You are currently browsing the archives for November, 2007.

Wacom Invites Facebook Artists To Draw-To-Win Promotion

Among the first brands to sponsor a third-party Facebook application in a manner that goes beyond pay-per-install or CPC programs, Wacom — maker of the Bamboo tablet for pen-based computing — sponsored a contest within Facebook’s Graffiti application, the “Graffiti Monster Contest.”

Marissa Perma’s Graffiti Monster
(Artist credit: Marissa Perma)

The first of three one-week contests just wrapped up, and 5660 animated illustrations were submitted and another 515,000 votes were cast by other Facebook members for their favorite — and least favorite — monsters. (Here are the Top 150 Monsters.) That’s an average of nearly 74,000 votes per day.

The motivation for voting (beyond the intrinsic fun of monster art) was a chance to win a $79 Bamboo pen-based tablet kit, a product that sells best among digital artists and digital doodlers — people like the 8,000,000-plus users of the Graffiti application. More than 1,000,000 of them use the service daily to jot notes to friends, sketch simple pictures, or create elaborate artwork. Among the 37,000,000 Graffitis created to date, a significant minority of users have spent more than 20 minutes per drawing. So there was a strong relevance match between the target audience and the sponsorship concept.

Monster Graffiti Contest Overview

In addition to the integrated messaging on all pages of the Graffiti app within Facebook and ad banners targeted to Graffiti users, Wacom launched a program — a digital drawing contest that makes plain their product’s value proposition — that spread from friend to friend across the Facebook universe. Each time a contestant submitted a new monster image, his or her Facebook friends received on their Profile pages a news headline with a thumbnail of the monster art: “Chas drew on the Monster Contest Graffiti wall.”

Sample Headline for Graffiti Monster Contest

The numbers then add up quick. Given my mature age (37) and relative new-comer status on Facebook, I’m guessing my network of 300 friends is, if anything, at the low end of the socialite spectrum. If we assume avid Graffiti artists each have 300 friends, on average, that means that 5660 monster drawings (times 300 friends each) generated nearly 1,700,000 personalized “impressions” in the shape of news alerts on Facebook Profile pages over seven days. These “impressions” weren’t graphical ads for Wacom, they were word-of-mouth notifications that encouraged behavior, creating graphical art, that drives sales for Wacom’s products.

Idea and execution credits: John Bistolas at Wacom; Mark Kantor, Ted and Tim Suzman at Graffiti Wall; and Lester Lee and Liam Boylan at Federated Media.

More monsters…..

Matt Anderson’s Monster
(Artist credit: Matt Anderson)

Jake Steward’s Monster
(Artist credit: Jake Steward)

Allan Carandang’s Monster
(Artist credit: Allan Carandang)

Will Newton’s Monster
(Artist credit: Will Newton)

TV Networks Have Smallish Web Audiences

I’m surprised to see the relatively small audiences Nielsen Online reports for the Big Four TV networks. From PaidContent:

“Nielsen Online counts ABC in first place with 10.6 million unique visitors in October, followed by NBC with 8.1 million uniques, CBS (NYSE: CBS) with 6.1 million and Fox with 3.4 million.”

Even if you assume there’s no duplication of audience (unlikely), the four networks combined are reaching only 28.2 million monthly uniques online. FM doesn’t yet subscribe to Nielsen, but Comscore reports the 125 independent sites that made up FM in September 2007 (it’s closer to 140 now) reach nearly 42 million monthly uniques. More evidence that as audiences migrate from offline to online media, they aren’t necessarily loyal to their former offline brands.

HP's Blog Printing Gets More Props

From Neville Hobson at WebProNews:

“Wouldn’t it be great if you could get your hard copy in a format that’s designed for print, doesn’t waste half a rainforest of paper and is easy on the eye to read? I recently discovered a great way to do this on this blog, with a plugin for WordPress from Hewlett-Packard. Called HP Blog Printing, once you’ve installed and activated it, you get a little widget to position wherever you want to in your blog. That widget gives you a button called ‘print posts’ – you can see it on every page here at the top left of your screen.”

FM worked with Michael Gilman, Jeff Seigel and David MacIntyre at HP’s Enable Print2Web group to integrate this technology at Boing Boing, Dooce, 43Folders, TechCrunch and others back in August.

CNN on Boing Boing TV

Here’s a video review of Boing Boing TV courtesy of CNN.

CNN on Boing Boing TV

Small Groups of Evangelists Have Big Impact on Book Biz

In Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, it’s small groups of hipsters in the East Village that start the trends that become national phenomena. In the book business, it’s a humbler, less fashionable set — leaders of small reading groups — that launch best-sellers (see NY Times).

