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January 31, 2005
Lufthansa flies high with Profero

Lufthansa is currently running a two-months online advertising campaign in Italy to promote flights with special prizes. Nicola Silvestri, managing director at Profero Italia, explains on Daily Media (in Italian, free reg.) they have decided to use large rich media formats such as leaderboards and skyscrapers. Lufthans has invested about 50.000€ in the campaign planning ads on the main portals and news sites.

January 31, 2005
One Show Interactive: deadline extended

You have one more week to submit your work to the One Show Interactive Awards. The deadline has been extended to Monday, February 7.
You can compete in twelve categories:

Banners, Beyond the Banner (Jump pages, interstitials and mini-sites), Promotional Advertising (Special events and launches), Corporate Image, Business to Consumer, Corporate Image - Business to Business, E-Commerce, Integrated Branding Campaign, Brand Gaming, Wireless, Self-Promotion (Agencies, web developers, artists, designers and production companies), Public Service/Non-Profit/Educational, (Includes Public Service messages and work produced for non-profit organizations).

Last year's winners are listed here.

January 30, 2005
Mobisodes go live

Cell TV, as the Washington Post (via Yahoo!) calls it, is ready to go live in the United States. It's the "the latest diversion that wireless carriers are marketing to mobile American". Sprint, Cingular Wireless and Verizon Wireless have started marketing mobile video in the last couple of months, hoping to reach a wide range of people looking for entertainment while on the move and to replicate the success Cell Tv is having in Japan and South Korea.
If you're interested in the topic, don't miss the article, it's pretty good.

January 28, 2005
Blogger, sell your ads on eBay

Russell and TJ came up with a cool idea for bloggers: selling advertising space on eBay. Russell in a few days has collected 41$ to place a 120 x 90 banner on his blog.
If it works, it might be an excellent way for bloggers to make some money.

I think I might give it a try next week. So, if you're interested in placing ads on Adverblog, stay tuned, I'll keep you updated.

January 27, 2005
24 on mobile: a success (of course)

According to Fox, "the prop master on drama 24 got more than 50,000 calls on his cell phone after his number appeared on-screen in the Jan. 17 episode of the show". As Emily on Picturephoning brilliantly points out: "The news of the cell phone "snafu" comes a day after a NATPE seminar in Las Vegas on the marriage of cell phones and video content. Coincidence? Your call."

A4, a car for every (interactive) season

iMediaconnection presents the recent Audi's campaign promoting its A4 on the US market. The ads are extremely interactive, taking full advantage of rich media features. The creative agency behind them is Mckinney & Silver (by the way, they have an awful site), whose spokeswoman, Erin Bredeman, commented:

"The PointRoll ad unit allowed us to deliver a multi sensory experience where the user could actually operate the car in varying road conditions such as a thunderstorm or snowy day".

What industry are we in?

Should we call it "digital"? Or "interactive" sounds better? On Mediapost Cory Treffiletti tries to give a definition to the online marketing industry, looking at its recent evolution.
I would say interactive is the right term, because what we do (or, at least, what we try to do) with the Internet and mobile phones is to interact with customers. We're trying to build a 1to1 relationship taking advantage of the new means provided by the new media. ... then maybe I should say new media marketing :-?

McD to offer wireless content

Mc Donald's moves into the US mobile arena offering ringtones, wallpapers and coupons to its clients. It will happen in restaurants in the Pacific NorthWest for a limited period of time. The Internet will also play a role in the campaign, with the site featuting all the current give-away offers. Kim Bayer, McDonald's Northwest regional manager commented:

"This dynamic partnership provides local McDonald's in Oregon and SW Washington with a unique opportunity to reach out to its youth and offer them futuristic mobile options which can meet their needs. As a leader in the food industry, McDonald's continues to pave the way for young adults by offering them a variety of choices through mobile communications, which is so much a part of their world."

