• AAARRRticle: A Roll of the Dice
    Clicking is not for the faint at heart...
  • Media Metrics: No Love Lost for Wal-Mart
    Americans love Wal-Mart's low prices and wide selection of products. But as the company grows, it is a magnet for attacks from activist groups. A recent Google search on Wal-Mart returned eight negative sites in the top 20 results (with opponent Wal-Mart Watch in the No. 3 slot), while a cottage industry in Wal-Mart exposés has cropped up, ranging from TV documentaries like PBS' "Is Wal-Mart Good for America?" to books like The Wal-Mart Effect. So which is it: villain or champion?
  • The New Next: Digital Village People
    In 1962, when the Internet was still no more than a paranoid glint in the eye of the U.S. department of defense, Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase "the global village." For more than two centuries since the Industrial Revolution, the countryside had been disgorging its residents into cities. The traditional, close-knit structures of villages and hamlets that had supported society for millennia were removed, replaced by new, wider networks driven by such technologies as the train, telephone, and telegram.
  • Column: Taking Measure -- The Truest Metric of All
    I recently attended aegis media group’s global meeting, where I had the pleasure to spend time with colleagues from all over the world, representing every imaginable marketing specialty. I spent time with professionals who specialize in traditional media planning and buying; direct, digital, and buzz marketing; sports marketing and sponsorship; “extreme outdoor”; branded content; experiential marketing; and dozens of other disciplines too numerous to mention. On one hand, I was pleased to find that virtually all of them were deeply committed to measuring the effectiveness of their programs. On the other hand, I was disappointed to find …
  • Targeting: Who Controls Your Brand?
    Are you a traditionalist? Do you target from a broadcast viewpoint? If you are wondering what "broadcast viewpoint" means, then you are a traditionalist. Broadcast viewpoint is the perspective that the function of media is to communicate a message enough times to shift someone's intentions and/or drive a sale. The traditionalist analyzes brands from a product perspective to determine which consumers are interested in specific attributes.
  • Column: Aperture -- Push and Pull, Meet Interact
    After 50 years of pushing media at consumers, the advertising industry is addicted to that method of message distribution. It’s easy to do. Develop a 30-second spot, call the networks, send the copy, and you’re a message pusher! Television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and out-of-home media have all provided us with the opportunity to push advertising messages to a target. But consumers’ demands on media are fairly simple: “Entertain me” and “Inform me!” Rarely is it, “Sell me!” On the other side of town, the direct-response industry has always promoted pulling information out of consumers. “Call now,” “For …
  • Gestalt: Reflections of a Digital Pioneer
    Sarah Chubb is president of CondéNet, the creator and developer of such online destinations as Epicurious, Concierge, and Style. Chubb oversees the company's Internet brands, and spearheaded its involvement as a founding member of the Online Publishers Association (OPA) in June 2001. Christopher M. Schroeder spoke with her recently about the company's aggressive digital push.
  • The Consumer: Application Nation
    Is there anyone in media, advertising, or marketing who hasn't heard of Burger King's Subservient Chicken? Is there anyone who hasn't marveled both at the cojones of the client who approved the idea and the genius of the team who had the idea in the first place? A simple but deliciously entertaining little software application, it demanded to be sampled at least once. I know we've thought about it a lot down here at The Brooklyn Brothers, and it led us to wonder, in classic Carrie Bradshaw fashion: Are applications the new advertising?
  • Column: Dishing -- The More Things Change
    My life has been one marked by change. I grew up in a tiny town, moved to Manhattan, and now live in downtown Detroit. I’ve worked in both small agencies and huge global communications companies. I’ve gone from shoulder-length hair to voluntarily bald. You get the idea: I like change. It keeps me energized. So when I was offered the chance to move from account planning at Leo Burnett to context planning at GM Planworks, I jumped at it. I thought, “Great! A change from creative to media will be a whole new world!” Well, …
  • Column: The Sell -- Branding Is Not the Goal
    Branding is not important. The purpose of advertising is not to brand products. Rather, the purpose of advertising is to sell products. This is not just an idiomatic difference, but the economic basis for what we do. Naturally, brand identity plays an integral role in the sales process, but it is merely one of many other components. To assume “branding” is the most important factor in a purchase is to discount the role of pricing, distribution, and availability, among other factors. All too often, media departments don’t consider these factors. Even worse, agencies tend to blame them …
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