Net Marketing - news and strategy

Monday, September 30, 2002
Nielsen//NetRatings Launches Digital Media Universe Measurement, Delivering The Most Comprehensive View of Web and Digital Media Usage

'With the launch of the Digital Media Universe, the Nielsen//NetRatings service will expand to combine Web-based traffic with Internet applications and browser channel audience data, including comprehensive measurement of AOL proprietary channels. This enables marketers to evaluate business development and marketing opportunities for stand-alone and cross comparisons of AOL proprietary channels and Web-based traffic.

The rest of the Digital Media Universe is comprised of the measurement of instant messaging, media players, media sharing applications, ISP applications, wireless content systems, Web phones, news and information toolbars, connected games, weather applications, auction assistants and shopping assistants. Examples of popular applications include RealOne media player, KaZaA media sharing application, WeatherBug weather assistant, CallWave Web phone, AvantGo wireless content system, and many others. '

Overture, MSN extend search pact

'Overture will continue to provide search services to Microsoft's MSN through 2004.' A one year extension to their existing agreement.

Email Newsletters Pick Up Where Websites Leave Off

'The positive emotional aspect of newsletters is that they can create much more of a bond between user and company than a website can.'

Other findings include - 'Newsletters must be designed to facilitate scanning. In our study, only 23% of the newsletters were read thoroughly. The remaining newsletters were skimmed, read partly, or not even opened -- a fate that befell 27% of the newsletters.'

Madison Avenue and your brain

'New advances in neuroscience are explaining why people just do it, exactly as they're told to, when that commercial comes on.

Several decades into the era of consumer capitalism, the whiz kids on Madison Avenue have learned fairly well how to attach psychic puppet strings to our minds, but they have never really known why (or often whether) their tricks worked. Enter the age of neuroscience. As investigators plumb ever deeper into the strange dynamics of the brain, they are shedding new light on many domains of human behavior, including mental illness, violence, cooperation, addiction, eating and even aesthetics. '

Porn Spam: It's Getting Raunchier

'Naked women performing oral sex with guns pressed to their heads, naked women with large dogs clutching their backs, naked women in pigtails pretending to be daughters having sex with fathers.

These are some of the explicit images that have started slipping into inboxes lately as spamsters try to drive traffic to a growing number of sites featuring rape, bestiality and incest pornography.'

Glad I don't have kids. This is beyond annoying; spammers who send out this type of crap need to be locked up. Announces NO POPS By Jan 2003

Someone else getting on the 'we hate pop-ups too' bandwagon. I'm surprised that there is any room left on it.

Lycos drops $18 million into sports promotion

Reminds me of the good old boom days.

Friday, September 27, 2002
MediaPost Forecast 2003 Write Up / Self-Important Rantings

This is a must read.

Rick Bruner's reports on his jaunt to the Media Post conference. If you are in anyway involved in the industry, then you will enjoy this, especially his suggestions for Panel Topics We'd Love to See. Just go read it. Absolutely classic.

The Future of Online Advertising

I missed this yesterday - a very interesting piece by Steve Hall.

'I view the day when TV and all media for that matter are part of, or connected to the Internet. It's the "internet appliance" model we have all heard about. We already have a mini- version of that with the cable service called Wink. There should be no reason why this cannot expand into a full blown service that, for example would work as follows:

You sit down to view your favorite program and see a well placed product placement within a show (because in the future their will be no actual ads on TV) and that placement sparks an interest in you to know more. Rather then interrupting your show with an additional screen of info (a pop up screen, god forbid), you just click a button and off zooms a reminder to be viewed later at your convenience whether on the TV or on any other "connected" device you have. Perhaps a monitor on your fridge that functions as a calendar. Or, from your radio in your car when you are commuting and have time to hear more about that product you had an interest in. It's about creating an interest in something and then providing a means for the consumer to consider/buy the product in their own timeframe and on their own terms. In other words, the marketing follows you.' Read in full.

The way I see it, all marketing should be connected through the internet - feeding off itself in a self accelerating manner. I like the way that Steve takes the idea further, giving it some real context.

Stealware: Kazaa et al Stealing Link Commissions

'We all heard about spyware, well now Kazaa, Morpheus and LimeWire are sneaking a new type of nastiness onto your computer, software that - without you even knowing it - redirects commissions for online purchases you make from other vendors you make back to them. For example, if you buy a CD from an affiliate of, say some charity, the software fools Amazon into crediting the commission to Morpheus, not the charity! The story quotes a LimeWire Developer who admits 'While I agree that this is really a bit of a scam, it is a way for us to pay salaries while not adversely affecting our users.' The insidious part is the stealware program remains even if you delete the original P2P software. And you supposedly gave your permission when you clicked through the EULA."

Why Net use, TV watching can never be happily married

'The key to convergence lies not in the teasing between television and Web, nor in the incessant polling of users about the outcome of a decision in an athletic contest. For convergence to work, the fundamental infrastructure that is used to deliver entertainment to our homes must change.

The bottom line is that, until the physical separation between computer and television is erased, all of the advertising in the world will not bring the two audiences together at the same trough. And, with my Luddite leanings as a guide, I don't see that happening in our current Internet/broadcast/dish/ cable world.'

Thursday, September 26, 2002
Remember to sign up for my newsletter : Out tomorrow

What you get - a review of the weeks news, analysis and research, along with opinion on where the industry is heading.

Adstock and Media Planning

'Adstock has been described as “The impact that advertising has over time on sales or awareness.” But it is richer than that. The Adstock concept captures the idea that response to an individual ad exposure does not stand alone, but is part of a continuity of advertising “pressure“ that follows on from exposures in the past and carries forward to those in the future.

I believe it is clearer to think of the longer-term effects of advertising not as Adstocks, but as two separate effects. The first is an increase in baseline sales driven by repeat purchase. The second is an increase in response to advertising resulting from greater brand awareness. This increase in response to advertising dissipates rapidly if not reinforced by more advertising.'

Leading on from this - how should we consider/measure internet MarketingStock? Clearly with the net, marketing investment can have a significant compounding effect overtime, especially if you manage to 'trap' your audience into an ongoing brand relationship. As I've said before, the internet offers the perfect environment for creating an 'accelerator' effect. Surely this factor should be given more weight in the discussion.

