"TiVo is beefing up their HME [home media engine] offerings by centrally hosting applications and partnering with Yahoo, whose weather, traffic, and photos are available by entering Yahoo account info on the TiVo box. Also being previewed are Internet radio (Live365), a podcasting application, Fandango movie tickets, and some games. Beta testing is scheduled to continue into early 2006."
Should TiVo Become WebTiVo?
Turning Off In-Game Advertising
How To Disable Most of Internet Advertising
How To Block RSS Ads
-- Media Post
Ads will be delivered to subscribers who can conduct a search for a product by category or associated with keywords, utilizing the same keyword search techniques offered with Internet advertising, resulting in increased relevancy for the consumer, as well as efficient, measurable results for the advertiser.
Media and advertising agencies including Interpublic Media, OMD, Starcom Mediavest Group and The Richards Group, as well as Comcast Spotlight, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, have worked with TiVo to provide their expertise in the development of this product. Agency research and development techniques will contribute in determining relevant categories of interest, such as automotive, travel, telecommunications, and consumer packaged goods, as well as determine relevant pricing models."
-- press release [heavily edited here to cut out all "revolutionary" and "leading" references]
Brace for more DIY ads (or brand-busters) as the machinima technology becomes more accessible.
"Lionhead Studios had released a new game "The Movies" that among other things is a tool that allows video game players to create their own machinima and then export their work and upload it to the Web. Marketers already have started placing ads against machinima. On the streaming video site Heavy.com, for instance, a machinima called "Pimp My Weapon," made from Sony's game "God of War," got six million streams in its first week.
The Lionhead tool, "The Movies," positions the player as a Hollywood studio owner. In addition to the business management aspect of the game, players can shoot their own movies--designing costumes, choosing sets, adding subtitles, and dubbing audio. The finished product can be uploaded to a community site run by Lionhead, sent to friends, or posted online."
-- Media Post
See the game's review and screenshots at Gamespot.
To celebrate it's 1,000th issue in May 2006, Rolling Stone will come out wrapped in a lenticular "3D" cover. "It would celebrate the history of the magazine by showing a collage of about 100 people who have been central to the nation's music, politics and pop culture since Rolling Stone's first cover, which was dated Nov. 9, 1967. Magazine's publisher said the 3-D cover would probably be the most expensive in magazine history, but he would not specify how much it would cost. One reason for the expense is that the 3-D process, technically known as lenticular, involves hand-feeding material into the presses. Lenticular does not require the use of special glasses."
-- NY Times
Some analysts believe the next wave of online advertising will be even larger, with multi-media ads bringing targeted video messages to the internet in droves. Today, broadband still makes up a small fraction of the overall online ad spend, leaving plenty of room for growth, analysts say."
-- E-Commerce Times
Bloggers spot AdWords ads equipped with telephone icons. From Google's FAQ: "We're testing a new product that gives you a free and fast way to speak directly to the advertiser you found on a Google search results page – over the phone."
AOL Launches Pay-Per-Call Ads
Advertising Model: Pay-Per-Call
AOL added two advertising bots - moviefone and shoppingbuddy - to its chat service and users' buddy lists. Here's a CNet story and Slashdot's reaction.
This, of course, contains a promise of taking ad targeting to an entirely different level and perhaps will put an end to showing tampon ads to the family guys out there.
-- Variety via Lost Remote
In a related news, "a new company called TVMyPod will sell you a new video iPod with the DVDs of your choice preloaded on it."
Kohl's came up with an interactive circular and the unique thing about it is its well made interface. The online version of the print material is searchable, users can add notes and bookmark pages, and the bookmarks are remembered in consecutive visits.
Newspaper Ad Circulars to Extend Online
Thinking Machines shows computer's decision-making process in a game of chess.
VisitorVille quite literally applies the concept of city traffic to web visits.
Coca-Cola uses its "chill map" to promote Coke Zero.
If you are already familiar with Edward Tufte's work on visual display of quantitative information, check out the Information Aesthetics site for more great examples.
"According to "Playing with Brands," a new report commissioned by Telenation and conducted by Mediaedge:cia, in-game advertising is potentially a $185 million market, with room for substantial growth. But most advertisers don’t understand even the basics about where to place in-game ads and why they’re effective."
-- Media Life
-- Media Post
What Yahoo really should provide is Bejeweled through public touch screens. Massively-multiplayer online Bejeweled.
"TiVo today announced an enhancement to its current TiVoToGo feature that will allow TiVo subscribers to easily transfer recorded television programming to their Apple iPod or PSP devices" (press release).
If this doesn't save TiVo, what will?