Kia Motors gets "richer"

Kia Motors is launching a rich media campaign to promote its Kia Sportage SUV. Revolution reports the ads will run for a month on Autotrader, Fish4Cars and eBay. As it happened last year Kia is taking advantage of Eyeblaster's overlays, created by E3M Media.

Gene Kelly: The original, updated

A few years after Steve McQueen and Humphrey Bogart another Hollywood actor revives in a Tv spot. It's Gene Kelly who stars in the new Golf campaign performing some breakdance in the famous "Singin' in the Rain" scene. The ad, which features the tagline "The new Golf GTI. The original, updated" was created by DDB London.

Ringtones parade in Germany

A mobile ringtones parade will be launched in Germany next April. It will be presented on the magazine "Musikwoche" thanks to the cooperation with the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF). The German top-twenty follows the steps of a same initiative launched last year in the UK.

Online campaign to support Tsunami's victims

Genetsis has created an online campaign for Cruz Roja España (Spanish Red Cross) to drive fundraising to help Tsunami's victims. The initiative includes banner advertising and a dedicated micro-site featuring all the news about the disaster and the opportunity to make online donations.
The first campaign's stage is now on targeting an adult audience, a second phase, which will be launched in the upcoming weeks, will target instead young users.

Guerilla marketers just around your corner

Watch your shoulders, you might have a "guerilla marketer" just behind them. As Forbes reports, guerilla marketing is on the rise. Advertising messages are all around us and consumers' attention is becoming so difficult to get using traditional channels, so marketers have started using unconventional means to place their products in front of us.

January 26, 2005
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New online push for Mini

New Media Age reports (sorry no link available) Meme Digital has created an online campaign for Mini which will be running in the UK until mid-February. The interactive ads aim at branding, raising awareness especially among young men (ads will appear for example on GQ magazine) about the new which will come out next March.

Good news for US mobile marketers

Mobile marketing is emerging as a highly successful medium for advertisers. A new research from Frost & Sullivan found that the revenue in the US mobile marketing market was worth $11.5 million and it will reach $69.3 million by 2007. The report, "An Insight into the United States Mobile Marketing & Short Code SMS Markets" reveals that to further enhance customer response, mobile marketing companies must work toward achieving greater synchronization in a comparatively extended value chain that includes advertisers, platform providers, connection aggregators, and mobile operators.

Absences of coordination and mismanaged relationships have been long-standing bottlenecks, intensified by the lack of a central aggregator for mobile operators. The plurality of mobile operators and their individual rules and regulations slow down mobile marketing campaigns.

The full press release is available on Frost & Sullivan web site.

January 25, 2005
A special heart for Valentine's Day

The British Heart Foundation has launched an online campaign to rais money in order to pay 30 new specialist nurses who will help over 10,000 peoplea year. As Revolution reports, there is a dedicated microsite which presents real-life stories about patients and BHF Heart nurses and of course gives people the chance to make a donation. The site also allows visitors to send anonymous Valentine's notes and to enter a draw to win an holiday in Australia.

Volvo: Life on Board

Volvo has started last week a campaign featuring the message "Life on Board". The online effort integrates the tv spots currently running on the main European tv channels. On the site (for the Italian version) users can see the end of the stories told through Tv ads. The online creativity (the site plus a wide range of rich media ads) is by Fuel Amsterdam, while Mindshare takes care of the planning, having ads shown on Msn and other main European portals.

Disney to celebrate Disneyland with advergames

Disney will celebrate this year Disneyland’s 50th anniversary with a series of advergaming campaigns. The kick-off for the promotions on a global scale will be on May 5th with the launch of a free multiplayer game called Virtual Magic Kingdom. Taking advantage of advergames and traditional videogames Disney will promote Disneyland targeting in particular eight to twelve years old players.

NYTimes Auto section gets "richer"

The New York Times has redisigned its Automobile section in order to feature larger rich media ads. As an article on ClickZ reports, the new 336 x 280 unit appears on the lower right section of the homepage. The section's new look provides users with a better navigation experience and advertisers with more specific targeting means.