Worried About Renting Email Lists? Ask Your Broker to Sign a 'Affidavit of Performance'

'Increasingly we're hearing horror stories about honest marketers who've tried renting lists they were assured were "guaranteed to be opt-in" only to find themselves the victim of either a s*pam-list in disguise, or a list so badly targeted or old that their response rates are nil. So, when we learned that interactive advertising consultant Mike Crosson, President, was testing out a solution to this problem, we gave him a call.

In an effort to stop list salespeople from misrepresenting lists to him, Crosson invented his own "Affidavit of Performance".

The affidavit asks the list sales person to explain the source of their names and whether they are opt-out, opt-in or double-opt-in. Reps must sign their name under a statement that the names have expressly opted-in, the names are less than six months old, and the list does not include any unsubscribers.'

Excellent idea. I love it :) Copy of the Affidavit is available here.

Forget Ad Formats -- Try a Customized Home Page

'At the Family Education Network(FEN), attracting the attention of trail-blazing advertisers is child's splay. The network, whose sites include, Fact Monster, and, is a haven for advertisers whose target market includes children, parents, and teachers across North America. Not only does it accept most every type of rich media advertising, from EyeBlaster ads to Unicast Superstitials, but the network takes advertising to another level, allowing advertisers freedoms few media properties allow.

Visit some of the sites within the network. You won't the find typical home pages you're used to. FEN has been offering something so valuable advertisers are snatching it up left and right: a customized home page. If FEN were a typical network, it'd likely insist advertisers abide by a strict set of guidelines with regard to the placement of their ads on its sites, particularly as they relate to editorial content. If an ad threatens to interfere with a menu bar or home page logo, for example, most networks draw the line. With a FEN customized home page, the idea is to amalgamate the advertiser's brand with the site brand, meaning many of these rules are tossed right out the window.'

I'm a great fan of this sort of promotion. It can be particularly useful as a platform to help launch targeted viral campaigns.

Tea For Two: Faux-Convergence

Excellent article from my pal :) Jim Meskauskas, discussing the recent findings by comScore Media Metrix that 'Over half of U.S. adult Internet users have a TV and PC in the same room, with half of those reporting they watch TV and use the Net simultaneously.'

I agree with Jim, the implications of this are highly significant. He relays a good example of this convergence in action:

'While I was watching the Raider/Steelers game Sunday night on ESPN, there happened to be a coach’s challenge. Not uncommon since the revival of the instant replay (which I am so happy about). The commentators asked viewers to log onto the website and cast their vote as to whether or not a play should be overturned upon the ref's review. Within a minute and a half, more than 90,000 people cast their vote. These guys weren't using their PCs during commercial, they were using them right then and there, during programming.

What we are talking about here is a kind of primitive convergence. Certainly not the kind of device convergence that Nicholas Negroponte and his ilk at the Media Lab might have predicted, but something else. '

Enron 'E' Sign Goes For $44,000 At Auction

Appropriately stupid :)

iMedia Brand Summit

  • Day 1 Highlights
  • Day 2 Highlights

  • Wednesday, September 25, 2002
    Web fiasco forces Sainsbury's to pull Nectar ads

    'Sainsbury's has been forced to pull tens of millions of pounds worth of advertising for Nectar, its new customer loyalty programme, after the scheme's website collapsed. Nectar, a joint loyalty scheme set up by the supermarket giant, BP, Barclaycard and Debenhams, has been plagued by problems since its launch last week.

    Now Loyalty Management UK, which is running the scheme, has admitted it could be weeks before customers will be able to use the site to register for their Nectar cards.

    The company, which had a reported marketing budget of £50m ($78m) for the ambitious new programme, has been frantically pulling hundreds of TV spots and press ads since the Nectar site collapsed last week.'

    Unbelievable. How is such costly incompetence possible?

    From Satisfaction to Delight

    'Today's interactive solutions should, at the very least, deliver:

    • Brand consistency, translation and extension into people's lives.
    • An integrated, seamless experience of all interactions with a company, whether online, on the phone or in a store.
    • Ease of use in all interactions.
    • Establishment of success metrics with rigorous measurement and validation.
    • Opportunity for a personal relationship that continuously evolves.

    We should also strive to delight customers regularly, to achieve a higher plane of customer connection. This is potentially accomplished when a company:

    • Demonstrates that it knows and understand me.
    • Anticipates my questions and provides satisfactory answers without my needing to ask them.
    • Communicates with me using a heightened degree of respect, tolerance and empathy.
    • Maximizes my capacity for insight, curiosity and perception, creating the desire to engage.
    • Recognizes connections or relationships of value to me.
    • Provides pleasant surprises.
    • Intelligently personalizes my experience based on my past needs, behaviors and purchases.'

    New Rules for New Media - Online Marketing Strategies Need A Strong Brand Foundation

    'Successful online consumer marketing strategies are those that use a powerful brand story to create an integrated online and offline experience, according to the latest E-Branding Forum report by Cranfield School of Management and The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

    The group concludes that the Internet per se is not as motivating as a powerful brand story and that several online brands have enjoyed considerable success by utilising the online medium as a relevant brand support tool, rather than trying to create an online experience in isolation.' To Offer Corporate Videos On Hoover’s Online

    ', Inc. today announced an agreement with Hoover’s, Inc., a leading provider of business information, to create a Corporate Video section on Hoover’s Online Industryview is a leading provider of media services and online corporate video profiles.

    "Streaming video has become an increasingly popular medium for disseminating business information, as it allows more opportunity to promote a company’s story," said Steve Hebert, President of Industryview. "Through this agreement, we’re helping companies broaden their exposure to the sizable Hoover’s Online business audience." '

    Answering Jim

    Last week Jim Meskauskas wrote an article for Media Post that mentioned me 7 times. Here's my response in today's ADBUMb:

    I would like to take this opportunity to share my finding from a recent research case study that I conducted.

    Case Study: How To Get An Article About Yourself into Media Post

    Findings: Online Spin will donate a whole column to you if you call Jim Meskauskas a 'condescending twat.'

    Lessons Learnt: Have a few pints of Guiness on Thursday night. Write a rant personally attacking an Online Spin columnist. Publish the rant in your newsletter and online. Wait for the reaction.

