Americans are going online to find information about religion, advertisers are beginning to capitalize such interest serving target ads. The unusual news is report on MediaPost quoting the results of a new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project: 64 percent of the nation’s 128 million Internet users have used the Web for spiritual and religious purposes. I especially liked the comment of Steve Waldman CEO of Beliefnet.com who said:“The Internet is not only good for stocks, banking, and porn. It’s also good for spirituality.”
And mobile devices work even better: did you can get a daily Pope message deliverd to your mobile phone? Business is business, even if we talk about spirituality…
On iMediaConnection the campaign featured this week is Reebok: all eyes on us. The sport brand developed a micro site to engage basketball fans (and prospects) in an interactive and entertaining experience. As Tony Quin, President at IQTV said, the initiative is good but not great. They decide to take an innovative approach to navigation and content. There’s a lot of esploration and discovery, probably to much for the average users. But for teenagers it might be the correct choice…
Positioning is the key for a successful online campaign. In an article on New Media Age (thanks Evan!) Ben Mein focuses on the context’ importance in an advertising campaign. If you place your ads on a specific qualiy content site, you’re more likely to succeed.
The sky is limit for mobile content and its related revenue streams. Every day you read of a new service, innovative, useful, superfluous, weird. For example, ABC Entertainment and Telenor have launched “Soap Confidential”, a premium text-message service that keep users updated with their favourite soap opera characters. Fans can sign up and receive messages from ABC’s All My Children, General Hospital and One Life to Live. The second weird idea I’ve heard of is the one by Orange Uk, that will allow runners of the London Marathon to text a message to family and friends with their progress during the race. The service is free and will use a small timing chip to be attached to runners’ laces.
iVillage (via Terranova) has launched “Paradise Island” an online role-playing game, marked, as Betsy Book says, “by gender and commercial co-branding”. This is a very interesting example of a portal taking the relationship with its readers a step further, taking advantage of the medium’s peculiar characteristics. Interactivity, even if text-based is the best expression of Internet communication. Effective online branding isn’t necessarily flashy.
BEX Media has launched the first MMS based newspaper of Switzerland. MMS are sent out twice a day; the service carries pictures along with the text, covering politics, economics, sports and international stock exchanges results. As Rafat Ali says on Paidcontent, “someone is claiming that is an MMS newspaper”. I haven’t seen the service, so I can’t express an opinion, I can just say the concept of “newspaper” is rather complex and goes far behind a news service. Probably MMS news are a good service idea, while MMS newspaper is simply an excellent PR invention.
Handset play an important role attracting US users to adopt mobile phones. A new report by Datacomm Research analyses the US mobile phone industry, investingating actual trends and future possibilities. Quoted in the press release Ira Brodsky, the report’s author says: “Handsets play the lead role attracting subscribers by meeting the needs and wants of specific market segments. Given the intense competition, operators need to work closely with handset makers and software developers to match their handset portfolios to teens, families, business travelers, field workers, and other key market segments.”
Pepsi has recently redesigned its Italian web site, refreshing its online brand image. At www.pepsi.it, users can now get to know Pepsi’s testimonials, like Britney Spears and football player Francesco Totti, downloading pictures and desktop wallpapers. The web site also features Pepsi’s latest tv spot and, of course, several information about the soft drinks.
The Australian online advertising market grew 41 percent in 2003. According to a new report, the finance industry was the top spender, followed by recruitment. In an article, News Australia provides full numbers and details about the research.
Movies, Tv, Mobile phones: the business is getting bigger and bigger. The issue has been discussed recently at the MIPTV-Milia new media conference in France, and featured in an article on News Australia. SMS are used to send out invitations to movies’ previews, MMS galleries are helpful to generate a buzz about a movie, and we even see the possibility of “direct-to-mobile” film series. Fox Lab is in fact ready to launch “Hotel Franklin” a film series in a new format (60-second episodes) which uses a concise screenplay written specifically for mobiles. In The Netherlands they have already experienced the mobile soap opera, getting excellent results, so Fox’ idea sounds appealing. In my opinion, the key to the solution’s future success will be in content’s quality. Fox is launching something similar to Sex and the City, which will probably/hopefully engage people right from the first scene, however they need to keep it high profile in order to set a trend and allow the business idea to grow.
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