Play it safe

Play it safe it's the slogan used by eCOGRA in a campaign to communicate the benefits (?) of honest and hassle free online gambling. The campaign will run for the first quarter of 2005 featuring opt-in emailing, PR and banner advertising. As reported in the press release, the creative material has been designed to underline the independent nature of eCOGRA and to provide facts on why compliant casinos are safe and efficient.

Of course we might start a discussion on the concept of "benefits" of online gambling, but this blog isn't probably the right place to do it.

January 24, 2005
KitKat presents KitKash

Buy a snack, get a code, collect points and win a prize. The concept behind KitKat mobile marketing campaign recently launched in the UK is pretty simple and therefore appealing. Instead of sending product wrappers as in traditional campaigns, "KitKash" allows people to text the code to a dedicated number, collecting points and acquiring the possibility to win prizes through an online auction. The technology is provided by Yoomedia. The same campaign has been running last year in Australia.

The right time for the time of your life

Virgin Atlantic is running a viral email campaign to promote its new website. Featuring the message "The right time for the time of your life" the agency Start has created an online lottery which allows a lucky winner to enjoy two free tickets a year for the rest of his/her life. You can read more about it on Netimperative.

Traffic updates via SMS

Traffic reports will be delivered to mobile users in the Cincinnati Area thanks to an initiative by Zebra Mobile Marketing. As the Cincinnati Business Courier explains, people can start the service by texting "traffic" to a dedicated number. Too bad they don't tell how the billing system works and how much is charged for each message.

A mobile for Lassie

According to Pc Magazine Petscell will try to take advantage of a market worth $34bn per year in the US alone, by selling mobile phones for cats and dogs. Dog owners will be able to track their pets through a GPS chip and a digital camera and to talk to them through a microphone (?!!?). The mobile phone will also feature a "call owner" button which I presume will be used by eventual pets' finder to get in touch with the owner.

January 22, 2005
MSN Italia promotes Messenger

MSN Italia is running an online campaign to promote its IM service in order to increase the brand awareness and acquire new users. A competition is connected to the initiative giving away over 600 prizes. Pubblicità Italia reports the campaign has been launched on January 17th (planning by Universal Media, creativity by Mrm) with ads running on the main Italian sites. In three days has already involved about 13.000 users with 32.000 email sent.

January 21, 2005
Marge Simpson stars in Dove campaign

marge.jpgSick of watching wonderful and unreal women starring in beauty products campaigns? Then you might appreciate the ads created by Ogilvy & Mather Chicago for Dove Styling which presents a series of cartoon's women with an original hair makeover.
Wilma Flintsone from "The Flintstones", Jane Jetson from "The Jetsons", Velma Dinkley from "Scooby-Doo", and Marge Simpson "The Simpsons" will star in an integrated campaign which will include TV, print, and outdoor advertising.
Not sure whether this solution is cheaper, but it's no doubt original and potentially viral.

Video ads ready to explode

Accoring to a research report on online ad trends by Avenue A/Razorfish 2005 will be the year of online video advertising. Thanks to the broadband's diffusion it will be possible to deliver richer content and to enhance ads' capabilities. In general, analysts expect a consistent growth in Internet advertising spending. Quoted in the article on Reuters, Doug Knopper, senior vice president at DoubleClick said:

"There is a huge opportunity for video-based programing on the Web. We haven't figured out as an industry what the model is just yet... but the experimentation will be on the video side."

January 19, 2005
Hire a blogger (and be happy)

Steve Rubel writes today on iMediaconnection smart marketers should take advantage of blog (and bloggers). One of the things Steve talks about is the idea of "endorsment deals" to be used to capitalize on the blogosphere’s greatest value which is... the influence.
Steve also runs an excellent blog on "on how blogs and participatory journalism are impacting the practice of public relations".

