Posts by John Keehler
Xbox Kinect Brings Gesture and Voice to TV Ads
By Sarah Voges
Microsoft has engineered a way for advertisers to bake voice and gesture-based response mechanisms into TV spots seen by Xbox Kinect users. Called Nuads, the product lets marketers add an interactive layer to commercials without requiring viewers to fumble with remote control buttons. For instance, Kinect owners may respond to a call to action by waving a hand or speaking a few words aloud.
The Age of Wearable Electronics Is Here
By John Keehler
Take a stroll down memory lane to see how far we’ve come with wearable electronics. What used to be bulky cameras strapped to giant virtual reality goggles has become sleek, barely noticeable Bluetooth accessories. We truly have arrived at the age of wearable electronics.
Facebook Experiments with Comment Ads
By Colin Hogan
Facebook is experimenting with a new type of ad that invites users to comment on a question posed by an advertiser. The format, which mirrors a status update on a branded Facebook page but doesn’t depend on users signing up, invites a dialogue. The first advertiser to try the so-called Comment ads, Allstate, used the Mayhem character from its commercials, who asked, “What’s the worst thing your kid’s ever done in the car?” Another advertiser, Hallmark, plans to ask, “How do you make summertime a special occasion?”
HBO App Sees Big Growth
By Alex Kenney
This weekend HBO expected the 3-millionth download of their newly released HBO Go app, which gives HBO subscribers streaming access to everything in the HBO vault. With 28 million HBO subscribers in the U.S., that’s almost 10% of the company’s audience that has tried out the app, which is pretty good considering some cable companies like Time Warner don’t offer the option. The app is HBO’s way to offer users the convenient on-demand viewing that Netflix provides, and they’re banking that their content is good enough to maintain the audience.
The Future According to Eric Schmidt
By Brian Kress
At the Cannes Lions Festival last week, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt was named Cannes’ Media Person of the Year, and in his acceptance speech, he gave some insight on what the future might look like. Included in his crystal-gazing was a world without credit cards and cars that drive themselves.
Foursquare Surpasses 10 Million Users
Foursquare surpassed the 10 million user mark this past weekend, and the company has released a great infographic to celebrate the announcement. Click through to view the stats on where people are checking in (Old Navy, Bank of America, 7-Eleven, Home Depot and Target top the list) and what their sentiment is when they do so in various cities.
Average U.S. Smartphone Data Usage Up
“According to Nielsen’s monthly analysis of cellphone bills for 65,000+ lines, smartphone owners – especially those with iPhones and Android devices — are consuming more data than ever before on a per-user basis. In just the last 12 months, the amount of data the average smartphone user consumes per month has grown by 89 percent from 230 Megabytes (MB) in Q1 2010 to 435 MB in Q1 2011.”
Facebook to be Top US Display Ad Seller in 2011
Facebook has quickly risen to become one of the biggest players in the US online ad market and by the end of this year will push past Yahoo! to become the top display ad-selling company in the country. eMarketer estimates an 80.9% ad revenue growth over last year – almost double!! – with revenues expected to reach $2.19B in 2011.
HTC Uses Google Goggles For Interactive Campaign
HTC created a cross-media campaign featuring 60 unique pieces of content that “cultural curators” can discover and download by scanning TV, print, or outdoor executions from the campaign. By partnering with Google the campaign moves beyond the QR code to make the entire execution link to exciting digital content created for the campaign.
Twitter’s Awareness vs. Usage Problem
While Twitter’s awareness among US consumers has risen to an amazing 92%, the Pew Internet and American Life Project reports that only 8% of US consumers are actually using the service.
1993 was a big year. The Mosaic Internet Web browser was launched, NAFTA was signed, Seinfeld won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series and the high school class of 2011 was born. Nielsen congratulates the class of 2011 and takes look at today’s American teen, raised in an age dominated by media choices like never before—from the Internet to cable channels to web connected devices galore.
