Advertising Agency: Y&R, Israel
From Ads of the World.
Archive for May, 2007
Wednesday, Microsoft unveiled a new computing device dubbed “Surface”, a tabletop computing device more than five years in the making that it says it will deliver on the promise of an alternative form of computer-human interaction by the end of the year. Marketed (for now anyway) just for business and entertainment purposes only (to places like tech-savvy restaurateurs and casinos), the device presents information using an intuitive touch screen interface based on a display embedded in a table top.
With a hefty price tag up to $10,000 per table, the enticement to businesses is its potential as an advertising medium, naturally.
As shown in the video, when you place a drink down on to the Surface, it displays graphics, and advertising. There’s a map mode, similar to Google Maps. When you point to your destination it brings up directions and information, which can be dragged to your Windows Mobile powered smartphone (though I can’t help but feel it makes the smartphone like an iPhone with a giant table attached).
There is no keyboard or mouse. All interactions with the computer are done via touching the surface of the computer’s screen with hands or brushes, or via wireless interaction with devices such as smartphones, digital cameras or Microsoft’s Zune music player. Because of the cameras, the device can also recognize physical objects; for instance credit cards or hotel “loyalty” cards.
The company’s initial customers are cellular carrier T-Mobile, which will use the units in its retail stores; hotel operator Starwood, which owns brands including Sheraton and Westin; casino owner Harrah’s; and slot-game maker IGT. Each of the initial partners should have a few initial machines up and running around November.
Surprise #1: As I came back from lunch today I was faced with this sign posted on the glass next to the garage entrance to our office building.
My first thought was that something terrible must have happened in the building (or nearby) recently to predicate posting this strange sign. There’s just an ad agency and real estate company in the building, so the building is not a likely target of would-be robbers.
Surprise #2: As I showed the picture I had taken on my phone to our receptionist and ask if she knew what had happened, I find out that signs like this are being posted all over the city. At restaurants, businesses and more. Apparently the City Council passed an ordinance that allows people to legally carry concealed guns as a result of a new state law. Our mayor tried to veto it, but there were enough votes to override his veto. There are exceptions, including places where the business owner or the person in charge of the property decides to ban weapons. So hence the signs going up on front doors.
While I am usually up to speed on happenings, I knew nothing about this ordinance (because I would have been vocally against it). I must have been out of town or somehow completely missed any news coverage on this.
Frankly, I hate guns. And now I can’t get the visions out of my head of a bunch of crazy urban/suburbanites packing heat all around me.
And I’ll bet that car break-ins outside of businesses who have decided to ban guns will now spike.
The ongoing saga of Julie Roehm….in the latest legal filing she’s flinging back mud at Wal-Mart.
According to this story in AgAge: “In a 42-page reply to Wal-Mart’s scorching counterclaim over her wrongful discharge and breach-of-contract suit, Ms. Roehm accuses Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott of ethics violations — specifically buying yachts and a pink diamond at “preferential prices” — via an improper business relationship during his time as VP-merchandising.
The filing also accuses other Wal-Mart executives of receiving gratuities that would be deemed improper under company policy. They include former chief marketing officer and current Chief Merchandising Officer John Fleming, as well as Raul Vazquez, now CEO of Wal-Mart.com, who as VP-marketing of that unit helped Ms. Roehm lead Wal-Mart’s now infamous 2006 agency review. “
Everyone is getting dirty in this one.
If you watched the American Idol finale on Tuesday night, you may have seen the new 15-second KFC spot from Draft/FCB made entirely of consumer generated content. This is a twist on the current trend of asking consumers to create content for commercials because in fact, the stars of these videos had no idea they’d end up on national TV.
The latest in KFC’s new campaign, “The Bucket’s Back” features a dozen or so short clips of people celebrating– jumping, dancing, and even blowing out birthday candles on a KFC bucket of chicken-which the company has morphed into a “Celebration” of its zero grams trans fat conversion last month.
The company says the stars and amateur videographers were surprised to hear about their upcoming prime-time appearances. One young woman, who is shown dancing in her sister’s kitchen, ironically had tried out for “American Idol” but never made the cut.
Apparently the SAG (Screen Actor Guild) folks are concerned. The impact of new media on traditional advertising production is being evaluated in a study sponsored by SAG and other media and acting organizations.
It’s been rumored for a couple weeks that Google will acquire Feedburner. This post says the deal is confirmed, but I can’t find any official press releases or reports. One rumor puts the deal at around $100 million, which wouldnâ€™t be bad, considering Feedburner only raised $10 million from Ventures.
With Feedburners’ more than 700,000 feeds, this seems like a logical move and two synergies of the deal become evident right away.
- Feed monetization – Google wants to put AdSense in feeds, and FeedBurner already puts ads in feeds.
- Feed analytics – Google recently updated its web analytics offering, and Feedburner provides feed analytics.
Some may question this move given that Google already does RSS ads with AdSense for feeds, but I’d bet the move is for the same reason they bought Urchin way back when. FeedBurner has an outstanding feed-based analytics solutions. Acquiring Feedburner would allow Google to improve Google Analytics and Google Reader.
In Mid May Google unveiled its latest search enhancement, appropriately titled “Universal Search”. This is a major update which integrates all the Google search verticals such as Google Maps, Google Images, Google Video, Google Blog Search, Google News and more into one results page. So now when you search, relevant results from the other Google search categories will appear above the main results.
From Google’s perspective the vision for universal search is to enable a way to easily “search across all its content sources, compare and rank all the information in real time, and deliver a single, integrated set of search results that offers users precisely what they are looking for.”
From a searcher’s point of view, it makes the main Google results page more intuitive and user-centric. Through Universal Search you don’t have to go to multiple sources or different pages to find “all” relevant content. Whether you’re looking for a local business map or phone number, or trying to find a new video, it can all be done from the one place.
From a marketers perspective it has made the process of achieving high rankings more complex. By integrating all their various search options into one results area, Google has also expanded the focus of search engine marketing. Where many have focused primarily on Organic Search Engine Marketing (Search Engine Submission and Search Engine Optimization) and Paid Advertising (Pay-per-click sponsored listings), now it’s equally important to focus on other search verticals like Google Maps (Google Local), Google Images, Google Video, Google Blog Search as significant improvements in exposure will be much easier in these less competitive verticals.
It may mean more work, but with the integration of other search content at the top of the results page, it also presents you with the opportunity of getting that top ranking that might have eluded you in normal organic search engine marketing.
Universal Search is here to stay, and rest assured that the other search engines are likely to follow.
For more details, watch this Searchology press conference.
On AdFreak today I read a post that included this video I’d never seen before, but found interesting to watch:
A very young looking 28-year-old Steve Jobs unveiling Appleâ€™s famous â€œ1984â€ commercial, supposedly at a sales conference in Hawaii in October 1983. Bravado then. Bravado now. That hasn’t changed. But he’s still making it happen. I may not be amongst the zealots, but am an Apple fan and an admirer of a company that has kept its fresh, irreverent, innovative posture all these years – bravado and all.