XM Readies Push & Purchase Radio Technology

Media Buyer Planner writes:

"XM Satellite Radio will ship to retailers in two week the two XM-enabled portable MP3 players that will make push-and-purchase transactions possible through radio. The logical next step, allowing advertisers to use the push-and-purchase technology, may not be far behind.
With the new XM MP3 players, users can press a special button on the device to bookmark the songs they like.
-- via Hill Holiday, more at Ad Age

Animated 3D Poster For Bacardi

image credit: Creative Match

Fallon London and Create 3D have come up with an interactive poster for Bacardi. The "Dance With Me" features dancing characters and invites viewers to "interact with the dancers and "move" with the image. The poster character "responds" by replaying at the same speed as the viewer."
-- Creative Match via AdLand

Adverlab's secret agent in Sheffield is investigating the matter and will provide more details.

Game-like 3D Environment For Modeling Outdoor Campaigns

Image: screenshot from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Alpha Mediaworks uses game-like virtual environments to model and demonstrate effectiveness of outdoor advertising campaigns. From their website: "Outdoor DRiVE PRO is a virtual environment that enables you to easily input planned outdoor advertising into a module and view the art as if in the driver’s seat. The program gives advertisers the ability to assess the impact of a design through a variety of simulated environments that judge billboard readability with distance milestones." Media Post writes: "[The program] allows users to drop up to six different ads in standard digital formats to simulate a campaign using outdoor spaces, including billboards and bus kiosks. Formats include 8 sheets, 30 sheets, bulletins, and shelters, all viewable in day and night settings. The interface, reminiscent of urban shoot-'em-up video game "Grand Theft Auto" (without the gore, of course), may also be useful for selling clients or senior execs on campaigns."

Here's a bit from my conversation with Behavior Insider: "Contextual and behavioral advertising would be much easier to do in the virtual world than it is here in the real world... Even if you place a billboard in the real world, it's really expensive to measure how many people see it and how many people act on it. In the virtual world, you can also place a billboard which would look exactly like it would here on Massachusetts Avenue here in Boston. But in the virtual world there are many more, much cheaper techniques to measure the exposure."

Rumor: Google Tests Video Format for AdSense

image credit: Google Rumors

Adjab points at the latest rumor on Google Rumors that Google may have started serving Flash video ads to at least some of its AdSense publishers.

Volkswagen Ad Hits YouTube

The new and long anticipated campaign by CP+B for Volkswagen hit YouTube as one of the site's top downloads. Just A Blip says: "From a quick scan of it, there’s not another ad in the top 100 YouTube videos. By my math, VW has gotten 712,229 non-paid views of their advertising this week." See why it's important.

Second Life: SLurl Connects Two Worlds

Clickable Culture:
"Linden Lab have launched SLurl, a web application that gives the general public read/write access to an interactive overhead map of Second Life. Existing users of the virtual world can also use the map to "teleport" directly to an annotated location."

The map works a lot like the familiar Google Maps. It also opens the way to many new possibilities for enhanced advertising of SL goods on RL web.

Marketers To Turn Away From Search

Usability specialist Jacob Nielsen predicts that "liberation from search engines will be one of the biggest strategic issues for websites marketers in the coming years." He writes that as the cost of search ads go up, marketers will increasingly rely on email newsletters, request marketing, RSS feeds and mobile features.

KFC Creates TiVo-Proof Ad

"KFC says its latest ad has a hidden message. Apparantly, if you watch the ad in slow motion, you can decode the message, and get a coupon for a free sandwich."
-- First Coast News via Engadget

Commentary: TiVo and Advertisers
TiVo Tests Banners, Plans Interactive Format
TiVo To Insert Ads Into FastForward
TiVo Ad Zapping is Good for Recall

Tobaccowala To Lead Future Ad Practices Group

"Publicis Groupe launched Denuo, a major new strategic initiative designed to anticipate and exploit the rapidly changing digital, interactive and mobile communication environment. Denuo's model rests on three pillars, functioning simultaneously as a strategic consultant, an inventor of solutions and as an investor in partnerships. The new venture will be led by Rishad Tobaccowala. Denuo delivers foresight and strategic direction which can give clients a prescriptive advantage as they identify marketing touchpoints of the future. Publicis said that it would marry media, marketing and technology."
-- assorted sources: press release, Brand Republic

My morning rant:
1. The press release, while timely and well targeted, landed in the junk folder. Not company's fault, of course, since Hotmail moves in mysterious ways.
2. You'd think an ad futures company would have a website that can be found with Google (it's not Denuo.com). Or remembered to put a URL in the press release.
3. On the Groupe's site, press releases are in PDF and can't be easily linked to.

