Tuesday, May 23, 2006

This, I like.

Oh, the joys of the internet!

I was reading my Fortune mag when I came across a small piece about something called IdleAire

I did try the magazine site for a link to the piece, but nothing obvious popped up, but entering the name got me to the one above.

Using a whopping $320 million of VC funding, they are building a nationwide system for tuckers to shut off the engines they leave on idle, and plug in to a much cheaper and more eco-way of getting what they need.

It is claimed that CO2 emissions can be cut by 32 millions tons, and US oil imports cut by 2%.

What is not to like, except it takes a private company to do it?

Google reinvents TV ads with pay-per-click video

Tue May 23, 2006 05:29 AM ET 

By Eric Auchard
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc. said on Monday the company is ready to help Web sites run video advertisements, putting the Web search leader into competition with television for the biggest chunk of ad spending.
Google is seeking to take the pay-per-click model it refined for text ads and apply the approach to video, cleaning up a nascent market where irritating splash ads distract users and limit advertisers' desire to spend money on the medium.
Google video ads first appear on Web pages as static screenshots in small television-screen like boxes. Only when a consumer clicks on the screen does the ad begin running inside the box -- instead of jumping off the page as many video ads do -- giving users control over how much or how little they view.
"We are offering a very, very non-intrusive ad product," said Gokul Rajaram, product manager for Google AdSense, which runs advertising campaigns across affiliated Web sites. "Only users who click on the ad see the video."
Google's AdSense network generates nearly half of Google's revenue, with most of the rest coming from Google's own sites.
The new "click to play" video ads complement Google's existing line-up of text, static image, banner and flash animation ads that run on the edges of Web pages of sites that use Google to deliver advertising for them. Google aims to make video advertising as simple to buy as these existing formats.
Video ads will be introduced this week, Rajaram said.
To make it easy for advertisers to use the format, Google will host video advertisements on its own computer servers instead of forcing customers to contract out with a third-party supplier as many video advertisers must now do.
Click to play video ads differ from the scattershot approach of broadcast TV advertising in that Google promises to measure the duration of how long customers, on average, watch any particular ad on a site before moving on to another page.
"It is very good for advertisers because they now know the user is engaged," Rajaram said in a phone interview.
"The targeting is more powerful than traditional broadcast TV," said Greg Sterling, an industry analyst with Sterling Market Intelligence in Berkeley, California.
For example, Sterling said one way Google plans to promote the service as a way for advertisers to test-market TV ads on the Web to determine the best ad for broadcast TV campaigns.
The Internet ad market grew 30 percent in 2005 to $12.5 billion (7 billion pounds). But that represents only 5 percent of the budget that U.S. marketers spend on all media, including newspapers, radio and TV, according to Internet Advertising Bureau data. U.S. ad spending on cable TV alone totalled $18.9 billion last year.
But analyst Safa Rashtchy of broker Piper Jaffray estimates that major advertisers in categories such as autos, finance, entertainment and consumer goods are shifting a growing amount of their spending -- 10 to 20 percent so far -- online.
Such brand name advertisers favour using richer graphical or video based elements in their advertising. This part of the market is where rival Yahoo Inc. has long dominated.
"Brand marketers will take notice. This is going to cause others like Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL to develop some of the same targeting," Sterling said.
"We will see an acceleration of video advertising from here," he predicted.

Losing the sizzle

I am beginning to feel like one of those folk featured in home video shows, where they are straddling a boat and the pier and the two are slowly con and diverging.
Junkk.com was born, initially as a hobby riding on the back of Firebird.com, the creative collective of which I am part. But somewhere along the line it became the dominant call on my resources.
Well now for reasons of I must return - at least for the day job - to the fold I know better, and with luck will have enough success again to feed the family and fund Junkk.com. The blog will continue, as will the ideas, but I guess the main areas to be curtailed will be the promotion and in-depth research. Well, the first was costing an arm and leg, and the latter is mainly well covered by other, better funded resources, so it should not detract from the site experience.
But there will always be overlaps.
Today I was reviewing the latest crop of press ads gleaned from the Sunday mags, with a view to doing Junkk.com 'adapts' to show how easy it would be to sell the product... and then the benefits of the packaging's second use.
And it struck me how easy my Junkk job is often made, because so many of the ads actually do show the packaging.
In many ways that struck me as odd, because the whole point is to sell the sizzle, not the sausage.
Plus it does stretch across the whole ad spectrum. I've added a couple more examples here.
One presumes these are intended to motivate the consumer, but where's the end-benefit to make me want to engage?
The branding is great, and all the copy boxes may be ticked, but really they are just so much wasted space.
And you know how I feel about waste.

I may not agree with what you say... so I won't pay any attention

Poorly recalled history time again ! Voltaire? The hero in Tale of Two Cities? Anways, one of the most impactful embodiments of the democratic ideal is the rallying cry that goes something like: 'I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight with my life for your right to say it'.

In an interesting twist, from that great defender of democracy, the USA, we have a possible new version which I have summarised above in my title, this time uttered by the President, when asked if he'll be watching Al Gore's new movie  "An Inconvenient Truth", to which he replied... 'I doubt it.

I have blogged on this before, and was about to again when I read in a recent Fortune that Steve Balmer of Microsoft had forbidden his kids to go near iPods and all things non-MSN.

I actually don't believe them, but if true, then it seems the height of stupidity to dismiss or blot out alternative or competitive viewpoints in this manner.

I for one keep intelligence on my friends close, and that on my enemies even closer still.