Recently, Bob Cargill on Digital Bulletin has explained the ten reasons why you (and your Company) should blog. If you don't feel like writing yourself, you could think about hiring a blogger. I'm available ;-)

People on the move (in Europe)

Dan Watson will guide the European strategy team at MSN.
Lianne Heite has joined as Dutch agency Bookmark coming from an experience at TBWA\Interaction.
Carol Potter will be in charge of leading Unilever's account unit at JWT Worldwide.
Frank Leprou has been named General Director at
AKQA has hired PJ Pereira, the Brazilian who is to head the cyber jury at this year's Cannes International Advertising Festival. He will join the San Francisco office as executive creative director.

January 17, 2005
Poor Leonardo, great viral idea

monna.jpgI loved this advertainment micro-site Steve forwarded me...
The world's most famous face is now 500 years old and badly in need of some restoration. You can use botox, collagen, a face lift, even breast augmentation. Mona Lisa Makeover was designed to illustrate the folly of such abrasive techniques, versus enhancing natural beauty and sensuality with Dr. Comenge.

On the right you can see my (awful) job (poor Leonardo)...
Let's see what you can do with her...

The great idea is by Pod Design.

The Tigra TwinTop goes viral

Thanks to Igor, I've found out of Tigra's latest campaign launched in The Netherlands. Opel has presented an online viral commercial as a pre-launch for its Pan European TV campaign.
The new Tigra TwinTop is promoted in a funny way. A guy so hilarious about his new car starts to do crazy stuff all the way to the men's room. The commercial was produced by McCann Erickson and MRM Partners. DMC did the seeding of the pan-european campaign last September. The tracking is done with Viraltracker.
The commercial can be seen here:

SpinAwards 2004: call for entries

The Dutch awards assigned to the best interactive marketing ideas will be assigned next April. The deadline to submit the entries to the SpinAwards 2004 is February 15th. To have a look at last year's winners, you can click here.

It's Almost Hollywood

tele2web.jpgAlmost Hollywood it's the title of an MMS-based soap opera launched in Denmark. The episodes last about two minutes and feature both audio and action.
According to Flemming Lund, director at Inmobia, quoted on BT Mobil (in Danish), it's a relaxing entertainment.

The soap, which features four characters (Craig, Josh, Bridget and Caroline) is delivered daily. Five episodes costs 30 kroner (more than 3.5€, not exactly cheap...) and will be delivered as MMS.

Inmobia has also created a site supports the initiative providing a full range of goodies (ringtones, screensavers, mp3, games and videos).

Mobile marketing in The Philippines

I didn't know The Philippines were the SMS capital of the world. Or at least this is Arthur Policarpio, CEO at of Global Wireless Connections (GWC) said. Of course his company is in the field and it's trying to expand to Indonesia and Thailand. The article on ABS-CBNNEWS loses some of its interest because it's too much focused on a single Company and doesn't provide any details about recent campaigns. Anyway I always try to find a positive aspect, so I appreciate learning The Philippines are active in mobile marketing too :-)

Actually the best thing to note it's at the end of the article, where the online magazine gives readers the chance to text back their comments sending an Sms. It's good to have such an example of media integration, even if it doesn't make much sense since it would be easier and faster to send an email...

It's Sunny!

Fort Lauderdale is running a multi-channel marketing campaign to attract tourists during the winter season. As The Sun Sentinel reports, last week a "Beach Mobile", a heated, glass-enclosed trailer with a palm tree, beach sand, lifeguard stand and two bathing suit-clad models was moving around New York, and more cities will be visited in the next weeks.
A part from the guerrilla marketing approach, print and tv are part of the mix, as well as the Internet with ads running on, and, and a sweepstake giving away a five-night stay.
The campaign just features the URL of the dedicated web site:

January 15, 2005
Nokia introduces the "visual radio"

Nokia will soon launch on the market a new technology which will allow listeners to send immediate feedback to radio stations. It will allow people to join competitions or send comments on played songs. The Financial Times (via FMWQB) reports the new technology lets stations send information directly to listeners' mobile phone screens during a song, ranging from a picture of the artist to polls asking the listener to rate the song. Replies are instantaneously sent back to the station.
Kiss FM in Finland and Virgin Radio in the Uk will be the first to experiment the technology.