Update: a quick and helpful response from the PR directed me to DenuoGroup.com. I also kind of feed bad about the mean press release comment above. Human, all too human.

Interview With Leo Burnett's Media Futurist

Chrysler Sponsors Machinima Contest

Following Volvo's lead, Chrysler is sponsoring competition for fan-made clips made with The Movies game. "Shorts created as a CITM entry must include one of the Chrysler vehicles that already are part of the more than 7,000 scenes, 45 sets, hundreds of props and thousands of costume combinations available in The Movies."

Press release at Sid Dog
Comments on Clickable Culture

"The Movies" Game To Boost DIY Machinima Ads
Machinima Advertising
Advertising and Episodic Gaming
The "Video Mods" Show
Unexplored: Deus Ex Machinima

J.C. Penney To Open Virtual Store

J.C. Penney will construct a 15,000-square-foot physical manifestation of the virtual store at One Times Square on the corner of 42nd Street and Broadway, New York, in which shoppers can purchase the company's full range of merchandise at interactive kiosks. The store opens on March 3, 2006 and closes on March 26. Shoppers will be able to buy everything in the store at interactive kiosks, which will feature all of the 250,000 items available at the company's web site.

-- Business Week via PSFK

Belgian Newspaper To Test Electronic Paper


"The Antwerp-based daily De Tijd will soon become the world's first newspaper to publish a digital version on so-called 'electronic paper'.

Instead of buying your daily paper, from April 2006, 200 subscribers will be able to start the day by connecting a portable electronic device supplied by De Tijd to the internet and start downloading their daily paper. Updates will be automatic during the day, if subscribers have access to wireless technology.

De Tijd is also thinking about publishing advertisement corresponding to the time of the day. Coffee and cereals in the morning, beer and snacks in the evening."

-- Many more details at Monsters and Critics (via CyberJournalist).

Magazine in a Bottle

(image: Gizmag)

Australia's iLove magazine will distribute copies hidden behind the the labels on water bottles. The 32 page A7 magazine will include 10 pages of advertising per issue with the circulation of each edition reaching 2,000,000 by March, 2005 and will be distributed though grocery chains.
-- Gizmag via Boing Boing

MSN AdCenter Provides Demographic Targeting

"Microsoft Corp.’s new demographics-data-driven MSN AdCenter search engine marketing service is producing better results for advertisers than Google or Yahoo, a search expert says. The reason for the better results through MSN AdCenter, which is still in a beta test, is its ability to provide marketers with demographic data, including age, sex and home city. By offering various ways to analyze that data, AdCenter makes it possible for marketers to continuously modify their search campaigns to demographic groups with particular keywords."
-- Internet Retailer

Press Releases Get Trackbacks

Great to see somebody having a clue. "PRWeb, the experts in direct to consumer press release distribution and the leading online press release visibility company, today announced it is the first to introduce Trackbacks to online press release distribution."
-- press release

New Project: Study Of In-Game Advertising

I've been spending a lot of time in Second Life (perhaps more than absolutely necessary), collecting stuff for my upcoming master's thesis on how advertising is being incorporated into computer games and what can be done in the future. I found that blogs are a convenient tool for organizing notes, and so all my findings go into this new separate stream of posts. I'm updating it with all sorts of raw info that I pick up as I read and poke around, so it's not terribly chronological, but I hope you'll find something new if in-game ads is what turns you on. Most of the recent posts showcase my ad loot from Second Life (like the pic above) since that's where I am now, but the scope is more broad.

This is a work in progress and I will be adding bibliography and a link list, and will also greatly appreciate and appropriately credit any tips that can be sent to vedrashko at hotmail.com or tagged with "gamethesis" on del.icio.us. If you are a Second Life resident, I would be happy to exchange cards or chill out over a bottle of virtual Corona; IM Ariel Spoonhammer.

Interactive Mirrors for Infiniti

An interactive mirror instalation for Nissan's Infiniti:
"The installation consists of three 8’ high by 3.5 ’ wide panes of mirrored glass placed side by side, each displaying rear-projected content from a high-lumen projector. A user standing in front of the mirrors has the unusual sensation of seeing their reflection and the projected content simultaneously.

