35 Percent of Adults Have a Profile On Social Networking Sites.

Posted by truecreek on June 29, 2009 under More Dam News, Research | Be the First to Comment

By Amanda Lenhart

The share of adult internet users who have a profile on an online social network site has more than quadrupled in the past four years — from 8% in 2005 to 35% now, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project’s December 2008 tracking survey.

While media coverage and policy attention focus heavily on how children and young adults use social network sites, adults still make up the bulk of the users of these websites. Adults make up a larger portion of the US population than teens, which is why the 35% number represents a larger number of users than the 65% of online teens who also use online social networks.

Still, younger online adults are much more likely than their older counterparts to use social networks, with 75% of adults 18-24 using these networks, compared to just 7% of adults 65 and older. At its core, use of online social networks is still a phenomenon of the young.

Overall, personal use of social networks seems to be more prevalent than professional use of networks, both in the orientation of the networks that adults choose to use as well as the reasons they give for using the applications. Most adults, like teens, are using online social networks to connect with people they already know.

When users do use social networks for professional and personal reasons, they will often maintain multiple profiles, generally on different sites.

Most, but not all adult social network users are privacy conscious; 60% of adult social network users restrict access to their profiles so that only their friends can see it, and 58% of adult social network users restrict access to certain content within their profile.

New Formats Give Online Video Ads Potential.

Posted by truecreek on under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

By Michael Learmonth

For years, the promise of online video advertising has been just that — a promise. The reality has been a big disappointment: ads that look and feel like TV, and are repurposed from TV creative, only much more annoying.

The reason for this is twofold: advertisers and agencies were reticent to spend money on new creative for online video, and the video market itself was splintered, and lacked the kind of content advertisers were comfortable with.

But with the TV-upfront market frozen and advertisers looking for lower-cost means to reach consumers, a push is on to try formats that could finally realize some of the potential of online video with targeted ads that engage with real interactivity. “As prime-time audiences decrease, it makes sense to go where the audiences are going,” said Chris Allen, VP-video innovation at Starcom USA.

VivaKi, like Starcom a unit of Publicis, is running a yearlong test of different formats for both long- and short-form content known as “The Pool.” Earlier this year Reckitt-Benckiser, marketer of Clearasil and Lysol, primed the market with a $20 million budget shift to the web from TV for campaigns on ad networks like Yume, Brightroll and Nabbr.

Meanwhile, a flurry of innovation is taking place across the industry to move marketers away from static pre-rolls and impression-based pricing to different models that take advantage of the web.

“We’re in this funky transition period in the industry; the lion’s share of what advertisers are doing is repurposing TV creative for video, but some are dipping their toe into new creative and testing new formats,” said Hulu Senior VP Jean-Paul Colaco.

The goal here is to lure more dollars online and increase the size of what IPG unit Magna Global estimates will be a $700 million pie in 2009. Nearly 80% of the U.S. online audience watches video, according to ComScore, but the time spent is just 1% of TV viewing, which is a $70 billion market. So an argument could be made that online video is getting its share, but no one here is making that argument, are they?

Here’s sampling of some of the latest efforts to reinvent online video ads:

# CBS, through its TV.com unit, is experimenting with a system that would allow users to earn credits by watching ads. Earn enough credits and you can watch ad-free. It’s also experimenting with bigger ad loads. Typically a half-hour show online has two minutes of ads, compared with eight minutes on TV. CBS is pushing that up to five minutes with no measureable consumer blow-back.

# Tremor Media has rolled out a host of ad units called vChoice that bring interactivity into the player. Viewers can choose the ad they watch, dig deeper into related content, watch a product demo and play a game all without leaving the video experience. Some units allow advertisers to use their existing creative. Others “push the boundaries of what has been done by allowing new, nonlinear storytelling,” said Shane Steele, Tremor VP-marketing.

# Hulu pioneered the choose-your-own pre-roll “ad selector” unit, which allows users to choose an ad, including a long-form movie trailer in exchange for an ad-free episode. The site has also experimented with ad-free blocks where an advertiser such as McDonald’s buys up the ad inventory to make prime time ad-free. The Disney-News Corp.-NBCU joint venture has also tried live ads, like the faux “telethon” for Microsoft’s search engine, Bing.

# YouTube introduced its own variation on choose-your-own-ads just last week. Google’s video site is trying out a system where viewers can choose to watch a pre-roll ad or a “promoted video,” which itself is a media buy. Either way, the view helps YouTube fulfill guarantees made to advertisers.

# Then there are “engagement” pricing models where the advertiser pays for a specific action, rather than an impression. Video-ad network ScanScout, for example, serves rich overlays that allow users to hover over or click to watch an ad or movie trailer. The network did a deal with Universal Pictures for “Fast and the Furious 4,” where the studio paid for a number of completed views of the trailer rather than impressions.

Just Another HACK (er).