Facebook Sees Traffic Drop in US and Canada
While Facebook has climbed to 687 million monthly active users worldwide, most of the new users are coming from countries that were relatively late to adopt the social network, while use has dropped off in early adopting countries like the United States and Canada. The number of users in the US fell by 6 million to 149 million during May, which marks the first time the site has lost users in the past year.
Breaking Down the Online Media Budget
Online advertising channels are growing rapidly to encompass more of advertisers’ media budgets, this recent infographic released by Mashable profiles the most utilized tactics within this space against traditional media outlets. Most notably, online advertising currently accounts for more spending than radio and outdoor combined, and advertisers are spending $0.53 for every hour spent with newspapers compared to just one cent for each hour with a mobile device.
Facebook Advertising Improves Conversions
According to a recent study, brands should look to their Facebook community for a cost effective way to push event sign-ups, product purchase and service registrations. “Over the course of a thirteen-client, 4.1 billion ad impression study, TBG found that targeting Facebook fans was more effective than targeting non-fans when it comes to these specific types of conversions… Registration acquisition costs can be 44% cheaper, while event sign-ups cost 33% less and purchases are 15% cheaper to achieve.”
25 Million iPads Sold in Past 14 Months
At the World Wide Developer Conference, some amazing statistics were released that further confirm the overwhelming success of iOS devices, including that 25 million iPads were sold in the last 14 months since its launch. Overall, Apple has sold over 200 million iOS devices to date.
Apple iCloud Includes Music Service
Today, Apple announced it’s latest music offerings coming this fall, iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match. With iTunes in the Cloud, users can now store all purchased music in the cloud and download to all their devices at no additional charge. And iTunes Match allows for cloud storage of up to 25,000 tracks ripped from CD’s for an annual fee of $25.
Among U.S. adults who go online, 13% use Twitter — and more than half (54%) of these people access the popular social media service with their mobile phone, according to new research from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. The report also revealed some interesting details about the demographics of Twitter users. For instance, 25% of adult African-Americans who use the Internet are on Twitter, as are 19% of Hispanic Americans, compared with only 9% of whites.
Most Sharing Happens Via Facebook
A new study released by ShareThis shows that 38% of shared links that are actually clicked have been spread through Facebook. Twitter and Email trail with 17% apiece for clicked links, although links shared via Twitter are likely to be visited by more people than either Facebook or email. Further, the study shows that 8 in 10 people will share content only from one category, whether it be politics, shopping, or entertainment.
Facebook Nears 700 Million Worldwide Users
Facebook continues to grow, and is fast approaching the 700 million user mark. Most of these new users are from outside the US, with Brazil and India topping the list. What will this mean for the future of Facebook and how your brand approaches the platform?
Ads Implant False Memories
It’s not as bad as it sounds. “It turns out that vivid commercials are incredibly good at tricking the hippocampus (a center of long-term memory in the brain) into believing that the scene we just watched on television actually happened. And it happened to us.” The mechanics are based on a theory about memory called memory reconsolidation, in which our brains use the equivalent of a “save as” function every time we remember something – adding to or changing the memory a little each time – and incorporate things like scenes from an ad.
Google Wallet Coming This Summer
Google has beat everyone to the punch with their introduction of mobile wallet technology. Rolling out this summer in a few cities, Google is partnering with Sprint, MasterCard and Citigroup to bring tap-and-pay mobile system to the masses.
Android Users Consume More Data
Newly released Nielsen data shows that not only do Android owners make up 36% of the smartphone market share (Apple is second now at 26%), but they also consume the most data per month: 18% more than Apple iPhone users.
Google Passes Yahoo To Become #1 in Display
Having long been the leader in search advertising, Google has now surpassed Yahoo to become the largest provider of display advertising as well. Google’s growth comes largely through increased usage of display ads from medium to small search advertisers rather than stealing share from Yahoo. However, both Google and Yahoo can take pleasure knowing that the display market grew 23% to $7.3 billion in the first quarter, compared to $5.9 billion a year ago.