    Conclusion: Getting attention from Media Post was far far easier than I expect it to be. I may be a professional attention whore (Trained under Ben Silverman, Dotcom Scoop), but even so, I prefer more of a challenge.

    Robert Loch

    Tuesday, September 24, 2002
    Justifying Media Budgets

    Always fun :)

    DoubleClick Sponsored Study Shows Online to Be the Most Cost Effective Advertising Medium at Driving incremental Sales for Prescription Drug Brand

    'The model reveals that print advertising is almost twice as effective as TV in driving incremental sales for this allergy drug, while online advertising was more than three times more effective than TV at driving incremental sales. In examining the relative responsiveness of each media, TV makes up 85% of total impressions, yet drives 73% of media-driven prescriptions, whereas online advertising accounts for only 3% of total impressions, yet drives 7% of media-driven prescriptions.

    Print and online advertising are also more cost effective than TV advertising for this allergy drug. Despite higher CPMs (cost per thousand impressions) than either TV or print, due to the targeted media purchased, online was more efficient at driving incremental prescriptions. The relative cost per incremental prescription generated from TV advertising is almost 30% higher than print and 50% higher than online. Print advertising is almost 20% higher than online on a relative cost per incremental prescription.'

    Force 3’s Pizza Promotion

    ' Force 3, an information technology (IT) solutions provider and product reseller to U.S. government agencies, is running radio ads on five stations in the Washington DC/Baltimore MD area, inviting government agency buyers to enter Force 3's Pizza Contest via the company's Web site. Force 3 chooses 20 names each night at 8 p.m. from entries received via their Web site that day and sends out pizzas to the winners.

    Smart marketing in three ways: Force 3 captures the contact information for followup, tracks which radio station ad pulls best, and brings new prospects to the company Web site.'

    Survey: Email marketing most effective tool for lead generation

    UK survey by emedia:

  • 70% of respondents use email marketing, with cost, measurability and speed being cited as important benefits.

  • Of those using email marketing, 70% found it to be the most effective marketing tool for lead generation, with 59% of these organisations running ongoing email campaigns either daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly. A surprising 32% only use email marketing on a purely adhoc basis.

  • 95% of organisations cited opt-in as either essential, very or quite important in terms of using email lists.

  • 89% aim to increase spend on email marketing over the next 12 months.

  • E-Mail Marketing: CTR down, Bounce-Back Rate up

    'DoubleClick reports that as of Q2 2002, general e-mail marketing click-through rates have declined to 4.9% and bounce-back rates have risen to 12.6%.' - Chances To Win American Idol Red Couches And Other Prizes

    'The Couches are just a few of the prizes that will be offered on Beginning on Sept. 30 and running through the end of the year or while supplies last, consumers can collect codes located under the caps of specially-marked 20-ounce and 1-liter bottles of Coca-Cola in participating retailers, and, by visiting and following instructions, turn each into 1,000 “decibels” good for entering for chances to win specific prizes. Three levels of prizes will be awarded, ranging from music CDs to the American Idol Coca-Cola Red Couches to experiential trips to events such as Jazz Fest in New Orleans and the American Music Awards in L.A. to see the winner of the Coca-Cola New Music Award perform live on stage.'

    I mention this because it is a very good example of how unusual prizes can make a non-event into something of interest. Another thing that struck me about this promotion - "is that people will be able to know how many others have entered for a particular draw." That is a novel approach and one that has merit.

    At-Work internet users biggest online spenders

    'The Avenue A study found that 64% of the at-work participants said they made purchases on the Web; 60% said they spent $100 or more online in the past three months, compared to only 39% of people who use the Internet at home. The number of online purchases increases as the amount of time spent online at work increases, according to the study.'

    Monday, September 23, 2002
    Online company survives thanks to surfers' greed

    'In 1999, the company's revenue totaled $200,000. This year, Linkner says revenues will be somewhere between $4 million and $5 million.

    The ePrize focus has been introducing advertisers to consumers through incentive marketing. The company's 30 employees have created more than 500 online promotions, serving clients like General Electric, MasterCard International, Adidas, Verizon, Kimberly Clark, General Motors, United Airlines, Orbitz, Palm and CNN/SI.

    The ePrize company has developed a proprietary system for compiling and relaying to advertisers every bit of meaningful information that can be generated on how Web surfers access and play the online games. That information measures how many people visit a promotion each day, how they found the game and who they are in terms of demographics, locations and other particulars.

    Relayed to advertisers, the information then leads to direct mail campaigns, loyalty programs, print-at-home coupons and in-store promotions to draw customers both to the online environment and to places like retailers and automobile showrooms.

    "But it's all permission-based," says Linkner. "The customer volunteers the information and controls who gets it and how it is to be used. That way, everyone is happy." '

    Rival FindWhat Seeks to Undermine Overture

    'Starting this week, Terra Lycos will be using using's pay-per-click search technology on its Lycos and HotBot sites. Under that arrangement, advertisers bid on particular words or phrases which an Internet user might be searching for.

    What's new in the arrangement is that will be private-labeling its search engine for Terra Lycos and whatever subsequent customers it can drum up. The usual practice for and its larger competitors, Overture and the privately held Google, has been to sell advertisements, bill advertisers and pay Lycos a cut of its advertising revenue in return for placement on Lycos. Under the new deal, Lycos will do the selling and the billing of the larger advertisers itself, and pay a percentage of its revenue in return for's technical and operational services.

    The benefit to large portals, says Pisaris-Henderson, is that they get to recognize 100% of the pay-per-click advertising revenue as their own, and they have the opportunity to sell multiple products, including pay-per-click advertising, to their clients.'

    Unicast to Nix All But "Standard" Units

    'A month after introducing the industry's first and only Online Format Suite, a set of online ad formats designed to foster workable standards for the online medium, Unicast has released standard design and development specifications for creating and buying In Between-Page, Over-Page and In-Page units, quickly delivering on the promise made to agencies that they could 'build one and buy it' anywhere. These standards eliminate the time consuming and costly process which agencies currently face recreating the same ad for different sites in their campaigns.'

