Arbitron Tracks Out-of-home Viewing

"Arbitron Tuesday claimed a TV industry first, providing electronic measurement of out-of-home TV viewing in Houston, where it is conducting an extensive field trial of its new portable people meter ratings system. Not surprisingly, Arbitron said the data showed that out-of-home viewers were "a significant percentage of the audience" for the program it tracked: NASA's July 26th launch of the space shuttle."
-- Media Post, press release

How To Disable Most of Internet Advertising

If you are somehow involved into internet advertising, you may be interested in this forum post detailing how to turn off much of the ad goodness. From the author: "I realise that many of the blocking strategies overlap each somewhat, so may be redundant, but I'm going for comprehensive here."

Turning Off In-Game Advertising

System Allows Last-Minute Changes in TV Ads

"Spinner Network Systems developed a software application to run on PCs that allows the advertiser to update spots from the desktop. The application allows the advertiser to make changes to their ads right up until the scheduled airtime, for last-second product or price changes based on market conditions."

Bookmarking Radio

"Phonetags is about bookmarking songs you hear on the radio using your mobile phone. The way you use it is very simple. If you're listening to a radio network (initially BBC 6 Music) and you hear a song you'd like to make a note of, you pull out your mobile phone, type an 'X' into an SMS (remember: X marks the song) and send the text to a BBC short-code. Later when you come to the site, you type in your mobile number into the search box to see a list of all the songs that you've bookmarked."
-- Plastic Bag

Video Recorder for PSP

"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."
-- BoingBoing

In related news, Reebok has created a site ( specifically for users with a new PSP browser.

Interview with Heliodisplay Creator

OhGizmo runs an interview with Chad Dyner, the creator of Heliodisplay. Here's what he has to say on how the thing works: "Basically, we are creating a thermal differential within the air and as soon as you do that, the air goes through a process of rapid condensation. So what we’re doing is transforming the air in a very localised fashion."

Advertising on Ring Back Signal

A company called Promotel is trying to patent replacing the ring-back signal (the stuff you hear when you dial someone before they pick up) with advertising messages. Acording to a consultancy Ovum, "the worldwide market for "ring backs" is projected to grow from $148 million in 2003 to $2.4 billion by 2008."
-- via Moco News

Ringtone Advertising - Check
Advertising on Ringtones

Advertising on (Formerly) Pay Phones

"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

Stoli Advertises on High-Tech Juke Boxes

stoli advertises on jukeboxes

"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

Industry Embraces Uniform Ad Identification

Looks like soon you'll be able to tell which half of your advertising goes wasted. The Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies have created Advertising Digital Identification, or Ad-ID. In the short-term, it will be used to streamline advertising asset management, but the creators hope the new standard will also improve effectiveness measurement.

Life-saving Advertising

emergency medical systems advertising

"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."

Advertising on Mirrors

advertising on mirrors

Add this to your arsenal of bathroom advertising tools. A British company Addirect is selling mirrors that display built-in images, visible when activated. 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 Ads

Shadow advertising comes back into focus with an article in The Philadelphia Inquirer (use name/password: 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.

Advertising on Wikis

"IDG Entertainment's has launched an ad-supported wiki application for online gamers who want to offer their advice and strategy on a variety of pursuits."
-- Media Post

Saatchi CEO Lee Daley on Future of Advertising

saatchi's lee daley on the future of advertising

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."

Animations for iPod Photo

"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

Calculators Playing Movies

Not only can you play Wolfenstein on your TI calculator, but there are also movies (and, we hope, commercials) coming to a small grainy screen near you.

Study: Overexposure, Poor Creative Ruin TV Campaigns

"A new interactive study that uses set-top boxes to monitor second-by-second airing of TV commercials has shown that TV consumers tire easily of traditional five-week-long TV advertising campaigns. Results from The PreTesting Company's MediaCheck initiative--which is currently testing its system in Omaha, Neb. among 2500 homes--showed that campaigns should cut their duration in half.

After two weeks of watching commercials, viewers generally become fatigued, said Weinblatt. The remedy? Give them more interesting commercials."
-- Media Post

Arbitron's People Meter Measures Podcasts

Arbitron announced that its new portable people meter system could successfully track podcasts. "During the week of July 18, Arbitron encoded several podcasts by Clear Channel's WHTZ-FM (Z100) in New York, which were uploaded to the podcast portion of Apple's iTunes Music Store. The Z100 podcasts were then downloaded to an MP3 player and played over headsets using the PPM headset adapter. The PPM detected and recorded the unique identification codes that were embedded in the MP3 file."
--Media Post

Google Launches Google Talk

As promised yesterday, Google did launch its instant messenger today at It's open to all Gmail users but it's going to feel a bit lonely in there until more people sign up.

Pseudo-Animated Billboards

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.

