• Contact: Emancipating the Digital World
    Upon viewing IO2 Technology's Heliodisplays, which project images onto thin air, one's first impulse is to liken them to futuristic tchotchkes seen in sci-fi flicks like "Minority Report." But IO2 CEO Chad Dyner has a considerably more modest goal for his product: to prove to those in the advertising and trade-show-display arenas that it works.

    The Heliodisplay technology allows users to display any type of video in full color and with a high resolution. IO2 is currently offering 22- and 42-inch displays that cost between $18,000 and $28,000.

    Dyner, a former MIT student, admits that the technology ...

  • Contact: Door to Door
    Think it's only frantic job hunters who, to use an old cliché, throw everything out there in the hopes that something will stick? If it seems like marketers are using this tactic a lot more, maybe it's because they actually are.

    The increasing number of firms offering less-costly out-of-home media options might be part of the reason. New York-based Ambient Planet's promotional push for TLC's makeover show "What Not to Wear" is an example. In advance of an eight-city mall tour promoting the show, the agency distributed door hangers in such locales as Boston and New York.
  • Contact: Touching Reality
    You don't need to be a star to be a cell phone celebrity, says 5280 Mobile, the wireless brand extension agency that seems to be specializing in taking Hollywood's C-list mobile. The company will soon be making ringtones, wallpapers, and other "third-screen" entertainment out of the Alpha Models stable of Playboy Playmates and Creative Light Entertainment's collection of former reality tv personalities ("Survivor," "The Apprentice," et. al.).

    But bikini wallpapers and video clips are the easy part, says president Blake Fayling, who thinks mobile can be a unique entry point, not just an extension for, celebrities. "We're not looking ...

  • Contact: Trend Setters
    Call it Coca-Cola cool. In European nightclubs this summer, Coke rolled out bright aluminum cans shaped like its iconic bottles and bearing colorful designs. Coke plans to bring the cans to the U.S. as part of a drive to convince influential 20-somethings that Coke is cool.

    Initially, only five designs will be released, and they will be changed every few months. A three- to five-minute online film will accompany each launch.

    Coke hopes the containers, available only at select trendsetting venues, will become collectors' items.

    Coke's Classic brand has gone clubbing before. In 2002, ...
  • Contact: Holy Grail Metrics?
    Now that online ad performance metrics and pay-per-click pricing raise the accountability bar for everyone, new technologies are reaching for that same return on investment granularity offline. VoiceStar's Pay-per-Phone Call (dare we say PPPC?) technology is already letting online publishers charge between $3 and $35 per completed phone call from a banner ad.

    Each ad pushes a discrete toll-free number so that VoiceStar can link call traffic to specific placements or price offers. VoiceStar routes calls to the advertiser, so consumer interaction can be recorded or tagged with caller details and information on whether the interaction was converted to ...

  • Contact: On-Demand Moan Tones
    The scene: a Manhattan Banana Republic. Customers mill about, their muffled footsteps nearly drowning out the store's Muzak loop.

    Suddenly, an unrestrained "Oh! Oh! OH!" peals from a shopper's cell phone. Meeting a fellow customer's knowing glance, he shrugs his shoulders and grins.

    Welcome to the world of so-called moan tones, erotic content developed for mobile devices. Though such content -- cheerfully dubbed "port-a-porn" by devotees -- hasn't yet gained a foothold in the United States, its prevalence in Europe and Asia suggests it could be the next big trend to hit the wireless world.


  • Contact: Filtering Through the Noise
    The idea was the brainchild of Filter magazine, a discriminating new-music pub whose creators rarely hesitate to think outside the page, so to speak. "We'd been putting together music samplers for Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie," says publication cofounder Alan Miller. "Filter Magazine TV seemed like the next natural step."

    The program of clips from new groups, which ran at Coldplay concerts before the opening act, came together quickly, owing to Miller's relationship with Coldplay's management ("We're friends," he says, shrugging) and to the enthusiasm-bordering-on-desperation of record companies hoping to get their fledgling acts in front of the band's ...
  • Contact: Logo On Course
    Now several months old, Logo, MTV's gay channel that launched in June, has settled into a groove, pulling in some 20 national advertisers and a subscriber base that will soon be up to 18 million.

    This is a far cry from MTV's broader-based general-interest networks. But MTV believes taking a leap into gay-themed entertainment will be the next niche business. The network is also working on a number of niche ethnic programming services.

    Logo is programming reality, scripted series, and movies. Reality-TV shows include "First Comes Love," which helps gay and lesbian couples fulfill their dreams of having ...
  • Contact: Colossal Craft
    Outdoor is hot -- wallscapes, murals, billboards, etc. But if you think all those wallscapes you see on the sides of tall buildings are vinyl, think again. Colossal Media, a small New York-based shop specializing in hand-painted outdoor ads, is finding resurgent interest in the large-scale medium that was considered a fine art years ago.

    Colossal cofounders Adrian Moeller and Paul Lindahl grew up on the graffiti scene and have managed to parlay their love of painting into a vibrant business. The company's clients include clothing firms like Brooklyn Industries, as well as Rockstar Games and energy company United ...

  • Contact: Reading the Stars
    To Cantor Fitzgerald, foresight is 20/20. The financial services firm is peddling Virtual Specialist, a proprietary technology it says will help marketers more accurately predict consumer behavior. It's based on the company's nine-year-old Hollywood Stock Exchange, an online virtual marketplace in which users buy and sell "shares" of celebrities or movie titles (for example, a star's value shifts according to his or her relative success). Film studios use data gathered from the exchange to tweak their marketing plans.

    Apparently it works. The exchange correctly predicted every major category-winner in this year's Oscars.

    "Active buying and selling involves ...

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