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Archive for the ‘Multi-Channel’ Category

What Talent-Agency Merger Could Mean for Brands

Posted by Mort Greenberg on April 29, 2009

Article Link: AdvertsingAge


Article Date: 28-Apr-09


From the Article :
“So with the declining influence of movie stars and plunging ratings in network TV, Ogilvy’s Mr. Scott said, “agents from all the [Hollywood talent] agencies are getting more and more involved in the brand deal-making process,” entering territory that was once the provenance solely of corporate-advisory agents.”


Posted in Ad Spending, Brand Advertising, Branded Entertainment, Marketplace Trends, Multi-Channel, Television & Video | Leave a Comment »

Web video advertising: awaiting the boom

Posted by Mort Greenberg on May 31, 2008

Article Source:

Article Author: By Kenneth Li and Paul Thomasch, (Additional reporting by Kate Holton in London and Nicola Leske in Paris; Editing by Braden Reddall)

Article Link:

Thu May 22, 2008 7:44pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Any conversation about hot spots in advertising inevitably swings toward online video, with marketers anxious to reach a huge audience watching their favorite TV show or homemade videos on the Web.

Why, then, did U.S. marketers spend just $471 million on online video advertising last year, according to Forrester, representing only 2.6 percent of all interactive marketing?

Executives attending the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit this week cite inexperienced creative and sales staff and fear of the unknown among the roadblocks for online video advertising.

They widely agreed, however, that it was only a matter of time before it takes off.

“You have some terrible ads which we could be ashamed of and you have some great ads,” Publicis (PUBP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) Chairman and Chief Executive Maurice Levy said.


Posted in Ad Spending, Brand Advertising, Branded Entertainment, Marketplace Trends, Multi-Channel, Online Video News, Television & Video, Traditional to Online, UGC | Leave a Comment »

Advertisers to Consumers: We’ll Text You

Posted by Mort Greenberg on May 27, 2008

Article Source:

Article Link:


Cellphone Messages
Find a Mobile Niche;
Customers Ask for It
May 27, 2008; Page B4

Analysts like to make bold predictions about the growth of mobile advertising. Most have overshot reality.

But at least one slice of the business appears to be catching on, according to marketers: ads sent via text message. A growing number of companies are using cellphone text messages to lend more interactivity to their ads. For instance, Coors Brewing’s Coors Light beer recently added a text-message component to its traditional sponsorship of the NFL Draft. Football fans opted to receive draft alerts, and each message contained a squib about Coors Light.


Some marketers like text-message ads because — unlike most ads — viewers asks to receive the message, which means the marketer doesn’t bombard the viewer with unsolicited commercials. The potential audience is also attractive: Almost all cellphones can send and receive text messages. Finally, marketers say, the results of text-message ads are much easier to measure than those of mobile Web ads.

On Tuesday, Silicon Valley start-up 4INFO, one of the most-active players in text-message advertising, plans to announce a new trial partnership with Yahoo. Under the arrangement, 4INFO provides the technology for Yahoo to publish its content, such as news updates, horoscopes, sports scores and weather forecasts, via text messages that also contain a small ad. Consumers sign up online to receive the alerts.

Yahoo can sell the ads alone or as part of a broader online-mobile ad package, or, alternatively, 4INFO can sell the ads through its mobile-ad network.

Ad executives report click-through rates with text-message ads of 1% to 10%, a significant jump from the figures for Web banner ads, which are typically only a fraction of that.

Those higher rates, of course, could be attributable simply to the newness of text-message advertising. And, for marketers that do text-message marketing, there are challenges. One is limited space. Of the 160 characters allowed in a text message, typically 120 are reserved for content, which leaves only 40 for the ad. Often, the message is simple: “Sponsored by The All-New Toyota Corolla” was the tag line for a recent campaign with IAC/InterActiveCorp’s online invitation service Evite.

Mobile-message advertising is expected to reach $1.5 billion by 2008, up 82% from last year, according to research firm eMarketer. Spending on mobile-message advertising now accounts for about 88% of the total $1.7 billion spent on mobile ads, which also includes search ads and display ads as well as mobile Web advertising.

On top of its new pact with Yahoo, 4INFO, founded in 2004 by Zaw Thet, now 27 years old, has struck similar deals with big media companies from General Electric‘s NBC Universal to IAC and newspaper company Gannett, which owns a stake in the company. 4INFO, which says it reaches eight million unique visitors a month, usually splits the ad revenue with the media company 60-40, with the majority going to whichever party makes the sale.

With these ads, a phone number to text is typically embedded in a print or TV ad. Consumers send a text message to that number to receive the content, which is sponsored by a marketer.

