K-Swiss realizes sex sells

AdRants recent post, K-Swiss Makes...Half-Dressed Tennis Hotties That Want Me? is hilarious, but also poignant. Here's a snippet:

K-What? I'm sorry, I know you want me to look at your logo and go visit your website but I just can't take my eyes of that figure of perfection lying on the tennis court as if she's channeling Christina Ricci in Black Snake Moan and wants it...NEEDS it really, really badly!

OK, so we know sex sells. And K-Swiss, as it gets more and more into the pro tennis scene, realizes this obviously. Not to mention, and I say this as a lifelong tennis player and fan, they realize that pro tennis is full of babes. They are the first tennis brand that I know of to blatantly play this angle, and I think its very smart. One, its different - they can't unseat Nike or adidas from the "winning" angle. Two, they realize that they are not simply a tennis brand, they are a lifestyle brand, as can be seen in their other ad campaigns and website. Selling the tennis babes builds a broader base of consumers than just tennis players.

From AdRants


A True Buyer's Market - The Intention Economy hits real estate

"The Intention Economy grows around buyers, not sellers. It leverages the simple fact that buyers are the first source of money, and that they come ready-made. You don't need advertising to make them.” - Doc Searls

Dutch bank ING has a new program called WoonWaarUWilt ("LiveWhereYouWant"), which launched yesterday. It lets people make an offer on a house they'd love to own but isn't necessarily for sale. Its a partnership with online real estate firm iBlue.

Here's how it works:
  1. Potential buyers fill out an online form on with the home's address and the initial offer.
  2. iBlue contacts the them to discuss whether the offer is reasonable. A mortgage consultant also determines whether the buyers would be able to finance the purchase.
  3. iBlue sends a preliminary offer to the property's current owners, explaining the situation and inquiring whether they'd consider selling.
It is all about giving the homeowners "an offer they can't refuse," to get them thinking about selling their house when its not "on the market." Aside from the financial upside for sellers, the program takes some anxiety out of the process as well.

So, the question is how to facilitate your buyer's intentions? This shift in thinking could change the whole market dynamic in your industry and give you a competitive advantage.

From Springwise


When Viral Video Isn't...

AdGabber, Steve Hall to be specific, nailed it on his critique of this lame "viral video." Note to overly ambitious, frustrated creatives out there...all video is not viral.

This isn't Hall's first foray into critiquing viral video, my personal favorite is "Giant Fake Boobs? Hmm, Must be a Viral" in which he states what any sane marketer should know, but many don't acknowledge because its easier to think everyone can have viral success,
"A viral is not a viral until it has become a viral. Viral is a result, not an intent. Just because I call something viral does not mean it will become a viral."
Find more videos like this on AdGabber

Read the critique.

Read Giant Fake Boobs?


My name in print! Hypermediate blogger gets letter in Conde Nast Portfolio

If you're a reader of this blog (all 10 of you), you may have seen the post in December called "Robert Reich Gets It All Wrong." If so, you no doubt know about my feelings towards Reich's article in Portfolio that month.

Well, I did what I have never done, I wrote a letter to the editor. Lo and behold, they chose it. Who would have thunk it? They edited the letter a bit, so my point is a little diluted, unfortunately, but oh well. Here is the link to the letter in this month's Portfolio - and below is what they printed.
Nobody wants big companies to have more power than the government does, but Reich's worldview is fundamentally different from that of most capitalists. He doesn't seem to trust the market to agree with his views, so he calls for government to mandate them. And he fails to mention that for every government mandate placed on a business, there is a direct cost to that business. More costs equal higher prices. That doesn't sound like a consumer-friendly idea to me.

Contrast Reich's article with Roger Lowenstein's review of Daniel de Faro Adamson and Joe Andrew's The Blue Way ["The Wild Blue Yonder of Markets," January]. The book's authors note that companies that back Democrats and populist causes outperform those that do not. They are 100 percent correct.

I mention this because it gives proper credit to the real driver of the economy and the government: the individual. We get what we ask for, on the shelf and in our government. Reich thinks that price is the sole driver of consumer preference and that the people aren't capable of driving social change. Tell that to Toyota as it sells the Prius in high volume. Tell that to Method, whose safer, cleaner, more environmentally sound cleaning products are selling like hotcakes. Tell that to Patagonia, which leads the apparel industry in social causes as well as performance outdoor wear.

Why are these companies successful? Not simply because they are more socially conscious, but because that social consciousness is combined with great design, quality, service, and a reasonable price.

