Ford has shipped out a few of its new Lincoln MKS sedans to bloggers, along with a brand new Flip video camera. And the preliminary results are in. Today on her lifestyle and self improvement site DishyMix, Susan Bratton posted Lincoln MKS's "First Video Review," and if her daughter's reaction is any hint, it is a hit.
It's unclear how far this effort will spread around the blogosphere, but it is a smart effort on Ford's part. They're obviously hoping the reviews will be positive, but by sending out Flip cameras with the vehicles, Ford has attached its brand (that it hopes to position as a technological marvel) to a fun little gadget that has great brand recognition and usability. Obviously the automanufacturer is hoping its car will inspire similar reactions.
Twitter's popularity is sparking all kinds of rumors about the company's future, and Google higher ups added fuel to the fire this week by implying that their company plans to partner with the micro-blogging service.
At the search giant's annual annual Google Zeitgeist conference
Tuesday, Google cofounder Larry Page made it clear that they are covetous of
Twitter's real time offerings. Page said that
their company has so far “done a relatively poor job of creating things
that work on a per second basis...People really want to do stuff in
real-time and they [Twitter] have done a great job about it... We will
do a good job of things now we have these examples.”
CEO Eric Schmidt tampered down rumors that Google is looking to buy Twitter though, saying “We do not have to buy everyone to work
with them." And that's a good thing for Twitter.
After years of battling over royalty fees, internet radio station Pandora is finally moving its balance sheet into the black. Getting a boost of subscriptions from its iPhone app, Pandora is also learning that its users have a much higher tolerance for ads than it previously thought.
A beloved service with a host of financial problems stemming from record industry copyright fees, Pandora now intersperses ads into its free content and the company is finding that audiences don't seem to mind.
Pandora founder Tim Westergren spoke to Bloomberg News about the company's finances Tuesday:
"With budgets tightening in the recession, advertisers are becoming
more selective about where to spend money. That benefits Pandora
because it can deliver ads to targeted users, making sure commercials
aren’t “wasted” on the wrong demographic group, Westergren said."
Pepsi may not be rolling out its new retro logo in Europe for another year, but the soft drink giant is making use of its old school theme somewhere - in new media. Pepsi's new logo, which borrows from an older aesthetic (and has noted similarities to the Obama campaign logo), is now latching on to the popularity of nostalgia shows online and pairing its new "Pepsi Throwback" with 70s and 80s shows on Hulu.
Three 15-second ads will promote Pepsi's new product made
from real sugar, an ingredient that was dropped in favor of by corn syrup in
American soda products 40 years. And the spots will match the enthusiasm for nostalgic shows like Hill Street Blues and The
Mary Tyler Moore Show, replete with Pet Rocks, shag carpeting, and fondue pots.
Later tonight, OpenTable plans to announce its IPO. The San Francisco-based restaurant reservations system, headed by former eBay and PayPal executive Jeff Jordan, filed for a $40 million initial public offering in February, which then made it only the third venture nationwide to file for an IPO this year.
So how did the company manage 21% growth in revenue since last year and position itself to IPO in such a beleagured market? By forgoing advertising for a subscriptions model and some formidable marketing muscle.
Facebook may have 75.5 million monthly visitors, but the world's most popular social network is not getting by on advertising alone. This month, estimates for total revenue from applications will be roughly equal to Facebook's profit through advertising. And it seems like Facebook is looking for cash in on that lucrative market.
According to AdAge:
Facebook is testing a payments system with some
of its developers that would enable one-click buying of virtual goods
and services on the Facebook platform, with Facebook taking either a
percentage of the transaction or a flat fee. In addition, Facebook is
testing a service to allow users or advertisers to buy and trade
"credits" or a virtual currency to facilitate commerce. Spokesman
Brandon McCormick said three tests of the system will commence in the
Telemarketer based frustration used to be a personal grievance, but with the number of technologies at the finger tips of consumers today, marketers have to be wary of the tactics they use to reach out to customers. Case in point: Auto One Warranty Specialists Inc.
The company hired a third-party marketing firm to call consumers who opted in to receiving solicitations. They were informed their
car warranty was about to expire. But many of the recipients hadn't opted in. And many of them don't even own cars.
Today at the IAB Social Media Conference in New York, the Interactive
Advertising Bureau released a new set of best practices for social
advertising online. The IAB began setting
standards for online advertising in 1996, and the new guidelines are
meant to make social media ad buys more standardized, and especially,
This is important in the social media space, where so many
people are still unsure of what they want from social media campaigns
and what their campaigns are capable of there. However, it is still unclear if the large social media networks will adhere to the standards.
A lot of traditional brands have been talking about their online presence, but Reckitt-Benckiser decided to put their money with their mouth is last month. After five years of organic growth in their advertising, Reckitt moved $20 million of their TV ad dollars to the web in April.
The company, which represents such brands as Clearasil, Lysol, Air Wick, Mucinez, and Finish, is moving the advertising for over 15 of its brands to the web.
According to TNS Media Intelligence, the company has traditionally spent move than 90% of its $475 million measured-media budget on TV, and last year spent less than $1 million in measured spending on the web.
But in order to get a better return on their investment, the company decided they needed to invest more in the digital space.
Amazon has quickly emerged as the leader in the nascent eBook market,
but a company launching today has the potential to change all that.
Amazon has the upper hand versus Sony's Reader because of its prolific
backlog of content. Most important to their foothold is the way that they control content. Books purchased in
the Amazon store are only viewable on the Kindle and the Kindle iPhone
app. But if a company can undercut Amazon's prices and get access to the same quality content, they could unseat Amazon.