“A newspaper is produced once daily. With the text messages you can layer in interactivity, whether it be stock quotes, sports scores or updated weather,” says Matt Jones, director of mobile strategy for Gannett.

Among the marketers that Gannett has sold ads to are Marriott, which recently sponsored a print-and-mobile ad combination in USA Today, and Radio Shack, which is sponsoring free sports alerts from the paper’s Web site.

Other companies that compete in text-message advertising include YellowPepper and HipCricket. Like 4INFO, HipCricket has focused on bringing new life to old media through mobile ads. HipCricket works with radio and TV stations to create programs like mobile loyalty clubs for listeners to join. Then, both the radio stations and its advertisers market to this group via their phones.

Using text messages to deliver ads isn’t completely new. A company called Screenvision, which uses text messaging along with commercials on movie screens, launched its network in 2005. Since then, it has expanded its approach. Starting early next month, Screenvision, whose advertising network is made up of more than 14,000 screens in 2,300 theaters, will test a live-polling feature that is activated by text messages. Audiences will be polled on music, movies or other entertainment-related topics, and then can vote. The results will be immediately tabulated and flashed up on the screen.

Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group, is the first sponsor of the polling service. The campaign includes a two-minute original film (“VCast Street”) directed by Spike Lee, and VCast-branded popcorn bags.

Write to Emily Steel at

Posted in Ad Products, Local, Mobile, Multi-Channel, Traditional to Online, Widgets/Distributed Content | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Mobile Banner Ads Generate TV-Level Brand Recall

Posted by Mort Greenberg on May 18, 2008

Article Source:

Article Link:

Small banner ads on mobile devices result in the same level of brand recall as a :30 spot on TV, said mobile advertising leader for Verizon Wireless Stephanie Bauer Marshall.

The data, which Marshall said came from a commissioned study by IAG, also showed that mobile banner ads produce clickthrough rates exponentially higher – at 2 percent – than online banner ads, where clickthrough rates have fallen to about 0.3 percent (via MediaPost).
The U.S. lags behind other parts of the world in terms of mobile advertising. 20 percent of U.S. mobile users get SMS marketing messages at least once a month, while that figure stands at 75 percent in Europe, said Dag Olav Norem, senior analyst with M:Metrics, during the Mobile Advertising Degree conference in Los Angeles yesterday (Wednesday). On the other hand, he says, 4.9 percent of Europeans receiving SMS marketing messages respond, while 12.4 percent in the U.S. do.

Marshall pointed out that there is still confusion surrounding mobile advertising pricing. CPMs for mobile are higher, because of the higher level of engagement. “Over time, the market’s going to find out where the balance is.”

Currently, CPMs hover between $20 and $30, but “around $20 or so is probably reasonable,” she said.

U.S. mobile ad spending is projected to reach nearly $1.7 billion in 2008, up some 89 percent from $878 million in 2007, and will surpass $6.5 billion in 2012.

Posted in Ad Spending, Data & Metrics, Mobile, Multi-Channel, Start-Ups & Venture Capital, Traditional to Online | Leave a Comment »

EconSM Video: Getting Real: Grown-Up Start Ups

Posted by Mort Greenberg on May 11, 2008

Article Source:

By Amanda Natividad – Sat 10 May 2008 05:05 PM PST

In our second video from EconSM 2008, Social Approach’s CEO Shawn Gold moderated Getting Real: Grown-Up Start Ups with Dalton Caldwell, imeem’s founder and CEO, Seth Goldstein, SocialMedia Networks’ co-founder and CEO, Keith Richman’s co-founder and CEO, and Toni Schneider, Automattic’s CEO. In this panel covering the topic of moving start ups past the early adopters phase and finding a lucrative exit, Caldwell pointed out the importance of taking time to “suck” in order to learn from mistakes. Meanwhile, Goldstein revealed his own motto to be to “hire slow and fire fast,” getting out the employees who just don’t work out, and not being afraid to hire under-experienced people with “a lot of hustle.” Check out our coverage of this panel and watch the video (RSS readers will have to click through). All of our EconSM 2008 videos will be posted here.


Posted in Marketplace Trends, Multi-Channel, News Highlights, Online Video News, Research, Resources, Site Development, Social Media, Start-Ups & Venture Capital, Television & Video, Traditional to Online, UGC, Uncategorized, Widgets/Distributed Content | Leave a Comment »

Do You Have That Portable in a Midsize?

Posted by Mort Greenberg on May 11, 2008

Article Source:

May 11, 2008


A new category that Intel calls Mobile Internet Devices, or M.I.D.’s, will include products like these concepts from, clockwise from lower left, Elektrobit, Asus, Clarion, Aigo, Panasonic, LG, Lenovo and BenQ.

