You are currently browsing the archives for July, 2006.

Wonkette Lands at Time; Amanda Leaves Rocketboom

Ana Marie Cox, aka Wonkette, is taking a job at Time while Gawker Media continues to run the Wonkette site (see MediaPost), and a few weeks ago Amanda Congdon left her post as host of the geek-news video program Rocketboom (e gad, too many links for me to choose one). The moves bring up the old question: Does the audience tune in for the talent or is it loyal to the media brand? Given that FM’s tagline is “author driven,” I guess you know where I stand.

Google To Disclose Clickfraud Numbers

From CNET “Our goal is to provide that transparency so advertisers who previously may have been unnerved or concerned about these wildly exaggerated figures will be able to see now what Google is doing to protect them,” said Shuman Ghosemajumder, Google’s business product manager for trust and safety. If that’s the case, why has it taken so long for Google to come clean with the numbers?

Ads Tattooed on Foreheads ($11.42 CPM)

I was going to link to a piece in today’s NYT Week in Review, but the article to which I wanted to point you (“Place Your Ad Here, and Here”) doesn’t allow me to link to it. Oh well. I’ll point you to SF Gate instead!

The picture that caught my attention: The Salt Lake City woman who sold ad space on her forehead to (It happened last summer, but I missed it.) She posted the offer on eBay, and made $10,000 in exchange for persistent placement — sorry, I had to! — of their URL in 1-inch letters. Let’s see. She’s thirty. Say she lives to be 78 (call it 17,520 days, give or take) and walks past 50 people a day close enough that they can read the tattoo (876,000 impressions), that’s effectively an $11.42 CPM.

As efficient a marketplace as eBay is, I wonder if she might have done better hiring a freelance ad-sales rep with two-plus years of sales experience. Someone who could add a little sizzle to the pitch — y’know, to get some of that “irrational” premium that keeps media companies in business. But, hey, maybe she was just looking for an excuse to put a cool tat on her forehead!

Thanks for the Props, Matt Haughey!

Speaking yesterday at Webvisions (coverage here at Brian Oberkirch’s LikeItMatters), the author / MC behind Metafilter and PVRBlog says working with FM allowed him to quit his day job. According to Brian’s notes, it went something like this: “Blogads is easy. Eventually, larger networks are better — e.g. FM. FM let him quit his job and go full time because they could court people he could never court.”

UPDATE: Even better, check out this post at Web Strategy by Jeremiah, which calls out our own salesman extraordinaire, James Gross!

Adobe Ad Launches Conversation; Adobe Joins It

Adobe has been running ads for Flex 2 on TechCrunch (an FM site), and caught the attention of blogger Ryan Stewart (Digital Backcountry). Folks at Adobe must be thrilled that their ads are driving editorial coverage by influential authors.

The bummer is that Ryan really didn’t like the banner creative. “How can a company so ‘in’ with designers have such horrible advertising? I don’t get it? Do these appeal to anyone? Am I crazy?” Instead of hiding their heads in the sand, though, the Adobe team took this an opportunity to learn from and engage with a core group of customers. Here’s Jeff Whatcott, Sr. Director, Product Marketing for Adobe’s Enterprise & Developer Busines Unit (my emphasis):

Thanks for the feedback. We hear you. We’re pulling the plug on this creative execution for the Flex 2 online advertising campaign. Please pardon our dust while we regroup. Please read on, because we’re going to need your help to make this better.

It’s great to have a product that everybody loves so deeply that they fuss about every factor contributing to it’s market success, including the creative direction of the online advertising. Our community rocks. Thank you!

In the spirit of openness and transparency, let me provide a little backstory on this campaign. The short version is that it ended up being a bad execution on some solid original concepts that came directly from developers just like you. Our agency actually did roll up their sleeves and get out there and interview (and film) real Flex and non-Flex developers to get inside their head and to test some concepts. The original concepts for this campaign tested really well with the developers, but we somehow lost our way as the creative progressed from concept to actual banners injected into a page. Oops. Our internal review processes certainly should have stopped it earlier, and I’m going to be looking into that, but we are where we are.

So where do we go from here? I think it might be useful to apply some collaborative community feedback approaches to the development of Flex developer marketing. It’s clear that you guys have a lot of passion about this, and I would love to harness that as long as it ends up producing marketing that works. We all have a stake in that.

So here’s the invitation: please jump on this thread with your specific suggestions for what the Flex online advertising should say and what is should look like. What should the tone be (sophisticated, edgy, friendly, in your face, or what have you)? What should the catchy tag line be? What should the short product description be? What benefits, if any, should we mention right in the ad and what should be on the jump page? Should we bang directly on the competition (think Oracle ads) or should we focus on our own strengths? What creative concepts should we consider (code puzzles that convey a message, movies of Flex coding/results, what else)?