January 14, 2005
Marketing mobiles to kids

Marketing to kids can prove tricky. Marketing mobile phones to kids can be even trickier. The Sydney Morning Herald (free reg.) reports that in Australia there is a discussion going on children and mobile phones. New research show handset could threat kids' health and Australian mobile carriers take different approaches to the findings. Virgin Mobile doesn't market its products to under-10s; Telstra says 10-14 years-old are youths not children, so it's ok to target them; Vodafone and Optus have guidelines which prohibit marketing to under-16s.
Who's right and who's wrong? My opinion is that children simply don't need mobile phones.

Clics d'or 2005

Le Grand Prix De l'Internet has assigned its awards (Clics d'Or 2005) last week, recognizing the best French online works. 379 sites and campaigns have been submitted to compete in seven different categories. For what concerns interactive marketing, in the category "Conquerir" (to conquer) the first prize went to the campaign "Euromillions" (Mediaedge:cia / Le labviral - Creativity: MILK) the second to the SNFC and the TGV (by TBWA Interactive) and the third prize was assigned to Renault Modus (by Publicis Networks). TBWA Interactive won also the silver medal for best "institutional site" for the site of TBWA\France. The Renault Modus campaign was awarded also with the second prize in the category "Communicate".

Delta easy fares, easy traffic

Delta Airlines has introduced a simplified fare structure promoting it wiht a multi-channel campaign that includes outdoor advertising, direct mail, newspaper, radio and, of course, online marketing. As a result, in a few days traffic to Delta's site increased by 300 percent. DMnews adds that ticket sales reached impressive levels, generating $10 million daily revenue.
Delta hired Ogilvy & Mather New York last October.

January 13, 2005
The TGV runs online

A couple of months ago, we talked about TGV, the ultra fast French train, promoting itself with an online marketing effort. Now Le Journal du Net (in French) provides us with some campaign's insights. The initiative (creative by TBWA Interactive) featured an online film (which was watched one million times) and a dedicated web site (which received over 460.000 unique visitors). Banners click-through was 4.44% and about 47.500 visitors arrived on the site thanks to email marketing. Conversion rates were also positive, with 3.37% passengers purchasing their TGV ticket after visiting the site.

High interactivity for Skoda

Skoda Octavia Combi is online in Germany with a rich web site developed by fröbus-digital. The site presents interactive tools like the "Flight Path" and the virtual drive (a 3d driving simulation).
Last Christmas Skoda run an online competition, "Weihnachten mit Skoda" in which it was giving away a wide range of Xmas presents.

Making sense of mobile video

2005 has started since less than two weeks and I'm glad to find out we already have a buzz word that will take us through the (wireless) year: "mobile video". Sorry about the sarcastic approach to the issue, but I need to balance the fact someone out there is taking the fact too seriously.

I liked Mike Masnick writing on Techdirt "Exactly What We Don't Need: Full Length Movies On Mobile Phones", commenting Vodafone Germany recent offer of full time movies over 3G connections. A full length movie streamed to a tiny little screen doesn't make much sense. It's a waste of time and money both for users and carriers.

I must say I'm not a big fan of mobile video and I don't have an handset that supports this content, but I miss the point of mixing medium and messages.
I wonder how many mobile users currently have 90 or more minutes to spend watching a movie on their phone screen.
Mobile video it's ok for someone wants to take a break and relax with a music video or get updated with some video news. But like in Vodafone's case the time requirements are way high (and you also need to remember the time when the broadcasting starts).

