20 posts categorized "Advertising"

The Back Story Behind The Darth Vader Boy in the VW SuperBowl Commercial

Unless you were offline the past few days, it's been hard to miss mentions of the (admittedly cute) VW SuperBowl ad that features a young boy playing Darth Vader, complete with the ever-impressive Star Wars soundtrack. Certainly in my circles, it has been tweeted, facebooked, blogged, and shared in pretty much any other way...

MaxpageIt turns out that there is another great part to the story... by way of Luke Armour (on Facebook), I learned that the child actor, Max Page, was a patient at the Los Angeles Children's Hospital where he received a pacemaker at 4 months of age.

It's cool to see this story behind the story... and the L.A. Children's Hospital certainly gets kudos on a several points:

  • Just getting this story out there as a blog post for people to find and share;

  • Nicely mixing in pictures and video into their post;

  • Posting the photos up to Flickr as well as the blog post;

  • Imprinting/watermarking the images with their logo for all the people, like me, who will use those images in posts like this one.

Sure, it's a textbook case of riding on a wave of viral publicity to promote your organization (L.A. Children's Hospital) and cause (children who suffer from heart conditions)... but... DUH!... that's what the communications team for an organization should be doing!

Well done, L.A. Children's Hospital! Thanks for giving us a bit more of the story behind the story. (And kudos to Max Page, too, for his well done role in the ad.)

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Apple: Masters of the Tease...

Connect to the iTunes Music Store this morning... and what do I see?


Never shy about pumping up expectations, are they? ;-)

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Will It Blend + Old Spice = Positively Brilliant!

By way of TechCrunch, who had a brilliant headline, "When Memes Collide", I learned of this new video from the good folks at BlendTec... Enjoy!

Brilliant work on BlendTec's part to merge their own viral meme with that of Old Spice! Kudos to them.

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Will Everyone Seeking a Job Now Use Adwords? (re: The Google Experiment)

You have to admit, this was a very clever way to use Google Adwords to rise above any other potential job candidates and get a message across:


Kudos to Alec Brownstein for his creativity. Setting ads on 5 people's names... getting interviews with 4 of them... job offers from 2... and now working for one of them at Young & Rubicam (Y&R) New York. All for $6 in Google AdWords spending.

Will this now create a new boom in Google Adwords spending for job seekers? :-)

Alec Brownstein even created a video about it...

P.S. And with this example, what is next? Marriage proposals via AdWords? (Or has that already been done?)

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Times when you your online ad placement does NOT work for you...

When I heard the news last night of the horrible tragedy of the plane crash in upstate New York, I jumped to CNN's web page to find out the latest news. Somehow I'm thinking this wasn't exactly the kind of ad placement Continental was looking for (not that they had any control of it):

My thoughts are certainly with the families of all those affected by this horrid tragedy. I'm flying home to NH from Orlando tonight and I do have to admit that this event will definitely be in my thoughts.

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Seeing Obama ads in Facebook, with VT primary tomorrow...

obamaadinfacebook.jpgGiven that the presidential primary here in Vermont is happening tomorrow[1], we've naturally been subjected to a heavy dosage of advertising in all mass media. I was, though, rather amused to see ads for Sen. Barack Obama appearing on my Facebook page when I was visiting the site today (see image to right). I haven't seen any ads for Sen. Hillary Clinton, but perhaps this is because, according to TechPresident.com, the Clinton campaign is apparently NOT running any web advertisements! Seems a bit odd in this day and age, but given the degree of expertise within the Clinton campaign I would have to think they have their reasons for doing this. (I would also note that TechPresident was trying to reach the Clinton campaign but had not done so before running their article.

In any event, I thought it was great to see a presidential campaign using a site like Facebook to send out messages. Because I've provided demographic data in my Facebook account they can obviously run very targeted campaigns (such as "all residents in Vermont").