Sensors embedded in the structure above each pane register when a user reaches out to a “hot spot,” allowing users to navigate the projected content without ever needing to touch the “screen” or press a “button.” This combined with scale of the system, and the projected image being captured on the inside surface of the glass creates a unique spatial experience where the content appears organically before the viewer. An additional sensor recognizes when a user approaches and automatically activates the mirror to welcome the visitor."

Advertising on Mirrors

Round Up: Tips on RSS Advertising

Various helpful bits and pieces on RSS ads keep cropping up every once in a while on my RSS reader (what else), and while none of them probably deserves a separate post, I thought maybe as a bunch they could prove valuable:

Posted at Ad Lab earlier:

Adology - New Business Tool for Advertising Agencies

I'm not sure how exactly this works (and the info request form is too nosy to bother), but anything that announces itself as "The Ultimate New Business Tool for Agencies" must be important. Quote: "Ad-ology is a unique resource of invaluable insights - localized down to the zip code level - that can help you pitch new business and grow your existing clients' business. A resource that can lead you to that "ah-ha" moment before a critical meeting. Unlike an Internet search, Ad-ology filters through all the thousands of pages of minutia to give you an impressive level of relevance in a package manageable enough to review on the cab ride over. Plus, our own in-house research team conducts interviews daily to give you vital data you simply won't find on the free Internet."

Animated Stamp

Dutch design studio Solar created stamps made of 12 successive frames of video footage. The stamps are for sale at the post office near you (if you are in the Netherlands, that is). Don't know exactly how this works since the only press release the site has is in Dutch, but it looks like lenticular printing.

Rolling Stone To Come Out With Lenticular Cover
Stamp Advertising Is Back
Smelly Postage Stamps

Talking Poster

TechJapan: "Kokuyo Store Creation Corporation released the "Narupane" poster panel which can produce sound.
It appears to be a standard panel for displaying a poster at first, but the back panel is actually a speaker, allowing it to play music and voices. Since it feels as though the poster itself is producing the sound, Kokuyo Store Creationg explained that "in addition to the visual, it is a media that allows you to appeal to the sense of hearing as well."

Not as cool as these fabric-like speakers, though.

Advertising in Books Comes to the US

Ads in books - not just for Russians anymore. Info Today writes today: "Citing the desire to create new revenue streams for authors, mega-publisher HarperCollins has announced the first free Web-based, ad-supported, full-text business book. Go It Alone! The Secret to Building a Successful Business on Your Own by Bruce Judson is now available on the author’s web site, where an affiliate link to Amazon, not the publisher, can also be found. Not only can the book be read at the site, but it can also be searched. HarperCollins Publishers is calling the project a test of a new business model. Some self-published authors also offer ad-supported books online, but HarperCollins’ move is the first by a major publisher."

Volvo's Internet Campaign in 3-D

Volvo has sent out red-blue 3D glasses to prospects around the world with a special VIP link printed on them. The link leads to this site. See the glasses and details at Ad Rag.

Anaglyph Print Ads
Retro Porn Flick To Come Out in Stereo
Rant: "Medium 3D" Sucked
T-Shirts with 3D Prints

Announcement: Last Day to Vote

The last day to vote for this blog at the Battle of Ad Blogs is today.

Site for Old Spice Invites Users To Cut Own Commercial

We (the MIT C3 Group, that is) have recently submitted a whitepaper that discusses brands' relations with fan communities, and one of the recommendations was to hand the tools over to your fans and let them play with your commercials. The Whopperettes site is making some steps in this direction (see an earlier post), and now Advertnews points to an Old Spice site that lets visitors rearrange the shots and the soundtrack in its commercial. There is still room for more, but the example illustrates the point nicely.

GM Outgoogles Ford

AdAge: "Ford Motor Co. spent as much as $2.5 million to promote its Ford Hybrid on the Super Bowl, using Kermit the Frog to emphasize the environmental friendliness of its new car. But General Motors Corp. is benefiting from the ad online. That's because GM was a smarter search marketer than Ford. If a Super Bowl viewer come Monday morning, charmed by Kermit and interested in the Ford Hybrid, typed "Kermit" into Google, the first Web page that came up in the paid search results section was GM's. The link read, “Live Green, Go Yellow.” Ford’s sponsored link was second. But for the busy shopper looking for an environmentally safe vehicle and who may remember Kermit, but not the Hybrid, the second listing may be too far down."