    E-Mail Still Killer App in US

    'Jupiter Research reports that the most popular online activity among 93% of internet users in the US is e-mail. Jupiter surveyed 4,431 people in the US in September 2002 and found that other top online activities include using search engines (79%), researching products and services (63%) and getting information on their local area (60%).'

    Friday, September 20, 2002
    Selling the Internet as a Marketing Medium

    An article from my newletters (sign up on the left) in case you missed it.

    My god - and I've just found someone who talks the same language. There is hope :-)

    ' In the debates over issues facing the industry -- cross- and multi-channel advertising, the Web's potential as a branding medium, and standardized metrics -- marketers have largely ignored connecting on- and offline in even the simplest ways. Tying a call to action or value proposition to "" just plain makes sense.'

    Over half of European Net users to shop online

    'Around 56 percent of Internet users in Europe will shop online by 2007, according to a new forecast by Jupiter Research. According to a new forecast issued by the company, total online consumer spending in Europe will grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 32 percent to reach EUR80 billion by this time.'

    Sign here for spam

    'Junk e-mail fighter MailFrontier is sticking uninvited advertisements in its users' personal e-mail messages, throwing viral marketing tactics into a whole new realm.'

    Thursday, September 19, 2002
    Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter - Out Friday at around 12.00pm EST.

    What you get - A review of the weeks news, opinion, analysis and research, plus a rant from me.

    Jaffe Juice: Please Sir, May I See My Ads?

    Discusses alternatives to banner rotation advertising. He makes the valid point that buyers find more comfort in picking up a magazine and seeing their ad, than hitting refresh 15 times on a site, before their inventory pops up.

    RealNetworks, AOL partner on Web ads

    'RealNetworks said Thursday that it clinched a major deal to deliver its video and audio streaming technology to America Online that will enable the Internet provider to offer richer advertising. The new deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, will allow AOL to offer interactive and multimedia advertising on its Internet service.'

    Wednesday, September 18, 2002
    Dynamic Logic Creates Benchmarking Database

    'Independent market researcher Dynamic Logic launched MarketNorms, an online marketing and advertising effectiveness database today.

    Targeting advertisers, agencies and publishers, MarketNorms lets users analyze and benchmark a campaign's effectiveness to overall averages, plus within particular groups like ad format, target audience or industry. It also can be used as a pre-campaign tool to set goals and strategies for tailoring campaigns.

    It comprises metrics like brand awareness, message association, brand favorability and purchase intent. More metrics will be added later. Dynamic Logic said the database allows inquiries across audience demographics, vertical category and ad format, among thers. The database covers variables such as optimal frequency, what works best with which target audience, the relative effectiveness of varying ad formats and their impact as well as creative considerations.'

    LookSmart Renews AltaVista, Expands MSN Deals

    'Through the agreements, San Francisco-based LookSmart will continue to provide its Directory Listings search results to AltaVista under a one-year renewal of an earlier deal between the two companies. The search results will appear under AltaVista's "Directory" tab.

    LookSmart also will distribute its Small Business Listings to Microsoft's MSN portal, in addition to Directory listings that it had previously syndicated to the Redmond, Wash.-based portal. Both distribution clauses expire on Dec. 3, 2003. In addition to distributing listings, LookSmart's also licenses its database to MSN to provide search engine listings as a supplement to MSN's own results. That agreement also runs through early December, 2003.'

    Anyone Hear About GRPs Lately?

    For internet marketing, surely TRP is more important the GRP? Why is everyone trying to turn the net into TV? Please stop.

    Anyway, an interesting article discussing whether traditional rating point measurements could be added to this medium.

    The Online Branding Hub

    'Interactivity. Because of its interactive nature, the Internet can serve as the hub of a brand's communications. Integrating a cross-media campaign through targeted online promotions is an effective, and increasingly popular, tactic.'

    Here's a question for you: In a 360 campaign, what is the only component that can be put in the middle, allowing flow between all elements of a campaign?

    The answer is the internet. It can interact with bill boards, PR, magazine articles, everything - facilitating more effective overall communication. To my mind, that is the primary role that the internet should play in any campaign - to increase the impact of other marketing functions.

    Online push for Britney screen debut

    'Momentum Pictures is to launch a major online campaign for the DVD and video release of Britney Spears’ movie debut. A month-long promotion for Crossroads will run on virtual world Habbo Hotel from October. Habbo’s cinema will be re-branded to tie in with a karaoke scene in the film.

    Staff on the site will encourage Habbo users to take to the stage and will talk about the movie’s release. Britney billboards will allow visitors to click-through to a competition.

    Users can also buy Britney posters for two credits to adorn the walls of their virtual apartments. Console messages will target 100,000 girls with a link to the official site. According to Habbo, its immersive branding has seen higher response rates than traditional banners and pop-ups, with click-through rates of more than 20 per cent on some campaigns through its billboards.'

    Tuesday, September 17, 2002
    Pop's new big sell rakes in the lolly

    'The pop group is named after a confectionery brand, Starburst, and their song, No.28 on the singles chart, sounds very much like an advertising jingle, complete with a "Get your juices going" tagline.

    Coincidence? No, it is the latest marketing idea: create a fictitious group named after your brand and release a cheesy song that gets radio airplay and is sold as a music single to teenagers.

    Mars Australia and its advertising agency, D'Arcy, are behind the new single, Get Your Juices Going, by fictional pop group Starburst. The song has secured high-rotation airplay on radio station Nova 96.9 and has had its promotional video featured on Video Hits.'

    Play the Torture a Spammer Game

    Good for stress relief. If only real life could be like this :-)

    The site also offers 2 excellent email reports:

  • EmailSherpa's Marketer's Guide to Permission Email Marketing
  • Consumer's Guide to Reducing Spam

  • Look, ma! I’m in a Bud Light ad

    'The company is taking in-your-face advertising to a new level: Enabling consumers to insert their own faces into Bud Light ads that can then be e-mailed to friends.

    The user stores a digital photo at the Bud Light Internet site, and writes a script of what the veeper should say. After some adjustments, the resulting character will appear to be live, with eyes that blink and lips that move in synch with its voice, which can be chosen from among several prerecorded into the program with accents and cadences ranging from Scottish to slick sportscaster to California valley girl.