By the way, if you haven't checked out TechPresident.com, I've found it a very useful site to stay up with what all of the various campaigns are doing with regard to technology, social networks, etc.

[1] Yes, we in VT are one of the two "other" states (the other one being Rhode Island) who are voting tomorrow in addition to Ohio and Texas. However, due to the tiny number of delegates we have we don't get much mention and in fact neither Clinton nor Obama have visited VT.

Eliminating podcast advertisements (and making "Podshow Suck Less") - Christopher Penn provides a script to do so

What does someone do when they can't stand the advertisements at the beginning of some podcasts?  Why, they come up with a script to remove those advertisements, of course!  Given that one of the reasons for podcasting's success, in my opinion, is the large number of people seeking an alternative to the constant bombardment of ads on commercial radio, it is to be expected that some people would seek ways to get rid of the ads that are now appearing in some podcasts.

This does,however, present a bit of a dilemma.  Many in the emerging world of podcasting are seeking ways to make a living though podcasts... to "monetize" their shows (oh, how the linguist in me abhors that word!)... and turning to advertisements is one logical step, assuming the community of listeners will stand for it.  PodShow has been one of the main folks out there experimenting with how to monetize podcasts - and it's been interesting to watch their experiments. But here you have some folks seeking a way to strip out those ads.  What's next?  Do we get a TiVo-like MP3 player that can automatically detect and move past ads in podcasts?

It's a fair warning, though, to people looking at how to market into podcasts that maybe advertisements aren't necessarily the way to go - at least with the population listening to podcasts these days. (That may change, of course, as more people move into listening to podcasts that are drawn to podcasts primarily for content rather than a dissatisfaction with the way things are today on commercial radio.)

P.S. The irony, of course, ist that the specific ad that Christopher Penn and others in NE Podcasting were seeking to remove is a ad for the "Help Podshow Suck Less" campaign that is effectively Podshow's effort to involve people in customer satisfaction surveys, etc. to make the network better.

Sun Microsystems advertising their CEO's weblog through Feedburner's Ad Network?? Huh?

 Because I am fascinated by this grand experiment called "social media", I like to play with various aspects just to see what might happen.  So for the last couple of months, I've been experimenting with ads in a couple of my RSS feeds through the Feedburner Ad Network.  I definitely do not expect to make any money off of it... for me it's more an experiment to see if anyone actually clicks through on ads in RSS feeds!

Due to the higher number of subscribers, most placements have been targeted toward my Blue Box podcast, and it's been both interesting and entertaining to see what ad campaigns are requested.  Because I feel a certain level of responsibility and respect for Blue Box listeners/subscribers, I'm very picky about what I let run.  There have been a few that were appropriate... and a few that weren't.

The newest campaign I was asked to approve, though, gave my head a bit of a spin. As you can see in the image to the right (click for a larger view), it's a campaign by Sun Microsystems to promote CEO Jonathan Schwartz's weblog!  As you'll note, I approved it since I figured it might actually be something of interest to our listeners (and you can see my nice spray paint job in Windows Paint to obscure the campaign details :-).  But think about this for a minute...  here is a very large company spending some of its advertising dollars to promote a weblog through ads in various RSS feeds!

Pretty interesting space we're in, eh?

Business Week: Podcasts are the next big ad medium

 Yesterday, Business Week posted "The Next Big Ad Medium: Podcasts", with the subtitle "Advertisers will spend more than $400 million on podcasting by 2011, but they're still not sure who will be listening to them". It reports on research out of eMarketer about the growing amount of money to be spent on podcasts...  and provides some speculation about potential audio advertising services to be provided by Google.  It also references the launch of Podtrac, a service to connect podcasters and advertisers.  I don't know how real the numbers may or may not be, but certainly the reality is that more and more folks are moving to listening to podcasts versus commercial radio, so naturally the advertising will follow.  I have to think advertising will morph a bit to fit the medium, though.  Many people, myself included, turn to podcasts because they are sick of the amount of ads in commercial programs.  Certainly there will be some podcasts that replicate the traditional radio model... and some that have ads at the beginning and end... but I wonder how they'll work.  It may be that "sponsorships" work better.  We'll see.  Odds are that there will be many different models just as right now there are many different kinds of podcasts.  The fun part about the medium...