NY Times has more details:
"When it released its TiVoToGo software in February, TiVo said it was compatible with portable video devices made by Creative Technologies, Samsung and other companies - players that have not been a hit with consumers. By extending that capability to the video iPod and the popular Sony PSP, TiVo is tapping into a market that is potentially much bigger.
Owners of the Apple or Sony devices will need to pay TiVo to unlock the portion of the new software that converts videos to the MPEG-4 format used by those players. While TiVo has not yet set the price for the software, similar programs typically cost between $15 and $30, Mr. Denney said. The cost will cover licensing fees and other expenses associated with using the MPEG-4 format, he said."
A pair of Eye Contact glasses developed by ID Magasin tracks eye movements and records what ads people look at for how long. The company used their EyeMark technology to analyse retail environments, but Eye Contact could be also applied be applied for TV audience analysis, potentially with a much greater degree of accuracy than diaries and people-meters. (ID Magasin also creates virtual reality mock-ups of retail spaces that they then analyse for effectiveness).
"It is called the Eye Contact, and it's capable of capturing on film everything that you see during a typical day. The Guardian wore the goggles for four hours, recording a bus and tube journey to Oxford Circus and a shopping trip up Bond Street. The experiment, analysed with the help of ID Magasin, the company which developed the device, highlighted both the extent to which individuals are bombarded by commercial images and how adept most have become at screening out advertising messages. The results of our experiment showed that 99% of adverts make little or no impact."
Last year, Canadian researchers developed a pair of sunglasses that can detect when someone is making eye contact with the wearer.
-- via AdJab
XBOX 360 Could Integrate Ads
Contextual Advertising in Word Documents
Microsoft Almost Unveils AdCenter
Microsoft To Patent Charging for Ad Skip
Podcasting pieces are falling into place. Earlier, Fruitcast announced a service that would auto-add adverts into podcasts (and Audible followed), now there's a company called Podzinger that indexes podcasts and enables search within podcasts (as opposed to searching podcast tags). Now, can we imagine dynamically-served podcast ad inserts based on search results?
AOL Makes Podcasts Searchable
Yahoo Working on Audio Search
Found a collection of 3D anaglyph print ads that were created from regular images (the ones not taken with two cameras). There are plenty of companies offering the conversion service, and a few free tools; I tried Bas-relief to convert Escher's "Relativity" with, uhm, relative success. If you want to create an anaglyph image from scratch, here's a very detailed step-by-step how-to. All you need is a camera, Photoshop and a few minutes. Here's a picture of my dorm I did last night (full size):
A reminder that NBC will show an episode of "Medium" in 3D on Monday, Nov. 21, 10pm EST. You can get the anaglyph red-blue glasses in this week's TV Guide, which features a few show-related 3D images. A huge oversight - since the magazine comes with the glasses, they should've run a few 3D ads to test the waters. It'd be interesting to see whether NBC has managed to line up any advertisers to run 3D commercials. Seems to be a very logical idea.
Nov.2002: "To cash-strapped cities across the nation, the offer seems too good to pass up. New police cars for $1 each in exchange for allowing NASCAR-style advertisements all over the cruisers."
-- USA Today, Gamecock; image credit: mountainmailcountry.com
"Slingbox enables consumers to watch their cable, satellite, or digital video recorder (DVR) programming from wherever they are, turning any Internet-connected laptop or desktop PC into a personal TV. The Slingbox redirects, or "placeshifts", a single live TV stream from a cable box, satellite receiver, or DVR to the viewer's PC located anywhere in the home. If the Slingbox is coupled with a broadband Internet connection, the viewer's live TV stream can be "placeshifted" via the Internet to a PC located anywhere in the world." The product has won a bunch of awards this year.
I was looking at the site stats the other day and it turned out that the blog has two major groups of readers - ad agencies and students from porftolio schools (StatCounter does reverse IP lookup for incoming traffic, you can monitor it in the "path" section).
The list of agencies includes JWT, Miller, Ogilvy, Armstrong, Ketchum, Fallon, Global Hue, Organic, Grey, GSD&M, Leo Burnett, W+K, Anomaly, Lessing Flynn, BBDO, Foot Cone & Belding, McCann, Publicis, Agency.com, Lowe. My impression is that the agency people who read the blog are mostly in planning, strategy, media or client relations.
So here's the offer. If you are a student, you now can get yourself a text ad and a link to your CV or portfolio site that will sit in the top right corner. If you buy the space for an entire month, you will also be featured in the main section of the blog at the time of your choosing, which will put you in some 220 feed readers. I landed a terrific internship last summer - when the traffic was a third of what it is now - by putting my own ad here in pretty much the same way.
