Thursday, August 31, 2006

Research Team Develops Shopping-Cart Ad System by Mya Frazier

Published: August 30, 2006

EW YORK ( -- Mediacart Will Soon Be Tested in a Major Northeast Grocery Retailer.

A team of 25 market researchers and engineers who once built computers for military tanks and submarines have spent the last six months observing 150 shoppers in a mock grocery store test lab in Frisco, Texas. Their aim: to find out how much advertising on shopping carts is too much.

he result is Mediacart, a shopping cart ad system that runs digital ads and promotions -- via high-resolution video screens without audio -- that will soon be tested in a major grocery retailer in the Northeast.


Get Your Name in The Song: Jessica Simpson is singing your song. Literally.

copyright, by Andrew Hampp
Published: August 30, 2006

NEW YORK ( -- In what might be termed a first in "addressable" music marketing, Ms. Simpson and her backup singers have sung 500 first names to be selected by fans buying her latest song "Public Affair." Selling at $1.99, Ms. Simpson's "Custom Cuts" is the first of its kind for Yahoo's digital music download service. Fans can visit the Yahoo website and select their own names to be inserted into the download during the song's second verse.


Coca-Cola music to tap social networking trend by Nicola Clark

copyright Brand Republic
Published: 30 Aug 2006

LONDON - Coca-Cola is poised to develop online communities as part of its digital music strategy, following its recent high-profile deal with Apple.

The soft-drinks giant already uses its music website,, as a platform for unsigned artists and to podcast branded events, but insiders say it now plans to expand the channel to connect music fans worldwide.

A spokeswoman for Coca-Cola said it will use the global reach of its website, created by AKQA, but will also work with local partners to develop market-specific initiatives.

Coca-Cola was the first FMCG brand to launch a music-download service,, in 2004. However, it axed the site in June in order to tie up with Apple and launch the new Coke-branded music destination.

The site's users can currently download music from iTunes with promotional codes. Insiders claim that the service will be expanded to include an interactive community function at the end of the promotion.

Earlier this month, Coca-Cola relaunched its main website to tie in with its "Coke side of life" marketing platform. The company said the site was designed to give consumers a more inclusive role in its creative process.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Three Ways to Ride the Long Tail By Steve Rubel

Published: August 29, 2006

NYC - One of this summer's hottest beach reads is "The Long Tail" by Chris Anderson. By now you probably already know the book's thesis: The future of creating demand lies not at the head of the curve (e.g., the most popular hits created by Big Media) but rather down the "Long Tail" of niches.

Through rich anecdotes and examples, Anderson does a wonderful job documenting the Long Tail's impact on media and marketing. He makes plain how the blogosphere and online communities are creating an environment where a thousand points of light can outshine the largest of media. However, where the book falls short is in giving marketers a playbook. Here are three ways marketers can thrive in a Long Tail world.


Steve Rubel is a marketing strategist and blogger. He is senior VP in Edelman's Me2Revolution practice.

Future London to run 'green living' activity by Melanie Godsell

copyright Brand Republic
Published: 23 Aug 2006

LONDON - An initiative promoting environmentally friendly living to London residents in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics will be unveiled next month.

'Footprints of a Generation', the branding for which has been created by Unreal, launches on 7 September as part of the Future London campaign, which seeks to help the capital's residents lead a more sustainable life.

Future London is run by London Unlimited, the organisation responsible for developing the city as a global brand, backed by the Mayor of London and London Development Agency.

The 'Footprints' activity will encompass a series of installations at key locations across London, including the Truman Brewery and the Science Museum. Images within the installations seek to inspire the public by showing the damaged city its residents will inherit if changes are not made, alongside the positive effects if they do take place.

Unreal, which is on the Greater London Assembly roster, has developed a logo featuring a footprint incorporating London icons such as red buses, the London Eye, Tower Bridge and St Paul's Cathedral. It also includes 'green' symbols such as trees, flowers, fruit, recycling bins and cyclists. It is intended to spark debate about the sort of environmental 'footprints' that consumers are leaving. The London 2012 logo appears on the big toe of the footprint.

Separate footprint logos have also been created to reflect each of six areas covered in the installations: homes; food and drink; travel; open spaces; the future of the city; and the London 2012 legacy.

The launch of Future London: Footprints of a Generation will be accompanied by internet banner ads, press and outdoor executions, as well as three branded carbon-neutral buses.

Free ad-supported online music service!