I don't want to sound too academic, but remember McLuhan saying the medium is the message. Mobile phones were invented to work as "phones" to be used while on the move. Now they have evolved into multi-purpose devices (and this is great for many of us, that otherwise would be probably unemployed ;-) but I believe the next evolution step has to be integration rather than substitution.
A movie has been created to be featured on a wide cinema screen, with dolby surround sound etc... you can't constrain it to a mobile phone screen.
conVISUAL has had a similar idea, but limiting the offer to the movies' key scenes. In my opinion, this makes no sense either, also because of the limited choice films they offer ("American Pie", "Dumb And Dumber", "Terminator 2" and "Jurassic Park" don't exactly have the memorable scenes I would like to watch again on my phone).

A successful mobile business idea comes from considerations of the mobile phone characteristics, not from an analysis of already available content. That's why "mobisodes" do make sense and full length movies don't; SMS proved to be the killer application while MMS are facing a slow adoption.
First ask yourself when, why and by whom are mobile phones used and then develop and market your content. Who are current 3G users? Business people who don't have 90 minutes time to watch a movie or teenagers fascinated by the Big Brother?
I know the market requires companies to rush, but sometimes it's better to slow down and think before acting.
Wasting money it's pity, and mobile video does have a bright future.

A new "Va Va Voom" for Clio

Football player Thierry Henry stars in the third stage of Renault Clio's integrated push. The campaign includes Tv and cinema advertising as well as online marketing. Digital Bulletin reports Publicis Dialog has created a micro-site featuring a virtual hotel and an expandable skyscraper streaming the 40-second commercial ad on the main Uk sites.

Hollywood movies on 3g phones

conVISUAL will be soon offering Hollywood Blockbusters to UMTS users around the world. The news might sound cool at first, but then you find out that only the movies' key scenes will be available. Furthermore, if you go through the list of currenlty available titles ("American Pie", "Dumb And Dumber", "Terminator 2" and "Jurassic Park") you get really disappointed by the low quality of the offer.

Introducing iPod Shuffle

Apple has introduced the new iPod Shuffle. Some smart guys have already found a way to hack an iPod into an iPod Shuffle.
For more details, enjoy the entry on Gizmodo...

January 12, 2005
Ing Direct Italia: 3m Euros online

At the end of December Ing Direct Italia has started an online marketing campaign to further enlarge the clients' base of its "Conto Arancio". Creativity and planning have been delivered by Fullsix, which is showing ads, among the others, on Msn, Virgilio, Libero, Yahoo! and Repubblica. In an interview on Daily Media (in Italian) Stefano Merlo, web manager at Ing Direct said the company will invest 3 million euros online in 2005, he added that 55% of Ing Direct's business comes from the Internet.

People on the move in Europe

Following the depart of Danny Meadows-Klue, the IAB UK has appointed Guy Phillipson as new CEO. Phillipson, who looks like Hugh Grant's brother, has been head of advertising at Vodafone since 1999.

Yahoo France has named Carole Dubourg-Touati Sales Director. She comes from a similar experience at Canal PLus.

Martin Schultz has been named new marketing manager at MSN Denmark.

J�rgen R�sger Vice President Interactive Marketing at AOL Germany will leave the Company at the end of April.

9th Awards, 5th logo

webbylogo.gifThe Webby Awards' deadline has been extended to January 28th. The 9th edition of the event will assign awards in over 60 categories. Nominees will be announced in April 2005 and Winners will be unveiled in May 2005.

The are giving away prizes for the best web sites, but apparently they don't care much about their own online content. The logo you can see on the right has been just dowloaded from the site's press section (high quality Webby logo). 5th edition... Apparently they forgot to update it...

Something new at Espotting Spain

Espotting Spain has created a new department of "Estrategias online" in order to better serve the local market. The new company's sections is the result of the merging of the Customer Support and the Editorial teams. The solution aims at improving the service quality, delivering a better campaign optimization.

Cossette hires "sandwiches" for McD

mcd.gifMcDonalds is launching a new turkey sandwich in Canada and has hired a bunch of "sandwich-men" to promote it. The campaign, created by Cossette Communication-Marketing, also includes print, radio and tv advertising and a web effort.