"Sony is introducing movies from the stable of Sony Pictures on MMC cards of 128 megabytes size. All compatible handsets which can play multimedia files shall be able to play these movies. Movies to be released include Stuart Little, The Hitch, Ghostbusters, Charlie's Angels : Full Throttle and Spiderman 2."
"Volvo has commissioned the development of an Xbox game, "Volvo: Drive for Life." Initial run: 100,000 copies. It includes a tour of the Volvo Safety Center and film from actual crash tests. Dealers are being asked to set up Xbox systems in their showrooms and to distribute copies to customers. The players first navigate the course at the proving grounds without using the safety features found in the three Volvos, then try again with the safety features engaged.
The intent is to demonstrate that "Volvo's dedication to safety is not just passive, seat belts and air bags, but what they call active safety features like roll stability control and how they improve the experience of driving," said Kirt Gunn, president of Kirt Gunn & Associates in New York. Gunn, a boutique interactive agency, designed the video game and developed the concept along with Euro RSCG 4D."
-- David Edery, NY Times
"Nintendo and AM3 are now distributing video content for the GameBoy Advance Movie Player. This device allows you to insert your flash memory card, crank a handle and instantly download anime episodes to watch on your GBA. Episodes are around 25 minutes each and priced at 300 yen to download. There even appears to be a “free content” button, presumably giving you trailers, etc. The machines will be dotted around at Japanese Pokemon Centers, Toys'R'Us stores and other kid-friendly outlets."
Google Base went live yesterday and is expected to compete in the classifieds business both with paid services and the free ones such as Craigslist. The screenshot shows a result page from a search for an account executive job (click image to zoom in). The results are automatically mapped and are first offered for the users' immediate area (Boston in my case).
Gizmodo writes that "TiVo has begun experimenting with a possible video on demand service. They have begun this trial by offering the critically-acclaimed film Red Trousers available for downloading and watching by simply clicking a few buttons and entering your info via a TiVo web page."
Offtopic: here's an interesing "making of" piece about Apple's 1984 ad, complete with a short video and a rare 30' cut of the commercial. A piece of trivia: "To play the part of the despondent, baldheaded workers, Scott recruited authentic British skinheads and paid amateurs $125 a day to shave off their hair."
-- TechWeb via Marketing Vox
"The makers of this ingenious coffee mug [~$8] decided to glaze it with a chalk board surface allowing for easy-wipe messaging. It comes with its own stick of chalk, so no need to ask your little niece to rip one off from school. Great for morning love notes to your sweetie or for leaving that dreaded message to your boss."
Mug With Heat-Sensitive Text
Branding Coffee Stains
This guy claims to have come up with a working tagtextual advertising model. Not sure that's what Steve Rubel meant when he suggested this idea a while ago (and he isn't sure either), but the claim to fame has been made. To me, it looks like a million dollar page with words instead of pixels.
One of the highlights of my NY trip was a visit to Toys'R'Us on Times Square, a yearly pilgramage of sorts. The store never dissapoints. This time, they had a chat with with the computer-game Mario, live from the West Coast. Mario talked from a big TV screen and looked at the world through a video camera underneath. Mario took questions on the meaning of life and foreign affairs, danced around and eyed hot store employees. Voiced by apparently a professional Mario actor, this installation was not unlike a recent talkative billboard.
The deal is indicative of efforts that agencies are making to broaden their scope - and their revenue sources - as the industry undergoes wrenching changes. Not only are client relationships growing increasingly volatile, but marketers are seeking to reduce the sums they spend on advertising by cutting budgets or assigning procurement departments to handle agency payments."
"The U.S. market for downloadable TV is likely to remain tiny for many years, with relatively few cell phone users bothering to take advantage of the feature. As in so many areas of media, the fact that a technology exists to do something doesn't mean consumers will rush to adopt it. In the case of downloadable TV, they will not.
That's according to a recent study from Mobinet conducted among 4,000 cell phone users in 21 countries. A joint venture between Cambridge University in Britain and the consulting firm A.T. Kearney in Chicago, Mobinet found that around the world just 15 percent of cell phone users were willing to pay to watch TV shows on their cell phones."
-- Media Life via Lost Remote
November 17, Imperial College, London.
Some stats for the past year:
- Posts published: ~ 700
- Total page views: ~ 130,000
- RSS feed subscribers: ~ 200
- AdSense ad revenue: ~ $1,000
- Technorati back links: ~ 150
- Google PageRank: 6
Traffic growth (StatCounter.com):
Feed subscription growth (FeedBurner.com):
AdSense revenue growth:
Doom has become a touchstone of sorts to test versatility of each new medium that comes out. Glad to report that iPod nano has just past the test, with the successful porting of Doom through Linux. More things that play Doom.