Tipping Point

“Increasingly, authors and publishers are tipping their hats to the power of 8 or 10 or 12 women (and usually they are women) sitting around a dining room table, dissecting their particular book of the month, then spreading the word to their friends. Along with ‘The Kite Runner,’ the successes of ‘The Memory Keeper’s Daughter,’ ‘Water for Elephants,’ ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and ‘Kabul Beauty School’ have been credited to the early and continuing support of reading groups.”

It makes sense then that other large brands — such as Johnson & Johnson are investing in marketing to small groups of evangelists.

Reruns On TV, Kids Turning To Books

Mindshare is out with a survey that says the Writers’ Guild strike, which is putting more re-runs on TV, may drive viewers back to books, magazines and newspapers.

Readers Digest

One finding, according to Ad Age:

“Respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 — a prized demographic among advertisers — said they were most likely to read a book, magazine or newspaper (19%); watch DVDs (11%); go to the internet (10%); or listen to music or the radio (7%). Selection of the internet was greatest among younger consumers and declined among older respondents, with only 4% of respondents 55 and up saying they would check out the web.”

Really?? Are these the same prized 18-to-34-year-olds who spend all their time on Facebook and don’t realize that Scrable was once played with wooden tiles on a cardboard grid?

Online Ad Spending Breaks Another Record

The IAB reports that ad spending in each of the first three quarters in 2007 has broken records, with Q3 up 25% to $5.2 billion. See ZDNet.

Code Orange: Parents Share War Stories, Children’s Motrin Hopes To Help

Last month Johnson & Johnson’s Children’s Motrin brand launched Code Orange, a site that invites parents to share experiences of “that slightly scary moment when our kids develop a high fever. A Code Orange moment can happen any time, but doesn’t it always seem to kick off just when you have something planned for your child or your family? That’s the time to take a deep breath, call your doctor and reach for Children’s Motrin.”

Code Orange

It’s quite a feat for a pharmaceutical company — what with the regulations imposed on that industry — to step into the conversational marketing arena at all. Among the rules of engagement for the Code Orange site is this:

“Please keep in mind that the makers of Children’s MOTRIN work within a highly regulated industry. Therefore, comments that pertain to regulatory issues or product issues, that offer medical advice, or that contain vulgarity or otherwise offensive material, will not be posted. All comments within this group will be reviewed before posting. Some comments may be forward to other people with the company for review and possible follow-up. The makers of Children’s MOTRIN reserve the right to not post comments for any reason whatsoever.”

It’s double the feat that they seem to be pulling it off. Several FM authors — Asha Dornfest of ParentHacks, Danielle Friedland of Celebrity Baby Blog, and Mindy Roberts of The Mommy Blog — supplied their own stories alongside 350 member-contributors so far. Other visitors are rating stories or adding comments. It’s a smallish community compared to the reach J&J might accomplish with broadcast TV, but — unlike the passive recipients of an ad impression via TV — it’s an actual community. It’s the alpha moms who never miss a meeting of their new-parents groups, the ones you call for a pediatrician recommendation or — I have two kids, trust me! — a reminder on the right dosage for a sick kid under 24 months. Three-hundred-fifty times 12 people in the average moms’ group is 4,200. In army-speak, that’s around 100 platoons!

RELATED 11/20: In recognition of the power of small groups to influence much larger audiences, book publishers are staging a major marketing effort against book-group organizers.

Intel Adds Value to MySpace Music Lovers

Intel Logo

From MarketingWeek UK:

“As part of the push, created by Universal McCann Digital, users can add Intel as a friend and add an application that allows them to increase the music storage allowance on their page….

‘One challenge to make the most of a social network is how to be truly relevant and add value. It’s about actions and not just words,’ he adds.”

My Space Logo

According to inside sources, Intel’s David Veneski had something to do with the above. Which doesn’t surprise me. He’s also the guy who partnered with FM to help Digg launch the Arc visualization application earlier this year.

UPDATE: I spoke to Veneski directly, and he says this was not his program (though he agrees that it is similar to the kind of work he does here in North America). I did some sniffing around at Universal McCann, Intel’s agency, and it sounds like Autumn Martin in the UK office was part of the team on the My Space Europe integration.

Marketers Spend $1 Billion On Word-Of-Mouth

From Ad Age:

“It’s been a meteoric rise of late for word-of-mouth marketing, defined by PQ Media as ‘supported by research and technology that encourages consumers to dialogue about products and services.’ Still, the discipline accounted for just 0.4% of the share in the $254 billion marketing-services category, a grouping that includes direct marketing, branded entertainment and public relations, among others. If PQ Media’s analysis is correct, however, word-of-mouth marketing won’t stay small for long: The field grew 35.9% in 2006, far more than both the overall marketing-services category (7.7%) and the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (5.7%).”