MediaWeek: "Since Super Bowl ads are often engineered to produce buzz, the Web is the natural place for excited viewers to turn, and search engines are where many start their pursuit. According to Reprise Media, a lead search marketing specialty agency, the brands that used search advertising most effectively this past Super Bowl Sunday included GoDaddy.com, CareerBuilder, the films MI:3, Shaggy Dog, and Cars The Movie as well as Burger King and Cadillac."

Advertising on Widgets

Widgets are tiny web applications that sit on user desktops and deliver content without relying on the browser. Some are are fun but fairly useless, like the Staples' Easy button that sits on my computer next to the Wrigley-looking WinAmp, yet others can come very handy; check out the UPS Shipment Tracker and the Starbucks Card balance checker. Widgets are created with Yahoo's Widget Engine (formerly known as Konfabulator), which is a JavaScript runtime engine for Windows and Mac OS X. The engine also needs to be installed on the users' computers for the widgets to run (more info on Wiki). As Marketallica's Ozgur says (in English, in Turkish), "widgets are waiting to be discovered by marketers."


Shopping Assistant Robot Ready For Field Tests

"NTT Communications and Tmsuk will test an RFID-driven shopping assistant robot at a shoping mall in Fukuoka. The pilot test will take place on the 9th of February and lasts till the 15th. The robot can assist in-store shoppers as well as remote shoppers. Home shoppers could use a browser on a personal computer to control the service robot and view the in-store environments through the robot's camera and communicate with (human) sales agents through videoconferencing."
-- RFID in Japan

Neuroscientists Measure Brain's Response to Super Bowl Ads

Edge.org writes: "This year, at the UCLA Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, Marco Iacoboni and his group used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure brain responses in a group of subjects while they were watching the Super Bowl ads.

What is quite surprising is the strong disconnect that can be seen between what people say and what their brain activity seem to suggest. In some cases, people singled out ads that elicited very little brain responses in emotional, reward-related, and empathy-related areas.

The picture shows the brain activation associated with the Michelob's Super Bowl ad. The activity in these areas may represent some form of empathic response. Or, given that these areas are also premotor areas for mouth movements, it may represent the simulated action of drinking a beer elicited in viewers by the ad."
-- via Boing Boing

Wired Writes on Neuromarketing

Rooftop Ads Are Real Business

The August post on rooftop ads has attracted a lot of attention and some of you may have had a good laugh and dismissed the whole idea as a joke, but not Colin Fitz-Gerald who started a company called RoofShout that today got a write-up by Wired. And yes, the ads are designed to be viewed on satellite mapping sites, says Wired: "Click on the aerial view of a cityscape on Google Earth or Microsoft's Live Local, and most of us don't discern much more than a cluttered expanse of buildings and car-lined streets. But where others see a sprawl of empty rooftops, Colin Fitz-Gerald sees a cornucopia of unused advertising space." One other company that does roof advertising is called Roof Ads. Of course, there remains an issue of Google Maps updating the photos only once every few years, so we are talking about a long-term commitment.

BMW Releases Audio Books

First, there were widely popular BMW films (recently taken offline), then comics. Then, the company said it was pulling out of the branded entertainment business that had become too expensive. Apparently, the Bavarians did some fundraising, because they have just begun offering BMW-themed audio books. Times writes: "Leading authors at the publisher Random House, including the bestselling crime writer Karin Slaughter and the Californian writer Don Winslow, have written 45-minute audio books. Each audio book features a different BMW car." The British agency behind the campaign says this form of advertising could become commonplace as more and more people seek to feed their iPods with new stuff.

In other related news that you might have already heard, BMW.de website was taken off Google because of bending some rules.

The Inevitable Super Bowl Post

So, last night I had my first Super Bowl experience, but since I still don't understand the game, I watched the ads instead (watching the Super Bowl for the ads must be like buying Playboy for the articles). NY Times says the overall level of the commercials is up, but I'd say that at $2.5M a pop, it isn't terribly impressive. My favorites: Hummer's little monster (love the new tagline), FedEx's caveman, United's knight, Budweiser's wave, and Burger King's whopperettes.

The coolest thing is that marketers seem to have finally realized that if they are paying a fortune for everyone to see these ads, then there might be some people who actually may want to see the ads more than once, and so the commercials are widely available online in a variety of formats. Hats off to CP+B for the Whopperettes website where you can find not only the original commercial, but also a nice bunch of bonus material that includes ringtones, MP3's, lyrics, and even sheet music and raw music files in case someone wants to come up with a remix.

