• The AAARRRticle: Print and fold for full effect
    MEDIA's pirates provide a patch-eyed view of the best and worst of media design interfaces.
  • To Blog or Not to Blog?
    The prospect of blogging can seem daunting. I hesitated for months before launching the Being Reasonable blog; I wasn't sure the experience would warrant the investment of time. Fortunately, curiosity won out. The marketing blogosphere is a parallel universe where you'll come across ideas and people you'd never encounter in real life.
  • Branded: The End of Prohibition?
    Change is in the air. Even in the Old World. Yes, Paris was recently burning, but that is a social issue and this is a marketing column. We don't pretend to understand politics. We do pretend to understand branded entertainment, and so here is the big news: The European Union will legalize product placement. The bad news: It will take far too long to implement.
  • The Department: Embracing the Blank Page
    Can you think of a job that has changed more over the past 10 years than that of the media planner? Think of it: A mere decade or so ago, media planning was still largely a numbers game. Sure, we were beginning to catch on to the idea of creativity in media, but it was mostly a matter of slight tweaks to the age-old rules. Maybe we would challenge the notion that three is the magic number of exposures in every campaign -- so we'd boldly suggest measuring 4+ reach, or 2+, for our plans. Or we would shuffle magazines …
  • Where the Boys Are
    IPE digital entertainment says it has found those elusive 18- to 34-year-old males -- on RipeTV. The network broadcasts three- to 15-minute free on-demand programs with embedded skip-proof ads over cable, broadband, and mobile devices. The shorts appear on Comcast On Demand digital cable, Ripe.TV, MSN, Akimbo, and Comcast.net, as well as through mobile devices. Launch advertisers, including Dodge, Procter & Gamble's Old Spice, Boost Mobile, and Midway Games, are paying by the number of views received. In a test last summer on Comcast VOD-enabled systems, RipeTV generated 3 million views without marketing support. "RipeTV provides a …
  • Laying the Groundwork
    Great advertising stops people in their tracks and enthralls them even after they've walked away. People find it hard to walk away from GroundFX, a new ad system from Monster Media and GestureTek. The new technology entices consumers to interact with the simple wave of a hand or swipe of a foot. The system projects video onto an 8-by-10-foot floor display. A proprietary monitoring feature allows advertisers to gauge the effectiveness of the message and alter it in real time. "Consumers now have the ability to engage with advertising, bringing static ads to life and creating memorable …
  • Requiem for Planning
    My initiation into the media business came a few short weeks after I started as a media buyer/planner at Leo Burnett. In a ritual well known to veterans of the media trade, my new coworkers and I settled into "planning season," three months of eye-glazing work, as plans for the upcoming year were prepared, analyzed, itemized to the penny, challenged, revised, and eventually presented in great detail to the client. After a gauntlet of approvals, the plans were finalized and remained more or less intact during the course of the year.
  • House Calls
    Just as product development gurus learn about the capabilities of new products by watching consumers interact with them, media strategists are gaining a better understanding of media consumption behaviors by observing consumers at home. Deploying so-called "adthropology" strategies, they conduct in-home observation and interview sessions. A typical adthropological endeavor begins when an individual shows up at a consumer's door, camera in tow. The observer tours the home, noting details like the location of TVs and piles of magazines that may have been saved for reference purposes. "When we were doing this for Kraft, we saw so many TVs in …
  • Portable 'Light'
    Only a year after podcasting became a fad, time-shifted audio gets what could be considered the final seal of approval for any emerging medium: Procter & Gamble's imprimatur. Procter & Gamble Productions boasts that "Guiding Light" is the first soap opera to podcast full audio episodes, available at CBS's Netcast service(www.cbs.com/netcast). More than merely ported soundtracks of daily episodes, PGP is adapting to this on-the-go format with a custom-made 10-minute "Guiding Light Lite" podcast, which riffs on one of the show's storylines each day and adds an interview with an actor.
  • Sign Language: This One Talks To Your Radio
    Picture yourself searching for a parking space at the local mall while singing along with your local fm oldies station. As you walk to the door, the digital signs above the mall entrance run an ad for a new and improved anti-aging cream. Coincidence? Not necessarily.
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