• Contact: Marqui Bloggers
    "We believe this is the next step in a natural continuum," proclaims Marqui, a Vancouver-based communications management software service, in its Web site FAQs. "First there were the blind banner ads. Next, contextual ads...embedded ads, and embedded contextual ads." The next step? Marqui hired 15 independent bloggers to insert mentions of the company's services into their blogs.

    The bloggers were free to write negatively about the company. Some were skeptical about this ad form, so to help refine the program, Marqui recently hired Marc Canter, the co-founder of Macromedia, as an advisor.

  • Contact: Magazine Existentialism
    If imitation is the highest form of flattery, what do you call an imitation of an imitation? Earlier this year, the magazine industry unveiled a three-year $40 million consumer ad campaign to breathe life back into a flailing medium. The centerpiece was a series of mocked-up futuristic covers of actual magazines.

    One of the ads, created by Fallon for the Magazine Publishers of America (MPA), featured a Sports Illustrated cover showing the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series - in 2105.

    Interestingly enough, an online publisher designed its own version of the ad campaign to parody the ...

  • Contact: Adcandy's Sweet Deal
    Junior ad executives, watch your backs. After blogs and podcasts, it was only a matter of time before Web-empowered interactivity spawned user-generated advertising. Contests at Adcandy.com let Madison Avenue wannabes compete for best ads involving brand-name products.

    While Per Hoffman started Adcandy with the intent of "empowering the public," the idea could serve the very industry it challenges. When a shoe manufacturer solicited the best user-generated slogan for its line, contestants spent so much time considering the product that a focus group was born.

    The scary part for ad professionals is that these amateurs can make it ...

  • Contact: Consumers Avoid the Remote
    Good news. The main impetus for digital video recorder (DVR) use is convenience, not commercial avoidance, according to a recent survey by ESPN. In a study of 1,000 homes conducted by the sports channel's research department, more than 70 percent of respondents say they use the DVR to record shows they would miss otherwise, while only 28 percent say the main reason they use the DVR is to avoid commercials.

    The study also found that 61 percent of TV viewing is live, while 39 percent is recorded. "The vast majority of Americans are watching [TV] live, like traditional viewing ...

  • Contact: PressRED
    In the United Kingdom, the phrase "press red" is common in everyday conversation, but is unknown here in the United States. The phrase refers to the red button on digital operator SkyTV's remote controls; it also serves as the entry point for interactive ads. While the U.K. is well ahead of the U.S. in iTV use, a number of U.K.-centric iTV players have begun to make inroads here.

    Take London-based emuse, which boasts an interactive TV authoring software that lets advertisers create customized iTV ads instead of using templates. Emuse has powered more than a dozen interactive programs and ...

  • Contact: Coffee Comfort
    Take a second to free associate the phrase "coffee shop." You summon up thoughts of long lines, Wi-Fi access, a smorgasbord of fattening goodies, and the comforting aroma of java. But without Starbucks, the idea of coffee as a branded experience may never have become as pervasive as it is today.

    The mega-chain is now setting itself apart in another way, as a seller of music CDs. Running counter to the music download trend, the world's biggest coffee chain offers recordings from artists including Alanis Morissette, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, and Etta James. The CDs are displayed at the ...

  • Contact: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
    GSN Does
  • Contact: Over the Wire
    Pocket billboards recognizes that it has the smallest sliver of an opportunity to deliver advertisers' messages. It's carved that space out with five- to seven-second messages for advertisers like DirecTV, American Airlines, Sears, and ProFlowers, delivered when users of phone cards input their pin number to make a call. Pocket Billboards partners with phone card makers, like IDT, and peddles the ad space on the card to a marketer, creating a mini-bill-board along with the embedded audio message.

    Callers listen to an ad message, then they can choose to be transferred to the satellite operator to sign up for ...

  • Contact: Internet Bullhorn
    Ratings web sites began so innocently, with users posting their views on everything from restaurants and bars to today, one's dates.

    Not only should your average Joe take notice of this growing trend, so should marketers. A bad review could spread like wildfire and could explain the rise in corporate executives launching blogs to dispel rumors, as General Motors Chairman Bob Lutz did.

    Publishers are beginning to take notice of ratings sites - so much so that some have even purchased them. The New York Times Co. recently bought About.com, a review-heavy site, and Scripps purchased Shopzilla, ...

  • Contact: i-vu's UPDO
    Earlier this summer, Lifetime served up its first interactive ads alongside a blow-out. To promote its centerpiece summer series, "Beach Girls," the network ran interactive promos via the i-vu network, which delivers programming from ABC, BBC Worldwide, and Fashion TV to 520 interactive touch screens in high-end hair salons across the United States. Salon customers were able to interact with the "Beach Girls" ads by touching a button on the screen, about the size of a VHS tape, to watch a 30-second clip from the show.

    The i-vu ad also included spots from two Lifetime original movies airing in ...

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