Entries Tagged as 'Advertising'

Klout’s Re-Scoring Had Other Things In Mind

Image representing Klout as depicted in CrunchBase So if you haven’t heard about the re-scoring, Klout re-did their algorithm. And everyone for the most part got pushed down a few notches. And that created a huge backlash from social media people that used it for a method of distinguishing how they were doing at their jobs. However, I believe there are other things that no one is talking about that went on with the re-scoring.

For the most part, it was documented that this created a truer scoring scenario and it was no different than PageRank. But, this is actually not the case, and I believe there were business practices involved with how Klout sells their marketing. Case and point, before the re-scoring, the Windows Phone giveaway required a location and a score of 55 in technology (I barely broke 54 at the time, but wasn’t located in New York). However, after the re-scoring, I was only a 49. But the scores for that Klout Perk didn’t change which makes me believe that they were trying to filter and handpick more “top” influencers.

Due to that case alone, that shows me that there was a business/marketing scenario that came to be from the normalizing of the general populace score since the marketing limits were not normalized to the same scale. More than meets the eye, I’m afraid. What’s even more fascinating is that no one from Klout has actually mentioned or even replied to that comment which makes me believe that I’ve hit on something. Regardless, if everyone’s score was normalized downward, then it really shouldn’t matter whether or not you were a 74 and now a 54. Sounds to me like they scaled it on a bell curve though.

And one more thing. Klout did in the comments compare Pagerank with their re-normalizing. Pagerank however doesn’t discuss how they do it, or what not. People make a lot of guesswork to piece it together. On the other hand, Klout openly displays their ranking system which makes it somewhat different. I agree that all ranking and scoring systems depend on multiple variables, but don’t compare yourself with something like Pagerank when you’re really not quite the same.

Google Will Be Chasing Television Ads

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

People that know me have known that I’ve already been talking about this for the past few months, but it’s time to put it on paper. I’m calling it. Google is going to be chasing the airwaves for ad space in a couple years. Guaranteed.

Why? Pieces of the puzzle are falling into place already. Google Fiber experiment? Pulease. That’s a FiOS pull if I’ve ever saw one. And Verizon already brings television to your home. This would just give Google medium to mine all that invaluable data and run their algorithms on it to find out what you’re watching and how to target the advertisement. And we all know that Google is king when it comes to algorithmic ad targeting.

But this piece that I just found out about…. now this really puts it into perspective. Google is getting into set-top boxes. Forget Internet television. There is a real big money play being driven here, and it’s being done through the eyes of people thinking outside the box but staying within the realm of what the company is just plain good at: mathematics.

Companies like this are few and far between. Even many of the older 1990s companies have not been able to take any of their product lines outside of their general medium scopes. Google is actually buying up real estate in new mediums to try their hand at things that they have stuck with in the Internet world. And believe you me, it’ll work like a charm. Like a friend of mine told me a long time ago: it’s not the fact that you’re inventing a car, or a plane. It’s the thought that you’re building a car that can fly like a plane that is what no one else has grasped. And Google already setting up for take-off before anyone even realizes.

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Motorola’s Super Bowl Ad with Megan Fox

I think this was one of the best commercials done by Motorola ever. They actually got a celebrity that people care about here instead of some super soccer star or famous tennis player. Not that those people aren’t great in their own right, but it doesn’t connect with everywhere. That and they must have fired the advertising agency that was making the ads that you actually had to think about when you watched them to figure out what was going on.

This was easy, funny, and for thirty seconds, it cost them three million. Wonder how many people they had to lay off to throw that party. And there needed to be a little more on what type of phone it was since the attention was all on Megan Fox… in a tub. Obviously, it hasn’t really helped their stock price out either since it’s still hovering around 6.50 or so. Maybe that’s because of the market, who knows. Just saying that for a company that has one of the highest paid CEOs in the mobile division (there are two CEOs), and with the huge amounts of layoffs they did, it’s amazing that they at least got one thing right and had a commercial worth watching.

Walmart Clown Commercial

Speaking of Walmart, this ad ran during the AFC Championship game by Walmart. And I have to say that from an advertising perspective, this is very humorous and would definitely stick in the minds of folks. Call me twisted, but every time I see this, I just have to chuckle.

Time Warner Cable Cutting Corners on Commercials?

twc Hate to say it, but Time Warner Cable really has annoyed me the for last time tonight. It was such a little thing, but with the really terrible Navigator “upgrade” that slowed down your actual channel surfing to a crawl and seemingly not have tested this in QA since it basically looks pretty but doesn’t actually function like the old firmware, it was amazing for the stupid parts to really become a problem.