    Once the veeper has been completed, it goes on a Web site that is branded with the Bud Light logo. Users can invite people to see their creation by dispatching e-mail alerts that say: “Your friend sent you a Making Faces message from” Anheuser-Busch plans to promote its campaign in an e-mail to 500,000 consumers and banner ads on popular sports sites, says Tim Schoen, vice president of the company’s presence marketing.'

    Net, TV Are Often Roommates

    'Over half of U.S. adult Internet users have a TV and PC in the same room, with half of those reporting they watch TV and use the Net simultaneously, according to research done by comScore Media Metrix.

    The Internet audience measurement company found that 45.1 million adults had a TV and PC in the same room, with 47 percent saying they would use both at the same time.'

    Bluefly Launches Hermes Handbag Sweepstakes Oct. 1

    A viral fashion campaign. I'm drawn to this press release, but I'm not sure why. These people exist in a world that I'm determined to never understand:

    'To generate interest in the promotion, Bluefly will support the "Hermes@Bluefly" sweepstakes with a street marketing campaign that kicks off Sept. 19 outside Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York's Bryant Park. Bluefly video crews will be on hand to ask fashion lovers the all-important question: "What would you do for a Birkin bag?" "Fashion police" will guard a sample Birkin preserved under a high-tech museum-style case. Results of the informal survey will be compiled and released within in the next few months. Similar crews will be stationed at "high fashion intersections" in Miami Oct. 4-6 and Los Angeles Oct. 11-13.

    "Hermes@Bluefly" is designed to encourage repeat visits to the Bluefly site by giving fashion fans the opportunity to sign up for a new chance to win once every day. Bluefly has also added a viral component to the promotion: by forwarding it to their friends via email, registrants can receive an extra chance to win for each friend that signs up.'

    Repetition breeds brand confusion, study on ads finds

    Although far from conclusive, this research does serve as a good reminder of how important clarity is when delivering brand message.

    Thanks to Jeff Wilson, FW Interactive, for the tip.

    Monday, September 16, 2002
    European Search Engine Chart

    Excellent detailed breakdown.

    Monster Commerical Mocking Ad Industry Jobs

    Trust me, this is very very funny.

    Via Rick Bruner's excellent site.

    McDonald's, Intel ahead of the game

    'Intel and McDonalds have signed multi-million-dollar-advertising deals to place their chips, burgers and fries within the virtual world of The Sims Online, the highly anticipated Internet sequel to Electronic Arts' social-engineering game.

    The product placement deals represent a groundbreaking first for the gaming industry, bringing it a lucrative new source of revenue -- and added legitimacy as a mainstream entertainment medium.'

    Local Politicians Take Their Hustings Online

    'This year it will move more into the mainstream, said Andrew Weinstein, a representative for AOL and former media strategist for Robert Dole's 1996 run for the presidency. Though he declined to name specific clients, or to give a scope of political-ad revenue, Weinstein said AOL's political-ad teams are lining up campaign dollars already. "It is moving beyond the experimental phase and into a more credible form of [political] advertising," said Weinstein.'

    Advertising Invades Your Pizza

    'An inventor hopes to be rolling in dough with his latest product: A machine that embosses words on pizza crust.

    Inventor Rich Errera has come up with a product that makes it possible to turn pizzas into billboards and he hopes to sell the idea to Pizza Hut. Errera thinks Pizza Hut will probably bite because not only will they be able to advertise themselves, they could advertise things like upcoming movies.

    It sounds cheesy but Errera plans to debut his "Gourmet Impression" at The Pizza Expo industry trade show in Atlantic City October 2-3, which incidently kicks off "National Pizza Month." '

    Interactive Advertising Bureau re-launches new improved site

    The Resource Centre is probably the impressive part of this update, featuring case studies, reports and research.

    Overall it looks like they've done a good job. I'll be going through it all in more detail over the course of the week, so will report back in full later.

    College students rely on the internet

    Getting tough on spammers

    A call to jail the spammers - a rant asking for harsh federal intervention.

    Spam ruling issued against Salem man - Washington state wins case against a spammer who flooded their systems weekly with 100,000 to 1 million get rich quick emails.

    Related: 35 percent of email is unsolicited

    Sunday, September 15, 2002
    buddy icons

    As this diverse gallery suggested, there's definitely marketing potential lurking in this somewhere.

    My advice - create a couple of branded buddy icons, fire them out there and see what happens.

    Friday, September 13, 2002
    Death To Pop Ups

    An article of mine from today's newsletter, which you will may have missed. Steve Hall generously described it as 'absolutely brilliant'. Me, I think that it is a half decent rant.

    Americans look for love online

    'Almost one in ten Internet users in the US looks for love online, according to a new study from Forrester Research.

    The study found that Web daters can be an attractive group for marketers because while they don’t earn as much as other online consumers, they are twice as likely to have paid for online content, and are more willing to do so again in the future. Forrester’s research indicates that 13 percent of Web daters have paid for online content, compared to just five percent of non-daters.'

    My question - how are you exploiting this?

    Thursday, September 12, 2002
    Study: At-Work Internet Usage Increases

    'The New York-based researcher (Nielsen//NetRatings) found that U.S. usage of the Internet at work increased 17 percent from last year, with nearly 46 million logging in last month. Nielsen//NetRatings began measuring the at-work audience in January 2000.

    A large part of that growth is due to an increase in Internet-connected women at the workplace. The figures suggest that the demographic grew 23 percent from last year, to 20.4 million. While men still outnumber women by about 5 million, their numbers grew at a slower rate. At the current rate of growth, women will outpace men online at the workplace by 2005.'

    Join TeamALIAS - a viral marketing promotion from The Hype Council

    'If you enjoy spending time on the 'Net, you can be part of the ALIAS "Digital Street Team." We'd like you to visit newsgroups, message boards, chat-rooms and any other on-line communities to help spread the word about ALIAS. We will guide you through the entire process and let you know where to go to make the buzz happen

    We will supply you with the latest ALIAS content, cool banners and photos to place on your site, and even your own email account to send emails about ALIAS to other online tastemakers, like you. In return, you will have access to exclusive ALIAS content that is ONLY available to the official Digital Street Team!!! Interested?'

