• Queer Channels
    Magazine ads and TV commercials have a higher propensity to motivate gays and lesbians to buy than heterosexuals, according to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of marketing agency Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc. Gays and lesbians are less likely to feel that ads "clutter magazines," "interrupt programs," or are "boring," and feel ads give them "information they can use." Both groups said that they find advertising entertaining, except for online popups, which both found annoying. "Fewer gay people have children, so they're more apt to be consumers of information," says Bob Witeck, CEO of Witeck-Combs Communications. ...
  • Mobile Soap
    While daytime soaps may conjure images of stay-at-home moms and other housebound types, ABC Daytime, the network responsible for "All My Children" and "One Life to Live," has a new ploy for the soap fan on the go: the ABC Mobile Store. Fans of the network's soaps can order wallpaper and ringtones in the voices of their favorite characters from the store's Web site, abc.com/mobile. One such ring features Susan Lucci's character, Erica Kane, saying, "Oh dear, this phone has more rings than I do!" The store also offers fans a service called "Soap Confidential," which offers ...
  • Skating Richly
    When describing an enjoyable holiday activity, rarely are the words "free" and "New York City" used in the same sentence. Then Citi laced up its skates and came up with a nontraditional, holiday-themed component to its "Live Richly" campaign. The financial services provider created and sponsored "The Pond at Bryant Park," a 17,000-square-foot ice-skating rink on the Bryant Park lawn, as part of Fêtes de Noël, an outdoor holiday market. Visitors were treated to free ice skating from October 28 through January 16. To promote the rink and give the National Hockey League a much-needed boost, the ...
  • A Healthy Text Diet
    Text messaging is a popular companion to reality TV shows, as viewers are encouraged to participate in polls and voting. NBC recently went a step further with a new text messaging application to accompany "The Biggest Loser" weight loss series -- a program that's more organic to the show and its healthy lifestyle message. Using GoldPocket Wireless, NBC sends text subscribers diet tips and workout facts for $2.99 a month. The messages are delivered daily for a year, even when the show isn't airing. The service is available via Cingular, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Midwest Wireless. GoldPocket considers text messaging ...
  • Real Women Have Layers
    If you want to win the loyalty of a female consumer, don't target your message to the whole woman. Instead, understand how your product relates to one of her four inner layers: body, mind, heart, or soul. So says "The Naked Truth," a study conducted by Frank About Women, a marketing communications company specializing in marketing to women. The study, which asked women to identify what makes them feel "real," found that today's women eat healthy and exercise regularly. And, though they like feeling beautiful, they don't think beauty is synonymous with feeling "real." According to the study, real ...
  • Balls Out
    The hype surrounding an ad for Sony Bravia LCD TVs was running rampant long before the ultimate campaign stunt. It's not every day that San Francisco closes off 12 of its infamously hilly streets to launch 250,000 colorful bouncing rubber balls from a cannon. Sony used the balls to illustrate the enhanced color quality offered by its Bravia LCD TVs. "Balls" broke in the U.K. in November as a two-and-a-half minute roadblock during the entire commercial break prior to the Chelsea versus Manchester United soccer game on Sky Sports One. The spot also ran in 20-, 30-, and 60-second ...
  • Apple's Candyman
    I'm an unabashed gadget slut, a hopeless mediaholic who considers Mike Teavee of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" less a cautionary figure than a personal hero. My $299 golden ticket to the future of TV is the brilliantly executed Apple iPod with video. While the detailed 2.5-inch display on this 4.8-ounce, half-inch-thick marvel makes remote video technically viable, it's the iTunes storefront and exploding "vodcast" collection that makes place- and time-shifted TV both practical and delicious. Unlike earlier portable media players, the "viPod" is easy to load with content and already comes with branded media on tap. Apple's Steve ...
  • The Marquee Is The Message
    Upon turning the corner from 7th Avenue onto 44th Street in the heart of Manhattan's theater district, it's hard to miss the marquee that hovers over AEG Live's new Nokia Theatre Times Square. Next to the static offerings of adjacent theaters, the Nokia marquee displays digital video across its 85-by-10-foot high-definition led screen. On any given night, it might feature live footage from inside the venue or marketing missives from the theater's sponsors. The marquee more or less lights up the entire block.
  • The Interface Is The Message: Inside The Mind of Media Designer Dale Herigstad
    For people who don't dwell in its world, design can sometimes be an esoteric concept. As consumers and businesspeople, we all understand when a media design works for us, or even more noticeably when it doesn't. But to really understand the thinking that went into it, you have to crawl inside the head of a media designer and experience the world through his or her eyes, ears, and fingertips.
  • Media Design: What It Is, Why It Should Matter To You
    Design for maximum engagement is the name of the game across multiple media platforms, ranging from video-on-demand and satellite radio to search engines, video blogs, and wireless text messaging. But not all media designs are winners. Early versions of the AltaVista and Lycos search engines were as cluttered and unnavigable as Grand Central Station at rush hour. Sure, Apple is big now -- but remember the Newton? What a clunker. MEDIA magazine contributor Alissa Walker reports on media design.
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