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Dayparting Online Ads: I Just Don’t Get It

In his SearchInsider column for MediaPost today, Bill Wise discusses Google’s new daypart targeting for keyword ad campaigns: “This is good news for search: it is bound to greatly heighten advertisers’ precision, and eliminate campaign waste.

Now I know I’m out of synch with most traditional marketers when I say this, but I just don’t get why anyone should care about dayparting online — especially with respect to CPC marketing. If your prospective customers are doing their research or shopping at 2 in the morning, why would you turn off your ads then just because more of your prospects shop during lunchtime?! Instead tell your IT team to expect spikes in certain dayparts, but keep the ads in front of relevant prospects whenever they are reading relevant content.

Dayparting on TV makes sense to me, at least in the pre-Tivo, pre-iPod days. The good shows air in primetime, and that’s where you want your ads. Since the crap, re-runs and infomercials are on late night, daypart your ads to avoid the weak programming that doesn’t attract your audience. Nowadays if, say, 24 is the best program on TV with the most desirable audience, associate your ads with that programming and don’t worry when those great viewers tune in. Keep your ads away from junk content, no matter when people view it.

The same approach should apply to online marketing: Seek out the quality publications and sites, avoid the rest, and don’t worry when your customers log on. By adding daypart targeting, perhaps Google is admitting that advertisers across their sprawling AdSense network of sites have begun to complain that their ads aren’t consistently landing in quality environments or reaching high-value customers.

People Who Watch TV Online Remember Ads Better

Staci at PaidContent.org reports that online viewers of ABC show experienced “86 percent recall of the ads — roughly twice the amount for regular TV.”  Wowsa.  She points out, of course, “the ad setup isn’t standard. Each episode has a single sponsor; ads are shown three times and many include interactive elements.”

Cover Girl Product Placement in Novel for Teens

Ew, this is kind of gross. As reported by Boing Boing, P&G’s Cover Girl cosmetics unit has cut a deal with book publisher for product placement within a novel for teens. “The book includes references to Cover Girl Lipslicks, a brand of lipstick, and a specific color of Cover Girl eyeliner.”

Nearly 50% of Marketing Execs Have Paid for Placement

According to a PR Week study (reported in AdAge), 48.9% of senior marketing execs have “editorial or broadcast brand placement” and “half of those who haven’t paid for placement said they would if the opportunity arose.” AdAge laments the sorry state of the media business when — perhaps as a result of such the above behavior — when “65% of consumers thought editorial mentions of a product had been paid for” (October 2005 Starcom MediaVest study).

Maybe traditional media should steal a page from the editorial policies at leading blogs (here’s FM’s policy). Hey, just about every for-profit media entity in the world takes advertising money. Maybe we should trust that our readers / viewers are grown ups, most of whom buy into the I-get-my-content-for-free-because-those-advertisers-pay-the-bills framework; let’s just tell them what’s going on. For example, here’s how Mike Arrington addresses his sponsors directly at TechCrunch. And here’s Philipp Lenssen, of Google Blogoscoped, disclosing that he’s writing about a sponsor.

GM Smacks NY Times Over Free Press

Techdirt has a great post on a recent spat between GM and The NY Times that began with an allegedly anti-GM column by Tom Friedman.

“Friedman apparently wrote a piece blasting GM. We’d link to it here, but, of course, the NY Times is working hard to keep their best columnists out of the discussion. In fact, they apparently want them so far out of the discussion that they won’t let those disparaged by those columnists respond in kind via the traditional ‘letters to the editor.’ GM apparently wrote a 490 word response to the Friedman piece, and submitted it to the NY Times, who rejected it as being ‘too long’ …. Finally, the NY Times demanded they take out the word ‘rubbish’ in describing Friedman’s arguments. So, what does GM do in response? They post the entire story to their own blog, which is probably going to get a lot more traffic and attention than the NY Times’ ‘letters to the editor’ would have gotten…. trying to limit a response to an attack column in a world where anyone can post online seems somewhat pointless — and, as in this case, pretty much guaranteed to have the opposite effect.”

If you want to read GM’s side of the story, it’s available without a password at GM’s blog, including the entire email exchange between the NY Times editors and GM’s communications department.

