• Streaming Dreams
    I recently had what I'm sure will prove to be a prophetic dream, one inspired by Steve Jobs--the Willy Wonka of 21st century technology--and his latest invention: the video iPod. Passing through a city too much like Tokyo to be New York, I descend stained steps into a subway filled with commuters, each attached to a video iPod. But not the original video iPod that Jobs debuted last week; these are customized models that come in a variety of shapes to meet the needs of their owners. The real tailoring is found within the devices' shells, however; each one contains ...
  • Thinking Inside The Box
    Picture midtown Manhattan at midday. You're walking along with important things to do, until, abruptly, a hand yanks you off your route and into some shop for a sales pitch. No sane merchant would think of it, right? Not in the real world, maybe. But in the world of online commerce, it's standard practice.
  • A Little Older, A Little Wiser
    The online ad industry has grown up a bit -- an observation I heard repeated throughout OMMA East and its press coverage. Panels of a few years back with names like "Search: What The Heck Is It?!" have been replaced with titles such as "Integrated Search Planning: How Organic, Sponsored and Paid Can Optimize All Media Spends," and so forth.
  • Streaming Through September
    Even before this ad-packed week arrived, September was shaping up as a big month for rich and streaming media. For example, the vaunted Mercedes-Benz USA has called upon its trusted agency Critical Mass to launch an elaborate spot to promote its new R-Class luxury vehicle.
  • Pace Thyself
    The media and Madison Avenue habitually perform various wrongs, but among the worst is the top-heavy coverage of popular subjects: the way new ideas and breaking news stories are quickly exhausted of meaning, overcooked by our collective magnifying glass.
  • Story Time
    If I remember correctly, story and narrative are not one and the same. The story is the organization and trajectory of events within a narrative. Or maybe it's the other way around. Either way, I'll keep it simple, and let the latest industry events tell the story.
  • A Season For Streaming
    A wit once remarked on how silly it was for marketers to use pumped-up terms like 'innovation' and 'breakthrough' to describe set product changes, while peacockish fashionistas do just fine with the phrase 'next season.' In that spirit, let's leave the hyperbole to toothbrush commercials -- how many breakthroughs in brushing 'technology' can one stand, anyway? -- and take a sober look at the fall rich media season. They'll be no shortage of venues, for one. CBS, CNN, and ABC, among others, have all got loads of room for video ads. I mentioned America Online last week, which is ...
  • A Joke At Your Expense
    Oh, did I have a goooood one for you this week: My own disquieting RM-themed version of "The Aristocrats" joke that would have sent Gilbert Gottfried to the window for air. Sadly, management got wind at the last second and reduced my masterpiece to one predictable, sanitized word, which might in fact describe the point of the joke better than any four letter word: Timing. I know, I know, not exactly a side-splitter, but I think it's as fundamental a principal for the comic as it is for the marketer, the manager, and the deployment of creative.
  • Trading-Up on the Cheap
    Those of you just getting home from summer camp might put aside the calamine lotion and consider that Gannett Co. is already exploiting its recent $100 million acquisition of PointRoll, and simultaneously debasing the future of rich media as we know it. In short, Gannett's USAToday.com said last week that its online advertisers now have access to PointRoll's rich media formats at no additional charge, provided they pay a minimum cost-per-thousand impression rate. Their expressed hope is to give marketers an added incentive to advertise on USA Today's site, and a reason to use PointRoll's ad-serving tools when ...
  • Crazy Days of Summer
    Alright folks, time to get smart. Big money's being reallocated online so it's all the more important to be aware of the forces affecting rich media. Let's consider a few. Firstly, there's the "one-stop-shop" phenomenon. Not only are digital marketers like aQuantive's Atlas getting 'rich,' but shops once devoted exclusively to rich media have taken on non-rich ad serving.
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