This is your chance to tell us how it should be done. Let us have it. We’ll parse it and see what we can come up with. We may even come back to you to test some stuff before we throw it up on TechCrunch again.


What’s that Martial Art that turns the opponent’s own weight and strength against him, Jujitsu?!

Revver's Ad Insertion for Online Video

Revver has built a cool system for inserting ads at the end of online videos in a manner that allows advertisers to select flight dates and enables content producers to monetize their hits by rotating in new advertisers at the audience for a particular clip grows (see AdAge). Clickable ads run at the end of each video. With the old approach — attaching a single advertiser to a single video clip — an unexpected viral success gave the advertiser a bargain but the content producer ended up underpaid for his or her work. Revver’s technology can even the playing field.
But I worry the model may still underpay the content creators. One, Revver takes 50% of the revenue, even when a viewer finds the video by way of the content producer’s own site; the content producer makes the content AND finds the audience, and only keeps 50% of the money? Two, advertisers are paying only when viewers click

on their ads. This works fine today, while the technology is novel and the click-through rates are high. Say an advertiser pays $1 per click and 4% of viewers click through: that’s a $40 effective CPM! But if CTRs on ads in online videos follow the path of ads on websites, in email newsletters, on blogs and in RSS feeds — which all started in the single digits — they may settle somewhere below 1%. At 0.5% click-through, that effective CPM drops to $5, $2.50 to the content creator for every thousand viewers.

Digg Bigger Than CNET?

According to Alexa, Digg now serves more pageviews than CNET. I know, I know, Alexa’s methodology isn’t perfect — nor is Nielsen NetRatings, Comscore or Hitwise. But it does serve as fair directional indicator. Go, Digg!

MediaPost on “Too-Tight Targeting”

Tom Hespos latest MediaPost column hits the mark on ad targeting so well, I wish I had written it. (My attempt: ChasNote 4/13/05.) Because online advertising has better targeting capabilities than offline media, media buyers take advantage of online’s micro-targeting and lose the benefit of reaching prospective paying customers who don’t fit the “ideal customer profile” outlined in the RFP.

“Let’s say we’re putting together a test launch of a widget in Philadelphia. To advertise that widget, we decide to go with some spot radio, so we plan to purchase 15 GRPs a week in Philly against our demographic target–Men 18-49. We do a little spot cable, too. and we also look to advertise the widget online across six content sites, using inventory that is both geotargeted to the Philadelphia DMA and demo-targeted to M18-49…. One big difference is that the Internet advertising is a lot more focused on the target. Remember that, in advertising on the radio and on cable TV, our ads are guaranteed against our demo target of M18-49. But in advertising in those environments, we also reach a ton of women, kids, senior citizens and other folks we might not consider to be part of our target market. Assuming that the widget can be used or purchased by people outside the demographic and geographic target, some of those people from outside the targeting parameters of the traditional plan are going to buy the product…. The Internet’s targetability looks like a surgical scalpel in comparison….. The dynamics of how broadcast and online are purchased have led quite a few advertisers to carve out a distinct role for online in the media mix — online becomes the focused medium that reaches the target and the target only. At the same time, broadcast inherits heavy-lifting chores, in large part due to the limitations on its targetability. Seems strange, doesn’t it? One medium does a great job of reaching a focused audience and is rewarded for it by being relegated to the role formerly played by direct mail.”

Digg's Uber-Inflencers

Richard MacManus at Read/WriteWeb takes a look at the power-Diggers at Digg. Even at highly “democratic” UGC sites like Digg, some members have much more influence than others.

YouTube: Is There a Research Business In 100MM Daily Views?

According to Hitwise (see Yahoo News), YouTube now serves 100 million daily video streams, but the revenue model is still under contruction:

“YouTube videos account for 60 percent of all videos watched online, the company said. Videos are delivered free on YouTube and the company is still working on developing advertising and other means of generating revenue to support the business.”

By way of marktd, I came across trendspotter No Man’s Blog trying to divine the essense of viral success by crunching YouTube’s most popular video numbers. The top 100 list includes:

4 commercial ads – amazing achievement for Sony Bravia Balls (#34 with 3,466,011 views), but not least for Crispin Porter + Bogusky as all other three (!) commecials on the Top100 are the brilliant VW Pimp My Auto executions. Apparently we no longer need a TV to watch great TV ads…”

I wonder if YouTube is considering a market research business?