Published: 28 Aug 2006

CALIFORNIA - I just confirmed that the files offered by SpiralFrog, the much-ballyhooed (today, at least) free, ad-supported online music service, will offer WMA files wrapped in Microsoft's PlaysforSure DRM.
The service will launch with songs from Universal Music Group in December, according to early reports. PlaysforSure DRM was cracked quite recently, and it remains to be seen whether Microsoft will be able to shore up that vulnerability by then.

Regardless, out of the 194 news stories listed by Google News, not a single one of them mentions which format the service would use, or how it would be protected – a pretty big oversight in my opinion, considering how serious the 'competing formats' obstacle is in online music right now (especially for companies such as SpiralFrog, which distribute music that won't play on iPods).

I'm not patting myself on the back for mentioning this (well, maybe a little), but seriously… how can you talk about an online music store without including anything about which format it'll offer? I guess online music is online music, until you actually try to play it… although at that point, it's a little late to start thinking about formats and DRM.

Update: Rumor has it that another major label, EMI, is also in "advanced discussions" with SpiralFrog about distributing its catalog via the ad-supported music service as well.

Another Update: My former coworker Ina Fried over at did in fact mention the format and DRM issues associated with SpiralFrog in her article. I guess Google News isn't as bulletproof as I'd thought (searches for "SpiralFrog WMA" and "SpiralFrog PlaysforSure" returned no news results when I originally posted this item).

Posted by eliotvb

AllPeers: share exactly what you want with exactly who you want.

Published: 24 August 2006

Several solutions exist for creating your own little mini-P2P network among trusted friends, but the Prague-based AllPeers, which is apparently launching in beta form sometime today, uses a FireFox extension and leverages BitTorrent on the back-end to make set up and private sharing easier than ever. You won't even have to convince your friends to install a separate application, as I had to when testing the original version of the now-Sony-owned Grouper (it was originally a private audio sharing app).

With all of the RIAA's bellyaching about the volume of files shared over these networks, it's easy to forget that one of the reasons people were so excited about Napster back in the day was the social networking aspect. I'm sure I'm not the only one who used to search for a few key, obscure band names and then add anyone who was sharing them into my Buddy List. To find new stuff to listen to, all I had to do was browse these buddies' collections.

AllPeers will allow exactly this sort of thing, although you'll start with the friends and end up with the files, instead of the other way around. I have received conflicting information about when the beta will be available to the public; the AllPeers blog says it will launch sometime today on the official FireFox extentions page, but its PR company told me the beta will be closed.

Maybe they mean it'll be closed to the RIAA and open to everyone else. It's hard to imagine an RIAA bot infiltrating a close-knit network of music-sharing friends.

Update: The AllPeers beta installer is now available

Free database of logos and brand identities is unveiled by Sarah Woods

copyright Brand Republic
Published: 30 Aug 2006

LONDON - An online keyword search database of logos and brands has been launched, targeting brand designers.

The Identity Archives Project website is a free resource, built on the contributions of graphic designers and brand identity specialists.

The idea is that designers from around the world can upload their designs along with keywords describing conceptual, aesthetic, typographic and other descriptive information. In addition, the industry, year released, designer and design firm credits can be added.

Gabe Ruane, the website and project founder, said: "I envision the site playing an important role in the design research process. There are plenty of logo databases out there, but this is the only free option with keyword searchable identity designs. There's no need to register either."

The website is open to designers, brand managers, marketing professionals, educators, students, brand identity design enthusiasts and the general public.

Universal Music backs ad-funded download service

copyright Brand Republic
Published: 29 Aug 2006

NEW YORK - Universal Music is backing a new music download service called SpiralFrog, which will give consumers free music and be funded by advertising.

The start-up company will challenge the dominance of iTunes and is due to launch in December, the Financial Times reports today.

SpiralFrog is headed by Robin Kent, former worldwide chief executive and president of Universal McCann, the Interpublic Group-owned media buying network. He left his role as head of the agency in March 2005 during the £1.5bn General Motors review, which Interpublic eventually lost.

CEO Kent said that offering young consumers an easy-to-use alternative to pirate music sites "will be compelling".

The company is in talks with other music labels about making their recordings available on the service, including Warner, EMI and Sony-BMG. Universal Music, home to bands including the U2, Scissor Sisters and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, as well as back catalogues of artists such as Bob Marley and Nick Drake, is already backing the company.

Advertisers who are interested in the service include Levi's and Benetton, and another US fashion label, Perry Ellis, has already signed up.

Figures released by the International Federation of Phonographic Industries estimate that for every 40 illegal music downloads there is only one paid-for download.

At the moment, iTunes dominates the paid-for download market, charging 99 cents per song to Americans and 79 pence, which is worth $1.50, to UK users.

