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.
On iMediaConnection the “showcase” is definitely my favourite section. Last week they featured an advertising quiz by Fuji . Developed by Sharpe Partners with Pointroll rich media technology, the ad helps users finding the right digital camera. Some people are enthusiastic about the solution, others believe the solution did not fully exploit the media potentials. Personally I don’t like the layout while I like the idea of interactivity and the user experience they’ve tried to create.
Benetton has won the Investor Relations Best Practice European Website Award assigned by the Investor Relations Society, Europe’s leading professional body for investor relations practitioners. As explained in the press release the he main features of the /www.benetton.com/investors website are Benetton stock quotes in Milan, Frankfurt and New York reported with just 10 minutes’ delay, investment calculator, benchmark table information, sophisticated interactive charts, and a comprehensive archive of past financial statements, half-year and quarterly reports, press releases and past presentations.
Columbia TriStar has promoted its movie Gothika with film streaming ads on MSN Hotmail. As explained in a press release on Microsoft’s website, the ads have been running for two weeks targeting audience aged 15-24 in Britain. Chris Gilbody, Account Manager at Manning Gottlieb OMD, Columbia TriStar�s Media agency, commented: �Hotmail offers substantial reach & micro-targeting of our target market online, allowing us to deliver the movie trailer straight into the inbox of our key demographic. We then track the number of people that actually viewed the trailer till the very end, allowing us to reach a cost-per-complete-trailer-viewed metric. Using Hotmail in this way ensures the trailer is used effectively and with the greatest impact.�
The disturbing ads can be seen on Flashtalking web site.
The anti-gun organisation “Mothers Against Guns” is about to launch a multi-channel campaign to support a petition to demand the total ban of replica guns in the UK. The agency Grey London has developed a short film “Toys that kill” which will be shown in cinemas and will also be available on the organisation’s web site, where the video is available both for download and stream. It’s possible to sign the petition on the web site.
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