Commentary

A Brief Refresher

A friendly suggestion for the well-traveled industry types who've already marked ad:tech as just another overscheduled snoozefest: Read the New York Daily News. Out of character, I picked one up on Monday morning in place of the Journal and was struck by the insights it provided into a marketing industry that I track as a farmer does rainfall. Clearly, I don't recommend using the News as the key to unlock all the mysteries of marketing; it's just a metaphor for an atypical approach to issues that we've all considered again and again.

For instance, a story headlined "Ski resorts altering slopes for baby boomers"--about the growing number of resorts literally flattening their slopes to accommodate the increasingly temperate tastes of aging boomers--is a sign that whole industries are already shifting to please boomers. Because the only demographic I ever hear marketers discuss is 18-to-34-year-old males, I wonder if they're ready to oblige a massive and wealthy demographic that cares more about Anna Quindlen than Anna Kournikova.

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Another story, "A real Net gain for apartment complex," detailed the efforts of Verizon and a nonprofit named One Economy to provide affordable high-speed Internet access to more than 6,000 low-income Bronx residents. Clearly, an example of broader efforts to make broadband as common as the dial tone.

Separately, the whirling mating dance between Madison Avenue and Apple's video iPod reached a new level of intensity last week, when Burger King released plans to sponsor a series of short comedy videos and then offer them as a free download. Working with broadband video download site Heavy.com, Burger King's deal came less than a week after some Adobe Systems' Photoshop users apparently launched the first iPod infomercial. The Burger King sponsorship entails a branded page for video files specially encoded for video iPods.

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