News of the Day

By Jeff Kuntz   |   Posted at 7:25 am on May 7, 2010   |   No Comments

A Fresh Set Of Eyes

Sometimes you just need a fresh pair of eyes.  For more than a decade, all of us in the digital media industry have been unable to create the conditions big brand marketers were looking for. Digital became synonymous with direct response in the eyes of too many budget holders, and budgets never reached the levels they should have based on consumption.  Maybe it just took a great brand marketer to fix the problem, because with the launch of the iAd platform, Apple is clearly creating a system that will appeal to marketers interested in image building.  IAd may be a mobile platform, but its impact will be much broader. Apple is putting a stake in the ground about what digital marketing can be, and the industry will follow its lead.  Here are four aspects of the iAd approach that will influence the conversations about how all digital channels can build brands.

Read More: ClickZ

Media Agencies Are Here to Stay — Ad Networks, Not So Much

“Brand is magic… there is no computer that can figure out magic,” according to Jim Heckman, CEO and founder of, explaining why advertising and marketing will always require a human element — meaning the good services of media planners and buyers. During a panel discussion on branded media marketing Wednesday afternoon at the Digital Hollywood Summit in Los Angeles, the former chief strategy officer for Fox Interactive and his fellow panelists also criticized online ad networks for what they described as a wrong-headed attempt to dilute and cheapen online advertising.  Heckman said advertisers and publishers alike are reconsidering their relationships with online ad networks, as these deal in remnant inventory that “denigrates the brand” and have resisted demands from advertising clients for greater transparency and control in their ad placement systems. Instead, Heckman and several other panelists agreed, online advertisers and publishers are rediscovering the importance of associating products and brands with high-quality premium content.  While a huge surplus of inventory and the ultra-low CPMs offered by ad networks have served to depress ad rates across the Internet, premium publishers “are creating scarcity intentionally now [and] kicking out the major networks,” Heckman said. Contrary to what ad network advocates claim, he insisted that “branding is not just about audience [size]” and demographic characteristics. “People want efficiency, but not at the price of killing their brand” through, say, untoward associations with questionable online content. On this subject, “it’s unbelievable how often algorithmic placements are wrong.”

Read More: MediaPost

Facebook Sets Sights on Location-Based Marketing

Facebook will debut location-based features during the next month that will first be tested as a marketing platform by McDonald’s, according to an Advertising Age article published yesterday.  The social site will provide users the ability to employ status updates in a manner similar to how Foursquare users “check in.” The story said that users – when at a McDonald’s location – will be able to check in while featuring one of the quick-serve chain’s products, such as a Big Mac, in their activity feed.  McDonald’s digital agency Tribal DDB, Chicago, declined to comment about the story. The Palo Alto, CA-based Facebook provided a limited response via a spokesperson, saying it was “working on a product that enables people to share their location.” Alex Rainert, head of product at Foursquare, also declined to comment on the development.  After the report turned up late Thursday afternoon, industry players on Twitter were immediately tweeting about how Facebook’s move could be the death knell for Foursquare, as well as other location-based players like Gowalla, MyTown, and BrightKite. The tweeters’ collective speculation was largely based on Facebook’s scale – 425 million users – and how it will halt those upstarts in their tracks and likely kill them off.  Recently commenting on Foursquare, Mike Lazerow, CEO of Buddy Media, suggested there still could be a niche for Foursquare if it abstains from “world-changing” aspirations and sticks to specific goals. “It’s not like Foursquare will completely go away,” he said. “It may be a profitable game. It may be a nice little marketing tool for small businesses… But it’s not going to be done at a global level like Facebook if [the social site] just turned it on.”

Read More: ClickZ

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