Are you ready for a world of virtual realities embedded with brands? Trust me - I'm not, either, but it seems ad world is getting ready (once again) to embrace the concept, even if consumers aren't.
This summer Coca Cola replaced its logo with 250 popular names, and America suddenly became really thirsty. No product improvement. No big grand prize. Just a touch of personalization, and people couldn't dig through the convenience store cooler fast enough.
There were a few news items last week that seemed indicators of the fact that the end of the old marketing world is really here. Now. This year.
My News Feed this week is drowning in posts about Israel and Palestine. Most of them tend to be in support of the latter, thanks to a largely liberal friend network and Eli Pariser's filter bubbles. The commentary wasn't exclusively pro-Palestinian, however; there were a few posts of Bloomberg landing at Ben-Gurion, and a clip of Bill Maher saying that Israel uses rockets to defend civilians and Hamas uses civilians to defend rockets.What there wasn't a whole lot of was moderation. Every post I saw labeled one side or the other "right," and laid the behavior-change burden of responsibility squarely ...
A few weeks ago, Rich Greenfield at BTIG Research had a great rant of sorts -- which turned into an insightful analysis -- of the repetitive nature of digital video ads. Called "Our TV (Not) Everywhere Experience a.k.a How The Americans on FX Taught Us to Despise Audi," it's worth a read. (BTIG's content is behind a login wall, but it's free, and I highly recommend signing up, on that note. I don't despise Audi (they make great cars!), and in this case, I actually feel bad for the brand. Because Greenfield's point is spot-on. What happened in this case ...
The customer lifecycle is almost as hot a buzzword as "big data" -- but what exactly is a customer lifecycle? Is it really a circular journey? Is it linear?
For some reason, the industry has embraced an ephemeral speed-dating approach that is more akin to #DTF than eHarmony. Brands are putting out APBs for startups, corralling a cacophony of Dog the Bounty Hunters to scrape the bottom of the barrel in order to compete for a low-cost ransom. Pitch nights become meat markets, and speed dating becomes one-night stands, when in reality, each and every startup on show is -- and should be looked at as -- a potential soul mate.
"That was fantastic. Let's do it again -- but bigger!" says the marketer in an after-action review or post-buy meeting. I cringe when I hear those words, since those are two decisions made right there. Apparently we are going to do "it" again, and doing "it" bigger will beat the results from the previous time we did "it." Why is there no consideration for "Let's do it again, but smaller," or "Let's not do it again" in the discussion? Even if "it" was deemed a success, "again" should never be the default.
Perhaps, like me, you were heartbroken at the news of Aaron Swartz' death early last year. The 26-year-old Swartz was the co-founder of Reddit; critical to the creation of W3C, RSS, Markdown, and Creative Commons; and behind the public outcry that ultimately led to the defeat of SOPA and PIPA. He was also the subject of a federal investigation for downloading academic journal articles from JSTOR, a prosecution that carried a maximum penalty of $1 million and 35 years in prison. In January 2013, he succumbed to the pressure of the prosecution and hanged himself in his Brooklyn apartment.
Mega-mergers have been the talk of the media industry for the past year. It started with the biggest video programming distributors in the U.S., Comcast and Time Warner Cable, then AT&T and DirecTV, and we've had lots of additional dancing among folks like Charter, Dish, Sprint and T-Mobile. Two consistent rationales have been driving the deals. First, the perceived need to gain scale to support massive anticipated growth of on-demand video usage across multiple digital devices. Second, the perceived need for leverage to push back on content owners and their desire for higher pricing.