Posts about Ad

DuPont’s internet-video ads on blogs

DuPont just launched a new series of internet-video ads — stories about science starring Amanda Congdon — that they are placing on blogs. Steve Baker of Business Week writes about it here and Josh Bernoff of Forrester here. Here are the videos with Amanda in a white lab coat, which has to be someone’s fantasy.

Full disclosure: I consulted on the effort. I was brought in because I know the folks at Rishad Tabaccowala’s think-do tank Denou at Publicis. When they started, they wanted to involve bloggers and I insisted that the only was to do that was through advertising on the blogs; it’s a clear relationship and it also gives respect to the medium and its people (I’m happy to see that Bernoff liked this). I introduced them to Amanda (which thrilled them; it was as if I’d snagged Oprah). And I gave some advice on the videos (obvious stuff: put your best stuff first, make them short and fun). And I suggested Bright Cove for the serving and Federated Media as an ad network. And they bought lunch.

I’m glad that we’re seeing internet video and blogs and ad money come together. This is the kind of new thinking you can bring to life in these new media. I will leave it to you to say what you think of the program and the videos:

: LATER: Radar goes after Amanda for shilling while also reporting with ABC. Legit discussion. But it’s not a first; she is making a Dove commercial at Blip and she made commercials for first first sponsors on Rocketboom. There are a bunch of different issues besides the one Radar raises, including how small shops will handle the sponsorship they get (a la Rocketboom).

: LATER STILL: See Amanda’s blog:

ABC and HBO both approved the DuPont spots. And under the “blogger” title, which is what I am, hello? I am not subject to the “rules” traditional journalists have to follow.

Isn’t that what new media is all about? Breaking the rules? Setting our own? I see nothing wrong with doing commercials, which is what they, quite transparently, are. If DuPont had tried to pass them off as authentic, homegrown videos, yeah, then that would’ve been wrong (and, of course, I would never have agreed to the project if that was the plan). . . .

It’s also about acting.

: THURSDAY UPDATE: Here‘s an LA Times story about bloggers in ads out of this.

Open Data

I’m at Seth Goldstein’s Open Data confab at the Reuters building. I love the mission on the wall: “Open data is to media what open source is to technology. Open data is an approach to content creation that explicitly recognizes the value of implicit user dat. The internet is the first medim to give a voice to the attention that people pay to it. Successful open data companies listen for and amplify the rich data that their audiences produce.”

Katie Neiderhofer of BuzzMetrics is presenting and is asked about opening up their data (because, of course, in the end, it is our data). She doesn’t quite get it, talking about sharing data with a company. Who owns the wisdom of the crowd?

She shows a chart that associates words with the concept safety and groups them: children, life, police, work, home… Bush, president, American, administration…. terrorism, Iraq, military, attacks… And she finds that the emotional words — dangerous, risk, fear, ensure — as associated with the personal words: children, life, etc. This is fascinating data that also becomes useful to associate words and concepts (and, I’d say, behind that the sites and people that talk about them). She shows something called Floodgate with a live view of blog tag clusters; unfortunately, this, too, is closed.

I ask whether they have tied together the work DataMining blogger Matt Hurst did when he was at Buzzmetrics, mapping the social (linking) associations of bloggers with what she shows: the mapping of topics. In other words, have advertisers come to them to find, for example, the most influential food bloggers? Yes, she says. So, Seth says, this becomes a “media planning tool for social media.” But there is also discussion about this being closed. If there is an influence metric, who owns that? I would benefit by knowing that I am an influential food blogger and if I am not given that information, I might shut off the closed network from exploiting me or I might join in an open, competitive network. See: The open-source ad network.

There is much discussion about the sale of our aggregate and/or anonymous behavioral data and issues of both privacy and PR.

Sanjiv Das from Morgan Stanley is about to explain agtorithms. He says that one cannot disrupt markets but must anticipate them (hello, Viacom). He says that data will become commoditized but organization will be proprietary. Amen.

Barak Pridor of ClearForest presents text analysis. For example, he shows search results that occur only in documents that meet some test. I ask whether he could give us things that have the tag X but only if it also has the tag Y. This would be extremely valuable for such things as and Edgeio (e.g., show me posts tagged ‘mexican’ but only if they’re also tagged ‘restaurant’ and ‘new york’). I’m dying for that kind of multilayer search and analysis. It enables so much more.

The need for a measurement summit

Comscore and Federated Media (which sells some ads on this blog) have teamed up to try to improve measurement in the long tail of social and niche media online. And that’s good.

Except I argue that the panel means of measurement is doomed to miserable failure in the mass of niches. You cannot possible build a panel large and varied enough to get reliable measurement of the audience and traffic of millions — even thousands — of sites, especially when we get the means to tie together lots of those small sites into networks.

What I hope they do is honestly and harshly look at their stats from their panel versus the server stats of the sites — especially the smaller sites, not the much-easier-to-measure big boys like Digg and BoingBoing — and realize that the panel just doesn’t work.

What we need, I’ve long argued, is standard metrics reported from the sites’ servers or from snoopers on pages and verified by a service such as Comscore or Nielsen. Old methods will not work in this new world. The same goes for Nielsen, which is buying the rest of Netratings.

And whilel we’re at it, let’s figure out the new measurements that capture the unique value of this new medium: authority, speed, connectedness… The page view is dead.

I think it’s time for a measurement summit: Bring together the measurement companies, the advertisers and their agencies (buyers), the sites’ reps (sellers), the media sites, and technology companies and let’s hammer out some standards and methods for measurement. This will only work if we have open standards with analytics (like Comscore and Nielsen) building value atop that common data. Otherwise, we end up in a world that will continue to confuse and scare advertisers — and their money — away.

Newspapers’ industrial suicide

Three of the (still) big newspaper companies, Gannett, Tribune, McClatchy, announced a joint effort to sell national ads onto their web sites. Now you might think I’d nod approvingly at that. But I’m not. I’m shaking my head in sad disbelief. For this only reminds me of the newspaper industry’s horribly failed effort to sell ads across the sites of a dozen big companies, the New Century Network, which failed because the companies simply could not work together. And the Journal story only points out that there are still fragmented, competitive efforts going on in the industry. The bottom line is that they are making it hard for national advertisers to buy their sites — thus, easier to buy Yahoo, Google, MSN, MySpace, et al. You see, newspapers all think they’re special. But they’re not.

Exploding TV: The ad dollars trickle in

Beet.TV gets its first video ads from Google. There’s the first trickle. Now wait for Google to create an ad infrastructure for video everywhere. The comes the flood.