    Interesting to see a company recruting 'fan only eTeams' for individual promotions. False networks aren't a new thing, but I've never seen buzz marketing done in quite this way. (Other campaigns that they've worked on)

    Key technologies survive test of time--and the Net bubble

    A look at the successful technologies that continue to shape the ecommerce scene.

    WAIM calls for a code of practice

    'Unscrupulous agencies are threatening the credibility of the growing search marketing sector by re-selling keywords at massively inflated, but disguised, cost to advertisers, according to the World Association of Internet Marketers. WAIM says there's an increase in middle-men purchasing high-up placement against search keywords with networks such as Overture and Espotting, then effectively re-selling them at a far higher price to unsuspecting clients..

    President Lennart Svanberg said one company recently charged £106,000 for the keywords 'Web design' and claimed a 12 month exclusive agreement and position guarantee for its client. 'They had no exclusive agreement, and this was a massively inflated cost,' he said.'

    Caveat Emptor - which as we all know is Latin for: "if you are that stupid, don't cry when you get ripped off."

    The sign of a true pro

    You find out that a hacker has broken into your hosts system and stolen your email list. What do you do?

    Well, instead of trying to hide the fact, Anna Holland, editor of, decided to confront the issue, using the opportunity to highlight the dangers faced by the industry. This bold move has led to substantial publicity, and allowed Anna to have some control over the story. So far it has been featured in the NYT, CNET, ZNET, DMNEWS, and the Wall Street Journal.

    A lesson to us all - Never crawl under a stone, hoping that a problem will simply vanish. Instead, acknowledge it, and deal with it. If you can get some free publicity along the way, all the better ;-)

    Jaffe Juice: Joe Interviews's CEO

    'Jim Spanfeller candidly answers Joe's tough questions about the digital publication's Brand Increase Guarantee and provides insight into why he thinks it's an important step.'

    A must read.

    How to Choose an Ad Network

    A run down of what's on offer.

    Media buying online is actually quite difficult to get right. What I tend to advice is:

  • For advertiser to find publications that best represent their audience, and work upwards.
  • Don't let a network force fit a solution on you.
  • Look to use different networks for different solutions.
  • Approach publishers directly, and see what deals can be had.
  • Always negotiate when dealing with publishers. A discount of 10- 75% is generally available.
  • Don't trust ad agency buyers to get you the best deals.

  • Wednesday, September 11, 2002
    No site without marketing

    Basically a rant about how companies spend a lot of money on developing sites, and then don't market them properly. He states that the route cause of this failure often stems from an internal conflict between the IT & Marketing department.

    You would think that the core message of this article was so old that it was no longer relevant. Tragically that is not the case.

    In Varying Degrees, Web Sites to Go Dark for Sept. 11

    'Major online news and portal sites will suspend much of their prime advertising during today's commemoration of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.'

    Tuesday, September 10, 2002
    Sept. 11, 2002: Chronicling the Coverage

    Love Rats

    A new viral campaign to promote the teen flick - Swimfan

    I quite like this campaign because it is simple, relevant, and involves community participation. Hosted at Refresh, this low budget stunt could work very well.

    What they are asking people to do is write in with their stories of cheating misery:

    'End of the night, I grabbed my jacket and left with the boys. I had only had a couple cos I was driving, but I get outside and the car's gone. I reached in my pocket and my keys were gone. Not only had she gone off with another bloke, she’d left with him in my car!'

    Spam Stampede Clogs Internet

    A round up of the spam scene, equating spam to a tax on the internet.

    Forbes Dot-Conned

    'The only thing that makes me comfortable is the fact Dynamic Logic partnered up with Forbes on this. I'm a big fan of Dynamic Logic and strongly believe its metrics are trustworthy and desirable. The four brand metrics Forbes will use are awareness, message association, purchase intent, and brand favorability. They apply to survey respondents exposed a minimum of three times to the advertiser's message.

    Only one of these four metrics must "significantly increase" and Forbes will uphold its end of the deal. And "significantly" is not defined. Obviously, there has to be some lift. Is there a cutoff? In my experience, it's easy to enhance brand lift.'

    Newsletter subscription up 10% in three days

    I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who passed Friday's newsletter along. I love you for it :-)


    Monday, September 09, 2002
    Pop-ups Are Here to Stay

    'Rashtchy opined three reasons why they are “here to stay”:

  • Pop-ups are highly effective. We know that they get higher click-through rates. Their conversion rates are high also. Yes, some people hate them, but not so much that it affects the traffic on the sites serving them.
  • Major advertisers like Orbitz, Dell, Providian, Morgan Stanley and Columbia House are among the top ten users. This shows a trend. It won’t be long before other major advertisers use pop-ups too.
  • Sites banning pop-ups are in a minority and have good reason to ban them (e.g., Google and iVillage who do not want to interrupt the user experience). This is not likely to spread to the majors, according to Rashtchy. And he makes a good point. After all, aren’t the highly effective rich media takeover ads that have zoomed across sites like Yahoo!, The New York Times and CBS MarketWatch also pop-ups, albeit much more creative than the X-10 camera ads (which we cannot forget, still worked like crazy).'

    Personally, I disagree with him. I expect a number of major publishers, including the NYT, to ban pops in the near future, and replace that inventory with eyeblaster type advertising. Why, well because eyeblaster ads are effective, whilst blending in with the user experience. Pops may be effective, but they ruin the user experience, creating audience resentment against any publication that serves them. At the point that the evidence supporting this claim become overwhelming, media heads with rise from the sand, hopefully to be guillotined off.

  • Internet Now Preferred Medium for Reaching Decision Makers

    'The research, conducted online by Nielsen/NetRatings' @plan and Minnesota Opinion Research, in conjunction with, surveyed nearly 1,000 business decision-makers and found that 60% of those polled said the Web is the best way for advertisers to reach them. Nearly 50% of participants said the Web has influenced them to make a purchase or obtain a service for their business, and 50% of the respondents who increased their Web usage in the last year said they decreased TV viewing.

    Web trumps other media

    Other traditional media were also affected, the study found: 47% of those polled decreased their newspaper readership; 45% magazine readership; and 18% decreased radio listenership. Of those polled, 77% said the Web is the place they find out about new products and companies.'