Doom Ported to iPod Photo
-- via Red Ferret
Smelly Packaging Encourages Impulse Purchase
"Google Publication Ads enables you to place ads in print publications, allowing your advertising to reach an audience that's targeted to the demographics and topics you choose." Wonder if the print ads are going to be contextually tied to content, which would require an interesting content-management back-end on the publications' side.
-- via AdJab, which got it first.
Contextual Advertising in Word Documents
Putting contextual advertising on CVs
"Instead of popular music ring-back tones, PromoTel estimates that replacing music content with advertisements would generate close to USD$14 billion in revenue for major telecoms like AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. The company will now move forward with plans for a January 2006 field test allowing select customers in target markets to make free, unlimited local and nationwide calls."
Advertising on Ring Back Signal
"Speaking at the Harris Nesbitt Media & Entertainment Conference Bryan Lee, the chief financial officer of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices subdivision has said how in some markets outside of North America there is a possibility that the cost of the Xbox 360 and its software could be subsidised by advertising."
-- Cosmetic Design via SlashFood, Brand Infection
Not just for dogs anymore.
If simple wheel mods are not bleeding-edge enough for you, try Tire Tagz. "TireTagz uses complex electronic circuitry and high frequency LEDs to create patterns, images, words and even animations within the wheels of your car. Images appear to glow from the wheels of your car through a process known as "persistence of vision". As the unit rotates, the LEDs transmit thousands of light pulses every millisecond which in turn produces whatever image the user has programmed the unit to display." They also have pictures of semi-naked women on their site, if you care.
This is very much like Hokey Spokes and the Fan Screen.
"To create awareness at point-of-purchase, we rigged everyday shopping trolleys with motors, thereby creating and arsenal of "ghost trolleys". The trolleys were then filled with ghost pops and driven by remote controls from hidden locations. They moved around supermarkets by themselves prompting shoppers to take a pack while getting quite a few interesting reactions."
-- Network#BBDO, Loerie Awards 2005, Gold for Ambient/Outdoor
Also, check out how Yamaha turned shopping carts into motorbikes.
Advertising Outdoors : Watch This Space! focuses on the history and development of outdoor advertising since the beginning of the nineteenth century.
"Laundrettes in the wheels of a taxi, complete with laundry and soap. Agency: PPGH/JWT Amsterdam"
Previously reported cool ways:
My favorite one: "Consumer-generated media will become increasingly attractive to advertisers."
"I'm surprised no one has tried to brand power sockets in locations like this [airport] - this socket sponsored by 'T-Mobile Wi-Fi access'. Micro targeted advertising should get interesting when it collides with the widespread adoption of IPv6.
Observed power socket clustering to charge mobile phones in a variety of cultures including Hangzhou train station and JFK Airport, below."
-- AdWeek @ Yahoo
Contextual Advertising in Word Documents
Million Dollar Screenshot
"amBX, developed by Philips amBX Group, is a technology that will take gamers a step closer to a full sensory experience, with amBX enabled games providing gamers with the ability to use light, colour, sound, heat and airflow in the real world during gameplay. The technology uses a scripting language to enable games to send signals to compatible hardware such as lights, fans, heaters, and even furniture. This means that in a game the lights in your room will match up to the environment you are gaming in. Green for jungle and blue for the ocean. Strobes of white light could simulate a lightning storm and a burst of air from a fan could make huge jumps feel more realistic."
-- via David Edery
BOOK AD: Creative Advertising: Ideas and Techniques from the World's Best Campaigns is an indispensable book for designers, art directors, copywriters, and students of advertising. Over 450 illustrations, 380 in color.
AdPulp author recently noticed his and many other ad blogger's content being rudely copied, and I too had an encounter with a secret admirer. In the hindsight, my response was very unproductive. So here's another solution. Every once in a while, I will be hard-coding links to the top rated advertising books on Amazon, mostly the ones I've read and enjoyed myself. They take a fair amount of work since everything is hand-made, but this way the ads are actually relevant and just may be useful. Let me know, though, if that's too much.
Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Ads, in which master copywriter Luke Sullivan looks at the history of advertising, from the good, to the bad, to the ugly.
Reuters runs a status update on the progress of electronic paper technology and talks about potential implications for information businesses.
"An electronic newspaper, when the technology is finally available to produce one, still may not be the device to rescue newspaper publishers from an aging readership and dwindling circulation numbers. Such a device could well be sold by newspaper publishers who would subsidize it in order to sell subscriptions, but it would have to offer other sources to be attractive."