MONDAY: THE BOOK A freelancer on insane deadlines engages the clichéd "pizza+zip" search -- a lot. Talk about media fragmentation: A week of ordering pizzas starts with the Yellow Pages, where 36 million out of 116 million consumers search for their slices each year, according to the Yellow Pages Association.
I couldn't help but laugh when I first saw a scene in the Steven Spielberg movie "Minority Report" in which outdoor ads not only spoke, but specifically targeted pedestrians by name along with their individual preferences. The funny thing is, thanks to advances in technology and an aggressive focus on consumer engagement, this big-screen fantasy looks ever closer to reality.
Next-generation video game platforms including the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and the Nintendo Revolution are each poised to put interactive gaming in the driver's seat as a potentially powerful and engaging platform for storytelling, branding, and marketing. But everything that's shiny and new isn't always the way to a gamer's heart.
I recently made a half-conscious decision to stop paying my cell phone bill, which inevitably resulted in the termination of my service. What? A big-city tech reporter without a phone glued to his face? Sacrilege! Weirder still, I've also temporarily sworn off any and all portable digital devices.
A guy I work with says he doesn't even read the newspaper anymore. Says he canceled his subscription to The New York Times. He's in his 30s, but says he hasn't actually read what he calls a "folding paper" for a long time. He used to love newspapers, but now he gets all his news from the Web. He says it's so much easier and faster. Wakes up and turns on the laptop. Bingo. News at your fingertips. Sounds like an ad, but it's true.
In late January, MTV and Comedy Central made dozens of hits available on Apple's iTunes Music Store; the executive behind "Da Ali G Show" and "Trading Spaces" became the head of programming at Match.com and AskJeeves; and IBM, the former PC hardware kingpin, declared "the end of television as we know it." Only a few months ago, it would have been an extraordinary day in the media business with cable networks seemingly cannibalizing their own ratings, leading Web destinations pursuing top-notch TV content, and the bluest of blue chips warning about radical change.
It seems you can't turn anywhere these days without some pundit sounding the death knell for some form of media or other: It's the end of movies, they say, or the end of network television, or the end of the 30-second spot. As a theater critic, I have to laugh when I read these predictions. Theater is not only the oldest medium, apart from music; it's also the art form that has been pronounced dead so many times that it's acquired the nickname "The Fabulous Invalid."
Consider this: What if you had access to the way my brain organized and interpreted information and content? Sound far-fetched? Not so much, according to TheBrain Technologies. The Marina del Rey, Calif.-based company has developed a software application to help businesses input, organize, collate, and analyze all kinds of content and information. Companies can share visually rendered information online across departments, divisions, and countries.
In ABC's "Grey's Anatomy," Meredith Grey is a first-year surgical intern in love with her married boss, the handsome and brilliant Dr. Derek Shepherd. At one particularly desperate moment, Dr. Grey pleads to her once-boyfriend, who has reconciled with his wife, "Want me. Love me. Choose me." Bare, honest, unrequited desperation is tough to watch and even tougher to feel. Are marketers likewise too desperate for attention?
AdFleet Advertising president Ian Klassen launched his hubcap advertising service in September 2004 and girded himself for the inevitable resistance. Critics suggested that the ad discs, secured to cab tires with a weighted hub, would shake at high speeds, rendering their messages only semi-legible. And they wondered how much of an impact a marketer could make with a moving target in an already saturated urban environment.