Archive for April, 2008

Madison Avenue vs. an Algorhythm – Are Those Our Only Choices?

Scott Karp discusses the awakening of Madison Avenue to the potential of the web in a recent post entitled The Future of Online Advertising: Entertainment vs Information. In it Scott profiles a really awful ad execution for a Toyota Matrix campaign and contrasts that with useful information found on the other side of a click from a Google search result.

I like Karp’s blog a great deal and respect his intelligence and perspective on the media marketplace but I feel this post really over simplifies the “future of Online Advertising” through the selection of these two campaigns. As isolated cases, the user experience and value (or lack thereof) are pretty evident. But these are two examples picked to support a point. What if you wanted to raise awareness of a car model, perhaps inspire conversations around the topic? Would a keyword buy do that?  I don’t think so.  Advertisers need to use the right tool for the job.  Keyword buys are great at harvesting demand but they rarely create demand.  That’s just why BMW did with a sponsored a recent content with Graffiti as part of the campaign that  launched the BMW 1 series.  This execution stimulated thousands of face to face and online conversations as a result.  Did some of those conversations prompt people to search for BMW 1 series?  You bet.

Just like text link advertising shouldn’t be dismissed with every bad execution


Neither should a bad ad campaign be used to throw out Madison Avenue, Online Advertising, or Entertaining Ads.

Ad creative executives will have to work harder however. It isn’t enough to make someone smile at the end of a 30 second clip it is about using tools that serve their customer base.  That toolbox is getting richer and more diverse.

Context or Demographic?

I keep having conversations with advertisers and agencies that reveal drastically reduced advertising spends on TV. Major brands. It’s happening and it appears to be happening in a pretty major way with the unscientific sample of brand advertisers.

As those dollars move online, advertisers have more choices. Here’s what I’m interested in watching as these dollars migrate:

will non-endemic advertisers (i.e. financial services companies on a golf program) that run their TV commercials with a specific type of programming continue this practice online?

Right now, most golf sites carry almost nothing but golf ads. Context trumps Demographic.  I doubt that the demographic profile of a golfer is significantly different online so this suggests that the advertisers of TV golf programming either don’t value the online equivalent or don’t value online as a branding platform.

Is this because advertisers on TV Golf (like financial services companies) aren’t branding? Or is it because they will brand on a different type of site?

Swisher: Hillary is to Barack as Yahoo is to MSFT

Great post

… a smart friend in the industry wrote me an email, stating the obvious:

This msft/yahoo deal reminds me of the democratic nomination. we all know how it’s going to end but it’s going to be nasty nasty nasty all the way till the end, with enough bitterness generated along the way to present a reasonably likelihood of a pyrrhic victory. the ultimate loser can only succeed in doing well enough to drag out the process and inflict more pain.

Check it out – Pundit Kitchen

If you enjoy the daily show you will find this site fun.

Tire Kickers Are Your Business of Tomorrow

The focus on leads and conversion to sale is easily taken to an extreme.  Look how efficient my marketing spend has become!  SearchEngineLand has a great piece today on the importance of attracting new “tire kickers.”

Check it out: Pro Bikers Just Aren’t Human

Here is a snapshot of the power, speed, cadence, etc. from Martijn Maaskant from the Slipstream Chipotle Professional team during his 4th place ride at the famous Paris-Roubaix race earlier this week.

I’m completely in awe. This is after 250 kms or racing and he is still riding at 25mph +! AND HE TOOK 4th place.  More information here.

Federated Media Receives a $50MM Investment

Press Release here. Tremendously proud to be a part of the FM family. I joined late last year and have had a blast.

Lots of discussion in the blogosphere. I will let that go on but can’t help but highlight a blog post from a FM client, Jeff Lanctot at Avenue A. A bit here:

I’ll save the questions around valuation of the company for the investors. However, I can say that FM has established a nice track record with Avenue A | Razorfish (my employer) over the last several quarters. Looking back to 2007, we spent nearly 4X more with FM in the second half of the year than we did in the first half. In the first quarter of 2008, our spend with FM matched all of calendar year 2007.

A Conversation Goes Viral

Federated Media is working with Dell to stimulate conversations for Business Technology buyers around Storage Area Networks. The Future of Storage focuses on the iSCSI space. Dell has a lot to say about the topic but so does the broader community and they wanted to underwrite a broader conversation on the topic.

Its a hot market but even so, the number of people able to discuss this with any depth is much, much smaller than the group that would go to my favorite Road Biking forum. The site went live earlier this month. Dell is going to the conversation rather asking for the conversation to go to them.

Ads like this were launched to stimulate the discussion.

The conversation spread from the TechDirt Hub to ArsTechnica.

Where it was Dugg

and Yahoo Buzz(ed?)

Pretty exciting to watch. Congrats to Andrew, Jennifer, Janet, Mark, and everyone at team Dell.

(Thanks to James for the screen grabs and leadership around this program.)

A Tip for Bloggers Seeking Page Views

Write about these three things –

1.  Apple (not that revelatory)

2.  Facebook and how to make money with Facebook.

3.  RadioShack

I don’t care much about page views on this blog but if I did, I’d do more of all three.  RadioShack surprised me.  Apparently, there are lots of people googling RadioShack.  I wrote last week about a project FM is doing with RadioShack and the page views flowed…

So bloggers with goals of growing your site, get on the case!

New Liquidity Model for Internet Companies

Great post by Fred Wilson on Silicon Alley Insider today.  Interesting to see a VC look at the market through the two lenses – the investor that can make tremendous profits off the M&A activity of the major media companies and the personal Internet user that lives with the inferior services these acquisitions make.

Wilson talks about the biggest players in the Internet sector’s desire to roll everything up into one master service.  Yet people seem to gravitate toward variety and diversity.

But advertisers demand scale.  Publishers grow by having more to sell.

Lots of options designed to please passionate collections of users and a publisher that allows this diverse group of media entrepreneurs to earn a good living of their work without becoming a cog in the giant wheel.  Hmmmm.  Sounds familiar…