Wednesday, September 16

Next Up: Hanes Sues Webshots Regarding Underwear Party Photos

So here's the equation it takes to get Second Life back in the press:
Virtual Goods / Porn * Bootlegs = (Digital) Copyright Lawsuit

Second Life Sued For Allowing Sale Of Impostor Virtual Goods

Entrepreneur Kevin Alderman, who sells virtual erotic goods in Second Life, said in court papers that Linden Lab allows other virtual marketers to offer knock-offs of his "SexGen" beds and other products.

"Eros's virtual erotic SexGen products sold for use in Second Life have been counterfeited, cloned, and ripped off countless times by a multitude of Second Life residents," the lawsuit alleges. "The manner in which this has occurred is akin to the knockoff handbags and purses sold near Canal Street in New York City. Some of the bags are stolen, but actual brand-name handbags sold at deep discounts, while many others are knockoffs that merely use the brand-name makers' designs and trademarks."

This is like busting a guy in an abandoned mall parking lot for selling 1991 Farm Aid bootleg t-shirts. He probably sold 3 of them, which were worn once to a retro party and then stashed in the back of a closet.

Wait until the lawyers discover the exchange rate for 3.5 million Linden Dollars.

Thursday, September 3

The Ad:Tech Analysis That The Man Doesn't Want You To Read!

So the 2009 edition of Ad:Tech Chicago just wrapped up. As with most conferences, it offered moments of inspiration, periods of confirmation, and lengthy bouts of “dammit I could do better than that” as you realize 10 minutes into the session that you picked the wrong one.

For those who couldn’t scam a free pass, here are my notable discoveries:

1) Enough With The Data Affirmation!
Geezus our industry loves to remind ourselves of our awesomeness. Usually through the fine art of growth charts documenting the increase in media dollars moving online, the increase in using social network time spent, the increase in TV viewers watching online video, the increase in marketers thinking about eventually using mobile… Some of the sessions could have been retitled Historical Overview of PPT Chart Formats. Problem is we already know online will keep going up, no matter what the context or empirical values. It’s forecast navel gazing at its most redundant. Next time, how about putting a big Thumbs Up icon on the first slide and move on.

2) There Should Be An Arrogant Bastard On Every Panel
It makes the session interesting. Plus our industry doesn’t have enough vocal skeptics, those who don’t think every dotcom trend is the next big thing. That’s what keeps the other marketers treating us like some weird cult. I was waiting for one person to declare that most brands don’t need a Twitter strategy right now. Or point out the percent of consumers who would actually use your iPhone app is about the same number who click on your banners. I would have helped deflect the vendor schwag being thrown at their head.

3) Case Studies Seeking Objectives, No Fuzzies
Way too many case studies started with what they did, not the reason they did it. Assuming there was a strategy to begin with. Here’s a hint: running rich media banners on a teen social network is not a case study. Incorporating your brand into social conversation to increase product advocacy is. [Note to Ad:Tech -- that would have been a good one.] It made me realize most case studies are not really relevant to most of the people in the room, unless they happen to be a direct competitor. My proposal: throw out the creative examples and the results, and just talk about The Why. That’s what is most applicable to the audience at large.

4) Data Can Kick Your Ass
Literally. The Media Metrics panel drifted dangerously close to a beat down between two analytics companies. Never have I heard so much word of mouth post-session, especially one about data analytics. See #2.

5) Social Media Is A Means, Not An End
There was a lot of conversation about budget allocation for social media. Per #1, Social Media Spending is never going to increase exponentially because that’s the wrong metric. If you execute your programs correctly, you shouldn’t have to shift your marketing dollars to Social Media. It should be a natural extension of your efforts.

6) Future Buzzwords Today
There was a disappointing lack of new buzzwords, which are usually an indicator of innovation and evolution. More buzzwords = more new things. So in the interest of career self preservation, here are a couple new buzzwords looking for definitions. I would be happy to host a panel about them next year:
  1. Social Coupons
  2. Word of Eyeballs
  3. Cost per Sentiment
  4. Social Preroll
  5. Digital Anthill
  6. Behavioral Friending
  7. Viral Unfriending
  8. Antisocial Network
  9. Mobile Bangtail
  10. User Generated Crap