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The latest in new media marketing strategies and tactics:

“Angry Birds” To Star in Super Bowl Ad

Not sure which is more remarkable. That a 99 cent social game for mobile phones is running a Super Bowl spot, or that said game is being turned into a movie. Seeing them embedding game play components into the commercial is cool — brings alternative tactics like that to the forefront given the global impact of the spot — even though that trick has been done before.

Facebook Introduces a Credibility Score With New Social Commenting Plugin

This is great news for brands hoping to attract quality engagement on their site and Facebook Pages. Anyone involved in monitoring Facebook Pages comments for brands has dealt with trolls. This tool is helping identify them, exposing their behavior to members of the community. This should also be functional on a brand’s site pages, and overall should lift the caliber of discussions on their Facebook-networked properties.

The Rise And Fall Of Content Farms

This article is a great read on why brands looking to create distinction should avoid the mass-generated content-farm approach. The bottom line is, Google has an entire building packed with PhDs presently trying to prevent this model from succeeding, because it’s not adding value to the search results driving their business . That may change, but it will likely mean changes to the current content farming business. The article’s comments are full of contrarian views, and I’m curious if it’s from some of those 380,000 writers at content farm Associated Content?

Apple, Campbell’s Say iAds Twice as Effective as TV – Advertising Age – Digital

Is anyone even remotely surprised by this? A new ad unit with unprecedented intrusiveness on a media device users are enamored with. Sounds a lot like the Internet and banner ads in, say, 1995. What this really supports is that companies should approach new media more aggressively overall.

Sequoia-Backed Hearsay Launches Social Media Platform For Corporations With Local Branches

A way for brands to manage social media across franchises makes a lot of sense. I’d guess this service takes off big.

Artist Heat Map Makes Music Discovery Visual

I’m a fan of Rhapsody, and one of my favorite features of the site is the module on an artists page where they show related artists who came before, during or after the artist your viewing. It gives a nice sense of relationship and lineage to the world of music. Hitlantic has essentially taken that and made it visual. It’s a little rough right now, but they’re still pre-VC funding (another example of how small creative groups are developing big ideas).

Coca-Cola Reveals 15 Finalists in Branded Mobile App Contest

This is an interesting idea, and I applaud Coca-Cola for taking the forward steps they have in the area of UGC. Now that UGC is moving past ads and into apps, though, I feel it’s taking on much bigger territory, and in addition to hiring an agency to develop your creative or running a contest, there’s a third option. Monitor what’s going on, and buy or coop it. Commercials are very limited in scope, and there certainly aren’t nearly as many people creating them as apps. Much of that is because there’s limited monetary up side to creating a commercial, unless you’re pursuing a career directing or producing them. But apps live in a much larger arena. Instead of throwing a UGC contest, which most people will tell you takes a lot of admin, why not monitor what’s going on and then work a deal with the developer, possibly even taking over the app for a reasonable buyout? With over 300,000 apps in the Apple store, there’s no shortage of talent to pull from.

CHART OF THE DAY: The Most Successful Facebook Ads

While data by industry leaves a lot of room for variance among creative executions, it’s interesting to note the general response rates. And while I’ll always have an issue with the Click-thru Rate metric, Facebook currently doesn’t feature view-thru data for their paid media ads.

DealExtreme: $93.60 M001 7″ Touch Screen Google Android 1.6 Tablet PC

Android tablets for under $100. This may be an extreme example right now, but it does indicate the direction things are going, and the growing commoditization of technology devices. No wonder Apple’s putting so much effort behind selling apps and not just the devices that display them.


The latest in new media marketing strategies and tactics:

14-year-old knocks “Angry Birds” from top spot – Holy Kaw!

I don’t think anything points to the breakdown of barriers and old-guard structures like this story. The industry of creating impacting experiences is an open field.

Starbucks Starts Accepting Mobile Payments Nationwide

I love this. And while I like new tech like any other early adopter, this is what it’s really all about. Quote: “In testing, Starbucks assessed the mobile payment option by measuring application speed, transaction speed and total customer wait time, says Brady Brewer, vice president of Starbucks Card and brand loyalty. In all instances, Starbucks Card Mobile was the fastest way for customers to pay.”

Eric Schmidt: All of Google’s Strategic Initiatives in 2011 are Mobile

More signs that mobile’s growth is only going to accelerate. Keep in mind that although there’s an enormous iPhone craze going on, only about 20% of the mobile phones in the US are smartphones. That’s a lot of headroom for growth, and much of Google’s mobile efforts will make phones both more powerful (thus desirable), and cheaper. That’s a powerful combo.

Startup Personalizes and Socializes Desktop Wallpaper

As i’ve written before, I find startups interesting to follow because the difference between a startup and a brand experience is becoming virtually indistinguishable, in terms of the end product. Here’s another example of a product that a number of companies could have come up with … anyone from Nikon to Kodak to Apple. Instead, it’s a small startup that got it out the door.

Social Media Breeds Edvertorial –

A very good read. And while the content trend has been building for a while, it seems poised to begin accelerating as digital-based spending did about 7 years ago. This article focuses on the fashion industry, but of course the concept applies to just about any category.

Washington Post Lauches SocialCode, a Facebook Brand-builder – MarketingVOX

Last November my speech at AdTech focused a lot on the trend of publishers getting into the marketing game. This is a huge play along those lines. Details are a bit murky, but what’s clear is that companies are starting to view their communications from a much more content-oriented angle.

Beware the Ad-Industrial Complex. | The Drift from Upstream

I like the parallel Doug Weaver draws in this, between Eisenhower’s self-perpetuating “Military Industrial Complex” and the ad industry, which stands at a point where often the best advice would be to minimize spending in the very manner which they derive much of their profits.

Facebook, Facebook, Facebook » Sociological Images

This is a rather sarcastic look at how the Washington Post has splattered Facebook all over their pages. And while this particular example may be a little over the top, the annotated screen grab serves as a pretty good outline for what all the opportunities are for integrating social media plugins into your a given site.

Life After Santa

Funny new campaign for the Prius. There are a lot of quirky cultural references. It’s quite a comprehensive campaign, including a lot of live location-based events, which are then shot on video for social media distribution. It’s a smart way to do something on a local level and extend that to the larger social media environment.

Keen On… Kevin Kelly: What Does Kevin Kelly Want? (TCTV)

Given KK’s background, I’m always fascinated with what he has to say. Most interesting to me is his comparison in the second video between the early days of Internet experiences, circa 1985, versus today, and how the two are really entirely different mediums. I completely agree, and the long term implication is that the Web is constantly evolving the way no other medium ever has. While all mediums have content shifts throughout their lifespans, the pace of technological progress on the Web gives it an entirely new dimension. One that requires keeping up with trends the way no previous medium ever has.

4 Ways Predictive Analytics Are Being Applied to Business

As someone once said, “The information revolution came and went, and the information won.” What we’ve been left with is a lot of information and little sense of what to make of it. Perhaps the most interesting trend in marketing at the moment is the way data is being crunched and insights derived from it. And the next step beyond figuring out what’s going on is what WILL be going on.


The latest in content development trends for digital marketing:

Ads Drive the Most “Likes” for Brands on Facebook [STUDY]

going by the wayside. In fact, when tightly aligned with content development efforts, it should be even more effective, as you’ll have both tighter continuity between your advertising and your real brand experience. You’ll also have a likely stronger conversion offering, as content is one of the big reasons for anyone following, or Liking, a brand.

An iPhone app’s real money returns

There’s a lot of curiosity out there around how much you can make from a mobile app, so it’s nice to see someone spit out some hard numbers. These aren’t enormous figures, either. While it will certainly squeeze small developers, there’s a big opportunity for brands to develop many of these apps. Or even buy them out from existing developers, and rebrand the app. For many apps, the real value is in the concept. The backend technologies can easily be replicated, and user experiences can be greatly improved through time and access to good creatives. Both of those are areas brands should be able to excel in. And by pricing them at free, brands can increase the odds of both existing and new customers participating in a tight brand experience.

Understanding How and Why Facebook Users Interact with Brands

As more stats come on Facebook usage, we’re seeing that consumers are not only open to ongoing communications with brand Pages, but they seek out the content. And it’s not surprising that the majority of them are looking for sales and promotions. As brand loyalists, they should be the first to know about any special deals or limited supply merchandise. And close behind the % who want promotions is people looking for good content, often in the form of entertainment. This is both the big opportunity for brands, and where many of them could completely lose it. If they take their fans for granted, or don’t spend enough effort understanding their customer’s content interests, it’s easy for them to move their relationship to another brand.

