Monday, June 16

Don't Forget to Tivo Your Wii Tonight

Nintendo's Wii Fit marketing inertia keeps building with this announcement:
Tribe, Nintendo Partner For Teen Fitness Program
Tribe Pictures has created a new original Web series, "Get Fit With Alyson," starring Alyson Stoner (of the upcoming Disney film "Camp Rock").

Designed to engage, motive and inspire teens to exercise and live a healthy lifestyle, each 3-minute webisode in the continuing series features Alyson leading other teens through a fun exercise routine, an unscripted chat with the cast about the things on their minds, and her personal musings in "The World According to Alyson."

What is most interesting is that additional video content supporting the program will only be available via the Wii's internet channel/browser. The Big 3 have always positioned their newest gaming consoles as entertainment systems. This is one of the first attempts to deliver original video content through them. Sony's recent announcement of their interactive gaming show is next, although they are charging $3 a month for it.

Would you rather watch video content on your inferior computer monitor or your large screen plasma? Gaming consoles are quickly becoming the new consumer device for accessing web content. So now broadcast TV has more alternative entertainment channels to compete with, ones that share the same screen but are always video on demand.

Wednesday, June 11

The Future of Mobile Advertising is Soooo 1997

So Mobile finally caught up with the web browser circa 1997:

Go2 Media Unveils Animated Banner Units
Aiming to entice brand advertisers, mobile content provider go2 Media is rolling out animated banner units across its network of mobile content sites on wireless carrier decks.

The banners will appear at the top of mobile WAP pages and feature a series of images that display on a 10- to-15-second loop and are optimized to run across all networks and devices. The idea is to go beyond static graphical spots and text ads to offer marketers a more eye-catching option for mobile campaigns.

Seriously, if this is the future of Mobile then we can stop now. Because creative teams are really pining for the good old days when they had to cram their creative into 12K banners the size of postage stamps. And animation is soooo important to improving brand awareness, message association, and purchase intent (make sure you put the logo in every frame).

We are really in trouble as soon as the iPhone supports Flash. And the first phone screen takeover ad that I find will be publicly bashed.

Here's something to bet on: 2 years from now we will be moaning about the decline in mobile banner CTRs and start looking for ways to bait-n-switch over to engagement metrics like "time spent reading sponsor pages." At least until video pre-loads explode on the scene and save the day.

Another option: forget about mobile as a banner channel. Reward consumers for interacting with you, don't just push more advertising messages. You could start with SMS code call to actions on your print ads and on your packaging. Or sponsor unique content that they can't get anywhere else (at least when they aren't staring at the 1st or 2nd screen).

Mobile can provide a true one-to-one experience. Please don't waste it on the same tactics that are choking the WWW.

Friday, June 6

Will Work for Stock Options Again

Back in February I talked about the new trend of senior interactive agency talent moving to the Dotcom world. The trend continues:
Matt Freeman Quits Tribal DDB for Top Job at GoFish
Matt Freeman, the executive who was handpicked a decade ago to build the Omnicom Group digital network Tribal DDB, is stepping down as the agency's CEO to head up GoFish, a publicly traded digital ad network.

The pool of senior marketers with strong interactive experience is not very large, and agencies have been hoarding them ever since the dotcom bust. So they will be a primary focus of recruiters.

The advertising industry is also notorious for incestuous feeding/swapping of talent. Will be interesting to see how it fairs as that talent pool shrinks. Without a doubt they will need to start hiring people from smaller webshops/specialty agencies, or second tier markets, who will struggle with being part of a much larger and complex agency structure.

Thursday, June 5

You Got Your Widget in My RSS Feed! No You Got Your RSS Feed...

So celebrity privacy has gone from losing your cell phone address book to having your social widget go all Terminator on you:
MySpace, Yahoo blame bad APIs for celebrity photos breach
Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan's private MySpace photos are all over the Internet now, thanks to a glitch in the bad APIs.

Programmers are people too, and no online technology is perfect. Especially at the rate that widgets, apps, embedded content tools, etc. are being cranked out right now in hopes of being first to be installed, and first to be acquired by the Big Boys.

But it's one thing to have your embedded Taco Bell game crash on you. Another to have your semi-private information spewed across the internet. Which currently consists of personal photos, fave movies lists, and maybe your address/phone number that you forgot to remove from your resume before uploading it to Linked In.

But as users become more comfortable interacting with the internet via social network pages -- as opposed to using external websites -- the privacy impact will grow.

Why visit your bank's website to pay bills, when you can easily install their banking widget on your iPhone, which accidently notifies others via Twitter of your Girls Gone Wild subscription payments. Or store your personal contacts in a format that accidently gets shared on your Ebay merchant page?

Think of all the online shareware that you've downloaded and discovered is crap. Or online tools from established companies that end up being digitally recalled. Or any new Microsoft launch. Now give those same tools indirect access to your personal information and let the paranoia begin.