You are currently browsing the archives for June, 2012.

McDonalds Adds Value with Train Station Advertising

In cooperation with Polish State Railways, McDonalds launched the Hamburger Timetable, a system of food icons presented on the automated schedule board to indicate wait time in units of Big Macs, fries and coffees you have time to consume before your train arrives. The Warsaw station McDonalds saw an increase of 4500 customers in the first month of the campaign. Full story at PSFK.

Advertisers Look Better in Images: Interview with AdExchanger

A few days ago I caught up with AdExchanger‘s David Kaplan to talk “image strategy” for publishers and advertisers. From his article:

It’s been a year since photo ad network Pixazza morphed into Luminate, with a wider platform for sharing, indexing and monetizing publishers’ online images. The four-year-old Google Ventures-backed Mountain View company has steadily been rebuilding itself from an “AdSense for Images” into a platform for consumer-facing image apps.

“The rise of Pinterest as the third biggest social network, along with Facebook’s purchase of Instagram has made it clear that images are a central part of the internet experience,” I told him, and it’s our mission to make those images interactive and engaging for consumers, and profitable for publishers.

Thanks for the chat, David!

Tell Your Brand’s Story in Pictures

From Edelman Digital:

Do you remember your favorite book as a child? I was always drawn to picture books, because they allowed me to see an image and then construct a story from the photos on the page. Fast forward twenty-some years and I’m still drawn to “photo stories.” While I don’t flip through picture books like I did when I was younger, I’m constantly reading and viewing other people’s “story” within the social space.

The article argues that brands need Instagram accounts, partly because the photo-sharing service reaches 30 million members, and partly because it has trained those members to engage with image content (575 likes and 81 comments per second). There’s also something more authentic about a photo, say the folks at Edelman: “sharing photos on Instagram doesn’t ‘feel like an advertisement.’”

(Thanks for sharing, David Veneski!)

At Long Last: Skype Ads to Look At During Boring Calls

“Skype has provided a great service for years, keeping us connected with friends and family. But there’s always been one thing missing — marketers interrupting calls with giant display ads. Skype is finally fixing that problem, with today’s launch of so-called ‘Conversation Ads’ that will appear within the calling window during audio calls.”

Ha! Very well put, Ars Technica.

Frankly it’s about time that Skype started selling ads. We’d all hate to see the free IP telephone service disappear, and someone has to pay to operate it. But this quote from Skype’s Sandhya Venkatachalam is preposterous:

“You should think of Conversation Ads as a way for Skype to generate fun interactivity between your circle of friends and family and the brands you care about. Ultimately, we believe this will help make Skype a more engaging and useful place to have your conversations each and every day.”

Oh please. We’d all be giving Skype less of hard time today if they’d just said, “We know how much you love our free calling service, and we’re committed to keeping it free so we started selling ads. We’ll do our best to find ads relevant to you and to avoid making them super annoying. Thanks for your ongoing support!”

Maybe they’ll try something like that when the launch commercial breaks inside video calls.

Fox Sports and Luminate Team Up on Stats App for Images

Today Fox Sports and Luminate rolled out a co-developed image app that brings player stats to photos across FoxSports.com, starting with the galleries in the NBA section.

Anthony Ha at TechCrunch says we’ve finally expanded beyond the label some reporters have attached to us, the “AdSense for Images.”

This is a pretty far cry from what Luminate was doing originally, which was automatically tagging fashion and entertainment images with relevant e-commerce links (so that you could see a photo of snazzy red coat, then click to buy it). The company hasn’t abandoned that idea, but it’s thinking bigger than that — last year it launched a platform for a variety of different image apps. That’s the same platform that Luminate and FoxSports used to build their current integration.

TechCrunch asked me what Fox Sports gets out of the partnership, to which I replied:

Luminate delivers value to publishers in three ways: increasing audience engagement, growing traffic by plugging images into their social strategies, and boosting revenue through advertising around the image apps. An important part of our philosophy, though, is that we always prioritize the consumer experience first, which is why the initial focus here is the stats content. The best ad-supported businesses are ones built around high-quality, deeply engaging content experiences. Opportunities for brands will follow shortly.

Something else I like about this new app: It turns each sports photo into a living, auto-updating replacement to those cardboard baseball cards I had as a kid. Now when you check out any image of your favorite player — even one from last week or last season — you’re always getting the current snapshot of his or her performance. The only thing lost is that stiff piece of gum they used to include inside each pack of cards.

Speciality Fire-Resistant Clothing Maker Spends 60% of Its Marketing Budget on Viral Video

A niche company that specializes in fire-resistant clothes for miners and oil-rig workers is spending 60% of this year’s marketing budget on an 8-minute viral video.

From NY Times:

Bulwark FR sells fire-resistant clothing worn by miners, utility workers and oil-rig workers. Pitches for Bulwark FR are typically in the traditional realm of business-to-business advertising like print ads aimed at safety engineers, catalogs and trade shows.

But now, Bulwark FR and its agency, Fitzgerald & Company in Atlanta, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies, are adopting many of the trappings of mainstream marketing in an effort to stand out and make an impression.

Bold move. From the behind-the-scenes video, it looks like viewers are in for a treat. But will the video deliver more efficient reach against Bulwark FR’s prospective customers?

(Via Get the Five.)

Nolan’s Strong Cheddar

This fake commercial by John Nolan hit the scene a few years ago and made the rounds here at Luminate today when someone spotted mouse-sized teeth marks in the foil of a protein bar in our kitchen.

It’s sort of too bad it’s not advertising a real brand. Though, of course, you might not want your potential customers associating you with a dead rat, belly up in a trap, the haunting voice of Jim Morrison reminding you of your imminent demise. Mmm, pass the Nolan’s.