A funny thing happened on the way to writing this story about the new Madison Avenue: Two of the new era's signature deals - the 2007 acquisitions by WPP Group of 24/7 Real Media, and by Microsoft of Avenue A | Razorfish - were rumored to be in the process of being undone.
Remember when they said MySpace had no way to make money? Hah. Its latest is a self-serve ad platform that could do for mom-and-pops - and MySpace itself - what search ads did for Google. And all as easy as dropping a coin in an automat. Or so the chorus goes.
Measurement is a blessing and a curse on the Internet. It's wonderful to have so many facts at our fingertips, but vexing when we don't know which ones are the most accurate.
How about this? Madison Ave. as Web app. Something launched through Google whenever there's an ad buy. We'd still have the nostalgia of television shows celebrating the golden age, when men were men and they drank bourbon and talked fast and drank more bourbon and then took a client out to a lunch where yet more bourbon was drunk and then they'd go back to the office and sexually harass a secretary, worry free. Ah, those were the days. A warm, safe and cozy place. But microprocessors don't drink martinis. And servers don't make inappropriate comments to female coworkers.
HBO consults with all of its show creators when it formulates marketing campaigns for its series, but Alan Ball stands out. When it came to marketing Ball's True Blood, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of American Beauty and mastermind of HBO's Six Feet Under challenged the network to go beyond simple show promotion and truly set the stage for the vampire series in advance of its premiere, "to allow people to come to the pilot episode a little bit more engaged," says Zach Enterlin, the cable network's vice president of advertising and promotions.
Despite the iPhone's hype and impressive sales, it's actually not the best-selling mobile phone in the United States. Research firm NPD Group gives that honor to a far less obvious device: the Motorola Razr. Yeah, remember that? The Razr was not so long ago the shining apex of cell phone tech and design, now humbled into something resembling an industry baseline. But it's still outselling the iPhone.
The stereotypical image of a single person is someone in a tiny, cramped apartment, lonely, biding time until marriage comes so life can start. But what that image leaves out is the very real fact that life already has started. And people, even singles, are never alone - they're part of a large, burgeoning community that comes together in support and buying power. Marketers who think the rapid growth of social networking sites came from married couples haven't bothered to check out the content.
This was supposed to be the year the mobile Web went mainstream - or so said all the predictions. But big challenges - such as the high cost of mobile surfing and continued control by telecom carriers over what content consumers receive through their handsets - are likely to push off significant consumer growth in the mobile Web for at least three to five years, say media analysts, marketers, and executives at mobile marketing firms.
When it comes to understanding how to deliver and present video on the Web, it's time we connected the dots. Let's simplify investigative video analysis and go back to the days when we were held captive by 56k dial-up. All we wanted was to get online to catch a glimpse of movie reviews, sports statistics and the weekend weather forecast. So why not increase our odds and simply marry this behavior to video?
Back in the day, a marketer's job was pretty simple: Keep one eye on your Kotler, the other on your market research. The connection between brand and customer was remote, impersonal and top-down.