Here’s the thing. Almost all commercials are not normalized for sound. In fact, I have a feeling this is done on purpose since all of them are louder and seem to be set on some sort of setting so that you would pay attention to it. But what really bugs me is when you’re actually enjoying a commercial (yes, there are some that are actually decent) and suddenly it cuts to another commercial in the middle. Now, if I were an advertiser and saw that I was spending money with this corporation and they were pulling me out of my costly advertising, I would be throwing up a fit. This happens on every channel, and has been for a long time but the recent Navigator change really has brought it out as even more of an annoyance.

Why can’t I downgrade back to the old firmware for my cable box? Why are commercials being cut short, or some getting cut right in the middle? Sometimes, it almost seems like they’re trying to fit in more than one commercial in the same slot to gain more advertising dollars. I don’t know that for sure, but there isn’t a darn good reason that not a single employee would not have seen this happen and at least tried to report the problem.

Does satellite television do the same? I don’t know, but I doubt it. It’s not that I really despise Time Warner Cable or anything. It’s just that if you’re going to push a quality product, then it should perform as good as the last one when it comes to software. If you’re telling your customers that are buying advertising from you that you’re going to be showing the ad, then don’t skimp on the “display” side. These are pretty basic when it comes to just the provision of goods and services and otherwise you lose the trust of your customers. And the last thing you need is to do that in this type of economy.

Facebook Ads May Use Your Picture

Not funny Facebook ad
Image by Titanas via Flickr

So I was reading through my newsfeed on Facebook and lo and behold, there was an old high school friend that showed up in the news feed. He lives in Germany so I don’t get to speak to him as often as I like, so I read his blurb that was showing up in my feed and what do I find? Something that really bugs me from a standpoint of transparency and privacy:

FACEBOOK has agreed to let third party advertisers use your posted pictures WITHOUT your permission. Click on SETTINGS up at the top where you see the Log out link. Select Privacy. Then select NEWSFEEDS and WALL. Next select the tab that reads FACEBOOK ADS. There is a drop down box, select NO ONE. Then SAVE your changes. (REPOST to let your friends know!)

Go figure. FB is using your picture with ads and you never knew it? Not very cool. By default, it’s actually on so that your picture could show up in the advertisement to your friends (which means that your friends might think you use XYZ service).

Basically in a more ordered format, here’s how to turn it off:

  1. Go to the Settings drop down and select Privacy Settings.
  2. Select NewsFeeds and Wall
  3. There are two tabs, the right one is Facebook Ads. Select that one.
  4. The drop down box in the middle has either Your Friends (default) or No One as the choices. Select No One.
  5. Save the changes.

What really bothers me here is that by default, we opted into it than not. Usually, you want such things to be opt-ins, not determinations for the users. I don’t believe this is a serious enough offense by FB for them to lose users over, but it definitely forms a trust issue.

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Anti-NC Affiliate Tax Gaining Support #ncaffiliatetax

Internet marketers everywhere are rallying behind the flag of social media. Just take a look at #ncaffiliatetax and see for yourself. I personally have written to Pricey Harrison (Guilford-D) about this and how it hurts small businesses and how it can not only put people’s jobs at risk but also put more strain on the state since if these jobs fail, there would be likelihood of more unemployment that the state would have to take into account.

Actions speak louder than words, and those that are pushing this through tell me that they don’t understand the Internet at all as a business source and how affiliate marketing and internet retail work. With this move by Amazon of notification of their NC affiliates, entire businesses will fail if NCGA pushes forward with this move. And here you thought that they were looking out for the citizens’ best interest…

Search for the rallies online. There are plenty to choose from. Write and call your representatives and tell them that your business is in eminent danger due to these bills. Either way? We have to protect our livelihoods and get those that we have elected into office to hear our cries for help.

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NCGA Unconstitutionally Taxing Scheme Will Hurt Small Businesses

The North Carolina Legislative Building in Ral...
Image via Wikipedia

I don’t know what the North Carolina Legislation is doing, but I can tell you that they’ll be hurting small businesses.

Crazy? Not at all. In fact, this morning I had to re-read my email twice and make sure that the email didn’t come from some hoax source trying to just get to respond with my email so they could sell me Cialis or Viagra or something.

This morning, I received an email from Amazon that said:

We regret to inform you that the North Carolina state legislature (the General Assembly) appears ready to enact an unconstitutional tax collection scheme that would leave Amazon.com little choice but to end its relationships with North Carolina-based Associates.

