Unicast, the online advertising solutions provider, has announced in press release the birth of a new online ad format that enables advertisers to deliver their message with full-screen, broadcast quality video. Unicast’s Video Commercial is built on the Microsoft� Windows Media� 9 Series platform and is delivered to consumers via Unicast’s patented pre-cached technology. AT&T, Honda, McDonald’s, Pepsi, Vonage, and Warner Brothers are currently participating in a six-week, pre-paid beta launch of the Video Commercial. The idea of video advertising is interesting, but I don’t understand if people need to install Unicast’s software on their machines. If this is true, I won’t expect a lot of users to agree, at least at time being. There’s too much spam and spyware around. First you need to build trust and educate people about this kind of advertising. I mean, users can’t skip ads, the Internet can’t exist without advertising, so it’s just better to build a relationship with users, telling them about existing formats and asking them the one they prefer. See the example of WeatherBug I talked about a couple of days ago. On the topic, you can also read the eCommerceTimes, where Jay Lyman interviews Michael Kelleher an analyst at Yankee Group. He says that the video ads are the next generation of online advertising, particularly with the growth of broadband Internet connections. However, the analyst added, the ads might not win the favor of users if they interfere with their online routines.
According to a recent survey, about two-thirds of top-level marketing executives surveyed said online marketing has a high strategic importance to their companies. The news is reported on DMNews.com, where Brian Morrissey also quotes Kathy Gogan, vice president of marketing at Responsys, who says:“I see that as a shift from having the attitude of it being an experiment. Digital marketing is much higher in terms of importance, and they’re also spending more in that area.”
Mobile couponing it’s the hot topic of then moment. Today even the International Herald Tribune talks about it, saying that they give retailers a more targeted approach than many other types of direct marketing. Daren Siddall, an analyst in London for Gartner says:“When it comes to mobile marketing, coupons seem to be the direction things will go in 2004.”
Mobile coupons appears to be an important tool to increase (or build) customer loyalty. They’re personal, direct and rather cost-effective.
Online competitions are becoming a fashion. Everybody wants to have one, no matter if it doesn’t make sense for the brand or if the game (and the prize) has no connection at all with the business you’re in. The initiative of train operator First Great Western in cooperation with Hamleys (my favourite teddy bear shop) is, in my opinion, a clear example of a no brain “me too” strategy. Customers can enter a competition to win prizes from Hamleys, such as, for example, a Ferrari replica for kids. Tim Hayne, E-Commerce and Channel Marketing Manager for First Great Western says:“This is exactly the kind of promotion we love to run on the website, the Hamleys prizes are ones which our passengers will treasure and we are always looking for new ways to add value to our customer offering.”
Well, this might be the kind of competition First Great Western likes to run, but if they ask their customers, I believe the answer will be different. People travelling by train would rather like to win free train tickets or a discounted season ticket. What’s the connection between a Ferrari for kids and a train service?
iMediaconnection features the transcript of the session of Delta Airlines case study presented at the summit last month. It should be an excellent example of winning integrated marketing strategy, developed by Starcom/IP and Modem Media. Actually the case is pretty long and exhausting. Probably the transcript takes less time to its author, but requires more time (and patience) from the reader, so I gave up reading it… Sorry, but today is Sunday, I’m taking it easy…
In December, Mattel has launched an online version of its Pictionary. Developed my the agency Flare, the advergame allowed people to make a drawing and then invite three friends to guess what it is. There was also a competition connected to the game, but I believe it’s too late to enter. The
NeoMedia Technologies has signed two important agreements to consolidate its position in the wireless marketing industry. With iCoupon, NeoMedia has expressed the intent to enter a collaborative agreement in Europe, in order to create and implement a state-of-the-art electronic couponing program. On the other side, NeoMedia said they have contracted for 12snap to engineer the European launch of PaperClick for Camera Cell Phones (details in the press release).
Today a lot of news site focus on Yahoo!’s earnings and they almost skip the fact, reported on eWeek (via Yahoo! News), that Microsoft has launched a campaign to target Linux users. The campaign, running both on and offline, is designed to give customers information about the advantages of using Windows over its open-source competitor. It’s interesting they are doing it, but I’m not sure about the results they can reach. Open-source lovers are difficult to seduce, most of all it the “gigolo” is named Microsoft.
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