: Print in Motion
After two weeks of watching commercials, viewers generally become fatigued, said Weinblatt. The remedy? Give them more interesting commercials."
-- Media Post
A Canadian company Mirage Motion Media came up with a technology that creates an illusion of motion for static billboards. Business Week is ebullient: "Mirage Motion Media has a new billboard technology that, even in our image-saturated world, is about to confound us all -- and perhaps reinvent outdoor advertising in the process. Mirage's "interactive motion panels" play "video" clips -- albeit without the use of any electronics or moving parts -- on seemingly standard advertising light boxes. Walk by, and the picture moves. Stop, and it stops with you. Like a fun-house mirror, it begs passersby to do a little jig in front of it to see what will happen."
More on how these things work at Billboardom.
-- We Make Money Not Art
Can you highlight the best spots in a sitcom analyzing canned laughter?
Also see this bit from AdJab:
"YouTube.com is a tagging service that does for video what services like del.icio.us does for web pages. Users upload video that either they've created or just found and arrange it by category." Now, if only you could tag and share the stuff you tivoed last night.
We Make Money Not Art writes about a new house robot Roborior going on sale in Japan and another robot, T63 Artemis, working as a in-store sales assistant for the launch. That's a career change for Artemis, who used to be a mall cop before.
More Advertising Robots
Advertising Robots, Part III
Advertising Robots, Part II
Advertisers are slowly discovering the potential of Google Maps, and some, like the Target store above (more at Google Sightseeing), are even enjoying some unexpected windfall. Poynter Online talks about realtors tapping into satellite imaging tools. Google Maps Mania is running a log on map hacks, some of them by businesses. Scavengeroogle is an armchair scavenger hunt based on the service - you too can have people looking for your brand landmark (like, again, the Target stores). Here's a how-to on integrating Google Maps into your website .
Update (Dec 5, 2007): related posts published since this article went live:
--LA Times (free reg.) via Lost Remote
-- Brand Noise
The study also predicts PSP will win over Nintendo DS.
-- Marketing Vox, eCommerce Times
Study: RSS Usage Stats
Here's how it works: The sponsor pays for the cost of two-year subscriptions for six or more magazines. Librarians choose the magazines from a list, and Ebsco prints a small acknowledgment that goes on the plastic binder that holds them.
The ads are modest. Campbell University's ad is a small orange-and-black square with the name of its program in Morrisville, the degrees offered and a phone number."
-- The News & Observer via AdJab
Maiden Group, which has handled billboard advertising for 80 years in the United Kingdom, and Filter UK, a company specializing in the transmitter technology, are installing billboards in Heathrow airport that "beam out text messages to the phones of people walking by to ask them if they would like to watch a video-clip ad on their phone's screen. The commercial, aimed at passengers in Virgin's first-class lounge, touts a new SUV, the Range Rover Sport." It's called Bluecasting.
Bluetooth Advertising Stirs Controversy
"Engrave a perfect message in your own handwriting that they can keep forever, whatever the reason - it's limitless." It's not only limitless, it's metal. Here.
And in case you are in the mood, here's some magnetic paint. Now any surface is good for the magnetic poetry moment.
All Things Cling develop signage material that clings without the use of adhesives, relying instead on static electricity. In their own words, the material is "electrically charged, fully printable polypropylene film with an embedded electrical charge".
-- via Norev
-- VNUnet via Techdirt
Study: Podcasting, RSS Unfamiliar Terms
This method of writing (and reading) could be used in small-screen devices, but also in environments that command short attention span, such as billboards.
"If you were to read this article on a mobile phone using an RSVP (rapid serial visual presentation) reader, your display would show the first word for a fraction of a second. Then the next word would flash on the screen, followed by the next one, and so on. You can try reading text RSVP-style by going to the RSVP demo on our website. Adjust the speed by moving the slider bar to the left or right."
Ok, so I know this one is old, but I'm cleaning my computer and have no idea while it wasn't posted earlier.
"Jitsuro Mase uses an off-the-shelf LCD projector to display a "3D theater" on a table. On the table top are transparent plastic strips standing diagonally at 45 degrees. The plastic strips make images stand up. The virtual people can be projected on to a strip closer to you or the ones further away from you. This device could be used for many different kinds of things besides the "3D theater" especially if it could be made larger (possibly as big as a computer displays or a building floor?) with hi-fidelity realistic images."