Although iTunes is enormously popular, there are still artists who refuse to have their music sold on the service. These include The Beatles, whose record label Apple Corps is in a legal dispute with iTunes owner Apple over the use of the name "Apple"; and Led Zeppelin and Radiohead, who reportedly do not believe that single tracks should be available from their albums.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Music industry must wait for online boom to take effect

copyright Brand Republic
Published: 25 Aug 2006

ONDON - Online music will take four more years to be hailed as the saviour of Europe's declining music industry, according to latest research.

A report by media research firm Screen Digest says the rapid growth in online music buying is set to continue but will not offset an overall decline in more traditional forms of music retail until 2010.

The research shows that the value to the industry of online music buying across Europe will more than double from £82m last year to £190m by the end of this year.

At this rate by 2010, the value of online music could be worth around £745m, which Screen Digest believes is the key figure needed to halt the decline in the music industry as a whole.

Overall across Europe, the music market has lost 22% of its total value since 2001 because of the drop-off in physical music sales.


Microsoft Strikes Ad Deal With Facebook Social Network by Gavin O'Malley

Published: August 23, 2006

NEW YORK ( -- Following the lead of Google's search-advertising deal with MySpace, Microsoft has aligned itself with Facebook as the social network's exclusive provider of banner advertising and sponsored links. The deal gives a huge boost to Microsoft's AdCenter online ad platform, which has struggled to secure major distribution deals since its launch last year.

"We chose Microsoft because it, like Facebook, is a technology company at its core and is committed to taking a fresh approach to targeting advertising to social media," Owen Van Natta, Facebook's chief operating officer, said in a prepared statement.


Gavin O'Malley:

Watchdog Group Criticizes Placement of 'Superman' Ads by Ira Teinowitz

Published: August 23, 2006

WASHINGTON ( -- The Children's Advertising Review Unit has slapped Warner Bros. for advertising the PG-13 rated film "Superman Returns" on the Cartoon Network. CARU, the ad industry's self-regulatory body that oversees children's advertising, today said that touting the film on children's programming is wrong, considering the film's rating for older teens. The Motion Picture Association of America describes the PG-13 rating as a warning to parents that movies may not be suitable to young children.


Is Virtual Life Better Than Reality?

© copyright CBS Broadcastinf Inc.
SAN FRANCISCO, July 31, 2006

(CBS) When reality gets hard to take, there's an escape to a parallel universe — a virtual world without end where real people create online personas called avatars. Anything is possible.

Catherine Smith showed CBS News correspondent Jerry Bowen that her avatar has "red hair" and "big nice cool glasses."

"This is my deck overlooking the beach, and I've got neighbors that have a giant pirate ship," Smith explained.

Smith can't afford a beach house in real life. But in Second Life, the online game created by her employer, Linden Lab, she — and nearly 100,000 other subscribers who pay $10 a month — can have that and more.

"You can go skydiving and not be afraid of dying; you could become a wild animal, something that you could never do in real life," she said.

As hard as this may be to believe, there is real money changing hands among the players in these games, Bowen reports. An estimated $1 billion worldwide is spent by users buying and selling virtual goods, such as furniture for virtual houses and clothing for their avatars. But it's paid for with real-world credit cards — at Second Life alone, $6 million a month.

"I put in 40 hours a week easy," said Shannon Grei, who supports herself in Medford, Ore., by making virtual clothes for avatars in that other world.

"I couldn't believe that it was really, that it was real, that you could even do that, and it just blew my mind, it still blows my mind," Grei laughs.

She's not alone.

"What we have here is a virtual loft of sorts that we created for the artist Regina Spektor," says Ethan Kaplan of Warner Bros. Records, which has set up shop to publicize the pop singer's music.

"Our goal with second life is to make it better than real life in a lot of ways," says Phillip Rosedale, Linden Lab's CEO and founder.

But there are real-life problems. Hackers have tried to shut it down. Who do they call when hackers strike?

"We generally call the FBI," Rosedale said.

But it doesn't stop there. Second Life itself is being sued in the real world over virtual land deals that went bad. And in China, a man was sentenced to life in prison for murdering a friend who sold the prized sword he'd loaned him — a virtual weapon that existed only in cyberspace.

Meantime, the possibilities are seemingly endless. That's what creators of Second Life and other sites expect will draw the generations that grew up on video games: The chance to create their own alternative identity in a virtual world.

In fact, Bowen says he can't resist.

There's one job he's always wanted — and before Katie Couric gets on board, he went for it. The beauty is, Bob Schieffer will never know.

"This is the CBS Evening News with Jerry Bowen," a virtual Bowen said from a virtual anchor desk.

And that's the way it is ... in the virtual world.

©MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

BFG Replica: The 'B' Ain't For Bacon by Marc Wilson

Published 27 August 2006

Not the kind of guy who collects Highlander Edition swords? Neither are we. But this...this is no regular collectible. This gun is Art.

We're talking about the BFG from DOOM/Quake 2/Quake 3 Arena. People still want to know, how did the name evolve from "Big Force Gun" to "Big F*&#ing Gun"? It's all part of our theory of 'F' Darwinism. Any instance where acronyms contain the letter 'F' will eventually represent the word "fuck". It's only a matter of time, but worry not because it's a good thing. Just consider the common acronyms "FYI" and "TGIF". We're all in for quite a bit of fun, along with this great conversation piece. – Mark Wilson

Product page:

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Exclusive Microsoft Zune Picture - Zune In The Wild!

Published 18 August 2006, California

hanks to our awesome tipsters, we scored this exclusive picture of the Microsoft Zune. Yes, it looks almost exactly like the images we've shown you before on Gizmodo. The player also comes with a pair of magnetic headphones, which as you can see from the picture, stick to each other so they're easier to manage.

The reason the shot is in black and white is because Microsoft assigned a unique color scheme to every Zune prototype in existence right now—all 150 of them—so any leaks could be traced to the employee who leaked it. We don't want to be jerks and get anybody fired.

Also, check in later today for some "handy-er" info about the Zune. You won't want to miss it. – Jason Chen

Update: Check out our exclusive Microsoft Zune details. We talk about how the scroll wheel isn't actually a scroll wheel, and more details about how the UI is going to look. You'll have to click to find out more.

Thanks to all our tipsters!

RIAA-Proof Music Sharing

Published 24 August 2006, California.

Several solutions exist for creating your own little mini-P2P network among trusted friends, but the Prague-based AllPeers, which is apparently launching in beta form sometime today, uses a FireFox extension and leverages BitTorrent on the back-end to make set up and private sharing easier than ever. You won't even have to convince your friends to install a separate application, as I had to when testing the original version of the now-Sony-owned Grouper (it was originally a private audio sharing app).

With all of the RIAA's bellyaching about the volume of files shared over these networks, it's easy to forget that one of the reasons people were so excited about Napster back in the day was the social networking aspect. I'm sure I'm not the only one who used to search for a few key, obscure band names and then add anyone who was sharing them into my Buddy List. To find new stuff to listen to, all I had to do was browse these buddies' collections.

AllPeers will allow exactly this sort of thing, although you'll start with the friends and end up with the files, instead of the other way around. I have received conflicting information about when the beta will be available to the public; the AllPeers blog says it will launch sometime today on the official FireFox extentions page, but its PR company told me the beta will be closed.

Maybe they mean it'll be closed to the RIAA and open to everyone else. It's hard to imagine an RIAA bot infiltrating a close-knit network of music-sharing friends.

The AllPeers beta installer is now available !!!

Posted by eliotvb

The World's First 100% Green Record Label

Published, 1 August 2006, California

With Al Gore's documentary/horror movie An Inconvenient Truth impressing generating so much debate and heat waves plaguing many regions of the globe, now seems like as good a time as any for conscious entities to think about minimizing CO2 production. But since so much of the stuff we like to make and do involves the creation of CO2 emissions, this can involve some tough trade-offs. There's another way.

Yesterday, Sub Pop Records became the first record label in the world to "go green" [see update below] by reducing its effective CO2 output to zero. This would be technically impossible, even if they went 100% digital in their sales, without an organization called the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, which lets people or companies buy "green tags," – vouchers that help subsidize the use of renewable energy, which is generally more expensive to produce than dirtier sources.

Purchasers of green tags still power everything in their homes or businesses using the same old sources, but by purchasing these green tags, they're able to offset their CO2 production by introducing more renewable energy into the energy pool through their subsidy.

If you're interested in buying green tags, use BEF's calculator to figure out how much you'd owe. Then, you can buy green tags in $20 (99% wind, 1% solar) or $24 (90% wind, 10% solar) increments. It would evidently cost the average American $16.67 per month to offset their CO2 production completely.

Kudos to Sub Pop for bringing attention to this option and thanks to Ryan at 27B Stroke 6 for the heads-up.

Update: Sarah Krasley, from the Center for Resource Solutions, writes:

"Sub Pop isn't the first green label, they are the first Green-e certified [link added -ed.] record label. It's amazing what a little '-e' will do! The environmental community takes this stuff really seriously, so I just thought I'd flag it. Green can mean anything from: recycling to energy conservation, to composting. Green-e means that the company uses a certified renewable energy product like the Bonneville Environmental Foundation's green tags."

