Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Time To Use My Powers For Good

Last season on NBC’s Parks and Recreation they introduced to the world to an organization called KaBOOM!, which builds entire playgrounds for children in one day.

Much to my surprise, KaBOOM! is real and they are trying to build a playground for the elementary school that is being opened at my fiancĂ©’s school in the fall. Here’s where you come in:

1. Go to the link:

2. Click on “Become a Fan” and register with an email address. KaBOOM! will send you a confirmation email.
3. Open the confirmation email and click on the link to become a fan of KIPP.
4. Make sure you scroll down and click “Done”. (You do not have to write anything, but make sure you click “Done”)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

More thoughts on the AdWeek’s Ad of the Day

A boatload of people tuned in to the finale of Lost on Sunday. Unfortunately for me, I am two seasons behind so I’ll be playing catch up at some point in the near future. Anyway, I agree with the review (which you can read here); however, I think it may be good to expand upon how cool it is to integrate the content of the program to the ad without making product placements.

This is not the first time in recent history this has been done.

To me, this is the kind of creativity we need in major network TV advertising. By creating ads featuring actors and memes from the program an individual is watching, an advertiser probably has a better chance of keeping the broadcast audience engaged and the DVR audience from fast-forwarding instantly.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Why Are You Leaving Facebook?

People keep complaining about Facebook and its “privacy issues.” Personally, the things you really want to keep private like your bank account and credit info are just as available as that picture of you standing on a table drinking beer in a gigantic glass boot at your birthday party.

To a certain extent I can understand the privacy arguments. According to various news outlets, it takes something like a 150 clicks to get to optimal privacy levels where your information is only accessible to people on your network and that does really suck. It’s grossly inconvenient and Facebook should have taken that into consideration in their last update.

Every other argument, on the other hand, I am not too keen on and here’s why.

No such thing as a free lunch

Not to be an FB defender, but they gave you a place to communicate with your friends and waste a lot of time. If Wikipedia created FB maybe I would be crazy over the fact that they are collecting data to sell to their advertisers, but they didn’t. A person who wanted to make money off of it created it.

How many other things have you opted of because of privacy issues?

As I said earlier, I – yes, little old me - can buy your credit information right now. I can know your monthly rent, your student loan debt, whether or not you like to pay your bills on time, and lots of other fun stuff. But, do you still have a credit card? On the mountain of issues you have with maintaining your “privacy,” I would think this would be more important than the number of friends who saw your duck on Farmville.

That smartphone you have is also a great way to get extra information on you. Let’s say you search for something on Google on your iPhone on the AT&T network. One simple search for the nearest McDonald’s tells four gigantic corporations that you’re a total fatty. Do you still have a smartphone?

Even the things you do to avoid ads are helping advertisers find out information about you

If you own a DVR for the sole purpose of avoiding commercials, then you’re actually helping out the enemy. First, us advertisers are investing more in product placement on your favorite shows. That’s right you can’t avoid us. Second, your cable company and Tivo tell us what you record and what you skip. If there is an off chance that you sit through an ad, we want to know why. That’s the type of information we really like to get our hands on.

In conclusion…

Seriously people, please pick your battles. The people who are really out to screw us are doing a much better job of digging into our private lives, and not letting us know.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The App-Less Smartphone

Last week, I went to a Business Marketing Association event here in New York where a panel discussed the future of B2B marketing in the mobile space. While the crux of the argument is that mobile B2B is real and that we can get good data to use to serve ads, that wasn’t really the most interesting thing I learned that day.

What really interested me that morning was a glimpse into the not-so-distant future, when a few of the panelists mentioned that apps will not be that important as the browsers improve on smartphones. The topic was quickly changed, but that got me thinking for the rest of the weekend what that was all about.

So here’s what I came up with: 4G will change everything.

The apps on your smartphone right now are not that complex, and most of the content – whether a game, pizza-ordering app or translator – doesn’t take up that much space on your phone compared to your photos and music. Everything that’s on your phone can easily be run on a web page when accessed by a computer with a broadband connetion. 4G is a heck of a lot faster than 3G, so much more in fact that all that web based content will be easily accessible (at least in theory). Therefore, most of us smartphone users will really have more of a homepage with links to our favorites than a home-screen with a bunch of apps.

What will this do for marketers?

Technically, it will make the world a better place for marketers and developers. Today, developers have to worry about the differences in programming languages in the different phone operating systems. This raises the cost for everyone. A completely web-based smartphone system will continue to bring the cost of mobile advertising down.

In addition, marketers will be able to have greater access to phones in that apps generated to promote specific products and services will no longer have to go through the approval process of places like the Apple App store. Of course, this is a double edged sword for the consumers because it eliminates an integral element of quality control. Say what you want about Apple, but at least there is a base level for apps.