    Be wary of Washington's spam solution

    'And new laws and regulations from Washington simply won't stop spam. The biggest reason is that so much of the stuff comes from overseas. Eighteen months ago, two of five Internet providers receiving the most spam complaints were based outside the country--and the flow of offshore spam has been accelerating substantially ever since. U.S. laws also could slow development of spam-fighting technologies, offer Americans a false sense of security and do zilch to deter foreign miscreants.'

    An indepth look into the legal aspect of the fight against spam by Declan McCullagh of Politech fame.

    Although pained to say this, I think that he is being somewhat defeatist here. I believe that the law could be effective if it was linked to 'origin' i.e. where the spammer, and/or the marketed company resides, rather than distribution. If this were the case then it would not matter if the spam came from Timbuktu. You would still have legal recourse if the marketed company/owner of the marketed company was US based, or the spammer/owner of the spam company was US based. I'd suggest that the large majority of spam meets at least 1 of those criteria.

    Advertising and Attitudes towards the Internet

    eMarketer blends together some recent research highlighting the inconsistency between internet use, and the level of ad spend directed at the medium. Nicely done.

    Sunday, September 08, 2002
    Communication Arts: Interactive Annual Awards

    'Each year, Communication Arts magazine hosts the most prestigious design competition for interactive media. Eligible entries include any interactive project created for digital distribution on the World Wide Web, CD-ROM, interactive kiosk or handheld device.'

    Saturday, September 07, 2002
    The perfect women?

    Don't look at me like that - it's the weekend - I can post what I want.

    (quick..relate it to marketing..errh) Well this does demonstrate how something very simple, can become viral, if it manages to hit the perfect cord. As I write this, 'The Perfect Women?' is no.3 on Viral Lycos.

    How To Promote A Band Online

    Some interesting ideas from the Slashdot community.

    'If you really want to make it, follow these steps:

  • Show up at the next N-Stink show disguised as a group of 13-year-old girls who want to go backstage and make out.
  • Beat up the unsuspecting boy-band members (Note: this should take one or two punches tops)
  • Steal their clothes. Bind and gag them boys.
  • Donning the boy-band outfits, hit the stage and perform your tunes '

    That works for me ;-)

  • Friday, September 06, 2002
    How to be the only boat floating in a swamp of email

    1. The subject line mentions my company name and incites me to open the email
    2. The email content shows a graphic of my home page, which intrigues me enough to read on
    3. They’ve addressed me specifically by name
    4. They’ve sent the email from a named contact

    The reality is that this mail is still spam, i just found his perspective quite interesting.

    In my dealings with marketing folk, I often find that they aren't even aware of the basic issues involved in email markeitng. You have to be professional, as the results of a campaign can vary hugely. Too often people spend good money on renting an opt in list, only to get the actual email side totally wrong. That's just such a waste.

    Interview with i33 CEO Drew Rayman and President David Levin

    'Drew: What we learned over the first three or four years of online marketing is that it doesn't work. It's all a bunch of hooey. I don't care if you're doing banners or rich media. This is three or four years later, and we're sitting around saying, "Let's ask ourselves what works online in terms of advertising."

    eMarketer: You're saying it doesn't work, but I read 100 different newsletters a day that are saying otherwise.

    Drew: You'll get both sides of the story. I would challenge you to find examples that really work without data manipulation. We know honest numbers. I know banners work for sh**. I can tell you I know that. If a 0.001% banner pickup is successful for you, then they're going to tell you, "It was a very successful campaign."

    We don't care about any of that because we're willing to risk our compensation on our ideas. We can't afford to invest in media that is fluff and not going to deliver results. So we have to be brutally honest with you, with our clients, with ourselves, because frankly if we do the wrong thing, we're not going to make any money.'

    Using IM for Marketing

    'A cargo carrier like FedEx, meantime, can use an IM-based interactive agent to let its customers track packages -- without going to the Web site. And any Web site owner can use IM to help their users search the site better.

    In addition, "Any marketer with a unique personality, can really embrace the IM bot technology through one-on-one dialogue between their `voice' or celebrity and the user," Henry said. For example, the ActiveBuddy-developed "Austin Powers" bot delivered movie times, trivia, games and merchandise via an IM presence and a voice that, shall we say, was "Groovy, baby!" '

    This area is very much emerging. To get the inside scoop I contacted my pal, Ryan Naraine, a journalist who follows botmaking technology for -

    'the possibilities, really, are just endless (no hype bullshit) - what i think is most unnoticed in the IM bot space is the fact that bots can initiate conversations. Once marketers learn to do it properly (avoid the spam nightmare) and get people to opt in to get IM alerts, they'll be in like flynn. '

    From my experience, it is always a good idea to listen to Ryan. He alerted me to the potential of IM marketing about a year ago. Being the dim individual that I am, it wasn't until hearing about the huge success of the ELLEgirl buddy, that I really started paying attention.

    Thursday, September 05, 2002 Guarantees Effectiveness to Its Advertisers

    From the Venture Reporter newsletter:

    ' has introduced a guarantee for its online advertisers, promising them ad effectiveness for any sizeable campaign on its site. The new service, dubbed the "Brand Increase Guarantee" promises advertisers that their brand metrics will increase, or they will get their money back.

    The service includes a commitment by the advertiser to spend a minimum of $100,000 over 60 days on the site, after which will measure the impact of the campaign using online brand research firm Dynamic Logic. In case the advertiser does not see a statistically significant increase in one of four Dynamic Logic-measured brand metrics--including attributes such as awareness of the brand, and purchase intent, among will return the money.'

    Extraordinary. What an incredibly bold and wonderful move. The question is - will anyone have the balls to follow? I tell you, this could be very significant; imagine if this move ends up becoming a trend.

    Follow up: New Media Guarantee: A Beginning

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    Lycos and MSN go on the road to sell the Web to ad agencies

    'Two of the UK's largest portals are gearing up to launch an industry-wide education drive aimed at boosting awareness about the Web as an advertising medium among the planning/buying giants.'

    BMW Films Hit Hollywood, Courtesy of Microsoft

    'BMW of North America is looking to extend its brand and its wildly successful effort to the big screen, as part of a promotional effort supporting Microsoft Corp.'s new media format.