Point taken. It's also worth pointing out that the first album featuring the Green-e logo is Kelley Stoltz's Below the Branches.

Posted by eliotvb

Friday, August 25, 2006

MySpace: The Magazine

© copyright

Social-Networking Site in Talks With 'Nylon' to Create Title

By Nat Ives and Gavin O'Malley
Published: August 24, 2006

NEW YORK ( -- Hey MySpace kids: Want to read a magazine? If you answered yes, you may be in luck. MySpace is actively considering whether to launch an ink-on-paper magazine to complement its insanely popular and remarkably valued online property. The editorial mix would likely cover standout MySpace members and their interests, from music to their social scenes.

MediaWorks imagines what a MySpace magazine would look like.

"We're in the process of modeling it," said an executive privy to the discussions. "Our main concern is the MySpace brand. We don't want to do anything that would hurt the brand."

Familiar partnership
MySpace, which News Corp. bought last year for more than half a billion dollars, is looking at potential business models, the most likely of which would see a MySpace Magazine published by the crew at Nylon magazine, the hip music and fashion title edited by Marvin Scott Jarrett. Nylon and MySpace have worked together before; the two partnered in May to bring the magazine's 7th annual "Music Issue" online with interactive features.

While poor execution or underwhelming response would undermine the site's reputation, the financial risk to MySpace would be low-to-nil if Nylon published the new magazine under a licensing arrangement.

But nothing is certain and MySpace may yet decide to stay out of the print game entirely. Until a verdict is reached, please resume your regularly scheduled social networking online.

Friday, August 18, 2006

First European manga-bar in Paris by Pauline Augrain

© copyright Le Point, France 17/08/06 - N°1770 - Page 14

France is second World mangas consumer country with 10 millions sales a year. The famous Japanese "manga kissa" concept was still missing: its is now done in the old-fashionable Quartier Latin, close to Notre Dame and Saint-Michel. Ben Kodova's Manga Café concept is pretty simple: with all-inclusive 4 euros per hour's fee, the consumer has access to the 8,000 mangas collection, internet access, PlayStation & free Pepsi-Cola in a casual, comfortable balck and red interior design. Ben Kodova says most of his clients are 30 yo or over.

Manga Café : 11 bis, rue des Carmes, 75005.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Firefox crop circle!

USA, OREGON - Aug 15, 2006. Does the sudden appearance of a Firefox crop circle imply which browser extraterrestrials prefer? We don't know, but it was still fun to make!

Constructed by local Firefox fans and the same team that created the Firefox mural from cornstarch and kool-aid and launched the Firefox weather balloon, the Firefox Crop Circle project shows that we have so much passion for Firefox that we want it to be visible from space!

Planned in under two weeks and completed in under 24 hours, the crop circle had a final diameter of 220 feet. We constructed the circle in an oat field near Amity, Oregon, where it was completely invisible from the road but unmistakable from the sky. Our team consisted of 12 people, mainly OSU students, and we carefully stomped down oats from 3:30pm Friday afternoon until 2:30am, putting on the finishing touches between 7:30am and 11:00am Saturday, August 12.

Matt and John, Mozilla video interns, came up with the idea a few weeks beforehand. Fueled by the enthusiasm of Asa Dotzler at Mozilla, suddenly the crop circle was within reach. While at OSCON 2006 in Portland, the three of them ran into members of the OSLUG, and things really started to take shape.

Qtopia Greenphone: a fresh approach to the mobile phone eco-system

Trolltech has just announced a new GSM/GPRS Linux based phone platform / SDK - "Qtopia Greenphone is a Linux mobile development device open for unlimited software innovation. Offered as part of the Greenphone SDK, it makes Linux-based applications easier to build and faster to bring to market. This powerful GSM/GPRS device provides the perfect platform for creation, testing and demonstration of new mobile technology services and ships loaded with Qtopia Phone Edition."

Duran Duran become pioneers again with virtual live concert by Jennifer Whitehead

© copyright Brand Republic

UK, LONDON -10 Aug 2006. Duran Duran, one of the bands credited with making the music video a crucial marketing tool, are once again at the vanguard of pop promotion.

The band will be the first to stage an 'in-world' live concert for players of the online virtual world 'Second Life'.

All five original members - Simon Le Bon, John Taylor, Nick Rhodes, Roger Taylor and Andy Taylor - are taking part in the venture.

They have commissioned their own custom-designed avatars to take part in the world, including giving concerts and making media appearances.

The project has been designed by London-based marketing agency 3003 Group, ahead of Duran Duran's new album launch in the new year. The strategy will also include a mobile downloads shop and a new website.