-- We Make Money Not Art
A new marketing application from Kraft is leveraging the iPod beyond podcasting. iPod owners can download the company's "Greatest Hits of Summer" widget that can carries a library of over 100 Kraft-inspired recipes.
"The download offers grilling ideas, desserts, and additional recipes featuring Kraft ingredients. Users can browse recipes using the iPod's scroll wheel and look up ingredients while at the grocery store."
Doom Ported to iPod Photo
Playing Video on iPod
Text Games on iPod
Scientifically speaking, this is "an anamorphic illusion drawn in a special distortion in order to create an impression of 3 dimensions when seen from one particular viewpoint." In plain English, if you are too cheap to get yourself one of those Heliodisplay babies, get Julian Beever to paint your ad so that it "looks" 3D. Also, check out 3D Media Solutions, they do decals that work on the same principle.
"The way the games are developed and the way they are rendered through the engine that power them there are opportunities for new creative assets to be delivered into the game in a new 3-dimensional capacity. So you can change a car for instance from a Ford to a Chrysler from one day to the next."
Turning Off In-Game Advertising
Measuring In-Game Advertising
Massive Launches In-Game Video, Audio Ads
In-game Ads: Backlash, Research
Oh, man, this so utterly cool. Can't wait for them to start playing life insurance commercials on these things:
"A new company plans to unveil new high-tech tombstones with embedded flat screen monitors that would allow visitors to play memorial videos of the deceased, according to a report. Joe Joachim, who says he wants to be the Walt Disney of the funeral business, plans to unveil the Vidstone this year at the annual funeral directors convention."
--Local 6 via Agenda
Tombstones as Media
Another case of someone watching "Minority Report" too much (here's the first one). "Smart Laser Scanner for Human-Computer Interface allows users to input data by just executing bare-handed gestures in front of a portable device - that could then be embodied in a keyboardless wrist-watch."
--via We Make Money Not Art
Even though Deep Focus, the guys who developed a Firefox theme (aka skin) to advertise an upcoming HBO series "Rome", say it's "the first commercial theme developed for the [browser]", there was at least one before that, advertising Batman Begins (find it on the movie site).
VRTV will allow three-dimensional images that can be viewed from any angle with a quality equivalent to that offered by high-definition TVs, in addition to letting viewers feel and smell the objects they are watching, the business daily said."
--Japan Today via We Make Money Not Art
Why wait for an official (and certainly pricey) iPod Video? CNET runs a how-to on turning your plain-vanilla iPod (no minis or shuffles) into a video player (albeit a silent-era one as the software doesn't allow for soundtrack playback yet).
Doom Ported to iPod Photo
Mobile Video: The Advent of vPod?
"The Toshiba V-5310 Betaformat video cassette recorder has a charming new feature: a remote pause control. It lets you edit out commercials when you tape the show you're watching. Without leaving your armchair.
Get the Toshiba V-5310. You'll have a lot of fun with it. And you'' be able to get rid of Mr.Whipple, ring around the collar and the pain caused by aspirin commercials."
This is an ad from a special "Home Video" advertising section that ran in October 30, 1978 in Time magazine. You can read the issue in Time Archives. Normally, a subscription is required, but this particular issue is a free sample (click on "see a sample digital magazine").
"When you place the small VW camper van on a vinyl record (33 rpm only) and switch it on, the van will drive around the record and play the music through the speaker built into the van's roof." Available for about $125 from this UK site.
Video, Data on Vinyl Disks
--Inc.com via Urban Intelligence
"For the first time in the 80-year history of The New Yorker magazine, a single advertiser will sponsor an entire issue. The Aug. 22 issue of The New Yorker, due out Monday, will carry 17 or 18 advertising pages, all brought to you by the Target discount store chain owned by the Target Corporation. The Target ads will even supplant the mini-ads from mail-order marketers that typically fill small spaces in the back of the magazine. Skip to next paragraph.
The Target ads, in the form of illustrations by more than two dozen artists like Milton Glaser, Robert Risko and Ruben Toledo, are to run only the one time in the issue. They are intended to salute New York City and the people who live - and shop - there."