Cossette is currently doing a good job promoting McD in Canada. They are producing excellent creativity as the best Online Integrated Campaign award won last October for the campaign "McDonald's 1-Stories: Phase1" confirms (watch their work here).
The interactive arm of Cossette is Fjord Interactive Marketing + Technology formed by last year merging of Cossette Interactive and Proximi-T.

January 11, 2005
Mobile phones as a fashion statement

... for men. A new research by Idc found out that young adult males are more likely than females to purchase mobile phones as fashion statements. The study, "What Makes Mobile Users Tick? The Underlying Factors of Mobile Phone Usage and Purchase Criteria" also reveals a number of other corollaries about mobile phone users' perceptions about their phones. For example, productivity and convenience benefits are paramount to more users compared to other fundamental benefits, such as safety and security or style and status.

Yahoo! the Life Engine

Marketers listen up: Yahoo! targets specific online audiences like no other does (or, at least, this is what they say). Medipost says a new print and online campaign will target media buyers and marketers explaining the precision of Yahoo!'s advertising systems. The online campaign is dedicated to Yahoo! as a Life Engine. Developed by WPP's Soho Square it presents Yahoo! clients wearing t-shirts with specific ad-related messages.


Click or trick?

Frauds in PPC advertising are just around the corner, as Pete Lerma explains today on ClickZ. In the article you can find out who is usually behind the stolen clicks and a few companies that can help you detecting the frauds.
Actually if you run a PPC campaign through a SEM agency, they should provide you with the tools to understand if something is going wrong.

Volvo thinks about mobile marketing

Volvo is no doubt a Company that believes and, most of all, invests in new media marketing. We have seen excellent Volvo's campaigns on the Web, and now we find the car manufacturer testing mobile marketing's potentials.

In December they have presented a mobile-based competition giving away an V50 to a lucky winner in Switzerland. Mobile users who wanted to participate just had to text V50 plus their postal code to a dedicated number. They then received a special number and the indication of the closest Volvo dealer. By visiting the dealer and presenting the code, they received some immediate prizes and they have been automatically allowed to enter the Christmas draw where the V50 was assigned.

In Spain they are currently running a wireless marketing campaign to provide its clients with information on its S80 Premium Drive. By texting "Volvo" plus the preferred combustible type and their postal code to the number 5676, users will receive directly on their mobile a bunch of information on the closer Volvo dealer and a list of the available models at such location. As Diario IPmark reports (in Spanish) the campaign is currently running only in Madrid and Barcelona. If it proves successful, the initiative (supported by MyAlert Marketing Interactivo) will be extended to the rest of the country.

January 10, 2005
Osama gets a new haircut

osama_ok.gif"If you are too busy to come to us, we will come to you". Belgian agency Scholz & Friends Antwerp has used an unusual "star" to promote Beauty Services a personal hairstyling firm in Brussel. Swiss news site Persoenlich reports (in German).

I wonder if they paid him a cachet...
Anyway, given the result, maybe the CIA should ask them for a few directions...

Viral campaign for "The Imperatives"

UK online magazine Netimperative has launched a viral campaign to promote its digital awards "The Imperatives". Created by Skive Creative, the viral quiz enables users to determine what kind of awards attendee they are.
The awards will be assigned in London at the end of March (the deadline for entries is January 27th).

SMS mania around the world

Mike Grenville at 160 Characters did a great job collecting info worldwide and building up a page with the number of text messages sent worldwide on New Year's eve and New Year's day. I can add a number from Italy, where Telefono Blu has estimated 100 million SMS have been sent to welcome the New Year.

As Silicon reports, in Australia a lot of people complained that text messages sent by friends and family based in Europe on New Year's Eve have taken up to five days to cover the distance.

Bridget (Jones) blogs via mobile

Malaysian loyalty marketing expert Bonuslink has collaborated with United International Pictures to launch a mobile campaign promoting "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason".
As explained on Cinema Online, the initiative features a mobile blogging section which allows fans to have their own diaries just like Bridget Jones. Entrants can win free trips to Bangkok and enjoy the mobile-based "Secret Admirer", "Love Calculator", and "Love Polling� services.