THIRTY-SIX years ago, Alan Kay, a computer scientist, published a rough sketch of his Dynabook portable computer, establishing the ideal of ever more intimate personal computers.

During the next decade, Mr. Kay’s tablet design, at 9 inches by 12 inches by 3/4 inch, morphed into today’s ubiquitous laptop form-factor — a term used by consumer electronics specialists to describe the different sizes of various gadgets.

Since then, there has been a proliferation of gadgets of every size and shape, but to date only one other form-factor has established itself as a generic one: the palm-size or hand-held device that began as the Palm Pilot personal digital assistant designed by the Palm Computing co-founders Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky. An endless array of popular products, from BlackBerrys to iPhones, are descended from the Palm.

This portable world is now neatly broken into gadgets that fit comfortably in your pocket and devices that snuggle equally comfortably on your lap.

Is there room for a third category? Perhaps a new class of consumer gadgets that fits somewhere between hand-held and laptop?

For want of a better description, I propose that we label this jacket-pocket form-factor the iMoleskine, after the Hemingway-esque notebooks that writers favor.

To date, the best example of the proto-Moleskine future is the Amazon Kindle book reader, which is the size of a paperback book. A quirky first-generation effort, the device has been criticized as having an odd user interface design and a flickering display. Because of the company’s endless front-page promotional efforts on its Web store, however, the Kindle seems headed for nichedom.

Intel certainly wants us to believe that there is more room in the middle.

Last month, at a splashy forum in China for developers, the company initiated its effort to create a category for Mobile Internet Devices, or M.I.D.’s, for those of this middle size. If you remember Microsoft’s abortive effort around the Ultra Mobile PC brand in early 2006, you will have a good sense of the size of an M.I.D. (though it wasn’t called one). Introduced with a painfully hip viral marketing campaign called Oragami, the initial round of U.M.P.C.’s landed with a resounding thud. Entering text and moving the pointer on the screen were laborious, and text was so tiny as to be unreadable.

Still, Intel has persevered, arguing that there is a “use case” — the technology industry loves jargon — based on the intersection of increasingly accessible broadband wireless networks and the Web. We are going to want the Web wherever we are. Think location, location, location.

As a consequence, the Intel executives assert, the tiny cellphone display, which was ideal for viewing an 11-digit phone number or several lines of e-mail or text messaging, will be relentlessly stretched like taffy in all directions.

A cynic might argue that the real reason for Intel’s sudden enthusiasm for the M.I.D. stems from the reality that its recently introduced Atom microprocessor is stuck in a no man’s land between laptop and cellphone chips. It will be another two years before Intel has a chip that will bring the Windows-compatible world to the palm of your hand. So, what to do for now, if your chips are too power-hungry to squeeze into the cellphone market, currently dominated by microprocessor chips licensed from ARM, the British chip company? If you have lemons, make lemonade!

Initially, however, I bought into the M.I.D. idea. It seemed that small screens and pico-size keyboards were ill matched for the ubiquitous Web. A slim paperback book-size computer, perhaps with a Bluetooth headset to transform it into a mobile phone, might comprise the ultimate Dynabook.

The sticking point in that argument is that laptops themselves are relentlessly slimming down. If you’re carrying a backpack, you can now choose among a range of ultralight laptops from Apple, Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard and Sony, as well as newcomers like Asus that are less noticeable than the four- and five-pound bricks of just a year ago.

Indeed, the hottest category is machines like the Asus Eee PC and Everex Cloudbook, which sit on the dividing line between the laptop and M.I.D. worlds. Currently the Eee PC has a 7-inch screen and a keyboard that is just a bit too small to be really comfortable. My guess is that this kind of sub-ultralight laptop will grow toward a screen size of 9 or 10 inches and become thinner — moving in a laptop direction.

To be sure, the caveat in all of this is that Intel may be correct in Asia, where space is at much more of a premium than it is in the United States. There are also wild cards like voice recognition that might change the equation, but conversational voice interaction with a portable computer is still probably half a decade or more in the future.

At one time, I thought that an M.I.D.-size slate might prove the perfect compromise: a jack-of-all-trades media player, Web browser, communicator. I even dared to dream that it might become the perfect canvas to help resurrect my industry in a post-paper era. It’s probably just a daydream.

After all, I’ve been struck recently to see that when Web sites like Amazon, Facebook and Twitter are redesigned for the iPhone, the user experience is actually better than on a full Web screen. It turns out that a high-resolution, palm-size, three-and-a-half-inch screen is just fine for seeing what your friends are up to, and for reading your e-mail and even your newspaper.

