Category Archives: Advertising

Apple’s latest TV ad

This is the best commercial Apple has done since the Yeah Yeah Yeahs-soundtracked “What is iPad” ad. Interesting timing with HTC’s just-launched and Samsung’s impending flagship phone making waves.

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Skyhook will know where you are without draining your battery

One of the few things holding back the next generation of location-aware apps is battery life. Nobody wants a smartphone that drains when it’s sitting unused in a pocket. Now Skyhook says they’ve solved that problem. Via Computerworld:

Some location services query a server each time they update the user’s location. Skyhook downloads compressed information about Wi-Fi access points and cell towers in a five-to-ten-mile radius the first time a smartphone registers a particular location. As long as the user remains in that radius, the device can determine location without calling a server. Fewer server calls means longer battery life.

This will allow a lot of apps to do more things while running in the background, and allow advertisers to target you with ads as you pass by shops and malls. The good always comes with the bad.

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Memo to RIM: Don’t provoke your frustrated users on Twitter

Via the Los Angeles Times:

Research in Motion can’t catch a break. A tweet sent out Wednesday meant to promote its BlackBerry brand has backfired on the Canadian company, with many people using the tweet to bash RIM’s phones.

The company tweeted from its @BlackBerry account “Fill in the blank: BlackBerry helps me ________.”  However, many of the people who responded didn’t find BlackBerry too helpful.

A selection of twitter user responses:

I’d feel bad for RIM, but that tweet shows just how little they understand the frustration of their users. I went out to dinner last week with a couple, both BlackBerry owners who were once loyal to RIM. Now, they are both are waiting for the next iPhone to dump their antiquated devices. BlackBerry, despite how bad it has been for them in North America, has millions of users left. They should be using Twitter to be honest with their users and provide incentive to stick with the company, not to induce sarcastic remarks by pretending like all is well in Waterloo.

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Twitter making mobile money

Some days, Twitter makes more money on mobile than on the web. Via Reuters:

Twitter has generated more advertising revenue from its mobile platform than from its website on many days in the last quarter, CEO Dick Costolo said Wednesday, highlighting Twitter’s progress in squeezing ad dollars out of the growing number of smartphone and tablet users worldwide.

“We’re borne of mobile,” Costolo said in response to a moderator’s question about the difference between Facebook and Twitter. “We have an ad platform that already is inherently suited to mobile, even though we launched our platform on the Web and only started running ads on mobile recently.”

Great news for Twitter. Honestly, I can’t say I’ve ever been annoyed with an ad on mobile Twitter, and that’s the way it should be.

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Four out of five dentists don’t recommend Facebook

Via MSNBC:

Four out of five Facebook users say they have never bought a product or service as a result of advertising or comments on the social network site, underlining, to some observers, the challenges Facebook faces when it comes to drawing in revenue.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll also found that 34 percent of Facebook users surveyed were spending less time on the website than six months ago, whereas only 20 percent were spending more.

Twenty percent of Facebook users have bought something because of Facebook advertising or comments? That’s a lot of diet pills, and that poll is about as believable as a Facebook ad.

How to become a spokesperson for a 55 gallon vat of lube

The dangers of pressing the “like” button. Via the New York Times:

On Valentine’s Day, Nick Bergus came across a link to an odd product on Amazon.com: a 55-gallon barrel of … personal lubricant.

He found it irresistibly funny and, as one does in this age of instant sharing, he posted the link on Facebook, adding a comment: “For Valentine’s Day. And every day. For the rest of your life.”

Within days, friends of Mr. Bergus started seeing his post among the ads on Facebook pages, with his name and smiling mug shot. Facebook — or rather, one of its algorithms — had seen his post as an endorsement and transformed it into an advertisement, paid for by Amazon.

Bergus deserves a lot of credit here. He’s not complaining about it. He’s someone who understands why the ad showed up, and the real costs and benefits of using Facebook. Someone with – gasp! – common sense.

“I was mildly annoyed, though not to the point of deleting my Facebook account or throwing a hissy fit,” said Mr. Bergus, 32, a multimedia producer in Iowa City, who wrote about the glitch on his blog. “I know the costs of using Facebook. It does not cost me money. It uses lots of my personal information.”