Posted by truecreek on June 26, 2009 under Opinions. Everyone has them. | Read the First Comment

So, I’m sitting there checking out the morning emails and two very bizarre threads show up.  One tells me that my site login has been changed and the other tells me my password has been changed.  Soooooo, I check my blogsite.

HACKED.  Very nice.

You have to wonder what purpose is served by these type of immature attacks.

Here’s what happened:  during my daily site admin early this week, I took the opportunity to upgrade my wordpress software as recommended by the program.  Well, there was some kind of exploit written in to the code and voila.   The site was taken over and the user was redirected to some punk’s homepage.

After spending the better part of the day working it out, everything was good last night.  At least I thought it was.

But Nooooooooo.  This morning, the site was GONE.  No one knows what happened, but files were missing, so no site.

You have to be kidding me.

After restoring all the files with the backup, we’re good to go.  But that brings up the point:   Don’t these people have anything else to do?

Another GREAT Visa Concept. Who Does This Stuff?

Posted by truecreek on June 24, 2009 under Opinions. Everyone has them. | Be the First to Comment

Ok.  Who is the AD and Photographer for this Visa work?  GREAT.

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Some Interesting Tidbits from Gary Severson, Senior VP of Walmart.

Posted by truecreek on June 23, 2009 under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

1.  As for what potential suppliers shouldn’t do: “It’s the basics. Never lie or cheat us. You shouldn’t make a promise and not be able to keep it. Nothing disappoints us more than have an empty shelf and have to explain that to a customer.”

2.  “We are really in the business of taking care of our customers.”

3.  He suggested that the CE industry should “focus on simplicity [and] get away from bells and whistles. The majority of customers not tech-heads. They just want a good experience and good things to happen.

4.  Categories that are introduced which are too complicated,” he noted, “won’t come into market.”

5.  “Commoditization does not mean sameness to me. It isn’t a four-letter word. For the customer it means ‘I can afford it and understand it.’ This industry thrives on innovation … and the faster consumers understand technology the faster it reaches more people.”

6.  “Our model is not to become a high-cost A/V specialist. Everyone has their place and the mass customer is more educated than ever before.”

7.  And when it comes to new technology in the near future that will drive business, Severson said “the digital shift in media,” flat-panel TVs that feature IPTV, 3-D TVs and mobile video should all be standouts.

8.  Looking back, Severson was pleased with the relatively smooth DTV conversion. “The industry, in conjunction with CEA, retailers, government and broadcasters, did a great job.” He said the biggest surprise for him was that “converter-box sales would be a big blowout item. We were really wrong and underestimated what the government and the broadcasters would do on awareness to see how much it would happen. It was a big surprise and a phenomenally successful item.”

From the Archives.

Posted by truecreek on under The Work | 2 Comments to Read

A real nice piece of work from Rebecca, a fine writer and member of The Creekbed.

Swissar

Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. Can’t Wait for This One.

Posted by truecreek on under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

Credit to Disney.  Great shot.

Mad Hatter

An Improved Outlook and its Effect on the Mood of Your Customer.

Posted by truecreek on under Opinions. Everyone has them., Research | Be the First to Comment

Well, studies are starting to show that people are beginning to feel better about things and that’s a good thing for all kinds of businesses.

Just go to the mall and look at all the shopping bags people are lugging around.  Traffic at car dealerships is up.  My local Panera is busier than ever.

Are your customers starting to see the good side of life again?

Kodachrome. RIP.

Posted by truecreek on June 22, 2009 under More Dam News | Read the First Comment

By Ryan McCarthy.

Sorry, Paul Simon, Kodak is taking your Kodachrome away.

The Eastman Kodak Co. announced Monday it’s retiring its most senior film because of declining customer demand in an increasingly digital age.

The world’s first commercially successful color film, immortalized in song by Simon, spent 74 years in Kodak’s portfolio. It enjoyed its heyday in the 1950s and ’60s but in recent years has nudged closer to obscurity: Sales of Kodachrome are now just a fraction of 1 percent of the company’s total sales of still-picture films, and only one commercial lab in the world still processes it.

Those numbers and the unique materials needed to make it convinced Kodak to call its most recent manufacturing run the last, said Mary Jane Hellyar, the outgoing president of Kodak’s Film, Photofinishing and Entertainment Group.

“Kodachrome is particularly difficult (to retire) because it really has become kind of an icon,” Hellyar said.

The company now gets about 70 percent of its revenue from its digital business, but plans to stay in the film business “as far into the future as possible,” Hellyar said. She points to the seven new professional still films and several new motion picture films introduced in the last few years and to a strategy that emphasizes efficiency.

“Anywhere where we can have common components and common design and common chemistry that let us build multiple films off of those same components, then we’re in a much stronger position to be able to continue to meet customers’ needs,” she said.

Kodachrome, because of a unique formula, didn’t fit in with the philosophy and was made only about once a year.

Simon sang about it in 1973 in the aptly titled “Kodachrome.”