Posted in Ad Products, Consumer Behavior, Marketplace Trends, Mobile, Multi-Channel, Television & Video | Leave a Comment »

Revenue Grows 8.6%, Propelled by Digital

Posted by Mort Greenberg on May 10, 2008

Article Source:

Our Agency Report Finds the Business in Surprisingly Good Health

Published: May 05, 2008

CHICAGO ( — Revenue for U.S. agencies — advertising, marketing services and media — jumped 8.6% in 2007 despite a tepid ad market. And for that, you can thank digital.

Agency Report 2008

Ad Age estimates that the Big 4 ad firms — Omnicom Group, WPP Group, Interpublic Group of Cos. and Publicis Groupe — last year generated 12.3% of worldwide revenue from digital services.

Related Resources:

point bug Agency Report 2008
point bug Agency Family Trees 2008

While it comes as no surprise that revenue at digital specialty agencies rocketed last year (up 26.8% in the U.S.), it’s clear that digital services have become a way of life (or a way to avoid death) for agencies of all disciplines. In fact, U.S. ad agencies reported an average 10.2% of revenue from digital in 2007.

And in some cases, it was a lot more. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners — Ad Age’s 2008 Agency of the Year — said digital services last year generated 52% of its revenue. The San Francisco agency works for such digitally connected clients as Hewlett-Packard Co.

Of the more than 860 agencies that participated in the 2008 Agency Report, 60% broke out digital revenue.

Digital helps explain the solid growth experienced by major media agencies despite flat spending in traditional media. WPP Group said worldwide digital revenue for media unit Group M last year soared 53% to $238 million. Ad Age DataCenter estimates that digital accounted for more than 11% of 2007 revenue for Group M, the world’s largest media-agency group.

Digital has reshaped direct marketing, and that has turned top-tier direct shops such as Rapp Collins and Wunderman into some of the biggest digital agencies.

Ad Age estimates that the Big 4 ad firms — Omnicom Group, WPP Group, Interpublic Group of Cos. and Publicis Groupe — last year generated 12.3% of worldwide revenue from digital services.

Digital is about technology and platforms; it’s not a narrowly defined discipline. For the U.S. digital ranking, Ad Age tracked agencies’ digital revenue regardless of discipline, resulting in an eclectic list of agencies — digital pure plays as well as advertising, marketing-services and media shops — all dialing for digital dollars.

Digitas tops that digital list; Publicis bought Digitas last year and is moving fast to make it a global agency brand. Avenue A/Razorfish, acquired last year by Microsoft Corp., came in second. New to the list: IBM Interactive, a rebranded rollup of IBM’s digital-marketing services.

Last year’s U.S. revenue growth rate for agencies of all disciplines — 8.6% — was slightly below 2006 growth (8.8%). Agency revenue grew 7.2% in 2005 and 8.6% in 2004. Revenue for U.S. ad, marketing-services and media agencies in 2007 reached $31.1 billion, according to Ad Age estimates.

Marketing-services agencies — direct, promotion, branding, healthcare and public relations as well as digital specialists — accounted for 47.1% of U.S. revenue for marketing-communications agencies analyzed in this report. The rest came from advertising and media.

Key points from the report:

  • Omnicom’s BBDO Worldwide topped Ad Age’s new ranking of U.S. agencies across disciplines. The ranking shows how agency brands stack up regardless of whether an agency gets revenue from advertising, marketing services, media or a combination of the three.
  • WPP’s Group M ranks No. 1 in worldwide media revenue. Omnicom’s OMD Worldwide is the world’s largest media agency, while WPP’s MindShare is tops in the U.S., according to Ad Age estimates.
  • WPP’s CommonHealth leads the ranking of U.S. healthcare agencies. This is Ad Age’s first broad ranking of healthcare agencies since major holding companies opted to limit disclosure after passage of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Posted in Ad Agencies, Ad Spending, Brand Advertising, Content, Data & Metrics, Demos & Audiences, Marketplace Trends, Media Company Stocks, Multi-Channel, News Highlights, Online Video News, Research, Resources | Leave a Comment »

NBC to Enter All-Local-News Arena

Posted by Mort Greenberg on May 10, 2008

Article Source:

May 8, 2008; Page B10

General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal is starting a 24-hour local news network in New York, in what could be the first of several such channels around the country. NBC hopes the network will draw in new viewers and help the company weather a weak local TV advertising market that has depressed revenue at many of its individual stations.

The 24-hour “hyper-local” news network will launch on the digital tier in November and share newsgathering resources with WNBC, New York’s NBC-owned station, which will continue to have its own daily newscasts.