Kind of a coming-of-age moment for blogs, eh? There’s been so much fearful talk in the past 2 years about them crazy, malicious bloggers and the threat they pose to your brand. Now we have one of the world’s largest corporations recognizing blogs as a powerful platform for setting the record straight and publishing the facts or opinions that alternate media sources aren’t covering on their own. Go, free press!

Google Ain't “World's Greatest All-purpose Advertising Machine”

“Rather, it has created the world’s greatest yellow pages directory. There is a big difference,” says Tacoda CEO Dave Morgan in his latest MediaPost column.

“Search is intent-based, just like yellow pages. It is used to generate leads. It focuses on creating immediate and measurable effects. Clicks are like phone calls. National print display advertising is media-based or audience-based. It is about creating or influencing brand and product perceptions. It focuses on creating longer-term–and harder to measure–effects. Clicks are not like creating warm, fuzzy feelings about driving a Jeep up a mountain.”

Previously: ChasNote 6/1/06.

Chitika: When Context Fails, Show Nude Women

Chitika, the contextual shopping / reviews widget that publishers can post to their sites to provide their readers a search tool for related content, may be a bit racier than its syndication partners expected. From JenSense:

“images included in the ad units happen to be nearly-naked women gracing the covers of Hustler and Genesis magazines. And there is absolutely no supporting text on the page that would influence these types of ads. It is strictly ‘magazines subscriptions’ as the targeted keyword phrase that is triggering these adult ads.”

Valleywag on FM: Battelle Owns the Internet

Geez, we finally get real office space and our own phone extensions, and now we have to worry about antitrust lawsuits! From ValleyWag.

Snap Ads Let Blog Authors Drive the Conversation

Bill Gross, founder of Goto.com — and the paid search advertising model — in 1990s, is at it again. Last year he launched Snap, a new search engine, to compete directly with search titans Google, Yahoo and MSN. I’m hardly qualified to comment on the product itself, but I really like the lets-do-this-together approach he’s taking to marketing it.

Last month, Snap announced their launch with blog-to-win contest: Help us make (and bring to market) a better search engine. IAB-standard ad units invite internet users to submit suggestions, and visitors to the Snap blog vote for their favorite ideas. People who submit the best ideas (based on votes) will win money. Pretty standard so far.

Snap also opened the contest to search experts and bloggers, including FM authors John Battelle (Searchblog), Philipp Lenssen (Google Blogoscoped) and others. For blog authors who submitted an idea, Snap ran an additional ad unit on that author’s site, “Come vote for MY

idea.” Nothing fancy about either creative unit, but the personalized version taps directly into to affinity leading bloggers have with their readers. In a Q4 2005 reader survey, 60% of Searchblog readers say they read the site once a day or multiple times a day. For readers of Google Blogoscoped, TechCrunch and STREETtech, it’s 71%, 71% and 76%, respectively, who are reading that often. (Disclosure: John Battelle is also CEO of FM and my boss.)

Odds are way better, then, that Google Blogoscoped junkies will click over to the Snap contest blog to read commentary from the site’s author, Philipp Lenssen (here it is, link), than to read even the most poetically-worded sales pitch from Snap’s marketing team.

In fact, several of Philipp’s readers went to read his advice to Snap and then came back to Google Blogoscoped to tell him what he got wrong. Now, as a direct result of their advertising campaign — yet in a wholly organic, transparent manner — Snap has launched a conversation about its new service (here) on the 26th most influential blog online, the 2nd most influential blog dedicated to search after the Official Google Blog (see Technorati Top 100).

The product marketing gang at Snap may (or may not) want to modify their UI based on feedback from Google Blogoscoped readers. But their marcom colleagues were thrilled with how much time the mavens of Internet search are dedicating to a discussion of Snap.

“Sparking conversations among the influencers and getting people to search on Snap.com were our two goals, and the Snap blog provided a great medium for both actions,” says Snap marketing director, Tad Benson. “The fact that those influencers brought the conversation back to their own sites via their interest and the contest ad units was an added bonus.”

Google Magazine Ads Disappoint

From MediaPost:

“Jonathan Rosenberg, Google’s senior vice president for product management, said the venture to auction off print ads in magazines, which launched in February, has been one of the biggest disappointments in the last six months.”

Related posts: ChasNote 2/10/06 and ChasNote 9/5/05.