Google Ad Sitelinks for Mobile

in Advertising, Mobile, Search Engine Marketing No Comments

mobile ad sitelinks

Google recently announced that the popular Ad Sitelinks tactic available for desktop search advertisers through Adwords will now be available through Adwords mobile search as well.

Ad Sitelinks offers search advertisers the opportunity to deep link their text ads to more relevant pages within their site through the presence of four (individually chosen) links under each text ad.  This ultimately gives searchers the choice of their destination.

Best used with brand specific search terms, Ad Sitelinks has been an enormously useful tool for clients who have experienced a windfall of additional clicks with the implementation of this tactic.  Our clients in specific have seen increases in click-through rates, with actual CTRs reaching upwards of 27-30%, with averages in the vicinity of 20%.

While desktop Ad Sitelinks offered up to four additional destination links, most often showing three, mobile Ad Sitelinks will present only two additional links under each text ad (which appear in the first position).

Read more…

Adkeeper to save internet advertising

in Advertising, Technology No Comments


While internet advertisers continue to worry about click through rates and direct response measurements, there seems to be a push to begin ‘branding’ efforts online.

Adkeeper is a new product that is pushing this effort forward in an interesting way. By clicking a small ‘k’ located in the lower right corner of a banner ad, people will soon be able to save an advertisement for later viewing on the adkeeper web site. From here, users can rank, sort and share banners with friends, allowing people to voluntarily and positively interact with a brand or an offer.

Will people actually keep banner ads? Adkeeper’s research team seems to think so – they expect impressive interaction rates (at lease compared to click through rates) upon the product’s release in early 2011. The company found that users are often intrigued by an ad, but will not be able to interact while in a certain setting (possibly at work), or while preoccupied with information, news or entertainment.

Adkeeper’s effort has strong potential. People like ads! – they clip them in newspapers, tear out full-pages of magazines and anxiously anticipate viewing commercials in the Super Bowl every year. Maybe by allowing people to interact with a brand on their own terms, instead of always enticing users to “click now!” will improve the effectiveness and favor of internet marketing overall.

The Phone to Save Us From Our Phone: Windows Phone 7

in Mobile, Technology No Comments

Yesterday, tech geeks and every day consumers started joining the debate.  Windows Phone 7 launched as did Microsoft’s attempt to gain share on category leader iPhone.  The space is very turbulent right now with Android surpassing Blackberry and iPhone sales for the last quarter.  Android has done an incredible job of creating a point of difference in the consumer’s mind.  They’re hot.  Their $100MM marketing budget helps as well. 

Microsoft will attempt to steal share in what appears to be a very smart way.  Crispin Porter & Bogusky will launch a campaign showing people using their smartphone when they should have their attention elsewhere.  You’ll see images of people texting while playing with their kids, launching an app at the urinal or sending an email just before sex – ouch!!

The campaign uses our current “always on” culture as a major negative and works to help consumers break free of this face down existence.  Windows Phone 7 has a user interface that is very simple with a layout that is quite different than what we have grown to know with the iPhone linear app set-up. It helps ease the flow of information and allows consumers to get back to “living”. 

Will they succeed? They sure have a steep hill to climb.  Android is hot, iPhone still has its loyalists and Blackberry, while steadily loosing share will certainly launch an update prior to the holiday shopping season. 

Can a :30 TV spot lead the charge of motivating a consumer to consider the Windows Phone 7?  Will the already packed smartphone market make room for a new option and will consumers dig deep in their pocket to pay the price?  The launch is well timed.  Reviews will be critical for success and PR will play a big role. 

My prediciton – Android will set the pace through the end of 2010 and into 2011.  iPhone will hold steady at #2 with Microsoft quickly scaling to battle Blackberry and HTC for month to month sales.  More to come …..

Facebook, so hot right now. Facebook.

in Facebook 1 Comment

facebook image

Great timing. Hit movie, and new products. Keeping Facebook on top of the press kits, they have now come out with a new (usefulness is still TBD) tool.

Remember when Facebook first came out and you could post links, comments, pictures, and fun without the worry of people who you do not know or even dislike seeing your activity? It was exclusive and cool.

Well…it is now back to normal (kind of). As mentioned, Facebook has come out with a new platform just for this – Facebook Groups. Bringing back the exclusivity, in the “Group” you have the ability to post everything you would normally post to your wall or friends’ walls – however, now, no one can see it except your group members.