The new network will face competition from several existing 24-hour local news outlets, including Time Warner Inc.’s NY1 network in New York City and Cablevision Systems Corp.’s seven News 12 cable networks in the New York metropolitan area, including Long Island, Connecticut and New Jersey.

NBC is investing several million dollars in the venture, building a “content center” that will house local TV staff and operations. NBC doesn’t plan to hire a new staff for the channel, but instead said it will retrain its existing staff to produce news for the regular affiliate broadcasts, the 24-hour network and a new version of WNBC’s Web site, to be called NBC New York.

If successful, the New York channel will serve as a model for other markets, including Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Chicago, where NBC owns the NBC-branded local station. In most smaller markets, the NBC-branded affiliate is owned by another affiliate group.

“We think this will be better for advertisers,” said WNBC General Manager Tom O’Brien. “We’ll be able to aggregate different audiences and create a bigger audience, and that gives us a lot more opportunities to go to the advertising marketplace.”

In an email to his staff Wednesday, NBC local media division President John Wallace said the reorganization “marks an important change in the station’s philosophy in how it serves the community. Rather than focusing on any one distribution platform, WNBC is redesigning its operations to be content-focused rather than platform-driven, something that is essential to ensure long-term growth in today’s media environment.”

Steve Paulus, regional vice president of NY1, said that although his channel is profitable and ad sales are “holding strong if not increasing,” the advertising market for 24-hour local news isn’t notably better than it is for any other local programming.

Posted in Local, Marketplace Trends, Media Company Stocks, Multi-Channel, Online Video News, Television & Video | Leave a Comment »

Branded Entertainment, Online Video, Search and the Power of Digital Media Assessed by Marketer, Media Agency and Digital Media Execs

Posted by Mort Greenberg on May 7, 2008

Article Source:


Social networking and the means by which digital technology has empowered consumers of media and merchandise alike were the dominant themes at the JackMyers Future of Media discussion earlier this week. The auditorium at the Helen Mills Theater was filled to capacity as Aegis North America’s Sarah Fay, Colgate Palmolive’s Jack Haber,’s Dina Kaplan, Worldwide Biggies’ Albie Hecht and former Coca-Cola executive Shane Steele engagingly discussed the Realities of Dealing with the Changing Media Marketplace with moderator Jack Myers. (When was the last time you found yourself in an auditorium full of media executives and did not see faces all around you unflatteringly illuminated by Blackberries?) The room was largely filled with digital media executives, or at least those who are digitally inclined: When Jack Myers asked audience members how many of them spend 75 percent or more of their time on digital media, almost every hand in the room went up. When he asked how many spend 75 percent or more of their time on traditional media, only a handful of hands were raised.

Myers and his panelists offered fresh and diverse insights into the changes that are sweeping through all areas of media during the digital era, but throughout the session the overall message remained largely the same: consumers are still king, free to devote their time to whatever they desire. But they now hold more power than ever before – including the power to expand a brand.

New Aegis N.A. CEO Fay set the event tone commenting, “The focus is around the consumer. Content is created to be distributed wherever the consumer can be reached.”

Haber, Colgate Palmolive’s Vice President of Global Advertising and eBusiness, said that the new opportunities inherent in digital media “are absolutely terrific for marketers like us. [Digital media] gives us incredible new ways to connect with the consumer; new ways to connect and new ways to advertise. Unlike the mass marketing that our business was built on with lowest common denominator methods, now we can really target messages to people.”

That’s good news but there are concerns, said digital media and marketing consultant and former Director of Emerging Media and Online Advertising at Coca Cola, Shane Steele. “You have to remember that the users are in control and they will figure out ways to get around the advertisement,” she warned.

Advertising today “is about creating great content and great experiences for consumers in a way that you’re not taking away value but adding value,” Steele continued. “[It] is becoming participatory. It isn’t just about creating an ad and putting it out there and people leaning back and watching it. Now people can extend the campaigns within their networks and social media. That social participatory component of what’s happening in digital media is one of the most exciting things happening today.”

Fay reflected on recent successful campaigns that illustrated the power of consumer interaction through digital platforms, among them one for Adidas, in which a community was created on MySpace “because it was right for the brand, not because we understood fully the value of the program,” she explained. “We had creative elements people could take away and put on their own home pages. We would give people a spinning shoe, or a backdrop for their MySpace site. So we could get 600,000 people to the community on a monthly basis, and maybe 75,000 would take something from that and put it on their own site. Not a big number, right? But if you actually added up all the impressions of people who then visited their friends sites with the creative elements it was 21.5 million!