—Robert Wallace, Chandler, Arizona

US Retail E-Commerce Sales Up in 2007

Despite all the doom and gloom you hear incessantly on TV about the economy, the Department of Commerce has reported that US retail e-commerce sales in 2007 were up 19.0 percent from 2006, while total retail sales were up 4.0 percent in the same period.

Retail e-commerce sales in the fourth quarter of 2007 (adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes) totaled $36.2 billion — an increase of 4.6 percent (±1.8 percent) from the previous quarter.

Read More

From MarketingVOX

ad:tech Survey: Best and Worst Online Tactics

Some highlights from ad:tech's Best & Worst List of 2007:
  • SEO is gaining in popularity among marketers: 57 percent of those surveyed in 2007 said it outperforms other tactics ("great ROI - outperforms other tactics"), compared with 45 percent in 2006.
  • Email marketing from house lists, a top tactic of 47 percent of marketers in 2006, was cited by 42 percent in 2007.
  • Behavioral targeting offers a stronger ROI than contextual targeting, marketers again said - but in greater proportions: 44 percent said so (up 10 percentage points from 2006), while 21 percent cited contextual advertising (down 8 points).
  • Paid search remains a strong money maker for 34 percent of those surveyed, but that's down from 49 percent in 2006, likely due to increased competition that raised keyword prices and lowered ROI.
What's on the 2008 horizon?
  • Some 32 percent of marketers cited PPC (i.e., agreed that they plan to increase their budgets for the tactic more than 5 percent).
  • Strong ROI from behaviorally targeted ads is likely to attract more investment - 27 percent of marketers said they'll increase their spend, compared with 18 percent in 2006.
  • 93 percent said agencies recommended an increase in spending or begin spending on viral video.
  • 87 percent were asked to start or increase viral marketing spend on social networking sites.
  • 60 percent were urged to try, for the first time, wireless ads on mobile networks.
  • 62 percent said agencies advised advertising, for the first time, in games and virtual worlds.
From MarketingVOX


Some truly creative OOH ads

Check these out. No doubt, these are some of the more creative OOH ads we've seen in a long time. You may have seen some of them in emails that are being passed around.

The big question, however, is whether they get you to think and/or remember what they're selling. You be the judge.

To us, the ones that get you thinking about the product and brand the most are the coffee cups and the ASPE bag. Sadly, in the case of the ASPE bag, what makes for effective advertising may also make for getting yourself shot.


Are young, educated men being hurt by online usage?

Two interesting demographic articles caught my eye this week.

The first reported that the vast majority of ad clicks are generated by a small percentage of online users, according to a report from comScore, commissioned by ad agency Starcom and AOL's Tacoda. The study finds 80% of online ad clicks are generated by 16% of internet users. And that 16% is skewed toward young men that don't earn much money.

The second is that bloggers are also younger, better-educated, but earn less than the general US adult (18+) population.

Of users that blog occasionally or regularly (26 percent of those polled):

  • 53.7 percent are male.
  • Nearly half (44.7 percent) are married.
  • One in 10 (10.4 percent) are students.
  • 28.4 percent hold a professional or managerial position.

Bloggers have a lower average income than most adults ($55,819 vs. $56,811) and are better educated (14.3 years of education vs. 14.2).

They also tend to be younger, with an average age of 37.6, compared with 44.8 for the US adult population:

It would appear that these two groups are likely the same people. Why the lower income? Are they becoming apathetic by being online so long? Are they simply becoming more a part of the online community than the real world and thus making less "real world" income?

Read more at MarketingVOX here and here.

Placecast to target ads at Wi-fi hotspots

As if you weren't already a little worried about privacy at public wi-fi spots - Placecast is releasing a product that targets users by Wi-Fi hotspot, delivering ads based on where they are and what content they're perusing.

from MarketingVOX


Google looks to 2D barcodes for its newspaper biz

2D barcodes are big. Well, actually they are quite small, but they are a big deal. Rather, they are a huge deal in Japan and will eventually become a big deal in the US and all over (right now the software's penetration is pretty low, with estimates being 1-10% of the population).

Case in point, Google's looking to insert 2D barcodes in their print ads. bottom of print ads. The barcodes can hold an enormous amount of data, and can be used for many purposes. In the case of Google, when a person scans the barcode with a compatible camera phone, it takes their phone's browser to a mobile Web address encrypted in the graphic.

Among other reasons the barcodes are a big deal is that it allows the advertiser to drive a specific person to a specific message or a specific purchase opportunity. Plus, think of all the data you would get about that individual. The mind reels.

To be continued...