Founded in Birmingham in 1978, Duran Duran became famous for their glamorous videos, often shot in exotic locations and, in the case of 'Girls On Film', for being banned for being too racy.

Rhodes, keyboardist for Duran Duran, said: "'Second Life' has brought a third dimension to the internet; it is the new frontier where dreams have become reality. Whatever you can imagine is now possible.

"When the video revolution began we instantly saw the opportunity to experiment and explore a new form of expression to enhance the musical experience. 'Second Life' is the future right now, offering endless possibilities for artists."

Other firsts claimed by Duran Duran are being the first band to use live video cameras and videoscreens in their concerts, on their 1984 US tour; the first artists to make a song available for digital download on the web with 'Electric Barbarella' in 1997; and the first band to produce a pop video made entirely using Macromedia Flash software.

Design agency Rivers Run Red has been appointed to create the five Duran Duran avatars.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Showtime Promotes 'Weeds' With Eau de Marijuana by Nat Ives

© copyright
Published: August 09, 2006

NEW YORK -- HBO may love its Google Maps promotions for shows like "The Sopranos," but Showtime Networks knows the web can't do everything -- like run scent strips. So to promote the second season of "Weeds," Showtime placed a scent-strip ad in the Aug. 24 issue of Rolling Stone that evokes, well, a certain something.

"It smells like hippies wearing patchouli," said a MediaWorks colleague who got to sniff the ad. Close enough.

'The buzz factor'
"There was a lot of back and forth about the scent," said George DeBolt, VP-media, Showtime. "We wanted to have the scent be as close as possible to marijuana. It's the buzz factor, if you will."

Fragrance vendors, whose typical struggles include searching for scents that whisper "Britney Spears," were not exactly set up to deliver. There were no vials, for example, marked "Chronic," "Amnesia" or "Maui Wowie."

So the final scent selected may smell like pot getting smoked, or marijuana in a bag or even, yes, hippies, Showtime acknowledged. "It's not that the scent is precise," Mr. DeBolt said. "It's that it communicates the show and gets people to look up from the magazine."

Other elements of the campaign to promote "Weeds," which begins its second season next Monday, include ice cream trucks dubbed Weeds Munchie Mobiles that will show up at concerts and other events to give out "Weeds" merchandise, brownie distribution in busy areas of six cities (those would be brownies like your mom used to make, not your college roommate), and street vendors handing out coffee in "Weeds" cups.

Contact Nat Ives:

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

CNN boosts 'citizen journalism' with showcase site

© copyright

LONDON - CNN is to launch a user-generated content portal on its homepage, showcasing viewer submitted video, audio and written reports, in its latest push to encourage citizen journalism.

The CNN Exchange website will include a spotlight section highlighting the best user contributions, CNN blogs and an online toolkit offering tips from CNN journalists about how to submit reports.

It is not the first time CNN has given space to user-generated content on its website; the broadcaster created a fan zone as part of its World Cup coverage, which it said was inundated with images and stories from football fans.

Mitch Gelman, senior vice-president and executive producer for, said: "With CNN Exchange, we've essentially created a one-stop shop for users to share their contributions with other internet users, as well as to weigh in on the day's most pressing news."

CNN said it intends its user-generated platform to feature content captured by mobile phones, cameras and other electronic devices.

Last month, Nokia unveiled the winner of its first Citizen Journalism Awards; an anonymously submitted image of the aftermath of the Tavistock Square bombing in London on July 7 last year.

Second place went to an aerial shot of the Buncefield oil depot fire taken by David Otway, with another image of the London 7/7 Tube bombings, submitted by Alexander Chadwick, completing the top three

Monday, August 07, 2006

YouTube, Me Watch by Abram Sauer

© copyright

Rapid growth, consumer control, hyper word-of-mouth promotion, hungry competitors. Welcome to YouTube’s world.
For the uninitiated, YouTube is an online portal through which users can watch and share video content. Currently, it is not just a video site, it is the video site. It has achieved such status so rapidly that it seems fair to wonder where the service will go from here.

Founded in a garage in February 2005, YouTube officially launched to the world in December of that year. Popular media mentions helped the brand rocket to the upper echelons of online pronoun properties with names featuring “I,” “Me,” “My,” and “You.”

How high, how rapid? In the month of June, Nielsen/NetRatings data show that YouTube logged 19.6 million unique users; this represents a nearly 300 percent increase from January user-ship. And there appears to be no such thing as a summer lull. For the week of July 9, Nielsen reported 12.8 million unique viewers, up 75 percent from the previous week. That particular week, nearly half of all “Most Viewed” clips were of the 2006 World Cup Zidane “header.” Some were recorded TV coverage, but many were user-created original videos such as Zidane head-butt compilation. (Warning: Clicking on the link may lead to countless wasted hours.)