“We think [a] big opportunity [today] is to use offline media to drive toward a more engaging experience,” Fay continued. “We’ve done it with Sony, Reebok, Adidas, brands that are more about someone’s identity — higher involvement brands where you do have to be focused on building equity over time. It’s been a really phenomenal experience when we’ve been able to make it happen. If you can drive toward something and kick start a community to get involved with a brand you can get your media dollars to carry a lot farther. We built a social networking space for Reebok where you could use Google maps to post your run, connect to iTunes and tell people what you’re playing when you run, and use Flickr to upload photos of yourself during your run. That was [in 2007]. The TV, print and outdoor runs ran from April-June, but the site is still going strong today. There’s more authenticity to that, too, when you get the consumer to talk about your message.”

Are agencies rising to meet the challenges and opportunities inherent in the growth of digital media and the social change it brings? “It’s tempting to sit here and say the agencies don’t get it,” observed co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Dina Kaplan. “The digital side is used to buying display ads, which everyone’s eyes just gloss over, and the TV arm is so locked into making 30-second ads and then wanting to stick them before or after a video. The infrastructure to support Web video advertising just is not there yet. We need metrics. We need a way to tell advertisers what they need to know. How many seconds into a video people have watched? How many ad impressions have been watched?”

Worldwide Biggies Chief Executive Officer Albie Hecht agreed. “It’s a challenge to get those metrics out there,” he said. “A lot of it is still voodoo.”

Fay also supported a change in traditional metrics. “You can’t have five different strategies,” she asserted. “We’re still in a phase where a lot of people feel that their campaigns are very integrated as long as everybody is sticking to the same time table and targeting the same audiences. In reality if you want a true holistic strategy that is all about the consumer, somebody has to own the strategy. There is a lot of confusion about who should own the strategy. What is it when you create a community on MySpace? Is that a creative strategy? Is that a media strategy? I would argue that it is both of those things together.”

All of the panelists agreed that the burgeoning growth online of short-form videos, viral or otherwise, is beginning to change the way business is done, and that the full extent of its influence has yet to be felt. “Right now the vast majority of viewing is happening in short form,” Fay noted. “The big opportunity is how do you take advantage of short form? That’s a whole new challenge in how you develop messages.”

There are new challenges in how short-form programming is conceived and developed, as well. “There is a big distinction between redistributing content and taking it from someplace and sticking it someplace else and creating something that’s authentic to the Web and reaching a consumer the way the Web reaches a consumer, which is through an engagement level,” Hecht declared. “You have to be a little bit careful when traditional companies say, ‘we are digital and have multi-platform stuff. That’s like my old colleagues saying SpongeBob is now a podcast for digital. That’s not digital.” [There is a difference between that and what we do] which is purposely create something that is innovative and different and has a different DNA to it, and the way it reaches its audience for advertisers as well as for the consumer.” (Hecht is the former President of Nickelodeon Entertainment.)

“I feel like the networks do have an advantage,” Kaplan admitted. “They have scale and put that behind their content. There are thousands and thousands of people that are creating great shows on the Web, all sorts of production companies coming out of New York, L.A. and San Francisco delivering high quality Web shows. Do they have millions of dollars? No way. I think the networks would be at an advantage if they invested more in their content so that their content is more differentiated rather than less. Whether it’s or [somewhere else] we have thousands and thousands of shows that are going to rise and fall. How do you compete against that unless you make a really strong investment in your content?”

Search was also a vital topic for the panelists. “It’s all about making your product or campaign searchable,” Steele said. “Everything is a search engine – YouTube, MySpace. Peer networks are search engines.”

“We use search in a number of ways,” Fay explained. “We have very active search clients that are trying to drive toward an e-commerce solution. Search is a highly efficient way to do that. It is becoming part of the branding campaign. It’s important how you present yourself in a search capacity. You think about your target audience. The center of the target is people who are most interested in your brand or product or surrounding areas of interest. I think search is set to grow consistently probably more than any other medium.

“We believe the brands that will win are the brands whose consumers tell each other the best stories,” she concluded. “There has to be a way to get your brand message out to consumers in a way they care enough about it to talk about it.”

Posted in Ad Agencies, Ad Products, Brand Advertising, Consumer Behavior, Demos & Audiences, Jack Myers, Marketplace Trends, Multi-Channel, Television & Video | Leave a Comment »

Mobilenet Promises to Be the Next Big Medium

Posted by Mort Greenberg on May 7, 2008

Article Source:

But Don’t Get Sidetracked Into Third-Screen Thinking

Published: May 06, 2008

We are on the verge of witnessing the birth of a new mass-communications medium. It’s the second new mass medium to appear in the last two decades.

The internet arrived in the 1990s, joining the other four mass media: 1) The book 2) The periodical 3) Radio 4) TV. Each new mass medium has created enormous upheavals in society.

