• Branded Content Focus: Space Oddity
    Imagine a children's show on acid. In one 90-second episode of "Califunya!" an online Web series, two women in flowing dresses excitedly cart around a giant rainbow-colored "key to their happiness" that was pulled from the garbage. ("What a lovely giant key from the trash!" one exclaims). Another four-minute episode called "Bluebird"(brought to you by sunlight, by the way) plays like a charming music video, as three women, again in beautifully retro dresses, harmonize to a song about, well, a bluebird.
  • Come Undone
    You may not be your khakis, but you are your data. Media buyers always thought they were buying audience, but, in fact, they were buying eyeballs. Now, media executives agree that they really are starting to buy audience in a meaningful way. And part of the evolution of the audience becoming uncoupled from content is the inevitable paring down of ad networks.
  • Web U: What to Measure
    Direct-response advertising is a straightforward proposition. If a placement does not produce sales, cut it and move the money elsewhere. It is very black and white. Meanwhile, brand advertising is filled with shades of gray. The majority of brand advertisers don't directly sell products on Web sites. They cannot directly monetize their Web traffic. CPGs struggle with Web advertising exactly because it is so measurable. Without a specific goal, brand managers thrash about for direction. They ask, What do you measure when there is nothing to measure?
  • Rising Stars: Bridget Mackinson
    Right out of college in 2005, Bridget Mackinson landed a gig at search-driven social marketing agency Reprise Media. By 2007, she had earned such a solid reputation that Reprise asked her to help set up new offices in San Francisco. Out west, she quickly rose to the position of Media Director, where she oversees multiple campaigns and a large portion of the multimillion-dollar Microsoft business. Since Mackinson was assigned to Microsoft's search business two years ago, its search marketing performance has improved "dramatically," according to Mark Grote, Senior Search Advertising Manager at Microsoft. Furthermore, Grote calls Mackinson "the finest [campaign …
  • Behind the Numbers:Searching for the Party
    While social media might be the shiny new object for marketers, search is still the workhorse and it has the numbers to back it up. A recent study from research firm Econsultancy found that 64 percent of online marketers worldwide are going to increase the money spent in natural search this year. That compares to 70 percent of marketers who plan to increase their social media budgets this year. Given that social media is the sexy new arena, it's expected that brands would increase their investment in it. That an entrenched sector like search will still grow significantly underscores how …
  • Whacha Gonna Do, When 24/7 Real Media Goes Wild on You?!?
    Temperatures flared toward the end of the first day of OMMA Global San Francisco in March. Sure, it had been a long day. People were cranky. Pay wall discussions tend to bring out the animal in panelists. And 24/7 Real Media's chairman and founder David Moore seemed to think he was ringside at Wrestlemania.
  • Twist on Reality
    Take five parts narcissistic would-be lifecasters, one part American Idol striving, two parts technology. Shake well. Serve with a twist.
  • Reading Is Fundamental
    One of Copia's creators, Anthony Antolino, calls it "the first social e-reading experience." Rolling out in late March, the platform combines "digital content, social networking - community and collaboration tools - together with a very large and diverse bookstore." In fact, Antolino says that the depth of Copia's bookstore might rival Amazon's. Which is just one thing that separates Copia's line of e-readers from the Kindle, and myriad devices about to flood the market. It's also a store, a Facebook-connected social network, and an e-reading platform.
  • Over the Rainbow?
    You can't really talk about the new skittles.com without talking about the other new skittles.com launched last year. The work of Agency.com, last year's version of skittles.com allowed visitors to view Skittles-related social media from sites like YouTube, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, some of the uncensored Twitter talk turned nasty (and profane even!), and people wrote things like, "Skittles gives you cancer and is the cause of all world evil."
  • Market Focus: Keeping the Audience in Stitches
    Wait 'til next year. The off-season in baseball is the time to rest and heal. Unless you are called on to be in the team's promo campaign for the next season. So goes it for Baltimore Orioles pitcher Brad Bergesen, who ended up missing the beginning of Spring Training due to an injury he received while filming the 2010 promo spot. The campaign made an early debut in February on YouTube after word of the starter's pre-season injury, and delayed start, got out.
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