Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, March 16, 2021

The mass-market version of the World Wide Web has been around for, oh, a dozen or so years now. In all that time, advertising and marketing types still haven’t figured out a solid way to monetize digital media for the same impact as print, radio or television.

Yeah, there’s Google AdSense and other syndicates. Plus plenty of examples of the success of online campaigns and viral marketing. But they’re all fairly isolated, and a drop in the bucket compared to the overall media advertising picture, future trending notwithstanding.

So it’s no surprise that online video, the latest Web content frontier, is similarly bedeviling Madison Avenue (and beyond).

There is an interesting concept sprouting out of the approach toward capturing monitor-glued eyeballs:

During a recent episode of “Lost” on ABC’s Web site, for instance, Taco Bell offered a virtual photo shoot with Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Daniella Sarahyba.

As viewers watch video of Sarahyba on location, they use the mouse to move around and snap up to 100 shots. Afterward, viewers can download the photos (with a Taco Bell logo in the corner), choose another locale or resume the show without missing a second.

“It becomes a lean-in experience rather than just a lean-back,” said Shawn Chapman, senior manager for brand communications at Yum Brands Inc.’s Taco Bell chain. “I think consumers give us credit for doing things a little bit differently.”

“Leaning-in” — meaning compelling Web viewers to focus attention and give undivided attention — instead of the default “leaning-back”, which conveys the usual multi-tasking passivity with which most people interact online (and, incidentally, with television). It’s a great shorthand for goal achievement.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 03/16/2008 10:24:50 PM
Category: Internet, Advert./Mktg.
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It may not have invented junk mail, but Valpak, that St. Petersburg-based firm that’s celebrating 40 years of business this year, certainly maximized its potential with direct-marketing precision that drills right down to neighborhood demographics:

From the beginning, the company has staked its success on measurable results. [Company founder Terry] Loebel required advertisers to record how much coupon-carrying customers spent. Valpak remains an intensely data-driven company, with the ability to divide neighborhoods into blocks of 10,000 residences.

For instance, Valpak can tell businesses which neighborhoods have swimming pools, where new houses are being built and where people with certain income brackets live.

If you have a mind to sabotage this sort of datamining, there doesn’t seem to be a way to do so, other than promptly tossing the unopened baby-blue overstuffed envelop to prevent further information compilation. That just slows down the machine — it doesn’t pervert the already-collected data. If it makes you feel better, you can always tear the coupons to shreds, or burn them, before depositing them into the trash bin.

Wait, wait… I work in marketing now. Strike everything I just wrote. Redeem the hell out of those direct-to-your-door coupons!

I was well-aware of Valpak’s presence in St. Pete when I lived there, but I never followed them particularly closely, either personally or for the business magazine I worked for. That’s probably because it sold itself to Cox Target Media long ago, and as a result was no longer considered a “local” company. Too many layers of corporate crud to cut through to get any information.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 03/16/2008 09:15:41 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Florida Livin', Business
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As I write this, I’m knocking back a bit of Bushmills on the rocks. Yes, it’s an Irish whiskey in honor of tomorrow’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration (and yes, I’m going with “that Protestant whiskey” this year; I’ll have to remember to give equal time in ‘09 and have a pour of Jameson).

I’m celebrating a bit early, and in a limited way, because I’m not going to have time to do so tomorrow. If I’m lucky, I may be able to catch a few minutes of the granddaddy of all St. Paddy’s Day parades, on 5th Avenue here in New York. But I’m not counting on it.

Anyway, I’m far from the only one who took a jump on the holiday celebration this weekend. Any holiday where drinking is emphasized is alright in my book.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 03/16/2008 08:29:50 PM
Category: Society, New Yorkin'
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Apologies to all my Canadian friends as I roll the “Back in Old Canada” song/skit from “Mystery Science Theater 3000″ episode experiment “The Final Sacrifice”:

Tom Servo’s tearful “pardonne-moi” refrains at the very end never fail to elicit a chuckle from me.

In loving memory of that Canadian non par excellence, Zap Rowsdower.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 03/16/2008 02:11:36 PM
Category: TV, Comedy
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