The site for the Hummer's monster, done in the visual style of 1996, is also great. You can call the robot's office at 1-888-robo-job (that's 1 888 762 6562) and leave him a message. Note that your call can be recorded for quality assurance purposes.

Finally, a bonus pop quiz. Match these brands - Sony, Hummer, Mercedes, Haagen Dazs - with their slogans: "like nothing else", "made like no other", "like no other", "unlike any other".

More Advertising on Band-Aids

I wrote about ads on Band-Aids before, and just came across another nice example done by Arnold for Volkswagen.

Flashback: BBS Textmode Ads

"This is the most complete collection of BBS adverts [what's BBS?] including PC and Amiga scene boards, legal as well as illegal ones. All the ads were found in release packages and are thereby authentical.

As BBS's were the main way of communication through the 90s for ALL computer scenes, no matter if demo, hpav or wares, there is an urge to document the way BBS's competed for callers. That is hopefully done by this collection."

Image to ASCII Converter
ASCII Movie Player
Pictures in Teletext

Advertising on Nuts and Roses

Nuts & Roses - isn't it a cool name for a band? And you wouldn't have to worry about promo items, since you can have your logo printed on the roses here and the nuts here.

Google Plans Cross-Media Advertising Platform

Internet News: "Google laid out ambitious plans to create a unified advertising platform that could sell and deliver ads to print, radio, television and streaming media, including podcasts and Google Video.

Advertisers would like to get the same kind of accountability and tracking that search advertising provides in other media, said Google cofounder Sergey Brin, The technology that came with the recent acquisition of dMarc Broadcasting could do it.

DMarc's technology automatically schedules and places radio advertising, and Google plans to integrate the dMarc platform with the Google ad-serving platform. With dMarc's system already serving audio ads, music is a likely candidate for Google's ad expansion."

Tips for Podcast-minded Advertisers

A new online news bulletin Podcast Radio Mixer from Radio Tail aims to guide savvy advertisers through the perilous world of podcasing. The pilot issue talks about CPMs (leave your banner mentality) and the basics of placement and spot length, and promises to go into more complex issues in the future.

Binaural Advertising

Binaural records convincingly reproduce location of sound wherever it comes from during recording: behind, ahead, above, or below. If you have never heard a binaural (sometimes called holophic) recording, download this short mp3 sample (~1.80Mb, mirror1, mirror2) and listen to it with your headphones on (any headphones work, including earbuds).

Wikipedia explains that "a typical binaural recording unit has two high-fidelity microphones mounted in a dummy head, inset in ear-shaped molds to fully capture all of the audio frequency adjustments that happen naturally as sound wraps around the human head and is "shaped" by the form of the outer and inner ear." You can also buy in-ear mics and go without the dummy head; you can get a set by Sound Professionals for about $70.

Wouldn't it be cool to record binaural ads or an entire podcast and put them up on iTunes for download? While the technique wouldn't work for radio ads (the "surround sound" effect can only be reproduced on headphones that few use with radio), binaural advertising would entertain the populous iPod nation.

More pointers:
Binaural.com sells binaural radio dramas, but seems they are not taking orders at the moment. You can also buy ringtones here, although I'm not sure how that would work. Quiet American is an artist who records ambient sounds. Audio Collective is doing an experimental podcast, and O'Reilly gives tips at putting together your own recording equipment. And in 1993, Stephen King published a full-cast dramatization of his early Mist novel.

Flashback: World's First Spam

Digg today links to the text of an email message that entered the history as the first official spam. According to an earlier BBC story, on May 3, 1978, "a marketing executive at Digital Equipment Corporation, a leading maker of minicomputers, decided to send all West Coast Arpanet users a message about an open day that would show off its new range of machines."

Spraypainted Advertising Dogs

First dogs, then cows, then this again. A German radio station sprayed its call letters and motto on dogs; The Spunker says the paint is washable.

RIP Telegram

After 145 years, Western Union shut down its telegram service. Here's an obituary. I think they should've announced it in advance and give everyone an opportunity to send their last telegram. Oh well. I actually sent a telegram once, for my grandfather's birthday. By the way, telegrams like the one below were once used for advertising.

image source

Advertising on Eggs

This is what advertising boils down to (har har): you can now laser-etch your message on eggs, thanks to Egg Fusion. In their own words, "If the shear number of potential impressions isn't enough to grab your attention (over 50 billion eggs sold in the retail channel each year), the interaction consumers have with your message should."
-- thanks to David at Advertising to Peanuts for the tip