• Calling Up The Long Tail
    Anyone trying to stay current with pop culture tastes should take a trip to one of the local fly-by-night Halloween stores. They are indexes not only of the trends in popular media but also the sheer range of tastes. The Jasons, Michael Myers, Freddies and such are to be expected, of course. And what would Halloween be without low-level political satire (this year's Hillary and Rumsfeld masks). But it does my heart good to know that somewhere out there people remember the '50s pin-up Bettie Page, who seems to have her own line of costumes now. There are minor Marvel …
  • CTIA: The Home Game
    Call me jaded, but I have an aversion to CTIA. I went to the shows for years before mobile became a content play, let alone a marketing platform. I spent a lot of time surfing through (usually over) the tidal wave of acronyms tied to wireless technology, the dizzyingly complex supply chain, and the dense terminology. Wireless tech pitches always sounded to me like parody sketches from Professor Irwin Corey. The show, and wireless telephony culture itself, out-geeked even me.
  • Looking For Scale
    The mobile industry seems to be responding to recent criticism that, as a marketing platform, it just doesn't offer the kind of reach traditional media buyers need. At the New York OMMA Expo in September, Digitas' Vice President and Media Director Jordan Bitterman said offhandedly about mobile marketing, "It doesn't have the scale ... Our marketers are looking for scale."
  • This SMS is Brought To You By...
    One of the core lessons of mobile marketing is how, in the right context, a little goes a long way. In an uncluttered and targeted environment, a small call to action can have a tremendous impact. Dynamic Logic just pushed a case study over to me that showed a 27% "brand favorability" lift from a display ad campaign on a major WAP destination.And now 4Info CEO Zaw Thet tells me that little 40-character SMS ads running in text alerts are pulling down 5% response rates, even in general branding messages. "High end response rates are 22% to 23%," he says.
  • Sprint Ahead... To Mass Media
    After losing subscribers and its CEO, Sprint has decided to take its next step forward by looking backward, to the good old days of basic cable. Launching yesterday, The SEE channel (Sprint Exclusive Entertainment) looks and feels like a well-intentioned fledgling TV network trying to be all things to the great big middle of an imagined general demographic.
  • Catching Up On My Reading
    After my last column on Amazon's new music download store, several readers asked me to provide the URL for the Amazon mobile storefront. I use m.amazon.com. But that reminds me how too much content is getting pushed to phones that none of us see, let alone critique. I thought it was high time I rifled through my own recent bookmarks to pass on some of the mobile sites that caught my eye in recent months. This time, let's see what the magazine industry is up to.
  • Amazon Raises The Bar For Apple
    Apple is one company that is not used to being left behind. But the first serious threat to the Tunes hegemony emerged late last month with the beta launch of Amazon's own mp3 store.
  • Hot Or Not: The Sampling Engine
    Regular readers of these columns know that I manage to embarrass my family in a multitude of ways. My week is not complete without at least one massive eye roll from my daughter and an exasperated "DAD!! JEEZ!!" During our seashore vacation, I pushed the envelope of proper fudge sampling outside of the boardwalk candy shops. "DAD!! JEEZ!!" could be heard throughout Cape May, because my daughter seemed to think that security cams were counting the number of times I snatched handfuls of tiny fudge samples each night. It was time to teach her a lesson in sampling -- and …
  • Make My World Clickable
    I don't venture out into nature all that much, because I find it, well, overrated. I am that insufferable guy who wishes the real world were a bit more like the fabricated one we have constructed for ourselves in the last century of advanced technology....
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