Hmm. They’re trying to collect taxes from Internet companies… again?!? Come on. It wasn’t but yesterday, I watched how Hong Kong’s civil servants take a voluntarily pay cut to help ease economics and taxes for this year. Yet, here we are in North Carolina, where we’re looking to throw up more laws on things such as taxes on cigarettes, driving mileage, even a text messaging ban while driving to try to make the economics jive. Meanwhile? We are not even enforcing the laws we do have in place such as the tint laws, covers on license plates, and all sorts of other things that could be bringing in revenue for the state.

This isn’t just Amazon mind you. Amazon is only the beginning of the companies that will refuse to do business in this state. There have been others and unfortunately the people that need it the most, the small businesses, are the ones that suffer from this move. Contact your media and state legislation right away. And if your business has anything to do with the Internet, we cannot let things such as this go through.

In the words of Gandalf the Grey, “You Shall Not Pass!”

UPDATE (10:18AM): News & Record’s Mark Binker covers some more details.

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British Airways “Terminal 5” commercial disturbing


I have to say that just recently I saw this commercial multiple times, and it frankly just disturbs me. The entire thing is shot with soothing music, and underwater creatures that just swim around until you find out they’re swimming inside an airport. The end of the commercial, you find that it’s actually Heathrow in London, but you don’t really understand what it’s about but you do know that British Airways is behind the commercial itself.
The idea of the marketing was to create a calm, soothing feel for Terminal 5, but in my opinion, any marketing that needs explanation is bad marketing. Here’s my entire issue with this commercial.
First, you never want to associate “underwater” with “airplane”. Ever. It’s not only a bad omen, but it just gives the wrong vibe. I mean, the immediate thought when I first realized this was an airline that was pushing this was… uhh… why would I fly you, now that I keep thinking about the ocean and a plane? That’s a scary thought and not one that you’d want your customers to associate themselves with.
The next is that there was never clear concept of what exactly they were talking about. Okay, so at the end, I see all this imagery of water inside Terminal 5 at Heathrow and I heard some pretty music. But the issue is that you don’t really understand that Terminal 5 is a new terminal at Heathrow nor do you realize that it’s pretty much entirely for BA. Maybe it’s just me, but it’s just not clear.
I don’t really care for the commercial. It’s very artistic and well executed, but from a marketing perspective, it just doesn’t deliver the message that it intends.

Why AOL should rebrand

aol_logo_v3.gif While good for the corporation that’s looking to sell shares and obviously bettering themselves in the eyes of shareholders and investors, high valuation is pretty important. But let’s be honest. The numbers are speculation based on revenue and such which is why companies can hit really high highs, but also really low lows, without actually changing too much in day-to-day operations.
From the technical field, AOL has been reigning king since the forum days of the late 80s into the early 90s where Compuserve and GEnie existed. In that sense, AOL’s brand was superior seeing that it put into place one of the largest online services in the world and by 2003 had bought out Compuserve. But from those that were more technologically savvy, the brand itself took a turn when it started to market with it’s free “X” hours for dialup service. Floppies, CDs, DVDs, you name it. The more it turned out to mass market the “dumbed down” version of online services, the more the brand went south with those that were involved in the tech industry.
In the end, even with the buyout of Weblogs, Inc. and gaining some of the more prevalent web news services such as Engadget, being associated with the brand of AOL just doesn’t quite do it anymore. The juggernaut of the 90s just doesn’t have it’s namesake anymore. Now it’s associated with the more simple user, those that are into the entire point-and-click scenario of the Internet. In fact, there isn’t one single techie I know that would actually recommend a person being tied to AOL service unless they happen to work there.
Maybe it’s just me, but that’s grounds for rebranding. When the namesake has been pushed into an area that there is no way out of it, and it’s been associated with a more “layman’s” brand? It’s time to change. There’s a good reason why Apple has a great brand. It takes a more complex type of subject and makes it intuitive and useful for a beginner without sacrificing the complexity of the software or devices. That “sacrifice of complexity” is what holds those two brands worlds apart.
Currently, AOL is probably going to be sold off either in pieces or altogether with a valuation of approximately $7 billion USD. If the divisions bought out by stronger brands, I would assume that the stronger brands would pitch out the old name and use their names instead on the letterhead.
Maybe it’s just me, but since the 90s, I haven’t seen AOL as a strong brand for a geek. Maybe for that layperson, but with the times, it might be time to take on a new name and shed some of the old baggage.