  • The book ignited the knowledge explosion.
  • The periodical furthered the growth of democracy.
  • Radio created a celebrity-oriented society.
  • TV homogenized the culture.

The internet, the latest and newest mass medium, continues to make waves. “We are not witnessing the beginning of the end of old media,” Advertising Age’s Bob Garfield wrote recently. “We are witnessing the middle of the end of old media.”

“Both print and broadcast — burdened with unwieldy, archaic and crushingly expensive means of distribution — are experiencing the disintegration of the audience critical mass they require to operate profitably,” Mr. Garfield continued. “Moreover, they are losing that audience to the infinitely fragmented digital media, which have near-zero distribution costs and are overwhelmingly free to the user.”

Fasten your seat belts. On the horizon, there’s another profound shift in media, consumer behavior and technology coming. In the near future we are likely to welcome the arrival of a sixth mass-communications medium.

And what is this earth-shaking new medium? It’s the Mobilenet.

The what? Surely you are joking, Al. The Mobilenet is just a subset of the internet. Just another way of going online. Just another way of surfing the net without using a computer. That’s why mobile devices are commonly called the “third screen.”

Third-screen thinking is going to cause you and your company to miss the boat. Which big brands were created by moving content from one medium to another? Very, very few.

  • Moving The Wall Street Journal online didn’t save Dow Jones from the clutches of Rupert Murdoch for just $5 billion.
  • Moving ESPN onto cellphones didn’t take it to the big leagues.
  • So far, moving TV shows to the internet hasn’t created as much value as one internet site, Less than 20 months after its launch, YouTube was bought by Google for $1.65 billion.

Google can afford to splurge. In the first quarter of this year, Google had net income of $1.3 billion. In the same quarter, The New York Times Co. lost $350,000. Moving the Times to the internet didn’t solve the company’s financial problems. Last year, had estimated revenue of $27.6 million, pretty small potatoes for a site that was launched more than 11 years ago.

In spite of its dubious record, the content movement continues to gain momentum. The telecoms plus the TV industry are making massive efforts to move TV to cellphones, in spite of surveys that show, according to Yankee Group analyst Linda Barrabee, only 5% of U.S. consumers are willing to pay for mobile TV.

The software industry is also spending a fortune developing programs to permit these inter-medium transfers. Two weeks ago, Microsoft unveiled “Live Mesh,” a software program to link all internet-enabled devices. “Not just PCs and phones,” reported Ray Ozzie, the company’s chief software architect, “but TVs, game consoles, digital picture frames, DVRs, media players, cameras and camcorders, home servers … our car’s entertainment and navigation systems and more.”

That’s the wrong approach. A new medium calls for new brands, not for extensions of existing brands. The internet didn’t reward traditional brands like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, ABC, NBC, CBS, Barnes & Noble and Hallmark. It rewarded new brands created especially for the net. Dot-com brands like Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Expedia, Netflix, MySpace, Facebook and AOL.

The Mobilenet will also reward new brands created especially for the medium. Like Loopt, a service that lets people with GPS-equipped phones share their real-time locations with friends.

A slimmed-down, warmed-over dot-com brand isn’t going to make it on the Mobilenet.

Laying the foundation
The Mobilenet, of course, isn’t going to become an overnight success. (The internet didn’t either.) A number of developments need to come first.

On the sending side, the missing ingredients are the dot-mobis that will make the receiving device a universal, carry-everywhere product much like the cellphone.

On the receiving side, the missing ingredient is a gadget that integrates telecom service with three technologies in an attractive and convenient package: 1) GPS, global-positioning-system receiver; 2) scanner; and 3) voice-recognition software.

Oddly enough, the most heavily hyped new product of the 21st century (Apple’s iPhone) doesn’t include any of those three technologies. Too bad. With all of Apple’s brilliant design and technology skills, the company could have pioneered and dominated the Mobilenet for decades to come.

Instead, Apple perfected the smartphone, a convergence device destined to remain a niche product. The first smartphone (the Nokia 9000) was introduced 12 years ago. Yet today the smartphone accounts for only 10% of the global cellphone market.

In the last quarter, Apple sold 1,703,000 iPhones, about 6% of the global smartphone market. Not exactly earth-shaking results. In the same quarter, Apple sold 10,644,000 iPods, about 70% of the MP3-player market.

Besides market share, there’s another striking difference between the two products. The iPod, a divergence device, pioneered a new category. The iPhone, a convergence device, was not designed to create a new category, but to improve on an existing category, always a risky strategy for a would-be market leader.