Future: Context-Sensitive Video on Demand

"Mitsubishi Electric has released in Japan two DVD recorders capable of finding and replaying the best moments from televised sporting events by analyzing the sound tracks of the programs. The recorders identify the highlights by checking the applause of spectators, cheering and other sounds, so users can quickly see what happened during an overseas event that aired in Japan late at night."
-- We Make Money Not Art

Can you highlight the best spots in a sitcom analyzing canned laughter?

Also see this bit from AdJab:
" is a tagging service that does for video what services like 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.

Humanoid Robot As Sales Agent

t63 artemis advertising cop robot

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
Advertising Robots

Advertising with Google Maps

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:

Google to Launch Instant Messenger

"Continuing its rapid expansion into new product categories, the Internet search giant plans to launch an instant messaging program called Google Talk as early as Wednesday, according to people familiar with the service."
--LA Times (free reg.) via Lost Remote

Study: Cell Phone Gaming Grows

"According to Ziff Davis Media's annual "Digital Gaming in America" survey of more than 1,500 randomly selected US households, cell phone gaming continued its meteoric rise in 2005: the number of households engaged in cell phone gaming nearly doubled again, jumping from 16.3 million last year to 27.9 million this year."
-- Brand Noise

The study also predicts PSP will win over Nintendo DS.

Renaming RSS May Boost Tech's Popularity

"Because Microsoft is considering referring to RSS feeds as "web feeds" in a future version of Internet Explorer, a debate has begun to rage whether RSS should be renamed and whether a new name might help expand consumer use of feeds."
-- Marketing Vox, eCommerce Times

Study: RSS Usage Stats

Create Magazine Cover with Flickr

mit advertising lab magazine cover

Offtopic: BoingBoing today points to a tool that makes magazine covers out of your Flickr images. As you remember, you can also spell with Flickr. Magic, pure magic.

Advertising on Library Binders

"When Wake County librarians want to subscribe to a magazine, they turn to Ebsco, an Alabama company that offers discount rates. The company also runs a program in which local individuals and businesses can sponsor a magazine in exchange for a small advertisement.

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

Bluetooth Advertising in London

bluetooth advertising london
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.
--WSJ, NewScientist

Bluetooth Advertising Stirs Controversy

Engraved Metal Postcards, Paint

"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.

Clinging Signage on Static Electricity

clinging signage

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

Study: Podcasting Driven By Older Folks

"A survey of over 8,000 American consumers by pollsters CLX has revealed that podcasting is most popular with those over 45, with 21 per cent of those questioned listening to podcasts. This compares to just 13 per cent of 15 to 24-year olds."
-- VNUnet via Techdirt

Study: Podcasting, RSS Unfamiliar Terms

Rapid Serial Visual Presentation

rapid serial visual presentation

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."
--Mobile Magazine

RSS Feeds on SPOT watch, PSP

More gems surfacing during the computer clean-up.

MAKE Magazine shows how to stream RSS feeds to your SPOT watch, provided you have one. Oh, and you can read RSS on PlayStation Portable, too.

Tabletop 3D Theater

3d stereo theater

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

Book-Vending Machines

book vending machines in paris

More content-vending machines, this time for books, in Paris.
-- via Boing Boing, Yahoo

Content-Vending Machines
Content Vending Machines Come to US
Ringtone Kiosk

Kraft Puts Recipes on iPod

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."
-- ClickZ

Doom Ported to iPod Photo
Playing Video on iPod
Text Games on iPod

Painted Pseudo-3D Ads

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.
--via BrandNoise

Nielsen's Exec on In-Game Advertising

VNU's Inside Branded Entertainment talks to Michael Dowling, general manager of Nielsen Interactive Entertainment. Quote:

"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

Video Tombstones

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

Event: Meet Neil French, Toronto, Oct. 6

Public service announcement:
ihaveanidea puts together a live on-stage interview with Neil French by Mark Fenske and Rick Boyko on Thursday, October 6 at Toronto’s John Bassett Theatre. Details and tickets here.

Another "Minority Report" Interface

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

Advertising with Firefox Skins

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).
--via Mozillazine

High-Resolution Tabletop Advertising

Adrants brings us news and pictures of high-quality imagery used for tabletop ads.

Table Advertising
Table Advertising, Interactive

Japan to Explore Virtual Reality TV

"The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications [of Japan] will set up an industry-academia-government research and development unit this year that will work to commercialize virtual reality television by 2020, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported Tuesday.

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

Heliodisplay Hits Market

The Heliodisplay I wrote about in February hits the market today after a year in development. Heliodisplays can project 3D images of up to 22 to 42 inches in diagonal.

Study: RSS Usage Stats

"Only two percent of adults in North America say they use RSS. That's compared with five percent of teens and young adults aged 12 to 21, according to research in a pair of new reports on marketing and RSS from Forrester Research."

Playing Video on iPod

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).
--via Gizmodo

Doom Ported to iPod Photo
Mobile Video: The Advent of vPod?

Friday Special: The Dream of Ad Skipping

toshiba vcr v5310

"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").