RareWire – iPad content development platform

While much of this demo is targeted to the publishing industry, i think there’s a big opportunity for brands to put various types of information into this format. From an auto company’s brochures, to a store’s catalog, to a hotel’s guest guide. It’s an impressive demonstration, especially considering publishing from a PDF is a matter of a day or two. Techs like this could breathe new life into PDFs.

Google Engineer Builds Facebook Disconnect

While the creator of this Chrome browser extension explicitly states that this wasn’t backed by his employer, Google, it brings up an interesting situation. The idea of companies creating tools and apps that help people stop using their competitors products. And while I’d advise any brand out there to focus on what they can do to be better, versus a more negative approach, in a crowdsourcing world where large brands can probably find someone out there to build something like this, it could introduce some pretty ugly scenarios.

Marketing: Mobile to Become a $1 Billion Business in U.S. – Advertising Age

There aren’t many categories in this economy with growth charts like this. What’s also interesting — and a big plus for creative marketers — is that mobile display advertising is slated to surpass text messaging in revenues this year. Text advertising, by it’s very intrusiveness, has limited capacity, so my guess is display will pass it convincingly.

5 Mobile User Experiences That Wowed Us in 2010 [Mashable Awards

Good examples of mobile experiences across a number of industry categories.

It’s On: Google Launches Demo Slam

Lodged somewhere between absurdist humor and functional product demonstration, I seriously like the understatement that product demo’s don’t have to be dry as burnt toast. The two I saw were both highly memorable.

5 Lessons Learned from Angry Birds Launch on Android: Tech News

It’s interesting to note that iPhone users don’t seem to be clicking on ads the same rate that Android users are, although they don’t qualify that claim. More impacting is the hassle with which developers go through in Q/A for the various Android devices, which are seeing more and more fragmentation as the platform continues growth. Looking at past parallels, that fragmentation didn’t stop Windows from blowing away Mac years ago. But that also had a big difference in that Windows gained an early platform lead. iPhone still has more overall users than Android, but recent trends have Android selling more phones per quarter.

First Look: Starbucks Digital Network Is Here

The description of this as the digital version of the community cork board in their stores is a great vision for where this will go. Right now, it doesn’t seem to have the localization of that cork board, but then again, they’ve just rolled it out, and it makes sense to roll out with content of national interest for the efficiencies of scale. I like the explanation for why they’re doing this. To create engagement, because consumers have a choice. Whether you call it engagement, experiential marketing, or content development, the principle is the same. This is the way marketers are now choosing to make an impact with their current and potential customers.


The latest in content development trends for digital marketing:

A Streetwalking Geek With a Hide Full of Napalm: Sony VP James Williamson Will Tear Your Freaking Face Off

A quick fun read about a punk rocker turned corporate VP, and then right back to punk rocker.

Fox Pulls Down Banksy ‘Simpsons’ Video From YouTube

I was set to post the YouTube vid of this, but despite it being pulled, it’s raised an interesting discussion around YouTube’s viral impact on this. The big question is, Could this have spread on Hulu? Probably, but not as quickly or as universally. And in a tipping point world where if something doesn’t catch on at the right moment, that can be a serious detriment to its taking off in a big way.

Google’s Self-Driving Car is Just the Beginning

An excellent overview of both the Google self-driving car as well as the Internet of Things. Check out the second video for a good explanation of the Internet of Things.

Spinning in Circos – Web-hosted data visualization tool

If you’re looking for a great way to add zip to any presentation, data visualization is key. But it can often take a lot of time and effort. This is a tool that promises to make that easier. How effectively this works across all data probably takes some experience working with it, but the idea behind this — instant data visualization — is great.

Top 5 Mobile Advertising Trends To Watch

Mobile is the leading edge of emerging media, and these are the trends to follow. Keep in mind how often early adopters in new media marketing reap the big PR rewards.

Facebook Brand Pages Pay Off

Facebook Page Fans are genuinely interested in the brand: 92% of them in this study are considered brand advocates. And what’s the key to a successful Facebook Page? Content. Fresh, quality content.

Business-Oriented Tools Appear on This Week’s List of Emerging Facebook Apps

Most interesting in this list is the type of business-oriented tools. Page management systems. This is a rich and growing area, as good chunks of VC money have been going into leaders in this area. And that should bring pricing down, making Page management better and more accessible overall.

