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January 23, 2007No Comments

ON: Super Bowl Commercials Live Second Life Online

More than 50 commercials appeared during Super Bowl XL on Sunday,
but instead of vanishing into the ether as they once did, many have
already found a "second life" online, writes the New York Times (via
MarketingVox). This year, many have been officially made available
through streaming video online - for watching, forwarding, adding to
personal web pages, and even downloading to video iPods. And the
post-game ad buzz is taking the hurt off the estimated $2.5 million
price tag for each 30-second ad.

Among those that have put up videos of Super Bowl commercials are AOL, Google, MSN,
Yahoo and ifilm.com, as well as sites run by the National Football
League and media outlets such as ESPN, USA Today and the Wall Street
Journal.

The websites of Super Bowl advertisers such as FedEx, Ford, the Bud
Light and Budweiser brands, and GM's Cadillac and Hummer brands, have
posted ads - and some have created microsites for the commercials.

Intelliseek chief marketing officer Pete Blackshaw is quoted as
saying the microsites are the equivalent of using TiVo. "It's about
consuming advertising at your own pace, and the microsites are almost
like portals for watching ads.

ON: Super Bowl Commercials Live Second Life Online via @jpenabickley

January 8, 2007No Comments

ON:Bebo Launches Ad-Supported Widgets

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U.K.-based social network Bebo is set to roll out ad-supported
widgets - small web applications that users can embed into their
profiles - in an effort to make advertising more relevant to its
members.

Bebo VP of Sales and Business Development Jim
Scheinman calls it "engagement marketing," designed to combine web ads
with user-directed viral marketing, reports AdWeek (via MarketingVox). "To the Beboer, they don't look at it like advertising but great content," he said.

Already, Bebo
allows users to choose from three photo-sharing widgets (for Slide,
Photobucket, and Rockyou). Ad-supported widgets will take many shapes,
like interactive games. The widgets could be classified as branded
utility, a marketing tactic.

Bebo had 1.4 million unique users in November, according to
Nielsen/NetRatings, and is aiming for 30 million by end of 2007. It
currently offers just one ad unit per page, like Facebook.

Related stories:

ON:Bebo Launches Ad-Supported Widgets via @jpenabickley

September 25, 2006No Comments

ON: Blog Networks Expand Rosters, Ad Offerings

Some major blog ad networks are expanding rapidly, and therefore confronting inevitable growing pains.

Federated
Media recently added a new automotive category and some 20 assorted
blogs, including Guy Kawasaki's, boosting the blog network's monthly
impressions to "hundreds of millions," Federated's chairman, John
Battelle, told ClickZ (via
MarketingVox). However, the recent batch of acquisitions could be the
last for a while as Federated seeks to build the infrastructure needed
to support further growth.

Competitor AdBrite is also growing quickly, having recently added
the 20,000th site to its network; the company plans to shortly
introduce new demographic planning and campaign management tools.
Though the network's roots are in blogs, it has expanded to other
publisher sites, and blogs are now only a small part of the network.

Meanwhile, Henry Copeland's BlogAds network is moving to a more
robust platform to accommodate even more sites. Copeland wants to
expand the stable of blogs available to advertisers, and also increase
the number of "mini-networks," blogs segmented by topic, such as
football or politics. He also wants to arrange ad buys on political
blogs by state, in time for the 2008 election.

ON: Blog Networks Expand Rosters, Ad Offerings via @jpenabickley

September 21, 2006No Comments

ON: LonelyGirl15

Posing as a teenager making an amateur video while confined to her room by overly religious parents, Jessica Rose Lee burst out of YouTube's daily flow of consumer-generated slush to become a cultlike national celebrity known as LonelyGirl15.

The YouTube videos were designed to appear as if a gently rebellious and quite precocious young girl was secretly talking to the entire world through her computer, while, just a door away, her strict parents sat smugly in the belief that their daughter had been firmly grounded. It seemed a dramatic and compelling real-life story that ultimate drew a large viral audience of teenagers. But professionals soon noted that, despite its filmed-in-my-bedroom look,  LonelyGirl15's video was as slick as it was consistent in its pacing and editing. And the young teen herself was able to create a thematically coherent storyline through each of her appearances. Last week the whole thing was revealed as a scripted hoax.

Ms. Rose is an actress who has studied at the New York Film Academy and was hired to do the viral videos as part of an advance guerilla promotion for an unnamed movie. The incident is the latest in which marketing communications professionals have invested significant amounts of their time, skills and money to create fictional events that have been presented to the online world as if they were factual. Some critics say that the practice is helping establish the online media space as a place where readers and viewers can't really trust what they see or hear, no matter how authentic it looks. Others argue that in the new upside-down world of consumer-controlled world of media and advertising, anything goes so long as it works.

What do you think?

My question to you: Do you think the YouTube LonelyGirl15 stunt was brilliant marketing or irresponsible deception? (comments welcome)

ON: LonelyGirl15 via @jpenabickley

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