User-created content is at the center of YouTube’s web-2.0 pedigree: the idea that the “new” fluid Internet model will be based on user interaction and contribution. But, similar to blogs, copyrighted material is feeding YouTube’s success. Copyrighted material for which YouTube does not own the rights. This puts YouTube in a tricky position for the possibility of selling out and compromises its ability to make money through advertising.

Buying out YouTube could put an established media (or other) investor at risk for lawsuits from competing media companies about hosting their content (currently not as big an issue given YouTube’s neutrality.)

Advertising could be YouTube’s means to profitability. Already, American television network NBC has inked a deal with the site to promote its shows (seen recently in advertising for the film “Pirates of the Caribbean”). But advertisers could seek to interfere with content when it runs counter to their own objectives. Currently it’s not clear how much advertising the brand owners are willing to tolerate anyway. Earlier this year, YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley said in an interview with CNN Money, “We're going to sell sponsorships and direct advertisements. But we are building a community, and we don't want to bombard people with advertising” (May 11, 2006).

This idea of “community,” plus the site’s reliance on copyrighted material, puts YouTube in a very interesting position as a brand. In the conventional sense, a brand is owned by two groups, the brand owner and the brand consumer. The “brand” is where the owner’s desires and the users’ perceptions meet. In YouTube’s case, there are three brand owners. As in the conventional case, YouTube’s actions and communications converge with the audience’s perception to create the YouTube “brand.” The third element is the copyright owners, who have realized that they can leverage YouTube to create interest in their properties, but are quick to pull content if it is not to their liking. YouTube has to manage its brand based on consumer perception, but it doesn’t completely control its own product.

An added difficulty for YouTube is that it is lacking an emotional hook to differentiate itself from a pure functional service (think iPod). Users visit YouTube not based on any of the brand’s perceived values, but on its ability to give them what they want, when and how they want it. The service offering can easily be replicated elsewhere, better. Online social network Friendster suffered from this and subsequently lost its dominance to MySpace.

YouTube’s own challengers are advancing at a rapid rate. AOL is re-engineering its video site to mirror YouTube’s success, and CNN is launching CNN Exchange, which will house user-contributed video features. Then there are sites like,, Revver and Blip.TV, which share up to 50 percent of ad page revenue with the creator of the videos. Others like (currently in beta) sort through all video hosting sites (like YouTube and its competition) for search content, while specialty video sites like Pornotube concentrate on one point of interest.

If YouTube could be said to have a brand position, it might be one of selfless populism. Even if the site’s ultimate goal is to make money, the user perception is that it is a power-to-the-people portal through which a community serves each other and the little guy can share and watch for free. Meanwhile, competitor Eefoof’s tagline is “Make it. Post it. Profit!” The placement of the one exclamation mark sets a position that the contributor is motivated by more than just an altruistic sense of community.

With a potentially crippling copyright lawsuit on the horizon, it’s almost impossible not to compare YouTube to Napster. It’s easy to see a future in which YouTube will exist as a brand in recovery, scrapping for survival in a flooded marketplace it basically built. Its very name forever attached to a very short era.

Contact Abram Saueur in NYC:



© copyright scooplive 2005-2006

Scooplive est la première place de marché internationale du scoop. Vous pouvez proposer tout type de document photo et vidéo aux acheteurs de Scooplive. Qu’il s’agisse de photos de people que vous croisez ou de faits d’actualité (manifestations, événements sportifs, émeutes, accidents, catastrophes naturelles...) dont vous êtes témoins.

L’objectif de Scooplive est de proposer une offre alternative aux médias. C’est avec des documents pris sur le vif et vos images d’archive, que nous réussissons à créer cette fédération de reporters amateurs et/ou indépendants.

Il suffit de télécharger vos documents sur Scooplive, et de garder bien au chaud vos exclusivités pour nos clients. Le plus offrant d’entre eux pour votre scoop remportera la mise, et vous récupérerez jusqu’à 85 % du prix de vente!

En savoir plus :

McKinsey Study Predicts Continuing Decline in TV Selling Power

© copyright

McKinsey Study Predicts Continuing Decline in TV Selling Power
Cites 50% Drop in Viewers, 40% Hike in Prime-Time Ad Spend Over Last Decade

By Abbey Klaassen -

Published: August 06, 2006

NEW YORK ( -- A study is about to give Madison Avenue a fresh pummeling: McKinsey & Co. is telling a host of major marketers that by 2010, traditional TV advertising will be one-third as effective as it was in 1990.