“They give us those nice bright colors. They give us the greens of summers. Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day,” he sang. “… So Mama don’t take my Kodachrome away.”

Indeed, Kodachrome was favored by still and motion picture photographers for its rich but realistic tones, vibrant colors and durability.

It was the basis not only for countless family slideshows on carousel projectors over the years but also for world-renowned images, including Abraham Zapruder’s 8 mm reel of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination on Nov. 22, 1963.

Photojournalist Steve McCurry’s widely recognized portrait of an Afghan refugee girl, shot on Kodachrome, appeared on the cover of National Geographic in 1985. At Kodak’s request, McCurry will shoot one of the last rolls of Kodachrome film and donate the images to the George Eastman House museum, which honors the company’s founder, in Rochester.

For McCurry, who after 25 years with Kodachrome moved on to digital photography and other films in the last few years, the project will close out an era.

“I want to take (the last roll) with me and somehow make every frame count … just as a way to honor the memory and always be able to look back with fond memories at how it capped and ended my shooting Kodachrome,” McCurry said last week from Singapore, where he has an exhibition at the Asian Civilizations Museum.

As a tribute to the film, Kodak has compiled on its Web site a gallery of iconic images, including McCurry’s Afghan girl and others from photographers Eric Meola and Peter Guttman.

Guttman used Kodachrome for 16 years, until about 1990, before switching to Kodak’s more modern Ektachrome film, and he calls it “the visual crib that I was nurtured in.” He used it to create a widely published image of a snowman beneath a solar eclipse, shot in the dead of winter in North Dakota.

“I was pretty much entranced by the incredibly realistic tones and really beautiful color,” Guttman said, “but it didn’t have that artificial Crayola coloration of some of the other products that were out there.”

Unlike any other color film, Kodachrome is purely black and white when exposed. The three primary colors that mix to form the spectrum are added in three development steps rather than built into its layers.

Because of the complexity, only Dwayne’s Photo, in Parsons, Kan., still processes Kodachrome film. The lab has agreed to continue through 2010, Kodak said.

Hellyar estimates the retail supply of Kodachrome will run out in the fall, though it could be sooner if devotees stockpile. In the U.S., Kodachrome film is available only through photo specialty dealers. In Europe, some retailers, including the Boots chain, carry it.

Does Your Cell Phone Have the Features You Want?

Posted by truecreek on under Opinions. Everyone has them. | Read the First Comment

In this day and age of more and more functionality in hand-held devices and the like, I thought this little bit of research from CNN was very telling.  Most of the folks are like me.  I just want the damn thing to ring.

While not the most profitable segment, I’m sure, with almost 50% of the base looking for the only the basics, the cell co’s need to market to that group as well.

Question:  Does your cell phone have the features you want?

Yes, it’s perfect:  30%    76,933

No, I wish it had more stuff:  21%   54,065

I just want it to ring:  49%  127,040

Glenn’s Work is Something Special.

Posted by truecreek on June 9, 2009 under The Work | Read the First Comment

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You have to give Glenn a lot of credit.  He’s an extremely talented art director, with a tremendous background in production to boot.

The best thing?  He’s a member of The Creekbed.  I was impressed by the fact that he’s done work for over 150 companies, so you know he’s going to bring the level of experience and creative talent needed to effectively communicate with art.

Here are a few examples of some of his work for the automotive industry.mclaren-ad1

The Deceptive Nature of this Campaign Demands Some Investigation.

Posted by truecreek on June 5, 2009 under Opinions. Everyone has them. | Be the First to Comment

The other day, I had the chance to see a new infomercial by one of those new debt consolidation companies.  The spot was produced in such a fashion as to look like CNBC or some kind of financial program, complete with two crawls on the bottom of the screen.

But what I really have a problem with is the placement of video within the spot of the President speaking behind a lectern, as to insinuate some sort of endorsement.  Now, the disclaimer is in a small, ghosted font across the bottom of the video, and it says the usual stuff, but that’s not enough.

The spot is a blatant attempt to position the product, which in this case is debt consolidation, as a government sponsored entity.

Where is the FTC?

While you’re at it, shut down the robocallers and the junk faxers, too.

Sometimes a Picture Tells a Thousand Words.

Posted by truecreek on June 3, 2009 under Opinions. Everyone has them. | Read the First Comment

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Next Time, Check Into a Nicer Hotel.

Posted by truecreek on June 2, 2009 under Opinions. Everyone has them. | Read the First Comment

If you haven’t noticed yet, the rates are coming down at a lot of four and five star hotel properties.  In some cases, way down.

Almost all of the finest hoteliers are offering discounts to their customers, with some at levels never seen before.  Plus, many of them are packaging, with spa deals, food discounts and the like.  Vegas is dirt cheap.

So the next time you are planning a trip, be sure you look into some of the properties you wouldn’t have considered, due to price.  You might be pleasantly surprised.

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