"When people see violent or erotic images, they fail to process whatever they see next, according to new research. Research subjects were handed a stack of pictures that included pleasant landscapes and architectural photos. They were told to search for a particular image. Negative images were placed anywhere from two to eight spots before the search target. The closer the negative image was to the target picture, the more frequently people failed to spot the target. In a follow-up study, negative images were replaced by erotic shots. The effect was the same."
"Last week, the L.A. Sheriff's Department tested out an acoustic transmitter that makes earlier models look like "childrens' toys" in comparison. We put the magnetic acoustic device (I'm not sure it has a name yet, so this one will have to do for now) to the test on one of our ranges. Using a variety of sounds from human voice to music to sound effects (screams, shouts, gunfire, sirens, and the like), we succeeded in listening to the sounds from the transmitter located one statue mile in the distance. The edge of the energy path was clearly discernible and you could easily detect when you were standing in it and not, even at one mile. In fact, near the end of the test a wind gusting up to 20 knots blew across our line of sight and we had to adjust for the wind to remain in the energy path."
--Defence Tech via Boing Boing
Mind Control: HyperSonic Sound
"A budding Seattle entrepreneur looking for a low-cost marketing campaign says he's found an inexpensive and highly visible tool to publicize his Web site — he calls it bum-vertizing. Ben Rogovy, a 22-year-old University of Washington graduate, says the homeless and panhandlers are an untapped labor force, and he's putting them to work."
Check out a similar project in Holland, where nuns gave out free jackets with ad messages on them to homeless people.
"Taguchi method is a technique for designing experiments that converge on an ideal product solution. Taguchi Methods can take a project with thousands, even millions of combinations of variables, and quickly reduce it to a couple dozen simple experiments that can be run simultaneously and will determine the cheapest way to achieve a goal. Instead of considering one variable at a time, Taguchi is able to test many variables at once, which is why the number of tests can be so small. It's a bloody miracle. Taguchi not only shows the right way to do something, it also tells you what the cost in dollars will be of doing it the wrong way.
Like any process, advertising can be optimized if the control variables can be properly defined. Here's the Kowalick company the article mentions that does this sort of optimization. Apparently, Forbes wrote about the method and the company as recently as last May.
If you already know this, skip first three quarters of the article to see their scoop on interactive screens, targeted taxi ads and 3D voice synthesizers.
A couple of guys play their SWAT4 game for which they just paid $50 to discover something disconcerting - the ads served in real time by Massive. They look under the hood and find a way to turn the ads off: "In order to prevent this 'functionality', the server can be prevented from being contacted by placing the following lines in either /etc/hosts on UNIX, or %WINDIR%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts on Windows."
"Everything now plays along with little noise coming from the madservers. Until we exit the game. A single HTTP request is sent by our game client to signify that the game has ended. A timestamp and our session/gamer ids are sent. This sort of information gives the advertisers a more complete idea of how long we play, and at what times of the day, and enough information for them to calculate any patterns. They could even determine what levels are more popular and maybe charge more for advertisers to get advertising space in these levels."
"The most shocking part was next. The client contacted madserver to tell the advertisers how long the gamer spent with each advert in their view. This is mapped to the gamer id, so they know which player in the game saw the advert, and when, for how long, and from how far away (by virtue of the size attribute). Even the average viewing angle is passed back."
Massive Launches In-Game Video, Audio Ads
Measuring In-Game Advertising
In-game Ads: Backlash, Research
In response to last week's post on Band-Aid advertising, Adland's Dabitch (it was you, right?) points out that branded bandaids have been attempted in the past. Quote from a respective post at AdLand: "Action Adhesives. Promotional items for FUEL TV that are handed out at action sports events by scantily clad nurses who kissed boo-boos for free."
"Readers have long been able to shun magazine ads by simply turning the page. But advertisers are seeking more ways to command busy consumers' attention in the digital age. "Ink on paper really doesn't cut it when everyone has cellphones, Game Boys and Internet interactivity," says Tim Clegg, chief executive of Americhip, a Torrance, Calif., company that helped to devise the WB inserts. Advertisers are increasingly creating print promotions designed to stop readers in their tracks."