The McKinsey & Co.'s new media proliferation study data was prepared for, and delivered to, its Fortune 500 clients.

Shocking statistic
That shocking statistic, delivered to the company's Fortune 100 clients in a report on media proliferation, assumes a 15% decrease in buying power driving by cost-per-thousand rate increases; a 23% decline in ads viewed due to switching off; a 9% loss of attention to ads due to increased multitasking and a 37% decrease in message impact due to saturation.

"You've also got pronounced changes in consumer behavior while they're consuming media," said Tom French, director at McKinsey. "And ad spending is decreasingly reflecting consumer behavior."

According to the report, real ad spending on prime-time broadcast TV has increased over last decade by about 40% even as viewers have dropped almost 50%. Paying more for less translates into a much higher cost-per-viewer-reached -- a trend also true in radio and print.

Teens turn from TV
Thank a combination of older technologies such as cable, PC computers, cellphones, CD players, VCRs, game consoles and the internet, along with more recent ones -- PDAs, broadband Internet, digital cable, home wireless networks, MP3 players, DVRs and VOD-- for those changes. And teens foretell an even more radical shift in future media consumption, the report points out: They spend less than half as much time watching TV as typical adults do. Teens also spend 600% more time online, surfing the web.

According to Forrester Research's most recent North American Consumer Technology Adoption Study, people ages 18 to 26 spend more time online than watching TV and are adopting new technology faster than any other generation. Because of that, they tend to be more receptive to blog, podcast and mobile-web ads.

That leads one to wonder whether consumer marketing mixes should change to reflect consumer behavior.

The answer is not quite -- yet, at least. The Catch-22 is a "chaos scenario" that smart marketers have read about in these pages: a dearth of online-ad supply and the web's generally fragmented nature will keep TV in booming business for the next several years.

"Should everybody shift 30% of their dollars to the web?" asked Amy Guggenheim Shenkan, senior practice knowledge specialist in McKinsey's San Francisco office. "No. There wouldn't be room today if everybody wanted to shift online. Last year [online media] was $12.5 billion, by end of 2007 digital advertising will be $18 to $25 billion. ... So we're seeing a lot of growth, but if you want to match up share of attention and share of dollars it couldn't happen for that reason." The TV ad industry is a $68 billion one.

So what's a marketer to do?

Mr. French said it's no longer good enough for an advertiser to take standard reach metrics at face value. He advises them to consider evaluating media on an "adjusted reach" basis.

Not adjusting reach numbers
"What we don't find people doing is adjusting those reach numbers for people who are actually tuned in," Mr. French said. "Not just watching but actually paying attention."

He also suggests there's a great role for chief marketing officers to play within their organizations, where they have influence over all customer-interaction channels -- call centers, sales forces, retail partners -- and can use those to supplement a decreasingly effective media channel.

Consider the enterprise telecom company (not named by McKinsey). Some 44% of the purchasing decision was influenced by interaction with sales, building/installation and service/maintenance teams.

"We see many, many leading organizations across industries realizing they need to systematically improve their commercial effectiveness," Mr. French said. "And the logical candidate for driving that is the CMO."

Evolve marketing model
Emerging as some of the best examples are industries in which marketing has long been relegated to a back-seat role but is now becoming a major force in the front office -- major broad-based industrial conglomerates, financial services and telecom. In contrast, the companies people used to benchmark what marketing excellence is -- major package-goods players, for example -- are realizing they've got to dramatically evolve their marketing model.

"CMOs have to step up to a larger role and question a host of historical assumptions of how marketing works," Mr. French said. "They have to continue to build rich, robust and proprietary customer insights, but they have to do it from a bunch more sources."

Drugstore London's new Napster Showcase

check monthly showcase update, one of the most creative UK agency!

Absolut RubyRed online campaign


© copyright Vin & Sprit AB

This video remains the exclusive property of V&S Vin & Sprit AB, Årstaängsvägen 19a, Stockholm, Sweden (postal address: SE-117 97 Stockholm, Sweden)

The Viral Factory's Ford Sportka Commercial

the viral factory uk/us's 'Going to Work for SUBWAY: Part 1'

What happens when an interactive agency goes to work for SUBWAY? Late nights, fun times, and lots of sandwiches. When has the chance to win the SUBWAY interactive business, they immediately go to work... in the restaurants, on the streets, and, of course, on the internet. Check out their viral video, send it to your friends, and help them spread the good word of, um, mustard. - added 08.07.2006 -

Contagious Communication

well let's make a try and join forces to promote world alternative communications here in France!

Amazing visual © copyright Fallon London ( provided by Contagious Magazine (