You are currently browsing the archives for June, 2010.

Hyundai Capitalizes on World Cup Frenzy, Vuvuzela Fury

Hyundai's Giant Vuvuzela

I’m sure glad this giant, air horn-powered Vuvuzela isn’t in my neighborhood, but I think it’s clever marketing by Hyundai. From :

“Hyundai and Jupiter Drawing Room, Cape Town, have come up with a fun way to get the upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup matches underway. They have erected a huge 114-foot-long Vuvuzela on one of the unfinished flyover roads above Cape Town….

“The giant Vuvuzela will be blown at the start of every World Cup game as a call to action for the City. It looks like the Hyundai Vuvuzela may also get into the Guinness Book of Records for largest Vuvuzela in the world!”

Ads on License Plates

Ads on License Plates

Bored by texting while driving? Coming soon to California freeways (if the below bill passes the legislature): Ads on license plates that appear when cars stop in traffic. From the Silicon Valley Mercury News:

“The California Legislature is considering a bill that would allow the state to begin researching the use of electronic license plates for vehicles. The move is intended as a moneymaker for a state facing a $19 billion deficit.

“The device would mimic a standard license plate when the vehicle is in motion but would switch to digital ads or other messages when it is stopped for more than four seconds, whether in traffic or at a red light. The license plate number would remain visible at all times in some section of the screen.

“In emergencies, the plates could be used to broadcast Amber Alerts or traffic information.”

Seems a little far-fetched to me. In the case of a roadside billboard, an advertiser can gather audience profile data across tens of thousands of drivers and make some reasonable assumptions: you can survey a few hundred representative drivers about their incomes, buying behaviors and likelihood of looking at the billboards along their commutes. Targeting gets more complex when you’re betting that the guy behind your ad-plated car — right at the moment the traffic comes to a halt — fits your definition of an ideal prospective customer. And even if he is, how do you know he’s not looking down to spin the dial on his radio?

Ads Proliferating on Location-Based Services

Forrester analyst Augie Ray has five complaints about Starbucks’s approach to advertising on FourSquare, where Starbucks rewards its most loyal customers by giving a free coffee to the current “Mayor” of that Starbucks location. Among his complaints: Baristas employed by Starbucks who also use FourSquare are more likely to capture the Mayorship than even the most frequent customers. Another is that the reward-the-Mayor approach doesn’t offer much to traveling coffee drinkers who are making a one-time visit to a Starbucks that isn’t their usual branch.

It’s as if Starbuck was listening to Augie Ray, even before he published the above complaint. In Chicago this week, I checked in to a Starbucks and received this ad, even though I’m not the Mayor. No offer for a free coffee, but a nice touch anyway — a little thank-you note for my loyalty to the brand, even if I’m not a regular at this downtown Chicago location.

Starbucks in FourSquare

Back on the ground in San Francisco, Gowalla served me this ad from USA Today.

USA Today ad on Gowalla

I’m less impressed with this one. I use Gowalla and FourSquare to see where my friends are. Occasionally one of those friends offers me a tip on what to do the next time I’m visiting that location. If I follow USA Today, am I going to start getting alerts every time a USA Today journalist checks in somewhere? Or just USA Today tips every time they see me check in somewhere? It doesn’t line up with how I use Gowalla, so I’m giving it a pass.

Print Publishers Still in Recession

Print recession continues

More at .

Brand Health Over Time: Toyota, BP and Goldman Sachs

Brand health chart for Toyota, BP, Goldman

Toyota has begun a fast recovery, while BP races Goldman Sachs to the cellar. More at the .

8 Weeks In, Apple Swoops Up 50% of Mobile Advertising Market

iAd Claims $60MM in 2H10 Ad Commitments

From TechCrunch coverage of Apple’s WWDC:

“Apple has iAd commitments for 2010 totaling over $60 million, which the company says represents almost 50 percent of the total forecasted US mobile ad spending for the second half of 2010. Jobs said in his keynote that Apple has only been selling iAds for 8 weeks.”

Facebook Video Explains How Like Button Works

Complicated things are just easier to understand when they’re explained in cartoon format. The best example in recent times, of course, is R. Crumb’s . This from Facebook, though, is a candidate for Top 10.

But that’s just me (and Catholic guilt, perhaps). Which do you think does the better job?

How Facebook Like Button Works

Advertising Your Way Out of a Tough Job Market, the Prequel

Earlier this year creative director Alec Brownstein turned his resume / job pitch into a YouTube video and bought paid search ads promoting the video. His ads targeted only Google users searching for the names of employers from whom he wanted a job offer. So when one of those prospective employers searched his/her own name (and c’mon, who doesn’t), s/he would see the ad from Brownstein. He targeted 5 prospective employers, got interviews with 4 of them and job offers from 2. Total advertising cost to Brownstein, 6 bucks.

Thanks, !

Back When Landing a Job at the School Newspaper Required Ad Sales Experience

Ah, the good old days — when every aspiring school-paper editor got an education in ad sales!

Yale Daily News Masthead

School newspapers in the old days, I learned today while reading a of Henry Luce, made you apply for staff positions by way of a multi-month internship called “heeling,” where you racked up points for writing, editing and selling ads, among other things. In high school,

“[Henry Luce] began working for both the school newspaper (the Record) and the literary magazine (the Hotchkiss Literary Monthly, known to students as the Lit) in his first term. Both awarded places on the basis of strenuous and highly quantitative competition. Boys received points not just for the quality and quantity of their submissions but for selling ads and subscriptions, doing clerical chores, even cleaning up.”

Luce joined the Yale college newspaper (the Yale Daily News) though a similar heeling process, and then went on to found Time Inc at age 23, launching Time Magazine, Fortune, Life and Sports Illustrated over the next 30 years.

Let’s bring back heeling!

Advertising Your Way Out of a Tough Job Market

On Friday I interviewed one of the young men featured in these ads I saw in Facebook:

Facebook ads targeting Digg employees

It’s a common practice for companies to run job postings on Craigslist or LinkedIn, but this is the first time I’ve seen prospective employees taking out ads to announce their interest in working for me. Tough times call for innovative tactics, I guess.

Innovative but not expensive. The candidate I spoke to told me he used Facebook’s self-service ad-buying tool to target the pages of Facebook users who are members of the Digg network, and he agreed to pay about $0.50 any time someone clicked on the ad, which linked to his resume. Given that Digg has fewer than 100 employees (you can only join the Digg network if you’re a current or past employee), not all of whom are members of the Digg network on Facebook, and only a subset of the members clicked on the ad, the job-seeker spent less than $20 to get himself a job interview at the next company he wants to work for.