Reason #2: "Podcasting would appear to be subset of the Internet-connected PC business, meaning that you must have a device to connect to a PC to get a podcast. The closest analogue in the Internet -connected PC business is Internet radio since podcasting is essentially time and space-shifted Internet radio, which according to the Edison Research/Arbitron report Internet and Multimedia 12, has a monthly audience 8x as large as satellite radio, but which has an almost meaningless ad market associated with it, almost 10 years after the sector started. So, if it's at all related to Internet radio, or more likely, a subset of it, it's going to really small."
"You are bidding for the sole right to advertise on my corpse....as soon as my corpse is discovered and otherwise legally available to you. As the winning bidder you will have the right to advertise on my corpse, definitely during the funeral. You are welcome to photograph the ad after it is finished as well as attend the funeral. Im 24, in good health and have no plans of expiring any time soon but when I do..... well trust me, it will benefit you, if no one else. Be sure to have an alibi when you see my notice in the paper. No need to e-mail me with your design and placement ideas, I am not going to be able to gripe about it anyway."
--via Agenda, Webpronews
Tombstones as Media
"No, she's not intoxicated. The young lady's vestibular system, which controls her sense of movement and balance, has been thrown off-kilter by two weak electrical currents delivered just behind her ears."
It's Friday, and Fridays are good days to introduce new features. I've collected lots of links to retro junk that has to do with advertising but somehow I felt it wasn't appropriate to dilute the blog's content by non-tech entries. But now that I call it a "Friday Special", I can post anything I want, right?
So here, an online museum of packaging.
--NetImperative via Marketing Vox
"The only real unanswered question is what future there can be for marketing in an unusually personal space, patently not designed with marketing in mind. The growth statistics cited are tenuous, as are advance audience studies – especially given the general consensus at how darned annoying ads are. It seems like there's a lot of research to do before this field can make much progress."
"Julie Shumaker of EA explained that as far as EA was concerned, advertising was not a way to offset development costs. EA isn't in the business of offsetting costs; EA is in the business of increasing revenue. And as far as she was concerned, in-game marketing isn't close to "real" yet. A $30 million business is not a real business in 2005."
On a related note, Wired runs an interesting piece about what looks like a logical extension of the search marketing. "The average web surfer spends less than 5 percent of his time using a search engine. That means Google earns almost $3 billion a year from people who devote 95 percent of their time on the internet to doing something else. This is where Roy Shkedi, an engineer and chief executive officer of New York behavioral-marketing firm AlmondNet, comes in. He has patented an idea that he believes could bring tightly targeted advertising to the remaining 80 percent of our time online when we are not searching or shopping."
Haven't witnessed it in action myself, but Bayer is making some special plastic material called Makrolon which can be successfully used to cover urban manholes with advertising messages.
Also, here's a rug that looks like manhole cover, a collection of Japanese manhole cover designs, and a story about a town of Vail that sells branded 52-pound covers as souvenirs.
This was posted on Halfbakery, like, four years ago, but I don't think it has been done yet. "Imagine the details of a new movie covering the abrasion on your forehead after you fell down the stairs. Hospitals would earn revenue from affixing display plaques onto broken arm casts, advertising some brand of new pharmaceutical drug etc."
The image above is of a fridge magnet you can get here.
"Japan has already dabbled here and there with road surfaces that keep drivers awake by using appropriately-placed troughs to play rhythms through your tires. Now the Hokkaido Industrial Research Institute has gone a step further, with grooved sections of road that boom a melody up through your car. The grooves are a few millimetres deep and 6-12 mm wide; unsurprisingly, the closer they're grouped together the higher the pitch of the note produced. They're planning to use different melodies for different areas, picking songs that have some association to the locale."
I wonder if you could sponsor a slice of road and have it play your corporate tune.
- The new TV is all about engagement, and consumers will only give time to ads that are relevant to them.
- PVR use will help some advertisers because they bust through advertising clutter and help viewers remember the adverts they do see.
- In the PVR future, adverts for some categories of products are a far bigger turn-off for television viewers than others. Starcom tested 60 adverts to measure the drop in advertisement awareness in Sky+ homes compared with Sky Digital homes (more about the study)
-- via Adverblog
If you are considering your in-game advertising options (and here's a new article on the subject from Red Herring), don't forget an often neglected but apparently wildly popular gaming platform - calculators. The web is abuzz today about a recent adaptation of Wolfenstein 3D for TI, and it is a true 3D, too.