• Sharing Is (Health) Caring
    Dr. Mehmet Oz and Oprah Winfrey are itching to get into the burgeoning world of health social media. But true to form, they want to do it in their own controlled way. Oz is partnering with Winfrey's company Harpo Productions, Discovery Communications and Jeff Arnold, who founded WebMD and left in 2000, on a new Web site that will provide crowd-sourced and edited answers to user-submitted health questions. The answers will come from celebrity physicians, hospitals, high-profile health authors, local health providers, brand sponsors and other users. Sharecare.com is due to launch at the end of summer; its first sponsor ...
  • Market Focus: Greenwashing Cycle
    Spring cleaners have more products to choose from than ever before, including a whole new host of potions that (at least) promote themselves as being "green." A March 2010 report from market researcher Mintel shows that 35 percent of consumers say they will still pay more for "environmentally friendly" products, despite the recession. A similar study (from Penn Schoen Berland, Landor Associates and Burson-Marsteller) echoed the results of the Mintel survey.
  • Industry Watch: Online, It's Always Showtime
    There's no dearth of primetime TV shows about families. For the launch of NBC's Parenthood, the agency Ignited used video as the key play for its digital campaign. Ignited was aiming for a broad target: 18- to 49-year-olds, with a slight skew toward older and female. In fact, this particular show, more than most, seems carefully designed to hit this broad range, chronicling the lives of several generations and several kinds of parenthood, from career mom to baby daddy to matriarch and patriarch.
  • Web U: Get Found - Local Search Tips and Tactics
    We've all been talking about local search for ages now, and you may be thinking that this is just another article recycling the same ideas once again, but I truly feel it's important to remind all business owners with brick and mortar stores, who are also engaging with online shoppers, how vitally important it is to have your local search ducks in a row. All it takes is a few minutes of searching to see how quickly the major search engines are expanding the index of search terms that get local preference. Additionally, I've read on Google's blog that they ...
  • Logging In: In the Long Run
    I want a word with whoever first threw around the "last mile" bit about creative in the display-ad ecosystem. It's fair enough, I suppose, to leave the creative as the "last mile" these days. If you look at the degree of innovation that's occurred in how display ads are bought, targeted and trafficked in the last two years alone, there's a lot to be proud of. We can buy the right audiences using sophisticated algorithms instead of inefficient spreadsheets. We can do amazing things like bid differently for different audiences based on their value to us - in real time ...
  • Cross-Media Case Study: Block-by-Block
    In a tech-crazed, gizmo-loaded world, it's not particularly easy to peddle plastic building blocks to kids. Unless, of course, you are LEGO. If anything, our economic downturn has helped the Denmark-based toymaker, which saw its sales stack up nicely in 2009. In the United States, LEGO Systems' consumer sales grew 31 percent over 2008, the fifth straight year of growth in the United States for the company.
  • Cross-Media Case Study: God, Family, Football, and Facebook
    University of Florida's former star quarterback Tim Tebow and his evangelical missionary parents knew a golden opportunity when they saw one. Focus on the Family, a Christian activist group, came calling in late 2009 with an offer to put Tebow, known for his clean-cut image and faith-based charity work, in a Super Bowl ad designed to send viewers to the Focus on the Family Web site. The Tebow family saw that such an ad -- which they could never afford on their own -- could also indirectly send people to a Tim Tebow site that could collect donations and volunteers ...
  • Free Ride
    America's Mad Men might be going mobile - but not from behind the wheel of their cars. Mobile advertising on portable devices and smartphones - either with sponsored content, direct advertisement or via installed apps - is looking like the sole survivor in today's dead-man-walking ad market: Mobile billings are expected to touch $4.1 billion this year, up 24 percent from last, according to Juniper Research, the UK-based telecom and mobile analyst firm, with total turnover expected to hit $12 billion by 2015.
  • Culture Clash
    Apple likes control. While nearly universally agreed upon, this is an understatement. Like saying Mussolini had a thing for trains. Its approach is seemingly in direct opposition to Google's open one, as the two battle over the mobile Web.
  • Design Focus: If You Build It, They Will Learn to Use It
    Most great ideas often start with, "Wouldn't it be cool if you could ... ?" To which someone (usually somebody's mother) inevitably replies: "Now why would someone want to do that?" At least, this has been my mother's response to almost every new invention since the color TV. She immediately rejects anything that threatens the medium, format or routine with which she's already comfortable.
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