You can also have real time chat – similar to old school AIM chat rooms when people would ask, A/S/L? – but now, there is no anonymity and you are amongst friends making it much less creepy. 

Oh, and you have to be invited to the join a group. So exclusive.

Check out Mashable’s take on the new product: Click HERE 

Google Goggles Available for iPhone

in Advertising, Search Engine Marketing, Technology No Comments

Google Goggles

While many may not be familiar with this clever tool, Google has finally made its image search app, Google Goggles, accessible to iPhone users as an added feature bundled in with the Google App and available in the Apple App Store (for FREE!).  Previously only available to Android powered phones, this app allows users to search the mobile web by taking pictures.  The app can work in tandem with the phone’s inherent GPS capabilities to provide richer, more relevant search results on the go.

Goggles works by analyzing the image in the view finder (of iPhone 3Gs and iPhone 4 phones only as it requires auto-focus) and highlighting the objects it recognizes — just click on the objects to find out more about them.  Use it for identifying and cataloging landmarks, DVDs, games, book covers, logos and even business cards.

The app is a little buggy currently, which is why it is still considered a “Labs” product, but it is incredibly useful (in a variety of different ways) and is actually quite fun to tinker with.

Read more…

AOL’s Project Devil – A Gimmick or a True Competitive Advantage?

in Advertising, Search Engine Marketing, Technology, Video No Comments

Recently, AOL launched Project Devil, a way for the portal to position itself as a content engine designed to present information in a clear “to the point” fashion.  One digital marketer per page without any competitive clutter.  To me, their ideas about page design, page navigation and marketer placement are basic and a bit dated.  Those of us designing web pages have utilized these “clean” layout guidelines for more than a year.  It seems that AOL is just catching up to the rest of us with the launch of Project Devil.  See for yourself by using this link and comment back to let us know what you think:  AOL Project Devil

A Push to Put Privacy Control in the Hands of the Consumer

in Advertising, Facebook, Technology No Comments

This is a big deal.  Several large advertising industry trade organizations are pushing for an “opt-out” technology to be prominently displayed adjacent to digital marketing units that are served through the use of behavioral tracking technologies. 

When the consumer hovers or clicks the icon pictured above, the alt message would explain why the specific ad is being targeted to them and offer a chance to be removed from the behavioral database.  Publishers serving the ad would have a choice – serve a less targeted ad or stop serving ads to that specific consumer. 

This is a big step in the right direction.  As an agency we believe in the value of our client’s marketing message and brand proposition.  We also strongly believe that this message has to be delivered within an environment that is credible, served to a consumer that finds the advertising message useful or beneficial.  As part of the AAAAs, we are proud to play a role in this test. 

A few weeks ago, I contributed to a write up speaking out against technology driven organizations that are (allegedly) enhancing their behavioral serving capacity by utilizing flash cookies, embedded on a computer as a way to re-create html cookies that had been intentionally deleted by a consumer.  There are some really big names that are being investigated.  Names like Disney, MTV and Demand Media.  We’re watching carefully.  Read my comments here:  Associating with the Accused – Adotas

With Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube and others gathering tons of data on users for a constant competitive tug of war, it’s critical TargetCast stay on the leading edge of the privacy debate to ensure we represent our clients well and protect the privacy of consumers.

Read the full New York Times write up here:  Ad Group Unveils Plan to Improve Web Privacy

Take Gaming/Social Media to the Next Level…without a cheat code

in Gaming, Social Media No Comments

Gaming & Social Media

Gaming – a very social experience – inviting friends over to play N64, reading magazines, asking friends for help, going to the local video game store to ask the expert. Think about game like WarCraft, Diablo, & SoCom – all games online – all players part of the same community with one common interest…love for gaming.

At the time, social media and the internet were not as prevalent.  Gamers would lag because of a dial up connection.

Now, the online experience has evolved so drastically that gamers will buy/sell games based on their online “friends” recommendations. They will take time out of their gaming to post their own recommendations, advice, achievements, tips, and all.

The new game Minecraft takes this to a whole new level according to Mashable.  Minecraft users, as you will read, are extremely excited and forthcoming with posting their in-game accomplishments in photos and video on sites like YouTube.

*“It’s definitely key,” said Webster of the game’s social success. “People are making incredible things in Minecraft, and this in turn makes other people want to play so they can create incredible things of their own.”*

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