Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, January 31, 2021

A look at the TV ad lineup for Super Bowl XL shows this singular item near the start of the third quarter:

American Home Health - One :30 - PS line of home antibacterial soaps and disinfectants.

Summary: People in biosuits (”humorous”)

Ad Agency: Ronin Advertising Group, Coconut Grove, Fla.

The company, American HomeHealth, is a St. Petersburg-based upstart that’s looking at its $3-million worth of time during the big game as the ticket to instant national exposure.

The Times article makes it sound like AHH is shooting its entire marketing wad on the Super Bowl — a questionable all-or-nothing prospect. However, the company has already spent some dough in at least one other sporting venue, at least in its local territory.

During my last Tampa Bay Lightning game, I noticed continual ad rotations for the PS cleanser on all the St. Pete Times Forum’s video displays. There were enough of them, and they were presented vaguely enough with just the two-letter product name, that I distinctly remember my curiosity being roused. I wondered just what the heck they were advertising. I’m guessing plenty of hockey fans have been wondering the same thing.

So Super Bowl Sunday won’t be a complete coming-out party for PS. But aside from Tampa Bay hockey fans, no one will know the difference.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 01/31/2006 09:27:05 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Hockey, Football, Florida Livin' | Permalink | Feedback (2)

MIVA, an early bandwagon-jumper on the paid-search wagon, is apparently throwing in the towel, engaging Deutsche Bank to arrange a sale or buyout.

If this is the end of the line for MIVA as an independent entity, it would be more bitter than sweet. MIVA was one of the first companies to follow Overture into the paid search space. MIVA, originally FindWhat.com, had front-row seats to the contextual advertising revolution in which sponsors were paying for text ads served up on relevant search engine result pages. A few years ago, MIVA and Overture were the only two publicly traded pure players in this space turning a profit. Overture punched out too soon and too cheap, agreeing to be acquired by Yahoo! in 2003 for a mere $1.6 billion before its paid search business grew to dominate the Yahoo! income statement.

Now it appears as if MIVA will be punching out too late and far, far cheaper. MIVA’s stock was one of the biggest losers of 2005, shedding 72% of its value. It was a year filled with accounting controversies, executive defections, and crumbling profitability.

I’m not sure why this Motley Fool analysis interprets paid search listings to be some sort of untapped goldmine. Google has the market all but cornered, with Yahoo! massaging whatever’s left. After those two have marked out their territories, there’s not enough of a sliver left for even small-fry like MIVA to make a go.

Anyway, the main reason I find this interesting: MIVA is a Florida-based concern (headquartered in fast-growing Fort Myers), one that I’ve tracked for the past couple of years (under the former FindWhat.com moniker). I guess any news about Florida business, especially in glamour niches like new media, are going to pique my curiosity for a while yet, even though I’m out of sunshine territory now. And besides, in light of all this, MIVA might be the “tri” in my predicted trifecta of new-year Florida M&A poaches.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 01/31/2006 08:47:15 PM
Category: Internet, Florida Livin', Business | Permalink | Feedback

Posting hereabouts has been a bit sparse this week, and may continue to be. I’m struggling with Time Warner Cable in getting the Internet hookup going; the modem seems to be okay, so I’m guessing the cable line itself is the culprit. The technician is coming out tomorrow, and hopefully will have the thing up and running by day’s end. If not, I might be limited in my online meanderings for a while longer.

It really is a bummer. As with anything else, you get accustomed to having that effortless always-on connection, and feel the deficiency when it’s not there. Which is, of course, a low-impact way to say that my Web addiction is being severely strained.

UPDATE: Cable guy came over, fixed the cable wiring that needed fixing, and we’re in business. Even got a clearer picture on the TV! All is well.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 01/31/2006 05:58:17 PM
Category: Internet, New Yorkin' | Permalink | Feedback

music for the massesI’ve been meaning to comment on Napster’s distinctive black-and-white iconic ads for a while now. They’ve been running online and in print for several months now.

I wonder how many people are making the subtle connection between the motto “own nothing, have everything” and the old-style Stalinist propaganda visual media. It’s a cute way to get across what Napster feels is it’s strongest selling point versus industry leader iTunes — that the flat subscription rate offers access to more music, despite the lack of retention of said music tracks. Also implies a “revolution”, which is always a popular notion in modern consumer marketing — even though its application to everything from soft drinks to hygeine products has effectively hyped the term out of meaningful existence.

The artwork is reminiscent of the propaganda posters that came out from the ’30s to the ’50s, especially those with an abstract twist. Presenting it with a muted duotone, instead of color, gives it a post-modern throwback feel. And it was a subtle, but masterful, stroke to reduce the familiar Napster logo to just a faceless outline — lends it the appropriate iconic (if vaguely totalitarian, in line with the theme) touch.

Again, I’m not sure how many viewers of these ads are getting the joke. But whoever handled this campaign for Napster did a bang-up job.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 01/31/2006 11:29:14 AM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Creative | Permalink | Feedback (6)

bob's place
For a never-seen character, “Seinfeld’s” Bob Sacamano was quite a Renaissance man.

It seems that the legend continues. In the news of the Denver Broncos talking with Terrell Owens about joining the team next season, we find:

Broncos spokesman Jim Saccomano, working at the Super Bowl in Detroit, said he could not comment because he had no knowledge of the visit.

The first name is different, and the spelling of the last name is altered. But come on — despite the high-profile gig, we know this is Cosmo Kramer’s pal.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 01/31/2006 10:19:58 AM
Category: TV, Football | Permalink | Feedback