The head of Google’s display advertising business has predicted that spending on graphical online advertising, digital video, mobile and other non-search formats will increase almost tenfold in the next few years, as the internet sucks up yet more marketing dollars from other media. Neal Mohan, Google’s vice-president for display advertising products, believes that many billions of dollars worth of ads will be bought using automated “real-time bidding” technology that will transform how media agencies operate.
P&G Increasing Branded Digital Content
With Soap Operas becoming history, P&G has reinvigorated digital branded content opportunities as a primary source of innovation. P&G is actively teaming up with publishers, not just to sponsor content but to create content together, signaling a shift from paid media to owned channels such as Petside.com.
Tablets and Smartphones Supplement Traditional Media
A new report from Nielsen shows that 70% of tablet users and 68% of smartphone owners are multi-tasking with their devices while watching TV, representing the largest chunk of time they spend with those devices. It remains to be seen if these devices are increasing engagement with shows or providing a distraction, either way this behavior presents advertisers with additional opportunities for cross-platform campaigns through mobile platforms.
According to eMarketer, 72.8 million people, or 23.2 percent of the US population, will play games on their mobile devices this year. eMarketer’s estimates exclude mobile users who play pre-installed games, which offer publishers decent brand exposure but little in the way of monetization opportunities.
Facebook Allows Users to Tag Brands in Photos
Last week, Facebook announced that users are now able to tag Pages for brands and products in their Facebook photos. Tagged photos will appear in the Photos tab of a Page, rather than on that Page’s Wall, and anyone can tag a Page — even if a user hasn’t “Liked” it. Page admins can also remove photos from the tab by going into Edit Page > Posting Options > and unchecking “Users can add photos.”
Continuing their assault on the “old retail” way of doing things, Groupon keeps finding new ways to build on their platform. Their latest thought: Let’s drive revenue from mobile. Citing a new mobile service launched last Tuesday they call Groupon Now, which helps users decide where to go when hungry or bored, Groupon’s VP Mobile Partnerships Michael Shim thinks they’ve just scratched the service of local discovery. Now, more than ever, they’re helping users answer the question, “What can I find around me?”
Nearly 1 in 5 Smartphone Users Check-In
According to comScore, 16.7 million mobile users checked in in March 2011 – representing 7.1% of the total mobile population and 17.6% of smartphone users. Mobile users that check-in show greater mobile media usage – including greater access of mobile retail sites, news sites and tech news sites – as well as stronger early adopter behaviors than average mobile users with a higher likelihood for owning a tablet. And they’re more exposed to mobile marketing too! Almost 40% of those that check-in recall seeing a web or app advertising during the month of March.
Bing Incorporates Facebook Recommendations
In an attempt to further differentiate from Google, on May 17th Bing will start adding Facebook recommendations to its search results when users are logged in to the social network. Friends’ recommendations will be incorporated into the existing search results similar to how they are utilized through Facebook Connect on other sites. Furthermore, Facebook updates from brands that are relevant to the search term will also be included in the results without being charged.
Pushing the Limits of Storytelling
One of the highest rated news apps in the iTunes store isn’t news at all. Rather, it’s a 15,000 word, 13 chapter interactive behind-the-scenes “opus” for the blockbuster video game Portal 2. This in-depth look inside the offices of Valve costs only $1.99 in the iTunes store and is garnering perfect 5-star reviews.
With a valuation of $153 billion Apple has surpassed four-year reigning champion Google for the top spot in Millward Brown’s annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study. Driving the 84% growth in brand value are the launch of the iPad and the iPhone expanding to Verizon. Other notable changes include Amazon passing Wal-Mart as the most valuable retail brand, Blackberry falling 20% in value, and Facebook jumping 246% over the previous ranking.
Remembering coupon print outs or searching for that coupon confirmation email might soon be a thing of the past – LevelUp is taking strides to seamlessly automate the coupon redemption process. The daily deals site by the makers of SCVNGR solidified a partnership with American Express which will allow users immediate coupon redemption when they use their card to pay. Just register your AmEx card with your LevelUp account, load your deals to your card, and then pay with your card at point-of-purchase – no need for further verification, the discount is automatically applied when you swipe.
