You are currently browsing the archives for the Microsoft category.

Logos Make a Mark on Five Year Olds

I’m guessing you’ve already seen this video made by graphic designer Adam Ladd and his five-year-old daughter. She thinks Google Chrome looks like a beachball, and “beachballs are really colorful!” To her Jaguar, Puma and Greyhound logos are all the same — cheetahs! — which is probably great for Greyhound, but not so great for the other two that a young innocent set of eyes can’t tell their logos apart from the one for a long-distance bus line. And I love her interpretation of the Golden Arches: An M for McDonalds that’s made out of french fries. (Does everyone think that? I never made the french fry connection.)

What’s most interesting to me, though, is how thoroughly the logos in her life have come stand in for whole categories of products and services. I’m guessing her family doesn’t own an X-Box, but her friend does and she thinks of its logo as “the thing that controls the TV at Ryan’s house.” She knows that the Mercedes logo is attached to cars and recognizes the Pepsi logo as “the pop from the pizza place.” Starbucks and BP symbols have achieved even more: They’ve become visual synonyms for coffee and gas, products this kids is still years away from consuming herself.

Google’s Top Search Advertisers

The biggest chunk of Google’s revenue, search advertising, continues to be dominated by the titans of direct response: Wireless carriers, ecommerce sites, travel and financial services. IAC (,, Citysearch, etc) was the #1 search buyer in the first 9 months of 2011. Microsoft, General Motors, Avis and Enterprise also make the top 20.

Kantar Media data as reported on Ad Age. Above chart from Business Insider.

64% of Online Ad Dollars Go to Five Companies

Marketshare award still goes to Google. Most improved player: Facebook.

More at the Business Insider.

Marketshare: US Online Display Ad Spending

From Wall Street Journal’s article AOL Growth Comes At A Cost, which says “[AOL] isn’t earning enough money selling ads on those sites to cover its costs for a profitable business, analysts say.”

Google Makes It Look Easy to Make Money

According to its most recent earnings call, Microsoft continues to lose a lot of money from its online operations — almost three-quarters of billion dollars last quarter alone (via Business Insider).

Meanwhile Google made $2.51 billion in net income on more than $9 billion in revenue last quarter (NY Times). What’s the secret? Advertising! Search ads represent 97% of Google’s total revenue. (Fun infographic at Wired).

Since many of those ads run on other people’s sites — publishers that participate in Google’s AdSense program — I got to wondering how much of Google’s advertising bounty they share with the rest of the ecosystem. According to The Next Web:

“Through its AdSense programs, Google’s partner sites generated revenues of $2.48 billion, or 28% of total revenues, in the second quarter of 2011, representing a 20% increase from second quarter 2010 network revenues of $2.06 billion. The Internet behemoth shared $2.11 billion with advertising partners this quarter, which is 24% of its income from advertising, and $1.75 billion of that number was paid out to Adsense partners.”

Does that mean total AdSense revenues for the quarter were $2.48 billion plus $1.75 billion, or $4.23 billion? If that’s the case, Google is keeping 59% of revenue from ads on their partners’ sites, and partners get 41%.

200 Brands With the Largest Ad Budgets

Would you have guessed that Chevy spends more than Ford or Toyota? Or that Macy’s spends more than Target? Other rankings that surprised me: Arm & Hammer spends more than Gatorade, Kia spends more than Volkswagen, and Ashley Furniture spends more than Ikea.

Check out this great infographic that ranks the top 200 brands by the size of their 2009 and 2010 ad budgets.

Top Auto Ad Spenders

The top two in each category (first, second):

Auto: Chevy, Ford
Retail: Walmart, Macy’s
Apparel: Skechers, Nike
Telecom: AT&T, Verizon
Restaurants: McDonald’s, Subway
Food and Beverage: Coke, Campbell
Beer: Budweiser, Miller
Cleaning Products: Tide, Clorox
Financial Services: American Express, Chase
Beauty and Personal Care: L’Oreal Paris, Olay
Insurance: Geico, Progressive
Consumer Electronics: Microsoft, Apple
Media: DirecTV, Dish Network
Drugs: Lipitor, Cialis

Federated Media’s CM Summit 2011: ChasNote Round Up

My favorite stats, quotes and comments from this year’s Conversational Marketing Summit.

Starcom Mediavest Group CEO Laura Desmond talked of the migration of ad dollars from analog to digital media. Two years ago her clients spent 85% of their budgets on traditional outlets, 15% digital. Now digital’s share of investment is twice that.

Digital makes us realize brand and DR aren't distinct silos

She also wants to pull the plug on market mix modeling. As audiences began to spend more time with digital media at the expense of traditional, analog content, the modeling tools overlooked the change, which slowed the migration of ad dollars to digital. On winning the Microsoft business: Our companies shared a strategic view that Microsoft must pivot from being a “marketer of ads to a marketer of experiences.”

American Express VP for Business Apps Management Robert Ciccone shared research showing that 44% of small businesses are using social media to acquire new customers. Given how many SMBs depend on local customers, I was surprised that only 2% say they’re using Foursquare.

Tumblr founder David Karp shared his company’s very impressive numbers. Last year the site did 250 million pageviews, now they’re doing that many each day. The marketer case studies didn’t knock my socks off — they’ve got some work to do here.

Tumblr audience traffic stats

Founder and CEO of GetJar Ilja Laurs says the app industry will be as large as the entire music industry in 3 years.

App industry will be as large as music industry in 3 years

Twitter CRO Adam Bain announced that Twitter will launch its self-service ad-buying platform this year. They’re hoping that will grow their roster of advertisers from the 600 they have today to Facebook or Google levels. Sounds like brands are ready and willing:

CMOs ask How Twitter not Why Twitter

Blackberry’s had a rough patch in recent years, but VP Brian Wallace shared impressive numbers on their social media performance: They have 15 million fans in Facebook, who are collectively connected to 400 million of Facebook’s 600 million members.

Yahoo’s Chief Product Officer Blake Irving demo’d Livestand. It’s a new model in which publishers need to think like digital marketers, he said.

Some other quotes I enjoyed:

Color CEO

Shlain on digital shabat on Obama

Only losers will pay for sex or advertising

Microsoft Ads Featuring Double Rainbow Guy

From urlesque:

“Paul ‘Bear’ Vasquez, the man who famously saw a double rainbow all the way across the sky, has extended his day in the sun by starring in some new Microsoft ads. The first ad recreates the double rainbow event from a new angle, and then shows Bear putting the photos on Windows Live Gallery. The second one is an interview with Bear that ends with an endorsement of Windows Live.”

Thanks, Jean!

Microsoft-sponsored ExecTweets in BusinessWeek

BusinessWeek’s piece on the “Twitter ecosystem” includes ExecTweets, a project sponsored by Microsoft and pulled together with the help of Twitter, Universal McCann and FM.

“Big advertisers are keen to get their message in front of certain Twitter niche groups, such as business executives. Microsoft is sponsoring Exectweets, a site that streams in Twitter musings from business leaders including Virgin Chairman Richard Branson and AOL co-founder Steve Case (pictured). The site was created by Federated Media, which shares revenue from Exectweets with Twitter.”

Steve Case

World's Most Valuable Brands

Interbrand’s Best 100 Global Brands (see Ad Age) puts Coke in the #1 spot again this year. Microsoft slid one position, from #2 to #3. Big upward movers were Google (+43%), Apple (+24), and Amazon (+19). BlackBerry broke onto the list for the first time at #73.