Jokes aside, this is the kind of advertising Facebook needs to get rid of. It’s low-quality and creepy. Getting into the search business would eliminate the need for running these kinds of ads on profile pages.

GM putting the brakes on Facebook ads, Ford mocks them on Twitter

Reuters with confirmation of a Wall Street Journal report:

General Motors Co will stop advertising on Facebook, a move that comes during the same week the social networking website is due to go public.

The U.S. automaker confirmed a report by the Wall Street Journal. A source familiar with the automaker’s plans said GM’s marketing executives decided Facebook’s ads had little impact on consumers.

GM said it will still have Facebook pages marketing its vehicles, but it will drop use of paid ads. Anyone can create a Facebook page at no cost. GM pays no fee to Facebook for its pages, which allow the automaker to reach consumers directly.

“We regularly review our overall media spend and make adjustments as needed…it’s not unusual for us to move our spending around various media outlets – especially with the growth of multiple social and digital media outlets,” GM said in a statement.

Turns out not every car maker wants to diss Facebook the week of its IPO. Here’s how Ford responded on Twitter:

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Apple, the Other Cult in Hollywood

Businessweek has a great look at how Apple products end up in so many hit TV shows and movies – without paying a cent.

For most of Gossip Girl’s first four seasons, none of the hit show’s glamorous teens carried the most talked-about smartphone of the last five years: Apple’s iPhone. Because of a product placement deal, they could only be seen with phones chosen by Verizon Wireless. Then, this season, shortly after the deal lapsed, several main characters started receiving their “Xoxo, Gossip Girl” texts on Apple’s hit device.

The cast’s sudden conversion cost the Cupertino (Calif.)-based iPhone maker nothing. Apple has spent decades strengthening its subtle but powerful grip over Hollywood, and unlike many companies, says it never pays for its products to appear on television or in movies.

As Businessweek explains, it’s not only Apple getting free product placement. When a show or movie needs a boring more typical product to fill up an office space, they call HP.

Advertising agency remembers Adam Yauch, kinda creeps you out

Advertising firm Cohn and Wolfe this morning with a tweet that makes you sick inside:

Yup, I’m sure that’s how Adam Yauch a.k.a. MCA a.k.a. Nathanial Hornblower wanted to be remembered. As “proving the value of keeping up a genuine brand ID.”

Cohn and Wolfe, you’ve successfully secured the brand identity of “soulless.”

The link in the tweet is actually a good article from The Guardian on the Beastie Boys’ legacy, so feel free to click.

Designed for humans

Here’s a collection of the best tweets about Samsung’s marketing slogan for the new Samsung Galaxy SIII:

And one from me:

See Samsung’s “Designed for humans” ad here: Continue reading

“Wake Up” Whodunnit – New evidence points to RIM

Some serious sleuthing going on at Macworld Australia, who seems to have discovered evidence that RIM, and not Samsung, was reponsible for the “Wake Up” flash mob at a Sydney Apple store last week:

So it appears* it’s Poor Old RIM who put together this embarrassing campaign. It’s heartbreaking that even when RIM try something cool, they end up screwing it up so badly that no-one even imagines it could be them.

I’m no advertising guru, so feel free to chime in if you are, but the current trend of framing Apple users as sheep is not solid marketing strategy. Mac, iPhone, and iPad buyers tend to be educated and affluent consumers. Insulting them doesn’t seem like the way to entice them to discover if your product is better.

Broadcast trio to join forces on Web

Rogers, Shaw, and the CBC, some of Canada’s biggest media companies, have come together in an effort to increase online advertising revenues, says The Globe and Mail.

Shaw, Rogers and the CBC hope that by making it easier for advertisers to reach the readers they want, they’ll steal business from Google and others and be able to charge higher rates, delivering millions in additional revenue.

The move has some serious repercussions, especially for the cash-strapped CBC. The new venture will allow Canada’s public broadcaster to take in more revenue from its digital properties at a time when they need it most.

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