Record-Playing Van

"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.
--via Gizmodo

Musical Roads
Video, Data on Vinyl Disks

One Second Commercials

"Infomercials are a television staple and reality shows like The Apprentice have become product-placement bonanzas. Flying in the face of this trend is One Second, a new breath freshener that debuted in Belgium with a series of, appropriately enough, one-second commercials." via Urban Intelligence

Target New Yorker's Sole Advertiser for One Issue

Target to Be New Yorker's Sole Advertiser for One Issue

"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."
--NY Times

Study: Erotic, Violent Images Cloud Vision

This may make us reconsider using overly sexed-up visuals in ads or putting ads within highly emotional contexts:

"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."
--Live Science

Police Tests Super Sonic Blaster

"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

Advertising on Hobos

Advertising on Bums

"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."
--ABC News

Check out a similar project in Holland, where nuns gave out free jackets with ad messages on them to homeless people.

Search Google AdWords

Get all the Google's ads you want without those annoying "organic" search results.

Taguchi Method for Ad Design

A bookmark brought back a two-year-old PBS article about Taguchi method and how it applies to ad creation.

"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.

Inc Magazine: Future of Advertising is Here

The future of advertising is here, announces, and this future is targeting: "But it's not just the Internet that's poised to become a bastion of highly targeted advertising. In fact, the trend to interactive, targeted advertising is starting to break its chains to the computer screen. Even television, the grande dame of conventional mass marketing, is taking steps to offer a more focused advertising experience."

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.

Next Round of Contextual Advertising

ClickZ writes on the near future of contextual advertising: "The next round of competitive development, then, won't necessarily be on the revenue-share front (i.e., who gives away the biggest share). Instead, there'll be an increasing push to give publishers a finer level of control over the ads that appear on their pages."

Turning Off In-Game Advertising

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."

More quotes:
"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

Update: Band-Aid Advertising

bandaid advertising

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."

WSJ on Interactive Print Ads

Wall Street Journal Online (hurry up before they lock it)

"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."

Arguments Against Advertising in Podcasts

SharkJumping offers six good reasons why the whole ads-in-podcasts thing is severly overhyped.
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."

Advertising on Cows

cow advertising

Our favorite casino has apparently run out of people's names and foreheads and painted its name over a few cows down in Florida. Now, that's branding. Here's the same idea, but a much cooler execution by Banksy.
--NBC 6 via Adrants

Update: Subway Tunnel Advertising

tunnel advertising

I wrote about subway tunnel advertising before, but just stumbled across pictures (here) of what these ads look like from a static point of view, courtesy of SideTrack Technologies, a Canadian company that apparently makes the ads.


From a recently closed eBay auction:
"You are bidding for the sole right to advertise on my 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

Doom Ported to iPod Photo

Although not as geekly cool as the Wolfenstein on TI calculators, this Doom port to iPod Photo makes you wonder whether we all of a sudden have a new gaming platform.
--via Engadget

Mind Control Update

"Scientists say they have been able to monitor people's thoughts via scans of their brains. Teams at University College London and University of California in LA could tell what images people were looking at or what sounds they were listening to."

"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."

Friday Special: Museum of Packaging

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.

Study: Online Campaigns Suffer from Tech Glitches

"Three quarters of Internet marketing campaigns are suffering from website failures, with 14% of failures so severe that they prevented the campaign meeting its objectives, according to new research. The Internet Campaign Effectiveness Study from Web testing firm SciVisum, reveals that more than a third of failures were rated as ‘serious to severe’, with many customers complaining or unable to complete web transactions. A lack of technology knowledge was identified as the key factor impacting successful Internet campaign planning."
--NetImperative via Marketing Vox

Game Advertising Conference Wrap-Up

The "Advertising in Games - West" conference just ended in San Franscisco. Gamasutra has a nice wrap-up:

"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."

Yahoo Tests AdSense Alternative

So, Yahoo is beta-testing a self-publishing advertising service that would work like Google's AdSense, which can only mean you will see more ads on the sidebars of this and many other blogs.

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."

Yahoo Tests Audio Search

The new audio search that apparently used voice recognition to index audio files, is "available at, allows users to comb through more than 50 million music, voice, and other files for free. All you need to do is punch in words or phrases, say, of a song. You are then given a list of audio files that you can click on and play."
--PC World

TiVo Launches Banner Ads

The word is, TiVo has launched the ads (announced last year) that appear on screen in fast-forward mode.

Advertising on Hangers

hanger advertising

The ingenious guys at Hanger Network supply dry cleaners with free paperboard hangers that are then handed over to customers along with pressed shirts. Hangers have advertising printed on both sides.

Manhole Advertising

manhole advertising
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.

Band-Aid Advertising

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.

Musical Roads

This is half-year old, but I file it anyway in case not everybody reads geek sites and because it's a slow news day.

"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.

Guardian: TV Ads Have Future

Guardian (get username/pass here): "The death of the 30-second television advert has been greatly exaggerated, according to a report showing that TV viewers using ad-avoidance technology still boast impressive levels of advertising awareness."

Major points:

  • 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

Calculators as Gaming Platforms

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.