Using FeedBurner Networks to build "The One Feed To Rule Them All".... all Dan York... all the time... :-

If you have multiple blogs, how do you easily create a single RSS feed that aggregates all of your blogs?  I have faced this issue directly with my migration from a single weblog into a network of blogs.  Some of my readers may, for whatever reason, still want to read all my writing (and to my amazement something like 15 people have subscribed to this feed I'm talking about below).

As I first wrote about over on my personal blog, there is a way now to do this. By using FeedBurner's relatively new "Networks" feature (FAQ here), I have now created the "Dan York - All Feeds" network. There is now a webpage with recent posts and links to the blogs and then an aggregated RSS feed that combines posts in all blogs.

Now, if you look at FeedBurner's list of Networks, you'll see a wide range of uses.  Dave Jones put together one that may be of interest to readers (if you are not already aware) called the Public Relations feed.  It provides a nice list of PR-related feeds and, like mine above, gives you a webpage with sample posts and an aggregated feed.  Each blog included can use a "badge" to promote their inclusion in the network.  For instance, you can look at Dave Jones' blog to see the PR network badge in the top of his right sidebar.  Note that you can click a link to advertise in the network or you can explore network members.

Which gets to the larger point -  FeedBurner is really targeting its "Networks" as a way to enable advertisers to advertise across a series of feeds, i.e. a bunch of feed publishers can band together and then, if they want, get advertising that goes across all their feeds.  Presumably they will have far greater numbers together and thus be able to attract bigger advertisers.

So obviously by building my own private network, I'm twisting the intent a bit.  And the advertisting focus did impact my efforts a bit because in order to create a FeedBurner Network, you have to have a blog that is a member of the FeedBurner Ad Network (FAN).  With a FAN-activated feed, you can then create a Network.  NOTE: None of the other feeds HAVE to be FAN members, but at least one must.  Once you have created a Network, you can invite other people to add feeds via email, or you can add one of your other FAN-activated feeds.

Given this, my steps to create the network were basically:

1. Login to FeedBurner, go to "My Networks" and click "Create a network"
2. Choose one of my FAN-activated feeds to "anchor" the network.
3. Fill out the form and, under "Privacy", switch it from the default of "Public" to "Private".
4. Submit the form and proceed to the page to invite members.
5. Add any of your other FAN-activated feeds to the network using the easy form.
6. Send yourself an email invitation for each of the other feeds to invite them in.
7. For each invitation, accept it on behalf of each different feed.
8. Sit back and enjoy your aggregated feed and site.

Now, if you think about step #6 for a moment... I have 8 feeds I wanted to aggregate, yet only 3 of those are FAN members.  So, yes, indeed, I sent 5 separate invites to my own inbox. I then clicked the link in each separate email and entered FeedBurner to accept membership in my new network for each of the different feeds.  In the end, I did wind up with my "one giant Dan York feed", but the separate email invites was a bit tedious.

Of course, I do understand perhaps why FeedBurner doesn't make this overly easy for non-FAN feeds.  FeedBurner is a business and they are experimenting with the whole FAN idea and the concept of getting advertisers to insert ads in feeds.  So it's in their interest to encourage feeds to be in the FAN so that they have more feeds for advertisers to join into.  So it makes sense in that way.  It may also very well be that the folks at FeedBurner didn't really think people would do what I did here. 

In any event, I thought I'd post this for those of you who: a) use FeedBurner; and b) have multiple blogs/podcasts/feeds/etc.

Let me know what you think... and if for some reason you really want to see all my writing across all my blogs, the feed is now there (well, actually, that's the web page... the feed is down in the lower right marked "Network Feed").

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