• Box Office Byte
    For Hollywood studios, the advent of social networking is a lot like the early days of nuclear energy: studios are learning to harness the power of Facebook and Twitter, but often become horribly irradiated, too. The downside associated with youthful, smart-phone equipped moviegoers communicating instantaneously with all the friends in their networks began to emerge last year, when Universal's Sacha Baron Cohen comedy Bruno debuted to a strong $14.2 million Friday, then cratered 40 percent the following day.
  • Seed Money
    The social media economy is booming, turning virtual currency into real coin. Don't let the term "virtual currency" fool you: While the dollars may be fictional -- don't try paying your taxes in FarmVille Cash just yet -- the value they represent is real, and growing at a remarkable rate.
  • Chinese Democracy
    Some call it modern day espionage, while others refer to it as information warfare. It doesn't matter what you call it, but imagine an attack that infiltrates defense systems to shut down operations from a variety of U.S. businesses, such as electrical power facilities and banks.
  • Fox in the Henhouse
    The pile of wreckage in the digital studio business is impressively high, littered both with venture-backed and network-owned in-house shops. Given the economic climate of the last year and given how very risky content creation is in the first place, it seems a bit insane for a media company to start a digital studio today.
  • Cross-Media Case Study: Bottom's Up
    It's a chilly afternoon in January in the middle of the gray, post-holiday doldrums. Bill Samuels Jr., the 69-year-old CEO of Maker's Mark bourbon whisky (one of the few American varieties to prefer the Scottish spelling), just threw his schedule out the window to concentrate on an email that popped up. A handful of customers got together and sent him a question about which whiskeys he liked besides his own. "Well, I just finished writing an epistle to answer that question - and I enjoyed every minute of it," he chuckles.
  • Logging In: Feed the Fish Mayonnaise
    By now, we are nearly through the first quarter of 2010, and have been inundated by all of the forecasting and crystal ball observations. All of the end-of-year wrap-up stories and predictions last year coincided with my family vacation to Disney World. As I was bombarded with views from expert after expert, I couldn't help but relate all of this to what I saw during a trip through Epcot Center's Spaceship Earth exhibit. The purpose of the exhibit, which opened in 1982, is to take visitors through communications "innovations" over time, beginning with prehistoric man and culminating with visitors creating ...
  • Web U: Optimization Overdose
    Demand side platforms (DSPs) are a giant leap forward for Adkind. They put the power back in the hands of the marketer to decide how much to pay for each audience segment, target them in real time, and hyper-optimize the campaign with the help of ingenious black boxes with Einstein-quality math equations inside.
  • Industry Watch: Cuff Links
    Is there anyone who grew up in America who thinks that blue jeans are just pants? More often than not, they serve as a piece of clothing that is also a cultural lightning rod -- and lately the link between your jeans and your values has gotten even more intense. Selling classic denim with a digital twist...
  • Market Focus: Fun and Games Are Serious Business
    Many hobbies aren't serious, but there's no question that hobbyists are serious business - a multibillion-dollar industry, in fact. In an increasingly stressful world, people crave a chance to get their minds off their worries - and will invest in the fix that fills the need. For example, the toy train collector has an average annual income of $60,000 and numbers in the tens of thousands - and that's just official membership, says Roger Carp, senior editor of Waukesha, Wis.-based Classic Toy Trains magazine. Or consider scrapbooking, which may seem as throwaway as the paper and photographs it's created with. ...
  • Mobile Focus: The Moving Picture
    While consumer interest in mobile video continues to skyrocket, the new on-the-go medium is also creating unprecedented challenges for marketers looking to connect with customers. The new role that mobile video can play in marketing campaigns is inviting but can be overwhelming, unless marketers know how to create, implement and utilize the content and mobile medium correctly. The good news is that those who master the art of online video will have a truly compelling way to engage customers.
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