Dawn of a new device
If the Mobilenet is a new mass medium, what would you call the receiving device? The logical name is “MobiPhone,” to reflect the millions of dot-mobi websites sure to come.

Names don’t always describe what a device is really used for. Most people do little “computing” on a computer. (I do my computing on a printing calculator.) A MobiPhone may not necessarily include a cellphone. Many people might like a separate device to make telephone calls.

Obviously some people are thinking along similar lines. To me, the most interesting news item of the month was Nokia’s purchase of Navteq, a firm that collects map data from around the world, for $8.1 billion.

Eight-point-one billion? That’s one and a half Wall Street Journals for a company with revenue of just $853 million last year. That mind-boggling number tells you what the folks in Finland are thinking about. It ties in with the thought that the GPS receiver will be the key function of future telecom devices.

The global positioning system, like every technological change, creates the conditions for a product or a medium to diverge in the same way that environmental changes create the conditions for a species to diverge.

Mobile marketing would snowball
First the internet; now the Mobilenet. That’s how divergence works. Furthermore, the Mobilenet promises to make the dream of mobile marketing a reality.

Up till now, mobile marketing has captured a trivial slice of the advertising market ($708 million last year) even though the cellphone predates the worldwide web.

The potential Mobilenet marketplace dwarfs the internet. Last year more than 1.15 billion mobile phones were sold worldwide, compared to only 271.2 million personal computers. In other words, more than four times as many mobile phones were bought than PCs. And, in my opinion, most consumers will find a GPS-equipped MobiPhone to be a device they can’t live without.

The MobiPhone is not just another device, of course. It’s the receiving end of another medium, one that is unique and different from the internet. And one likely to be larger and more universal than the internet. Companies that want to take advantage of this new medium will quickly register their company and brand names as dot-mobi domain names.

Furthermore, each dot-mobi website should be considered separately from the company or the brand’s dot-com website. Two different media demand two different approaches. (You wouldn’t run a radio advertisement on TV, so why would you run a dot-com program for a dot-mobi audience?)

Long-term, “mobile” is going to become a very important part of the overall marketing environment in America. What kinds of advertising approaches are best suited to the new mobile medium?

Consumers empowered
In my opinion, there are two types of advertising: one that might be described as “passive” advertising, the other as “active.”

Passive advertising is conventional advertising found in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV. It interrupts the reader, listener or viewer in order to present “a message from the sponsor” of the medium.

Active advertising, on the other hand, is initiated by the consumer. Search advertising on the internet is a typical example. But there’s active advertising in conventional media, too. In particular, classified advertising in newspapers and telephone directories. Roughly 40% of all advertising on the internet is “active.” This is what has made Google such a big success.

The Mobilenet is going to be an even bigger medium for active advertising than the internet. That’s why there is a golden opportunity for a Google-like brand specially designed to search dot-mobi websites and coordinate with the user’s exact location.

But that’s only the beginning.

A MobiPhone with a 2D barcode scanner will enable consumers to get a wealth of information by scanning products in supermarkets, drugstores, clothing stores.

MobiPhone users might be able to arrange to be notified when certain things occur; for example, when a celebrity shows up at a restaurant or nightclub.

It’s easy to visualize what a useful device a MobiPhone could be if it is served by appropriate dot-mobi websites.

  • What’s the speed limit? (Maybe we can avoid those huge pileups that sometimes occur in heavy fog by automatically lowering speed limits when visibility is impaired.)
  • How far is the next exit and what facilities can be found there?
  • Without stopping to read them, what do those historic markers actually say?
  • Location of the nearest hotel/motel and the price of a room?
  • Location of the nearest gas station and the price of gasoline?
  • Location of the nearest restaurant by type and price level?
  • What’s the Parker number on that bottle of wine? (One of the many facts that might be available by simply scanning a label.)

What consumers can do with the receiving device is not the most significant aspect of the Mobilenet. More significant are the changes in structure the new medium will facilitate.

For example, taxicab dispatch systems are likely to disappear, since a consumer will be able to see the location of the nearest available cab and call one directly. Similar changes are likely in all types of dispatching systems.

Consumers will find many other ways to use a MobiPhone. Every August for the last eight years, my wife and I have driven around the scenic areas of the Southwest. Every afternoon on those trips, we would keep an eagle eye out for a Dairy Queen in order to snare a couple of their chocolate-dipped cones.

Hopefully, next year we’ll check DQ.Mobi instead.

~ ~ ~
Al Ries is the author or co-author of 11 books on marketing including his latest, “The Origin of Brands,” which discusses how the Darwinian concept of “divergence” applies to the world of business. He and his daughter Laura Ries are partners in the marketing strategy firm Ries & Ries. Their website:

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