Results for March 2009
  • Giving Voice To The Blog
    "Poor Jacob," my daughter pines as a long-haired, deeply sullen boy appears on the screen. "He so loves Bella -- but he's a wolf." "You mean he's going to hit on her?" I ask. "No, like I said -- he's a wolf, Dad. In the second book, he...." Sorry, but watching "Twilight" with a teen fan of the Stephanie Meyer vampire epic is an eye-glazing experience. As someone who lived through Barney and every Disney cartoon princess, you learn to be parentally respectful of kid-culture early on. So you nod through their retelling of the back stories and watch, and ...
  • Making Brands Visible
    On the second day of OMMA Global this Tuesday, we gathered some of the most experienced mobile marketers I know for the final main stage panel, which focused on smart phones and their marketing implications. Panelists were too busy arguing (very insightfully, I thought) over brand effectiveness, scalability, and leveraging the unique properties of mobility for me to fit in half of the questions I had planned. For Webster Lewin, who moved last year from R/GA to communications firm MS&L, I specifically wanted to know how he was using the mobile channel to create more direct bonds with brands. He ...
  • Don't Shoot The Triscuit
    In all of the enthusiasm I have heard from marketers about the prospects of branded apps, one of the most measured and skeptical views I have encountered comes from the maker of the most successful example of the genre I have seen. "A lot of applications are downloaded and not used," says Walter Schild, CEO of Genex, the maker of Kraft's superb iFood Assistant app. "I struggle with brands who think everyone cares about every brand and every product."
  • Defining A Third Screen
    "You're buzzing," my partner tells my daughter as they sit on the couch trying to watch "Rachel Getting Married." My daughter is always buzzing. I for one am used to the background hum of her friends tossing SMS messages at her throughout any movie or TV show. My partner, who is still learning to hit Send on her new cell phone, doesn't get it. "You people and your phones. Why don't you watch the movie?" My nose is deep in my mobile bookmarks, testing sites and catching up on headlines. "Actually, I like this movie," I tell her. It has ...
  • The Needle Jerks
    Perhaps I am leaping into the hype monster a bit myself, but I have to say that the numbers comScore released yesterday on year-over-year changes in mobile habits really impressed me. According to the stats about mobile Web and information use, the needle more than budged last year; it jerked forward, and in a way that is genuinely meaningful. Using three-month averaging ending January '08 vs. January '09, the monthly number of unique users accessing mobile news and information across all available platforms rose from 36.8 million to 63.1 million (+71%). That is a pretty striking number, no matter how ...
  • Cracking The Local (Short) Code
    The power of broadcast, both radio and TV, to push people into SMS exchanges is legendary. "American Idol" is the model for executing on-air prompts effectively, and the lesson is simple: integrate the process into the program. Simply tagging an SMS prompt at the tail end of an ad or as a fleeting mention during a program is just not enough. You can't expect people to grasp for their phones mentally trying to repeat the short code in their head so it doesn't spill out their ears. Radio has the advantage of frequency, of course. Repeated mentions throughout the programming ...
  • Random Acts Of Ad Clicking
    It was a choice between watching digitally altered Chihuahuas or spending 90 minutes clicking on mobile advertising. Guess where I went? I went to a relatively random set of mobile sites from major publishers to see what dialed up. Here's what I found....
  • Kindle IPhones It In
    "I know that the title of this book is misleading, but there's more than one way to sell a book or skin a cat." -- Groucho Marx, "Memoirs of a Mangy Lover" Not by design, the first book I purchased to read on my iPhone Kindle app started with this preface from Groucho. How fitting. I was just about to write a column comparing the Kindle reading experience with the various book readers for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry platforms. Over the years I have reviewed Tablet PCs, ultra-mobile PCs (UMPCs), and every Kindle e-reader predecessor. All of these devices raised ...
  • Ad-Supported Games Get Respect By Respecting Us
    Ad-supported mobile gaming always seemed to me a model whose gears were never quite meshing. In theory, the gaming segment is a prime target for ad subsidization. Mobile gaming has struggled in the U.S. largely because the games generally suck and most of us put a pretty low value on the experience. I am not sure which is the chicken and which is the egg in that equation. Did we undervalue mobile gaming because the medium trained us to expect a poor result, or was playing games on a phone just so ephemeral that we made do with poor play?