The fall of French lovers' myth

babbo.gif2005 has begun in an "exciting" way in the French advertising market. ToutSurLaCom reports about the launch of two print campaigns to promote Chambre 69 and Yoba, sites dedicated to "women pleasure".
The ads for Chambre 69 have been created by Foote Cone & Belding, featuring the idea that is cheaper to get a sex toy than a man. On the other side, Yoba presented an embarrassed Santa Claus being asked for unusual toys in an advertisement by Australie.
Both sites sell sex toys for women through the Web and have decided to debut with an ironic approach to the market. The campaigns' creatives are excellent, what is sad is probably the kind of products they are promoting, especially if we consider the country where they are sold.
What about the French lovers' myth? ;-)
Maybe this survey by Cupidbay will give us an explanation...

January 07, 2005
Very special iPod editions

After the special edition U2 iPod, Apple is ready to launch on the market a dozen of new mp3 players with a fresh and ironic look (via Dutch Cowboys).

Kyocera: blogs and advergames

Kyocera has inaugurated a new advertising network on blogs launched by Burst! Media. Kyocera Wireless ads, created by Media Revolution, will start running this week on Screenhead, Gizmodo, and Defamer. As explained in the press release, the leaderboards promote the advergame "Red Carpet Blitz" which features Kyocera Wireless Corp's new wireless camera phone, the Koi/KX2. The game will demonstrate the many possible uses for the Koi/KX2 camera phone, as well as allow consumers to learn more about the phone.

Don't cheat us with irrelevant numbers

Nielsen//NetRatings has launched this week its online advertising tracking system AdRelevance. The first report points out that the number of banner advertisements run on European websites has increased by 24%, from 76,375 in November 2003 to 94,939 in November 2004. Germany, France and the UK dominate the top 15 advertisers in Europe in November.

Gabrielle Prior, European Internet Analyst commented (opens .pdf):

“There are now over 163 million Europeans with access to the Internet, representing a significant audience for advertisers. These results indicate a growing confidence in the value of targeting this group of people, and an increasing importance of online in an overall advertising strategy.

Althought we are actually facing an increase in spending in online advertising, we cannot say the numbers are yet relevant. As my previous post on the French advertising market confirms, big brands aren't taking the Internet seriously yet. Maybe only in the United States and in the UK we can talk about online ads being regularly part of the media mix. In the rest of the world (and of Europe in particular) online advertising (and now also mobile marketing) are just for now a "why (not)" option.
Big brands don't invest online, and most advertising agencies aren't yet ready to provide effective interactivity. I'm always impressed by the number of new media agencies you can find in the UK (see New Media Age top 100). In Italy (I talk about it because I live here) you can't name 10 agencies which have a significant portfolio of online works. Will things change in 2005? I hope so, but I don't believe anything relevant will happen. It's about changing a mentality, it's about a shift of power from the TV monopoly to an advertising market with free and fierce competition.

Tiny budgets invested online in France

French brands aren't yet seriously investing in online advertising. According to a research by TNS Media Intelligence the top 20 online advertisers have spent only an average 2.2 percent of their advertising budget on the Internet. Le Journal du Net reports France Telecom has devoted ten percent of its budget to online ads, followed by Renault (4,9%), SFR (4,3%), Peugeot (3,6%) and Volkswagen (3,5%).

Search engines gossip

Rumors around the Web say Microsoft is ready to enter the "paid search" market. An article on Dmnews reports Kenexa, an employment recruiter, last month posted job vacancies on, and, seeking paid search specialists for Microsoft.
Is Microsoft getting ready for a new battle in the search engine war? Probably, also considering the locations where Microsoft and Google are opening their new offices. The battle is online, and in the streets of Redmond and Mountain View...

Are looking for more cool interactive ideas? Check the archives

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