Bing Gets Something Google Can’t Get, Facebook Data

The projection that within a year this could be giving Bing better search results than Google is huge. It was relevant search results that catapulted Google to the top so quickly. Content developers have to take SEO into heavy consideration, and this puts an entirely new slant on increasing your rankings.

8 Things We Still Hate About the Web – Yahoo! News

A good gut-check on the Web user experience as a whole. It’s always a good idea to even minor UX nags in mind when developing brand experiences for mainstream users.


What’s going on in new media marketing, pulled from social bookmarking site

Where Good Ideas Come From [VIDEO]

Excellent animated video on where good ideas come from. A lot of this will ring true to the importance of conversation monitoring, which is really just a way of plugging yourself into the community, or conversation, that the author talks about in this video.

Digital Marketing: Security Tech CAPTCHAs as Advertising – Advertising Age

Most of the time it’s annoying when advertising creeps into every nook and cranny of daily life, but this idea comes off as clever, and really making a pretty drab event — entering CAPTCHA info — a bit more interesting. And for brands, getting viewers to actually type out their tagline or product features based on a paid impression is pretty remarkable. One of the more clever new ad units I’ve seen in a while. The only limit will be that there really aren’t that many times a user has to see CAPTCHA’s, assuming they have cookies turned on.

The State of YouTube Mobile: Viewing up 160%, Operator Partnerships Sought

A couple of interesting things in this piece. For one, Google’s not happy with the way Apple’s YouTube app works, and are promoting the WAP version of YouTube mobile, instead. It offers a considerably better user experience, which shows that WAP has a lot to offer versus native app development. Secondly, Apple controls the YouTube app on iPhone, and if they can’t keep a major brand like Google up with the latest and greatest mobile experience, then it really underscores how much this brand really needs the larger development community on it’s side, and developing apps like mad for their platform.

SCVNGR provides deeper integration with Facebook Places

I’m following SCVNGR closely, as they seem to be the most aggressive of the location-based apps at trying to figure out survival in a post-Facebook Places world. It’s also interesting, because they’re backed by $4m from Google Ventures. And Google would love to kill both the social and mobile birds with one stone. But I still feel like SCVNGR lacks the simplicity to really go mainstream. For one, it requires an app download, a big barrier, whereas Facebook’s mobile app already has 100m users. And then there’s that problem of less than 1% of all mobile phone users use a location-based app more than 1x per week. So driving consistent use is going to be a real challenge. But the logic behind SCVNGR’s actions are on target, as they get that it’s ultimately about making brands more dynamic on their Facebook properties.

Digital Marketing: The Top 10 Viral Ads of All Time – Advertising Age

Just ran across this list. What I find interesting is that most of them are from the past two years. I’d think having more time on to accrue views would help. My guess is that two factors contribute to the recency of the leaders. One is that companies are getting better at promoting their videos, versus just tossing them on YouTube and telling a couple of forums about it. And secondly, the metrics tracking these views are improving, as they’re extending the analysis beyond YouTube views alone.

“WiFi on steroids” gets final rules, drops spectrum sensing

Any involved in online marketing should be a fan of anything that dials up our broadband speeds here in the US. They’ve been rated as low as 25th in the world, or something abysmal like that. But this is great. Take some unused TV spectrum and allocate it to wireless broadband. And I like that they’re focusing on wireless. It may not have the topend speeds of cable now, but ultimately it will be the most cost effective solution to scale, and seems like the most probably path to blanket coverage.

Phones Begin to Replace Hotel Keycards – Popwuping

Simply a smart way to differentiate yourself amid a battered travel industry. While it might not be enough to attract new customers, this will certainly make a strong impression on anyone who uses it (assuming no bugs, of course!). It also shows how companies need to focus on consumer touchpoints, and not media inventory, when looking at ways to make a real impression.

Hand Craft Your Way to Great Prizes in Etsy API Contest

Etsy is an interesting company to watch, as they’re developing a reputation for interesting, community-centered marketing campaigns. Earlier, they had a UGC video contest (, and now an open API contest, with cash prizes. A couple things are truly helping them in these efforts. One is having a product that naturally attracts a lot of creative, artistic people. The other is having VC Fred Wilson ( as one of your backers.

5 Important New Trends in Location

An overview of the post-Facebook Places location-based services landscape. As expected, this is quickly moving from fun and games to real functionality. And that’s the big opportunity for brands. Because you may need several million people to make a game fun, but good functionality can be delivered on a 1-1 basis.