Merchant Customer Exchange has courted the likes of Best Buy, Target and Walmart to bring you simplified smartphone purchasing. The mobile app plans to include rewards like loyalty programs, coupons and rebates. MCX plans to include retailers, restaurants, gas stations and supermarkets in the months to come. This is clearly not the first nor the last company to come up with this plan and it remains to be seen if their efforts are successful.
Intel remains on the forefront of technology and may be working on a set top box that can determine gender and age of the viewer and will launch appropriate ads. While this premise still appears at the planning stage, the company believes that interactive features is a plus for TV advertisers by using niche marketing. Then again, showing a 12 year-old the next best thing to bug her/his parents for seems a bit daunting.
Ah, the power of advertising. What kid of the 60's didn't covet the X-ray Spex and Sea Monkeys when reading comic books? Not to mention 7-foot tall monsters and turning into a "he-man" with the help of Charles Atlas? Collector and historian Kirk Demarais was so influenced by these objects that he purchased many of them back then as well as now and ended up writing a book about the subject.
Written last fall, Mail Order Mysteries exposes what 150 of these products really did. It all started when he made the short film "Flip" in 2004 that impressed the S.S, Adams novelty company enough to hire him to write "Life of the Party" in 2006.
Read the books, watch the short, check out an interview with Demarais and, just for the record, Sea Monkeys are actually brine shrimp. X-ray Spex are glasses with cardboard lenses with a small hole in the center with a feather that made skin appear distorted. Don't shoot the messenger.
German computer company Convar Deutschland sent out some "gifts" to prospective clients that resembled time bombs. There were forty alarm clocks with attached hard drives and a note that said, "Your time is running out." Apparently no one got the joke. Police were called, buildings were evacuated and now the data-recovery service is stuck with the bill. However, they did get the publicity they sought and that will certainly be worth the expense.
Hulu is ramping up its push to gain new subscribers, in spite of the latest glut of iffy commercials with Will Arnett. They have increased the size of the video screen online by 55%, given it a new frame and a drop shadow. The new layout is certainly less busy and accessible to both regular and Hulu Plus members.
Instead of just reading the cereal box, General Mills marketing manager Mark Addicks says there will soon be lots of QR codes to interact with on the backs of them via smartphone. Last June, GM got more than 40,000 scans and 6,000 texts with its Crunchy Nut Cheerios promotion. There will also be apps and augmented reality similar to that used on a box of Corn Pops in 2010 and an entire website devoted to the promotion.
Even before the Super Bowl had begun, about 12 million viewers tuned in to Honda's extended version of its CR-V crossover spot with Matthew Broderick reprising his Ferris Bueler role. The Seinfeld-Leno ad had about the same amount viewing the its Acura NSX supercar. Other ads made it online before airing, but we kind of missed all the secrecy. Catch all the spots here that you just have to see again.
There was quite a lot of pre-SB hype around Madonna, including a press conference where she promised no wardrobe malfunctions and did a mini-salsa. ESPN's Kate Fagan wrote an amusing play-by-play of the event. We expect many hoped she would mess up slightly during half time, like hockey fans waiting for the gloves to come off.
While the American Burger King offered Free Fries Friday to get the word out on their new product, the Swedish electronics store Pause showed a lot more creativity. Visit XmasCarolTorture.com before December 21, listen to the endless droning of Jingle Bells and you may just win a Geneva 5 Stereo System. At the very least you get a discount if you can manage to go through several choruses (you have to press a Santa button occasionally to prove you are still listening.)
The NY company Densebrain plans on connecting with shoppers who cannot shut off their cellies even when shopping or attending a concert. They have created a high-frequency sound that will trigger a phone or even iPad within 50 ft. While Sonic Notify is not similar to a voluntary app like Shopkick, with this platform large companies seem to like the idea of invading our space no matter where we go. Fortunately for the little guy, you have to download the app to get the service.
Okay, like most of the world we want an iPad, but we gotta admit, Amazon has a whole lot of PR going for it with their Fire commercial, so much so that between that and the price, guess what we want for Xmas/Kwanza/Chanukah this year...
We want the full color experience along with the ability to escape into a movie, game, magazine or simply being able to check our email. The Fire features Amazon Silk, their cloud-accelerated browser that supports flash. And with 17 million tunes, millions of books and 1,000s of movies/TV shows, we might never get to those to-do lists.
We haven't given out a NAVi award for quite some time, but we certainly believe that Logitech has earned one with this commercial with Kevin Bacon about Kevin Bacon. It certainly makes us want to consider investing in a Logitech Revue and Google TV.
We were watching SNL last weekend and noticed how the shape of advertising on TV has altered. Now we know who the target audience is during that time slot so it is really no surprise that we saw spots for 'Bing search', 'AT&T Texting/Search Plan' and 'MS Live' during that time. Southwest Airlines ran an entire 30" devoted to their website. We also noticed a growing trend posting Facebook/Twitter, etc. icons at the end of a commercial in addition to their website.
The International Telecommunication Union estimates that about two billion people will be online by the end of 2010 and 227 million sites now exist but we still wonder when it was exactly that advertising realized that so many of us live on the Net.
Instead of using MSN, AOL and Yahoo to spread information about its new primetime shows, which include Hawaii Five-0, Mike and Molly, The Defenders, and $#*! My Dad Says, during this premiere week, CBS will be concentrating on Yahoo only. Their Big Bang theory behind this is to get viewers who log into their mail and sports sites to see promos also from returning CBS shows like NCIS and Undercover Boss.
Move over AT&T. No feeble commercials for us. No pasty faced actor bragging about rollover minutes or coverage. We got us some fine looking, trendy actors and a whole lot of shiny CGI to impress. Why, we heard that Networking Audio Video issued a NAVi award to us for our "Rule the Air" spot. Aren't we awesome?