Friday, 20 February 2009

The lines between Search and Display blur on Yahoo!

Today I read about Yahoo! introducing Rich media ads within its search listings. Brands to trial it so far include: Pepsi, Pedigree, Staples and Esurance who have reported uplifts in CTR of about 25%.

Campaign creative as reported by Brand Republic as follows:
  • US office supply company Staples shows a Staples logo next to the text ad.
  • Pepsi's 'Rich Ad in Search' reveals a minute-long viral featuring Bob Dylan, rapper and Bruce Lee.
  • The service also lets users search for products or a store location directly using their post code -- for example Esurance's listing lets users enter their zip codes from the results page for insurance quotes."
My thoughts:
Pricing Model:
My first thought, how to charge for this?
  • CPC: wont work, as people will click randomly our of curiosity and or excitement.

  • CPM: wont work, as its just not practical for search.

  • Tenancy: Yahoo! have opted for a tenancy based pricing model on a monthly basis. Not bad, except this detracts from the accountability of New Media and does not guarantee interaction much less attention. But agencies will undoubtedly pay, if nothing else to be at the forefront of media trends.

For me, the next step for Yahoo! would be to experiment with a Cost per engagement model as introduced by Video Egg. Once users get familiar with the format of course.

As a planner I immediately wonder, where would the budget fall under? Search of Display?

It is technically Display, but in a search environment. I would say at the very least these placements couldn't come out of the search budget. This would surely skew results, particularly with campaigns such as Esurance which have a DR aspect.

This budget surely has to come from the display budget or ideally from a separate budget altogether dedicated solely to experimenting with this format. However, if the only way to implement the creative is via a search booking, budget must also be allocated to search for this. Confusing? sounds like it.

As more details emerge of course it could be that Yahoo! have covered these issues. So for now I can only speculate.

...I really welcome Yahoo! dipping its toe into the unknown. Innovation is what keeps our business interesting and Yahoo! seems to get that. I look forward to feedback from the Yahoo audience once the excitement wears off. Right now 25% click through doesn't mean very much in terms of the formats longevity. Only with time, will we see if rich media search can take its seat in the IAB hall of fame...


Alex Tew, the creater of The Million Dollar Homepage launched Popjam! Today - a comedy based socil media site.

I wish him nothing but the best as I can say it was the MDHP that inspired me to dip my toe into Web Entrepeneurialism all those years ago when I saw him interviewed on Richard and Judy of all places!

I could tell he was destined for big things and I hope Popjam is no exception.


Million Dollar Homepage

Good luck Alex!

Monday, 9 February 2009

Getting deep with Chris Jordan and application to Creative engagement

Recently I have a little more time on my hands than normal. So I've been a little more addicted to Twitter than normal.

I came across a tweet with a link to this presentation from Photographer Chris Jordan.

(I would give credit for the tweet but I have had so many since then that it has disappeared into the console abyss)

It's well worth watching. Basically, Chris uses striking imagery to demonstrate what he calls the problem of "unconscious, collective behaviour". Simply amazing pieces.

Charity Campaigns:
Aside from the obvious shocking statistics, I took a valuable creative lesson in terms of marketing from the presentation.

This is the scenario... I am not easily engaged when it comes to charity. Not because I'm tight with money or ignorant to current affairs but because I think about things too deeply, they bother/depress me. Selfish I know but I admit sometimes I am guilty of brushing things under the carpet so to speak. I suspect I'm not alone.

For instance, I avoid 'charity muggers' on the street like the plague. Part of me resents the whole "I don't want your money, just your time" line. Firstly because I know that's not true and secondly because I would much rather donate of my own accord at a time when I am ready. I think alot of people react this way to charities. So it's not easy for them and I can appreciate the struggle charities face when trying to inform me of the 'bigger picture' when I least expect it.

Although their cause is extremely noble, for me its like 'Real life Spam'. I didn't 'opt in' to that marketing message, therefore it goes into my 'life spam' folder faster you can say "Sorry mate I'm in a hurry".

So what if we don't want to confront the horrors of the world on my way to work? More so in the digital environment what if we are on our way to Hotmail for example, are we in the frame of mind to click through to a charity? Probably not. Does that make us bad people? I don't think so, I do think however that charities have to constantly think of new ways to engage.

In the presentation above, Chris Jordan could have shown a power point of basic photography and stats to emphasise his point. His goal would have been the same, however his impact negligible in comparison. As well as creating beautiful Art, his imagery demonstrates serious issues in a manor that not only cut through our 'not now' mechanism. But in a manor that simply, clearly, relates to his audience.

Dare I go as far as to say he makes serious real world issues entertaining as well as informative? I guess I just did. But isn't that art? He engaged my mind on a deeper level, that's why I'm blogging about this right now and spreading his message?

We need to harness this technique more in creative messaging for charities in particular. Indeed any campaign subject that is emotive. I have seen a few television campaigns use it but I fear in the Digital world we are still largely addicted to DR messaging and 'guilty' imagery to drive acquisitions.

From a CPA (donation) perspective I couldn't help wondering if creative similar to Chris' Art were used in conjunction with a donation facility how much money could be have raised for Greenpeace, Cancer UK, Amnesty and others in one campaign? A physical demonstration of the Power of Collective behaviour for good.

Just the 2 cents of an ordinary guy who will never look the same way at a Plastic cup ever again...

Friday, 6 February 2009

Excellent Sponsorship with Absolute Radio

Broadcasting line up backwards for Benjamin Button
Brilliant in so many ways...being this open to creative integration can never be that bad...


Whilst waiting for my train...Ronaldinho and Photocopiers

So anyone who knows me will know that I sometimes blog about things I see as I travel around London.

Being on the Tube, we are regularly exposed to Outdoor advertising. In my opinion, advertising on the Tube holds probably the most captive audience next to Cinema. Therefore to see full motion and digital poster advertising on the tube is fantastic. (I will make a full post on this in the near future)

I mean, why wouldnt I want to watch it? I have nothing better to do while I wait for my train? But being in the industry you could say I take more of a vested interest in the ads I see daily than the ordinary person.

So I came accross this ad from Konica Minolta featuring Ronaldinho. I had enough time to read the ad and think: "What has Ronaldinho possibly got to do with Photocopiers????"
With all due respect to the ads creators, id be curious to know if the brief went something along the lines of: Get their attention (ie.massive picture of a great footballer)and ummmm...figure the rest out later on.

Which they did, click on the picture above to zoom on the strap line. Huh?

Maybe KM is one of his many MANY sponsors? Even if they are, I didn't get it. But maybe I'm missing something... But even if I am and the only reason I have absorbed the message is because 'I like clever ads'. It begs the question: how many small business owners saw the synergy or absorbed the message? (Maybe the ones who are football fans?)

Its just my opinion, but you be the judge...