Groupon is preparing to launch Groupon Now, a mobile app that will connect customers with real-time coupons for retailers in their vicinity. Tap the app’s “I’m hungry” button, and you might be offered a discount on a slice at a pizza parlor a few blocks away. But you’ll have to move fast: The deals will be time-sensitive and good for just a few hours. Groupon’s daily-deals e-mail business isn’t going away, but the company’s focus is clearly on nailing its mobile strategy. Groupon says the app will launch in its first city — Chicago, Groupon’s hometown — later this month.
A Google-commissioned study on smartphone usage has confirmed just how addicted we are to our devices and revealed how we use them to help make purchasing decisions. Nearly 80% said they use their phones for shopping and shopping-related activities and 70% use their phones in stores. Most people (67%) said they use their smartphone to do product research and then purchase an item in a store, followed by the 23% who research on their phones, check the product out in the store but then ultimately purchase it online. Get more stats through the link.
Bin Laden Death Sends Internet Traffic Soaring
As news of Osama bin Laden’s death made its way across the globe Sunday night, Internet traffic exploded. At the news event’s peak, Twitter said that users were sending off more than 4,000 tweets per second. Akamai’s Net Usage Index, which measures traffic to top news sites, registered 4.1 million page views during President Obama’s announcement. That represents a 28% increase in North America and 24% increase in global web traffic compared to the averages for that time.
HBO Launches Free Streaming on iPad and iPhone
HBO launched its “HBO Go” app for iOS on Monday, which allows existing paid subscribers from select providers like AT&T, Dish and DirectTV to stream more than 1,400 movies, series, documentaries and specials via iPad and iPhone.
Time Inc. Subscribers Now Have iPad App Access
While we’ve seen television expand access to mobile devices via “TV Everywhere,” the print industry has struggled to recreate the model and has pursued a pay-per-digital-edition model. In an important step forward, publishing house Time Inc. has reached a deal with Apple that allows its’ print subscribers free iPad app access to their subscriptions. In addition to People magazine, starting Monday Time, Sports Illustrated and Fortune subscribers will have iPad app access. Next item of business – the digital-only subscription model.
Seven Ways to Help Tornado Victims
The death toll has climbed to over three hundred people, and thousands more are injured, homeless, and without power or clean water after catastrophic tornadoes ripped through the south. Read on for seven simple ways you can help the victims online through Twitter, Facebook, or a quick text that can make a big difference.
Facebook Launches Groupon Competitor in 5 Cities
Facebook’s much anticipated “deals” platform has launched today in 5 cities: Austin, Atlanta, Dallas, San Francisco and San Diego. The new platform is not like the “check-in” based deals, but more of a Groupon competitor. Local offers will be sent via email as well as in the news feed.
We’re All Invited to the Royal Wedding!
Digitally, that is. Live-streamed on YouTube and the official royal website, Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding this Friday is predicted to be viewed by 2.5 billion global viewers. Not only that, but fans are encouraged to follow along via every existing social media channel including Twitter (@ClarenceHouse) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/TheBritishMonarchy). This NYTimes piece succinctly states that “historians will surely look at this interactive, multimedia, multichannel, cross platform extravaganza as the melting point of private and public.”
Nintendo to Launch New Wii Console in 2012
Nintendo announced Monday morning that it plans to launch a successor to the Wii in 2012. Little is known about the new console, which is reportedly known internally as Project Café. The company will show a playable model of the new system and announce more specifications at the E3 Expo in June, 2011.
Storify Now Available to the Public
It’s getting hard to keep up with all the social media data around the latest events, but Storify aims to help people filter that data. Using the Storify Web site, people can find and piece together publicly available content from Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, YouTube and other sites. They can also add text and embed the resulting collages of content on their own sites. During a private test period, reporters from The Washington Post, NPR, PBS and other outlets used the service.