    The upcoming installment of the films will be overseen by notable directors including Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, John Woo, and Joe Carnahan, BMW has said.

    The first full-length film to be shown as part of the BMW Films Digital Cinema Series will be Artisan Entertainment's "Standing in the Shadows of Motown." "Standing" will debut Nov. 15 in commercial theaters nationwide, along with one of the new "Hire" series.'


    You can see examples of this new form of text and graphic classified advertising (for blogs) down the side of Blogads's weblog.

    For more on this read Rick Bruner's entry on the subject.

    WebCrawler Meta-Search Engine to Remain Pop-Up and Banner Advertising Free

    'Following a successful six-week trial, WebCrawler, one of the first search properties on the Internet and part of the InfoSpace Network (Nasdaq:INSP - News), today announced that it would remain pop-up and banner advertising free.

    "Our users responded by using WebCrawler more often, which enables us to keep the site pop-up and banner advertising free," said York Baur, executive vice president, wireline and broadband of InfoSpace, Inc., owner and operator of WebCrawler. "We know that Internet users want more relevant and comprehensive results delivered to them faster. The combination of an ad-free Web site and increased usage by our users allows us to provide that." '

    Jaffe Juice: The Branding Challenge

    'I've always believed that for change to become part of corporate culture, it has to come from the top - and when the bellwether of global brands and one of the big five agency holding companies poo-poos the Branding power of the Web, we're all in a lot of … trouble.

    Coke and Publicis - client and agency - present the same views, from different vantage points, on behalf of the buying community. And the message is singular and succinct: We're not buying!'

    Study: Pop-Ups Not So Prevalent

    'The research from NetRatings' AdRelevance unit suggests that 9.2 percent of all online advertisers use pop-up-like type ads. A total of 2,165 companies purchased 11.3 billion pop-up and -under ad impressions during the first seven months of the year -- although 80 percent of those ads came from only 63 of those advertisers.

    While some might feel that pop-ups and pop-unders are omnipresent, they represent just 2 percent of all ads served from January to July.'

    Tuesday, September 03, 2002
    B2B E-Mail Campaigns Get Clicks

    'Harte-Hanks reviewed 700 client e-mail campaigns and found that general marketing, permission-based B2B e-mail campaigns can yield click-through rates as high as 25%.

    (B2B) e-mail marketing campaigns can yield an average click-through rate of 1.3%, but can go as high as 25%. The study also determined that sales promotion B2B e-mail campaigns yield an average click-through rate of 1.7%, but can be as high as 21%.'

    This is interesting - it clearly demonstrates that there is a vast scope between getting a campaign right and getting it wrong. If you want to be in the 25% camp then bring in a pro, produce a compelling proposition, and test/test/test. Real time tracking is essential to winning this game. Don't be an amateur, it just ain't worth it.

    Related: 12 Steps to Better E-Mail Marketing

    Monday, September 02, 2002
    Coca Cola launches viral campaign to promote Alive

    I just received this through email from one of the companies involved in the development:

    'A four month campaign consisting of a multi-level platform game, a new level being launched every 2 weeks. On-line traffic being generated from MTV and Nichelodeon. On-air spots in association with Thank Nick it's Friday on Nickelodeon. Viral aspects introduced via e-invites and e-cards throughout the game.'

    A lot of money is being spent on this. The product branding is very good, the site promotion/seeding is incredibly generous, there are great prices, and yet they screw up on the game (viral object) side. If this turns out to be successful, it will be a false success, bought for, rather than cleverly earnt. It will certainly not have had the branding effect that it could have.

    From the start they get the gaming front very wrong, forcing kids to fill in a 10 point form before they can even start. If that wasn't bad enough, they are then met by a stupid car navigation test (car doesn't really work), before they can get to level 1 proper, which in itself is far from spectacular, borrowing heavily off a 12 year old Nintendo game. The whole process leaks, giving users far too many opportunities/reasons to leave before they get properly involved.

    Looking at this campaign, what I see is traditional marketers not quite getting the web. They clearly don't trust viral marketing, and have therefore invested the lions share of the budget in firing people at the brand, rather than making the viral object potent enough to cause its own epidemic. I find this frustratiing - this campaign could so easily have been very good - yet all it really amounts to now is an expensive attempt at collecting contact details.

    131 Legitimate Link Building Strategies

    This is possibly the most comprehensive article ever written ;-) I haven't actually finished it yet, but have read enough to know that it is an absolute gem. I have to say, I just love the way it has been thrown together - a tapestry of thought from 34 (yes! 34) online specialists. Brilliant.

    Research shows that 95% of spam originates from US citizens

    If pushed I might concede that this isn't the most conclusive research ever done, however, today my inbox was hardly troubled by spam at all - no farmer's daughters wanting my attention, no advice on how to become a millionaire whilst sitting on my arse, and no opportunities to add a couple of inches to a particular part of my anatomy.. in fact I have become so accustomed to the daily ritual of playing the 'what's spam or not' game, that something actually felt missing from my life.

    The question is - why no spam? The only reasoning that I can come up with is the fact that it is Labor Day in the US, and that even spammers have got better things to do today that electronically harass people. Could I be right? Is it American citizens who have been spamming me all along, and not, as I've always thought, Betou, the Nigerian credit card salesman whose family produces 99% of the world's herbal stimulant crop.

    Internet users turn away from ad-heavy sites

    'According to a Burst Media study, 36 percent of American Internet users say that will leave a website if the website has too many ads on it.

    Nearly 60 percent of American Internet users say that that if a webpage is cluttered with ads they would have a less-favorable opinion about the products or services advertised on the site.'

    Anti-spam group blocks Yahoo stores

    'The Mail Abuse Prevention System (MAPS) put the IP address for Yahoo's stores in its database last week. The action came in response to a notice that an alleged spam mail that has been circulating since at least February was directing recipients to a storefront on Yahoo.

    But the IP address listed in MAPS' Realtime Blackhole List is used by all Yahoo stores, not just one storefront. Since many ISPs and companies use MAPS and similar lists to block access to suspected spammers, the listing meant that many customers have been unable to access any of the Yahoo stores since last Tuesday.'