Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Short Takes: 4.1.08

Here are some interesting XM and online marketing news items and links for your perusal:
  • Hot teen trend--or April Fool's joke? eMarketer had me going for a second. They report on a study that found teens are turning away from their PCs, game consoles, and cell phones to seek more quality time with parents. I believed it for a bit, but when they reported parents declining their children's friend invitations on MySpace, I got suspicious. The last straw was the finding that 98% of teens surveyed said they would respond to a marketing promotion involving "A Long Bus Ride With Your Parents." Nice try.
  • The Non-Traditional Advertising Blog has an informative article about RedBullSurfing.com. The site makes use of Immersive Media's 360-degree technology to give visitors a sense of riding a surfboard into a break. The tiny video window rather undermines the experience, but the ability to control the video in all directions provides an excellent online experience. The sport, the site, and the technology work well in combination for the brand.

  • No matter how good a concept, someone's going to find a way to twist it to no good. Take social media. Marketers are taking flack for flogs (fake blogs), MySpace corporate profiles, and PR Twitters, but at least they're not criminals. A couple of enterprising thieves found a way to turn social media into social crime. To cover a robbery, they posted a fake Craigslist post giving an address and announcing the belongings were free for the taking. The victim returned home to find people making off with his possessions. The couple responsible for the theft and the post are now behind bars (where they hopefully will not be given access to the Internet.)

  • One way to go viral is to piggyback on something else that has gone viral. A rather brilliant if somewhat offensive viral video comes from LoveMe.com, a site where lonely men find beautiful Russian mail order brides (if the video is to be believed). Taking off on the famous Dove Evolution campaign, this video claims Russian mail order brides start beautiful and thus don't need the retouching seen in the Dove's viral video campaign. If you're the kind of man who would consider a mail order bride, you may just believe it.

  • If you thought the social media space couldn't get more crowded or that the world doesn't need yet another social networking site, here's one that make sense: weplay, a social network for youth athletes and their parents and coaches. Kids can set up profiles, brag about their stats, link with friends, talk to coaches, check schedules, and interact with pro athletes. Making sure parents aren't left out, the site offers a forum to manage car pools, find out about equipment, get up-to-date scheduling information, and communicate with other athletes' families. weplay is doing social media by the book: focusing on the needs of a defined group and giving them the tools they want and need. We'll be watching this site.

  • Old media is finding a way to make digital media work for them, rather than against them. The Wall Street Journal features an article about magazines that are buying and partnering with digital properties to keep readers involved and advertisers happy. One interesting use of social media is Condé Nast's collaboration with Dillard's. A promotion launching next week will use tools from news-aggregation site Reddit, which Condé Nast bought in 2006, to let visitors to Dillard's Web site vote on merchandise to be featured in online ads. I'm not sure if online shoppers will find this a worthwhile interaction, but I respect Condé Nast for trying something innovative and interesting.

  • Here's a recent TV ad that made me stop and take notice. Even in a bar with the sound off, I could immediately recognize the brand and the message (which is one way to identify a great ad). The ad is for Travelers Insurance, and the use of striking visuals with the protective umbrella that is their logo made this one stand out. Would you agree?

No comments: