Thursday, November 29, 2007

Photoshop Contest: Product Placements for Trojan Condoms in the Film Knocked Up.

Thursday night is Photoshop Contest night. We're looking at product placements. This is a terrific sendup of how overblown logomania can become. All to overcome Tivo. And even if you don't like the've got to love that Katherine Heigl. Gnite.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The New Facebook Faces Advertising Problems (Monitoring Behavior) and an Invasion of Adults (How Creepy).

OK...over Thanksgiving I had some long talks with some "classic" Facebook users--students from the same small group of highly selective schools where Facebook began in February 2, 2004. First at Harvard, then at the Ivies, then at the highly selective liberal arts colleges like Williams, Middlebury and the prestige universities like Duke and Stanford. Facebook then extended membership to anyone with a .edu mailbox and then, ultimately to anyone over 13. Yes, that means anyone from middle school kids to their fathers and mothers.

And, according to my college friends...that's just not cool. Nor are websites like the one above from cool dudes like John Edwards.

This broad democracy of membership is what bothers the college kids...they miss the good old days of 2004 when they were an elite band of college students or recent graduates. They don't want old people who are trying to be cool joining. So look out for problems when the membership blurs out through overexpansion.

Next, there's the advertising problem. Facebook recently announced an invasive ad program called Beacon, despite all its previous privacy problems. Beacon will funnel participating students online purchases to their network of friends. Friends will know when Sally buys the new My Chemical Romance CD or Jim buys a bodybuilding book from Amazon. Worst of all...users can't currently opt out of the program, and Facebook doesn't make it easy to opt out of individual updates.

None of the college kids I talked to thought this was cool...they don't particularly want their purchases shared with their entire list of friends...and whether they friend them or not they don't want a bunch of creepy adults frequenting their clubhouse.

The biggest internet and internet advertising issue of all is just now emerging which is PRIVACY. John Battelle, a smart guy, of Wired Magazine fame and the book Search is currently writing a book on the topic, and he's dead on. This will be the next big Supreme Court level issue everyone from Facebook to Google will face. It makes Microsoft the Monopolist look tame by comparison. Much more in the days to come. Gnite.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Turkey for Christmas Gone Mad...Not Turducken But Turgooponducheasnishuaichuffguihagaga?

Ok...Christmas is a little less than a week away and I've been doing tons of research since my Thanksgiving post on Turducken (pictured above from a website with an alternate spelling). I know it's silly but there's a lot of written background online and on the blogs. It never fails to amaze me.

I've found the ultimate Turkey line extension (as we call it in marketing). All the bell and whistles you could want.

From Wikipedia. "Some enthusiasts come up with the turduckencorpheail. This is a standard turducken, (Turkey stuffed with duck, hen, and cornmeal) which is then stuffed with a cornish game hen, which is then stuffed with a pheasant, and finally stuffed with a quail. Still others have pushed the envelope even further with the turgooponducheasanishuail, which includes both a goose and capon, in addition to the component birds of the turduckencorpheail. In recent years, another version called the turgooponducheasnishuaichuffguihagaga has been growing in popularity. It has all the properties of the previous two versions listed, but also includes beef, pork, lamb, and frog. The turduckencorpheail, turgooponducheasanishuail, and the turgooponducheasnishuaichuffguihagaga are not for the faint of heart; both are extremely time consuming endeavors, as birds of the proper size must first be obtained, and then prepared; removing extremely fragile bones from a bird such as a quail without breaking the skin is impossible for most."

By the way...before Wikipedia how would we know about this Cajuninsanitywit1800calories that's critical-to-know-stuff. I promise no more Turkish entrees/entries for awhile. Happy Holidays. Canned ham anyone?

Happy Thanksgiving; Are You Eating Turducken Today?

Just in time for Thanksgiving (or maybe a tad late...just saw the ad) arrives the Turducken, found as an Adwords match on my GMail this Thanksgiving morning.

From the site at
Product Detailed Description
TURDUCKEN = turkey-duck-chicken

This is an amazing meal. We take a whole turkey and de-bone it leaving only the legs and wings. The turkey is stuffed with boneless duck breast and boneless chicken, completely seasoned inside and out and stuffed with our signature dressing. The Turducken weighs 12 lbs. and you can feast on everything! What a deal! (Sic!)

The Cornbread Turducken is stuffed with Cornbread Dressing and Pork & Rice Dressing. Feeds up to 15 people. Net Weight: 12 lbs. $49.95

What great advertising enabled by Internet AdWords...making it possible for Turducken to reach me. As an ad guy I'd suggest getting the word "turd" the heck out of there. Turd is just never a great association with food.

But...depending on how my meal at 4 PM goes, if it's boring I'm ordering up a Turducken for Xmas. How 'bout you? Wonder if I can buy one when the stores open at 5 AM tomorrow? Happy Thanksgiving.

While you're here...take a look at "Look Who's Coming to Thanksgiving Dinner" the Nov. 1 entry. More holiday fun.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Photoshop Contest: The Abduction of Psyche: High Art Meets the Cartoon.'s late Thursday night and another weekly tribute to the power of Photoshop computer software...this time presented as before/after. Of course why not replace Cupid with your favorite cartoon character. More fun than rail thin fashion models and more engaging than the Dove women. Enjoy. Gnite.

The original "The Abduction of Psyche" by Adolphe Bourguereau.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Video of The Prototype Google Phone (or gphone): With an Intro by Sergey Brin

Buried in all the gphone Android development platform announcements is this video which presents a very clear idea of what a basic and more advanced gphone will look like before it's enhanced by developers. At this point very iphone like except it will be OPEN and FAST...huge benefits and, at least now, no emphasis on music.Also, a smart move on Google's part to run a competition with $10 million of rewards for the best developer's products. Nothing like a good old contest to grease the wheels of progress. And the stickier the gphone is, the better it is when it becomes a fully functional adphone with information like you see in the Google Maps reference below. Shades of the original IBM PC, no?

Friday, November 9, 2007

Google Now at the Gas Station Pump: Why?

On Wednesday Google, continuing their General Sherman-like march to the sea, announced a partnership with a US gasoline pump manufacturer. That's right...a gasoline pump manufacturer. Believe it. Starting in December Google Maps will be available at 3,500 local gas stations (if they're cool enough) via an internet-connected small screen. You'll be able to scroll through several categories like hotels, restaurants, hospitals and landmarks. Select a destination and print out the directions. No AdWords here. But, in this application, coupons will be available. Now let's connect the dots...which very few reporters have.

Take a look at the Google Map in the previous post below featuring the GooglePages listing of a restaurant near me. That, too, I'm betting, will be available at the pump. So...yet another application for the LBR mapping project. And, for you advertising folks out there, make sure to take notice that Google is now introducing COUPONS into their advertising arsenal...certainly their most traditional advertising offering to date. And...can AdWords be far behind. Gas Pump media. Now that's new media.

(By the way...the Frank Gehry inspired BP station above is at Gehry & Robertson. LA, of course.) Gnite.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Google's New Yellow Pages Project: "GooglePages"?

The screen above, taken from Google Maps, is one place where the Google Phone (I think of it as the Google AdPhone) is going to be monetized big time. This page is the result of a very new Google Labs program in test where Google has "local business reps" (of any and all demominations) gathering detailed business information from storeowners (hours, methods of payment, cute postage stamp pictures of the retailer or restaurant, etc.). Why test putting citizen armies out there? Well just think of this as a much more focused and more extensive Yellow Pages available, most directly, from a Google Phone (or even an Apple iphone indirectly connected). And... there's far more information than was displayed in the Apple iPhone map tv spot about finding and calling the San Francisco seafood restaurant.

Then think about all the AdWords (or AdWord-like-objects you could sell to these retailers to support their listings). Just imagine going into the store with a Google Phone and showing your on-screen coupon to get 20% off a sweater or buy one pizza get one free.

So what you say? Well, 2007 US ad spending is projected by TNS to be $153 billion. Classically, Yellow Pages, both on and offline has been 10% of that market. So that's a potential market of $15B for Google to tap into as they replace the Yellow Pages with AdWords and AdSense--whether on a Google AdPhone or any other Open Alliance phone (more on all this later)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Google Is An Advertising Company: Now Think (Ad) Phone

Much, much truth in the quote below from Forbes. Despite all the detailed speculation about the Google phone, just keep in mind they're using hardware to protect and extend their ADVERTISING SALES DELIVERY SYSTEM. They see it, quite rightly, moving to a mobile market where they can be an even bigger player. Think GooglePages rather than Yellow Pages (more in coming days) and a ton of social networking AdSense advertising bound much more closely to the medium.

"The phone promises to fuse open-source software with Google's applications on a high-end handset. Rubin's team is building custom mobile-phone software atop the free Linux operating system that will bind the phone tightly to Google's online applications and advertising services, sources say. Software from another Google acquisition, Skia, will put a slick user interface on the package. Finally, Google will build all that software into a smart phone built by Taiwanese handset specialist HTC, according to a source familiar with the matter.

In some ways, that's not so different from Microsoft's strategy: put its operating system, and applications such as Word and Excel, onto hardware from HTC, and later on, other manufacturers. That, however, is where the similarities end. "Licensing a mobile OS is not the endgame," UBS analyst Benjamin Schachter wrote in a note to investors last week.

It is dissatisfaction with the ability of today's phones TO CARRY TARGETED ADVERTISING (my emphasis)--rather than a thirst for software-licensing revenues or desire to build cool gadgets--that is pushing Google to take on the mobile-phone market, industry sources say. "[Google] will likely focus on extending its current ad-based economic model," Schachter writes.

In my mind, not "likely" but absolutely. This ain't no iphone.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Photoshop Contest: "Guess Who's Coming to Thanksgiving Dinner?" Norman Rockwell Reimagined.

It's Thursday night and time for the weekly Photoshop contest entry. Thanksgiving is three weeks from today! Early this year. So in anticipation of the joy of family reunions, that annual feeling of being overstuffed, wretched excess...and the anticipation of the midnight sales starting in a few hours...take a look. This is the true meaning of a Rockwell Thanksgiving through the lens of " Guess Who's Coming to Dinner." The Tracy/Hepburn/Poitier film was released 40 years ago on the 12th of December 1967. Gnite.