Archive for December, 2008
As popular as online video has become, great photos are still very powerful. A couple months ago, we introduced slideshows with audio. The photos are large and auto-advancing. The audio can be narration, an interview, background music, etc. Check out two recent examples.
One of the web’s great promises is the ability for marketers to custom-target individuals within a mass audience. Here’s a look at how a couple companies are developing technology that allows banner ads to be personalized in order to maximize their effect.
It is technology that could cause a shift in the advertising world. The creators and designers of ads have long believed that a clever idea or emotional resonance drives an ad’s success. But that argument may be difficult to make when analysis suggests that it is not an ad’s brilliant tagline but its pale-yellow background and sans serif font that attracts customers.
The question is, “how do we combine creative energy, which is a manual and sort of qualitative exercise, with the raw processing power of computing, which is all about quantitative data?” said Tim Hanlon, executive vice president of VivaKi Ventures, the investment unit of Publicis Groupe.
“I think it’s clear that the traditional process of agencies is clearly not going to survive the digital era without significant changes to our approaches,” Mr. Hanlon said.
Read the whole article here.
My former employer, Tribune Co., filed bankruptcy today. I sold the meager remains of my stock options a couple years ago, so I have nothing but a sentimental interest in the company at this point.
The filing comes not even a year after real estate mogul Sam Zell purchased the company. Like many outsiders who look at struggling media companies these days, Zell made plenty of disparaging comments about previous strategies, and tossed around lots of generic rhetoric about introducing new ideas, shaking things up, and getting revenue growing again. Obviously, it was not to be. I’m fairly baffled by someone like Zell who thinks that an entire industry just suddenly got stupid and complacent. No, the problem is simply that print media faces largely unsolvable problems. It has exponentially more competitors for ad dollars and audience than it used to, and print products are far less economical to produce than digital media. Print will never die entirely, but all the evidence I’ve seen says that it’s going to be a fraction of its current size and relevance.
I don’t know the original context, but this quote from Warren Buffett sums up my thoughts on Zell’s efforts:
“When a management team with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact.”
Vital MX recently partnered with some of our advertisers on a feature called the 12 Days of Christmas. Not only is this a holiday guide, but it’s also a chance for Vital users to score some great products. So far, we’ve debuted days with Answer, Leatt, MSR, and Suzuki. We’ll be launching a new package every day from now through December 15th.
Check Vital MX for more info. Hurry, we’re already four days into the promotion…
When we redesigned the site earlier this year, we added a roll-over photo captions within Vital profiles. SNAFU is the first company I’ve seen use this feature on their product photos.
Like everything SNAFU does, the captions are a mix of useful information and comic relief (“Hell – they probably won’t even last 100 weeks”, “Chrome steel is the new carbon”, “if your ass is as big and sensitive as mine….”).
Take a look at the complete SNAFU profile here.
We are pleased to offer interstitial ads on Vital. An interstitial is very impactful and unique ad unit because of its size and location on the page.
Take a look at this 30-second video to learn more.
[kml_flashembed movie=" http://www.vitalmx.com/images/vitalplayer.swf?myvideovar=http://www.vitalmx.com/video/albums/userpics/10016/87113520_1227740545.flv" height="380" width="450" /]
In order to keep the impact high, we frequency cap interstitials so each user sees one every three days. Additionally, interstititals are being sold exclusively in one week increments.
Let me know if you have any questions or if you want to get some interstitials running.
When Steve Giberson told me he was racing over the Thanksgiving break, I told him I’d be there to support him. The event he raced is Troy Lee Design’s annual “A Day in the Dirt.” Troy Lee Designs has hosted this post-Turkey Day race for the past 11 years. The weekend-long event is a blast. You’ll see families camping, lots of classes from beginners to pros, people racing in costumes, a vintage race, and plenty more.
Here’s a sample of what I saw at this year’s race:
The event was held at the Los Angeles County Raceway in Palmdale, California. The track shares land with a working cement quarry. This year the riders were treated to lots of fast hills as the track weaved in and out of the quarry.
There were continuous races all weekend long. This is the start of Saturday’s team event.
Steve “GuyB” Giberson was also on hand to cover the event for Vital MX. Leatt was a race sponsor and hooked Steve up with his own trailer for the weekend.
Recently James Stewart told GuyB to hang up the riding because “he isn’t going to beat anyone.” GuyB proved James wrong with a solid mid-pack finish on Saturday.
Sheri Ridenour of Troy Lee Designs is one of the main people who helped put on A Day in the Dirt. Here’s Sheri moments before the team race that she raced with her husband. Her goal was to finish in one piece. I saw her after the race, so I know she made it!
I grew up watching Chips, so I naturally stopped in my tracks when I saw this CHP bike with knobby tires. Observant Vital MX users will recognize the red Harley in the back as the bike from last years must-see Day in the Dirt video.
For more coverage from A Day in the Dirt, including an on-track chase shot with the two bikes above, check out Vital MX.
Advertising Age’s Steve Rubel is making the claim that all forms of tangible media will be in “sharp decline or completely extinct in the U.S.” in five years. They cite the three main factors as the environment, smart phones, and changing demographics.